First time builder, Gaming rig, looking for some advice

Hello, as my gaming laptop of over 4 years is fading fast, I decided to look into a new desktop. After speaking with friends and doing research, it really seems that building a gaming rig will get me much more bang for my buck. I will be teaching a video gaming course in the upcoming year so my desktop needs to be reliable.

This is what I have so far ($1300 budget):

Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail

Graphics Card:
Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2 GB DDR5 DL-DVI-I/SL-DVI-D/HDMI/DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 100312-3L

Corsair Vengeance Blue 8 GB (2X4 GB) PC3-12800 1600mHz DDR3 240-Pin SDRAM Dual Channel Memory Kit CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B

ASUS P8Z77-V LX Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard

Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop Hard Drive Bulk/OEM - WD1002FAEX

OCZ Agility 3 120GB 2.5IN SATA3 Sandforce SF-2281 SSD Solid State Disk Flash Drive

DVD Drive:
Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

ASUS VS228H-P 21.5-Inch Full-HD LED Monitor (Black)

Coolermaster Haf 912 Black Mid Tower ATX Case 4X5.25 1X3.5 6X3.5INT No PS Front USB Sound

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX750 V2 750W ATX 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply - CMPSU-750TXV2

My questions are:
1) Are all these parts compatible/is this a good build?
2) Is my case of a decent size? Apparently the graphics card is pretty massive.
3) Does anyone have any experience with the Radeon Sapphire, how does it compare to nvidia GeForce cards?
4) Are there any really good PC building how-to articles or videos I can reference as I am going to be doing this myself?

Thank you so much for your time and assistance, this is exciting but a bit daunting as well :sweat:
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  1. You could do a bit better than that. First off, you honestly don't need a SSD. I'd sacrifice the SSD for a better GPU.

    Try this build...

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Microcenter)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($399.98 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Power Supply: Corsair 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($105.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $1192.87
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-11 16:37 EDT-0400)

    All the parts are compatible.

    The haf 912 is a good size case; the haf 922 is yet even better.

    Both nvidia and AMD make excellent GPUs. At your budget, I'd say go for the gtx 670. It's one of the best bang for the buck cards out there at the moment.

    Here's a 3 part newegg tutorial...

    If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask. Hope this helps; good luck!
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