1 Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
MOBO/CPU/CASE Price $673.99
Grand Total: $2,009.41
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024
1. Am I nuts for considering the 128GB SSD given its cost? How much difference does this make?
2. Is there anything about this setup that will make it unusually difficult to install for a newbie? This is my first build. My previous experience is limited to upgrading components like video cards, processors and harddrives.
3. I’m slightly over the upper limit of my budget of $2,000, so investing more is unlikely. Less is always an option
4. Am I missing anything?
I won't comment on the parts, as they are all name brand parts that have great reviews. You really can't go wrong other than for the price/performance element on them. Also, I have brand preferences over some of your choices, but they are irrelevant.
One thing is glaring = 1280 x 1024 res. Weak, dude. Add $200 to your budget and get a 1080p screen. Your 5870 is totally wasted at that res.
The SSD will make you feel like your system is lightening fast, as the OS and programs and some internals within programs such as game levels will load really fast. You could spend less on one, such as the Intel X25-M 80GB as it is a bit cheaper and does perform really well still and having a decent amount of space on it. Also you will need a converter kit to fit the SSD into the 3.5inch bay, which will come with a retail SSD. Seeing as you have the budget for it and not many improvements can be made even with the extra money I would say keep the SSD.
You should look for free shipping options where you can.
festerovic has a point about the resolution. Even at 1080p res, you could probably go down to the 5850.
Personally I would be happy with CAS 7 1600mhz RAM, if you were to be so happy then you could save $60.
If you change the SSD, the GPU and the RAM you could have around $180 to put towards a new monitor.