ASUS Intel Z77 ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1155 Motherboard P8Z77-V
1) How is the build? What costs can be cut? What should be improved?
2) I have a Denon 2112ci receiver with Polk RM85s and a PSW 110 subwoofer, do I need a dedicated sound card or will the onboard motherboard sound card be fine? What difference would the dedicated sound card make?
3) I'm cutting costs by using my External HDs I have. That's okay right? It seems pointless to have an Internal HD when I will already be getting two SSDs.
4) I'm having trouble understanding the merits of motherboards and the different costs associated between them. ASUS has about 5-6 z77 boards. All sound good. What am I missing? I just picked the 2nd best selling board on Amazon.
More about :building multi purpose gaming oriented
Get 8gb of ram. You don't need more than that to play games. What you look for in a motherboard is if you could sli with the board if you ever plan on it. The chipset, Your chipset will have all multipliers unlocked so you can easily overclock with any multiplier you want. The socket type of course. And If you want full or Micro atx. If you do not plan on doing sli or any overclocking then I would recommend getting a cheaper mobo. If you have no intention to do either you could get a motherboard for 50 bucks that would do everything you want it to. Also I wouldn't get an i7 for gaming. You should get an i5. I would recommend an i5 3570k if you want to overclock or a 3570 if you don't want to overclock. I7's are useless in gaming. I have an i7 and I actually got better performance when I disabled hyperthreading. So if you have no intention of overclocking or sli then you could save $100 on the motherboard, if you only get 8gb of ram then you could save 50 more, and the cpu would be 70 less. Also consider micro atx in general it is cheaper and it also is more portable.
If you really want an i7 2700K you will be best served by getting a Z68 motherboard
If you really want a Z77 chipset you should look to getting an i7 3770K.
Motherboards prices are based on the board's feature set, accesories, and overclockability. In general, you get what you pay for. The higher priced boards are more feature rich while the lower the priced ones. You typically pay more for boards with more advanced features too.
Basically I'd read about the features and decide what features you want or need and get the minimum priced board that has those features.
I still think it would be stupid to get an i7 they do not help with gaming and often times hinder perfomance I would recommend a 3570k or 2500k those are the best i5's and they are both significantly cheaper than almost any modern i7
Seems like we're all concentrating on the gaming bit, which isn't the whole picture of what the OP wants.
Coming from a person who games, runs websites, servers, remote connects to other computers, and does multimedia (check out my build in my signature, its not just for gaming), I would suggest:
Stick with the i7 2600K and change the multiplier up by 1, then it becomes a 2700K!
The i7 3700K (IIRC) has around a 5% speed improvement overall compared to the i7 2700K. (FYI, what I've got in my system is a >50% improvement, unfortunately it's out of your price range.)
Using a i7 3700K will allow you to use the faster DDR3 1600 RAM (i7 2700K's internal memory controller is rated for DDR 1333).
If you're actually running the webserver on your local machine, I would suggest 32GB of RAM. Sure, games don't use it, but Windows can use it for file caching, or you can allocate a few GB's to whatever server you're running, especially if it's Java based. This is completely optional however.
The external HDD's will be limited by the speed of the USB 2.0 bus, to the point where it'll be painful. I would suggest ripping them apart and making them internal.
The power supply may be strained in the future if you decide to SLI.