Budget Range: $1000 is my max, I can go a few dollars over but it's really my cap.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photoshop, Web surfing, Movies, Homework
Parts Not Required: Mouse, keyboard, monitor, DVD/CD drive. Question: I have a hard drive with windows installed, can I just plug this in and it will work?
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg
Parts Preferences: No preferences
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1440x900
I'm not sure about overclocking and SLI/Crossfire. I read that you practically must OC nowadays, but I need more info. Is OC and SLI a good idea for my budget (will I be able to get more performance despite changes I might need to make to keep everything within budget).
Cooler Master HAF 912: $59.99 ($49.99 after rebate)
I kept your case because this is where personal preference matters most. For a similar price I would prefer the CM690 II or the Corsair Carbide 400R.
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3: $121.99
Saved you $63 by getting essentially the same motherboard. You won't miss the extra PCI slot of the Extreme4.
EVGA SuperClocked GTX 570: $299.99 ($289.99 after rebate)
Much faster graphics card for about the same price.
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W: $109.99 ($89.99 after rebate)
A superior power supply for about the same price. Comes with a $15 gift card.
Intel Core i5-2550K 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost): $229.99
Saved you $95. You won't miss hyper threading or the IGP. Comes with a $10 gift card.
G.SKILL Ares 8GB DDR3 1600: $44.99
Saved you $55. There is no reason to get more than 8GB of RAM.
Total: $866.94 ($826.94 after rebates). Comes with $25 in gift cards. With the money saved you could upgrade to a 1920x1080 monitor like this one, currently $119.99.
You should be able to use that hard drive. You can easily overclock the processor. The graphics card I chose comes factory-overclocked. For about the same price, getting a single Radeon 7950 would be better than getting two 570s in SLI in terms of power consumption and noise, and will actually be faster at very high resolutions (if you want to use three 1920x1080 monitors, for example, at 5760x1080). But for a single monitor, a single 570 will do brilliantly.