There are a few good combos in the above parts list, just simpler for me to list individual parts for comment. This is my 1st post (been viewing for a long time), so hopefully all the links work.
Do you think I actually need the extra cooler with the above configuration?
Any huge difference in the 2 sets of RAM listed above?
Is a separate sound card worth the extra money?
Any advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
The first RAM option, as it's CL 7. Faster latency is good... not real important but good if it's not expensive.
The XFX PSU is higher quality in this case and it's modular. Important in a windowed case so that you keep the build looking clean and uncluttered. What about the 850W version though? Would be better is you are planning to crossfire.
If you are pushing some high end speakers or headset then a good soundcard can be vital. Quality of onboard sound is fine but it lacks the power higher end audio parts sometimes require. For instance my X-fi is barely adequate for my Sennheiser PC 350 headset.
For most though, onboard sound is fine. You can always get something later if you decide you need it.