1.Is the cooling system alright?
2.Does the power supply check out??
3.Should I get a computer monitor and mount that? I mainly want to be able
to use the high graphics to their potential with a good screen about 24"-32". (I don't have very much room in my apt)
4.I know the keyboard and mouse are crappy but I'm willing to spend more on that later
Right now I'm leaning toward AMD, it's cheaper for a very slight decrease in performance it seems.
Based on some benchmark charts I saw.
Although I'm a total Noob so this might be incompatible in some way I don't see. I'd really appreciate some council.
The HSF is great! You can easily OC a CPU to 4.0GHz and have it run stablely. Also, I would recommend going with the Intel build because the i5 is a better gaming CPU than the FX-8120 despite the fact it has 4 less physical cores. Also, if you are going with the Intel build I would recommend you change the gfx card to a 500 series card, such as the 560TI http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... because the 470 is re certified, meaning someone already opened it and didn't want it. You can compensate for the $10 from the graphics card by going with the G.SKILL 8GB RipJaws RAM, which is essentially the same as the sniper series but only cheaper. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
At that budget the Intel system is a more versatile computer . It will do more things better, faster and use less power .
The AMD rig is only cheaper because it has a weaker graphics card . Since the graphics card is more important in high end gaming than the cpu its also going to perform much worse .
If you wanted to trim the cost of the intel build then drop the processor to a 2400. Still a quad and clocked only a little lower than the 2500k . Not easy to OC but when the graphics card is the bottle neck [in games] that is not a huge issue IMO .
There are definitely cheaper Z68 motherboards , you could use , and with the intel system you could drop the power supply to 600 watts and still have head room