So I posted my old build which got hit with some reasonable criticisms, and went back to the drawing board to try again. (I also adjusted the template answers a bit.)
BUDGET RANGE: 1100-1400. SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, software development, scientific computing (not very often). PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, DVD-RW, storage HDDs (a boot HDD is required) PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel processors and the smallest standard-size ATX box that fits the parts. OVERCLOCKING: Yes SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 by 1200 ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:
Should be quiet! I've had a noisy machine for four years now and it gets on my nerves.
Smaller size is better. I don't want to stick in much more than two GPUs, two hard drives, a DVD-R or equivalent, and a wireless card. And I may even switch back to Ethernet.
How much power do I need coming out of the power supply?
Given that my old DVD-RW is actually running on IDE, should I replace it with a SATA unit?
Is it worth it to get a SSD for boot/apps and use my old SATA2 500GB drive as primary storage? I don't expect to install a lot of things, so it can be small, say 80 gig maybe. (Granted people think a terabyte is small these days, but I don't collect digital media or anything of similar size.)
4GB or 8GB RAM? How much does Windows 7 Pro like to have?
EDITED PARTS LIST, modified by silvune's suggestions:
If I was intending to make my system as quiet as possible then I'd go for a Vapor-X video card. Or find another review of another card that showed that it was quiet. The 5850 Vapor-X would be cheaper than two of the 5770s you linked: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100282VXSR Radeon HD 5850 (Cypress Pro) 1GB $330 ($7.87 shipping). I would go for one video card out of the blocks, as a single card will produce less heat, and potentially make less noise. You also avoid the vagaries of video card drivers, games being crossfire optimized.
If you're going to be running a single 5850 then a good 550W PSU will be good. Which will also be fine for two 5770s, while for two 5850s a good 650W PSU is ideal. That Antec case actually comes in a combo with a very nice 650W PSU: Antec 300 Illusion & XFX P1-650X-CAG9 650W $140.
For me SSDs aren't at the stage where I would buy one for myself. In 2010 SSDs will have higher capacity, higher performance, more reliability and be cheaper. However if you really want one now then I'd recommend one of these three: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submi...|20-227-542^20-227-542-V01%2C20-227-550^20-227-550-TS%2C20-167-023^20-167-023-TS
The only reason to replace your DVD-RW with a SATA one would be to improve airflow, reduce clutter inside your case, as SATA optical drives are unlikely to be much faster than IDE, if at all.