Motherboard Buy / Install - Last minute questions

I am about to buy a new motherboard and CPU in a new case and have some last minute questions.

First question is do I need a Disk Reader (Optical Drive?)? I saw in a video on YouTube of a guy un-boxing a motherboard and there was a disk that he referred to as a driver disk. So, I deduced that I needed a Disk Reader (Optical Drive?) to use the board. But, then I remembered that when I first installed my GPU that at first It was all low-res and then I put in the GPU driver disk and it returned to normal. Will that happen with my motherboard installation? And, if I do that, could I go to my motherboard manufacturer's website and download the drivers from there, instead of using the disk to use the drivers? If I do that will the final product be the same?

Also, If I am using the generic Intel CPU cooler, do I need to install the thing on the back of my motherboard (back-plate?) to put on the CPU cooler? Or do I just put in the motherboard and the processor and use the push pins and then I'm done?

Thirdly and Finally, do you approve of my motherboard and CPU choices?

Option 1 (Total Price ~ $340)

Mobo- ASRock z77 Pro 4 ATX - $109.99 @ Microcenter
CPU - Intel i7 3770k LGA 1155 $229.99 @ Microcenter

Option 2 (Total Price ~ $250)

Mobo- ASRock z77 Pro 4 ATX - $59.99 @ Microcenter
CPU - Intel i5 3570k LGA 1155 $189.99 @ Microcenter

I could also buy a ASRock z77 Extreme 4 1155 ATX, adding $20 to both of the prices. (~ $360 w/ i7 and ~ $270 w/ i5)

If I buy the i5, Microcenter says they'll take 50$ off the motherboards price. The thing is, I want the Hyper threading in the i7. Which one do you recommend? Should I pocket the 90$ and save up for a new GPU? Or, spend the extra $90 for the i7? Also, should I get the ASRock Extreme 4, or ASRock z77 Pro 4? Is there any big difference between the two?

Thank you for helping out a newbie! I have been pondering over these questions for a while now. Thank you in advance!
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More about motherboard install minute questions
  1. it depends what your doing. for gaming, a 3570k is more than enough. rendering you might want to consider the i7. Also, you dont need an optical drive unless your installing windows (which you can do from a USB if you really want). Just download the drivers online
  2. So, what exactly will happen once i boot the computer the first time? What do I have to do? Can I use my old hardrive with its windows version?
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