My thoughts: The video card is probably overkill for my existing monitor, but I might want to upgrade the monitor eventually. In that case I might get a second video card for Crossfire (so the motherboard needs to support this).
I want SATA 6G/s support for a possible future solid state hard drive. (Does this make sense?)
Where I'm still pretty lost: The case, power supply, RAM, and miscellaneous. My picks for these were blindly copied from stuff I saw in builds here. For example, is RAM at 1600, CAS 7 overkill? Will I need a bigger power supply if I get a second graphics card, or is 750W overkill? Do I need thremal compound, a cooler, a multi-card reader, or anything else?
Note that the case and CPU I showed are August in-store specials at Microcenter, and since I'm going to be down in California on vacation this month I am hoping to take advantage of these prices. In-store returns won't be possible. Is it worth the risk?
Well, for a high-end build such as yours, DDR3-1600 is not overkill, and it in fact sits just fine with everything else you have going. You'll probably even overclock it to a higher clock anyways.
SATA 6gb is still in its infancy, and I seriously mean its very, very early infancy. I doubt you'll find an SSD that reaches those speeds for a while, though it certainly doesn't mean that being prepared for it is a bad idea.
The GPU is fine. A tad on the expensive side, but if you're upgrading to a larger resolution monitor, you'll need all the help you can get.
As for the case: the Antec Three Hundred is a fine case, though I have a personal preference to the CoolerMaster 690 (and more recently the 690 II Advanced). It's roomy, has plenty of openings for cable management and is quite the looker to boot. They're similarly priced too, so take your pick.
Everything else: a 750W is probably enough, though it may also depend on just how much you plan to overclock. Thermal compound - I'm not convinced that any specific brand is better than the rest. It's probably because this article got to me, though - http://www.dansdata.com/goop.htm
1) A 5870 isn't really overkill for your monitor. I'd stick with it and buy two more later on. Higher res screens cost 1000+ which is IMO not worth it. 460 gtx provide the best bqng for buck on the market however and overclocked it will get close to the performance of a 5870 at a far far lower cost. Scaling of 460s also destroys 5870 scaling.
2)Good choice SATAIII SSDs are significantly faster with a SATAIII connection.
3) The case is a little on the cheap side maybe go higher like antec 900 two. Ram is a very good choice. I'd get 850w for 5870 CF to leave some headroom but 750w wil do great. Likewise with 460 sli. A cooler you will need if you OC maybe something like a scythe mugen 2. thermal compound ussually comes with the cooler. A card reader? if you want to read cards yes lol. Also I reccomend a modular psu as a non-modular one is a pain in the but to install.
4)well simple maths: 1 third cheaper and Far far less than 1 tenth of CPUs fail so yes it is worth it.
well I think we both said around the same so that should make us more trustworthy but he is wrong about the SATAIII though. SATAIII makes SATAIII drives quite a bit faster. However to my knowledge the only SATAIII SSD at the moment is the crucial c300 and that's a good drive for a good price.
Thanks to both of you. I'll take your recommendations for a better case. Probably the Cooler Master.
Are there any specific recommendation for a modular power supply (750W or 850W)? It looks like there are a lot of dud power supply manufacturers out there. The non-modular Corsair + DVD burner combo for $113 looks like it will be hard to match without dipping into the iffy brands.