WOAH! Everyone get a load of this! A new comer to this forum that actually followed directions with proper information, expectations, budget and even a sensible pc part list! You sir are the first person I've seen who have done this in like months. Anyhow, welcome to the forum!
Anyhow, you probably picked the worst time to build for the simple fact that there's some very new and cool products being released in early April from Intel (Ivy Bridge cpu's) and Nvidia (Kepler 600 series gpu's); all while AMD's new 7800 mid range gpu's are expected to hit the shelves in a week or two from now that would hit your price point very well. If you can't wait and must build now, don't be deterred since you can still build a kickass budget gaming box that will hold it's own against the new stuff and last you a few years.
So lets go over your parts list.
You mostly have good selections, but you can trim the fat in some parts and expand on others to up your price/performance ratio in different areas that you'll actually use. If the most demanding thing you will be doing on the PC will be gaming, then you don't need to spend the extra $100 for the i7 2600 over the cheaper i5 2500k. The i5 quad core is essentially the same chip as the i7 2600k, but without Hyper-Threading. You won't need it for games as most modern games can't use no more than 2-4 cores; even then, most modern game engines are heavily gpu oriented anyhow. BF3 barely uses 30-40% cpu power and that's suppose to be the most advanced game engine right now. You also selected the non-K version so you won't be going too far with overclocking potential.
You also paired the cpu with a Zalman cpu cooler. Nothing wrong with them, but they are very very dated compared to the cpu cooling market now days. That's basically a 5+ year old design that worked well in the P4 days (had one... actually still have it), but if you want overclocking and good cooling capacity, nothing beats the price/performance of the Cooler Master 212+ or their newer EVO coolers for $20-30. And they are big; using 120mm fan(s) with massive heat pipes and fins. Both dwarfs the Zalman and a much better product for a cheaper price! I actually got a 212+ for $15AR about 3 months ago and they were on newegg for $18 just a week or two ago.
As for thermal paste, Arctic Silver 5 is also a bit dated. It's still good; I still use my same tube of AS5 from 10+ years ago, but if you don't have AS5 already, no sense in spending money on it specially when there are much better compounds out today. The two I'd look at is the IC7 Diamond and the AC MX-4; both are around $7-12 per tube of 1.5g or 4g. Once I use up my AS5, I'll probably get the AC MX-4 myself; works just as good as the IC7 and you get over double the amount of paste (although, 1.5g is more than enough for 10 applications or more).
Cases? Shit. So many out there on the market right now that are good, specially in the $50-100 price range, even the 100-160 has some great offers that would still fit your budget. Cooler Master 912, 922, 932, Storm series, 690 II; Antec 300, 900, Illusion, Sonata; NZXT source 220, Phantom 410, Phantom; Corsair 400r, 600t; Lian-Li Lancool series; Fractal Design Arc Midi, Define R3, Define XL; Silverstone Raven series RV03B and even some Newegg's own Rosewill Challenger and Thor cases are fairly decent. Just pick something you like and roll with it. I haven't built PC's in all of those chassis, but most of them; I like those I listed as well as their $150 or less price tags.
Power supplies? Again, so many to list. I do have to say that I'm one of the few that just hate Rosewill units. I had 5, 3 burned out within 6 months; wasn't even worth it to send them back so I just replaced them with proper quality units from the bigger names. People always say good things about them, but I just kept getting bad ones even though I love newegg and rosewill do make some decent other products.
And besides, you don't have to break the bank to get a quality name brand unit to fit your budget. Look at Corsair, Antec, OCZ, PC Power & Cooling, Silverstone and Seasonic as the name brands to look at first. Even Cooler master, XFX and Thermaltake makes some good stuff for a good value. There are quite a bit of other new commers to look at, but they usually are a bit more expensive, hit a product niche (explains their price), or usually a re-branded unit with the same components as some other good quality maker. FSP, Kingwin and Enermax fit that category, but they are very expensive for the price and offer crazy high 80+ gold or platinum efficiency in small wattage. I'd just stick with the 1st or 2nd tier brands with at least an 80+ bronze rating for your budget.
As for SSD's, the Mushkin Enhanced Chronos are great little buggers. I've used them on a few builds for friends and they've been very reliable and speedy. It's not a bad price at $145, but its also using async NAND's and a bit on the expensive side compared to other async NAND SSD's on the market. You can save a few bucks and look at the OCZ 120gb Agility 3 for $130 a piece that uses the same NAND's and controller; they are still speedy and most of my friends who use them have no issues running them. Alternatively, you can look at sync NAND's like that in OCZ Vertex 3 and Corsair GT SSD's (there's a lot of them out there btw, but they hit a higher price point than these two). Both are around the $150-180 price point for the 120's.
I am planning on doing RAID 0 w/ the 2 SSD Drives as soon as TRIM support is available for Raid and RST 11.5
Honestly, TRIM doesn't really matter too much, at least for your purposes because of three reasons.
1. It only helps mitigate your write speeds over time if your system/work flow demands constant file rewrites; specially if you fill your SSD up fast, then edit a lot of files, move them around and such. Chances are with your system, you won't be moving or rewriting gigs worth of files every 30 minutes like in a server setting.
2. TRIM doesn't do anything for the read speeds.
3. Most modern SSD's already have a good firmware level Garbage Collection, which acts like TRIM without OS level commands.
I'd also recommend adding at least a mechanical storage drive to your setup, like a cheap 2TB drive. They aren't too expensive right now and they are getting back down to reasonable price points; maybe not the crazy cheap $57 of last year, but $100ish isn't bad
For OS? You can save the $40 and grab the Win7 Home Premium. You really don't need the features in Pro for home/gaming use. I mean there are some features that are better in pro (and I use pro myself), but you really won't add more than 16gb in this pc (max limit for home premium), have the need to use windows remote connect (if you do, plenty of VNC remote software out there), or need some of the features to run antiquated business apps.
And like I said above for video cards; by the time you order this setup in 2 weeks, the 7850 and 7870 will be out and primed to hit a very sweet price/performance ratio that will kill the current offerings in the $250-350 price range (includes 560 ti 2gb, 560ti 448, 6950 2gb, 6970 2gb and the 570). Not to forget the GTX 660 and 670, but they might be a bit high with the msrp of 400+. We'll cross that bridge once we hear more info and proper reviews next month about them.
And don't waste $5 for a stupid anti-static wrist strap. Just make sure you aren't wearing wool socks, fleece sweatshirts or rub your hair constantly. Just ground yourself by touching bare metal every once in a while and you should be fine. Components aren't as sensitive to static electricity like they used to be. At least for PC parts... maybe not so much with high powered photo equipment, but we won't go there. hehe
So here's a quick build to use as a good starter point:
So going with what I said before, I stuck with the i5 2500k since its cheap and has great overclocking potential. Paired with it is the cheap CM 212 EVO cooler with the ASrock Ext3 Gen3 board (made by Asus btw) that's basically very similar to the Z68 Asus board you selected originally. It has everything you need without too much fluff and added cost for things you won't use. Comes with two pcie 3.0 slots (need 3.0 capable cpu and gpu to complete the trifecta), support for Intel's new Ivy Bridge chip (1st lga 1155 pcie 3.0 capable chip), quality caps and components, and has been known to be stable at 5ghz speeds when running proper cooling. Really don't need much more than this for a $1500 build.
The down side with most budget enthusiast boards is that they don't use the now new standard, 20pin male internal connect for the front mounted usb 3.0 port(s) found on some newer cases. The 20 pin standard was released 8 months after usb 3.0 started to hit the shelves, but case manufacturers jumped the ship and did usb 3.0 extenders for the front ports, routed to the outside of the case into the back I/O ports because of the lack of an internal standard. So you have to be mindful of this when you buy your usb 3.0 case.
For Intel, you have to spend $180+ for such a connector thanks to the incompetence of the industry and how fast they wanted to put usb3.0 standards in computers to compete for external devices. Its almost crazy considering AMD AM3+ boards have the same connectors on $130 boards. Even the higher end lga 2011, the cheapest board with the 20 pin connector is around $260+! I'm sure the newer z77 chipset boards will include the 20pin on cheaper budget boards (or hopefully) when they are released at the same time as Ivy Bridge in early April.
I added only a pair of 4GB sticks for a total of 8GB, but you really don't need more than this for a gaming rig; even with today's modern games and office apps. Games like BF3 won't even use more than 1-2GB while Skyrim did update the exe file to go form 2gb to 4gb of memory addressing, but that's assuming you put custom HD res packs and modify your graphic settings manually beyond the settings you can change within the game. And even then, you'll only use about 5gb total including OS and whatever crap you have running in the back ground. You can add another two sticks for 16gb, but its basically overkill at that point. Its useful in some other apps like if you do heavy excel work or crunch some stats figures or content creation software like video editing.
You'll also notice the sticks are Samsung 4gb 1600 cas11 modules. Why did I select that? Well its one of the most underrated sticks right now since it uses the new samsung 30nm ram chips that use very little power, runs at 1.35v stock (compared to 1.5v) and is heavily overclockable to insane speeds for being a cheap price of $24 per stick. You can run them at 9-10-10 at 2133 speed around 1.55-1.6v with others saying they were able to hit 2200 and even 2400 stable clocks with relatively low timings as well. Most have said they just stayed at 9-9-9 2000 speed at 1.5v or the 2133 setting for stability. You can read more about it at Tech Power Up
and Overclockers review
But again, this is very marginal performance gains of about 1-7% so take it with a grain of salt. If it seems like more work than you are willing to put in it (and honestly, it really isn't a lot of of guess work), then stick with any name brand 1600 speed cas9 or less 1.5v or less ram modules like the corsair vengeance you selected. Newgg has a good price on the G.Skill sniper series 1600 cas9 1.25v
8gb ram set for $50.
Add a pair of OCZ vertex 3 120's for $150 a piece, a spare 2tb 7200 drive for storage and you good on space for a while. I threw in the EVGA GTX 560 ti 448 as a filler for now since I would recommend the new, upcoming AMD 7850 2GB since its suppose to hit the $250 prince point that the 560 ti 448 hits; I would have selected the AMD 6950 2gb, but they all seem to have gotten sold out everywhere and discontinued in a very short time frame.
For the case, I picked the NZXT source 220; very similar to your selection of the tempest, just a bit cheaper and honestly looks a lot prettier. The internals is the same, but the tempest does have one extra slot for fan above the gpu compartment. Still, lots of selection to choose from of what I said before. Pick the style that you like the best and looks good for you. Just remember, the NZXT case uses the 20pin connector and the ASrock board doesn't have this; so you'll have to use a male 20pin to female usb 3.0 A adpater then use a male usb 3.0 A to male usb 3.0 A cable to connect to the outside I/O panel. Its a cheap work around that shouldn't cost more than $10ish.
PSU wise, you can get away with a cheap $50 OCZ 600w unit that would be more than enough to power a one card solution with even a bit of overclocking on the system. But I selected the OCZ 850w 80+ gold unit for the same price as the IMHO rosewill crap. The Z and ZX series has won a lot of awards and recommended by a lot of review sites including JohnnyGuru. Its the same unit I'm running and powers my triple 570, i7 setup even though I'm using the whole amount of the 850w, even a bit over with no stability issues. Just have good things to say about it; others do to. And I've been running OCZ psu's for the last few years; absolute quality and great value when you get them on sale. (I got my 850 for $80AR fyi).
Finally, slapped in a cheap dvd burner and win7 home premium and your almost done.
The other tidbits will be the small stuff.
Other options is to go with the Rosewill 4pack 120mm case fans
for $12.84, but they move half as much air as the rosewill above. Alternatively, you can select the cheap Yate Loon 120mm case fans for $6.99 each. They come in low
and high speeds
for the same price @ FrozenCPU. If you go with the louder high speed version, make sure you get a fan controller so you can control them easily. There's tons of them on the market, but just get something decent around the $15-25 price point. Don't need anything fancy to control some cheap fans. But if you want to move some air and stay relatively quiet, then people have said decent things about the Cougar 120mm fan
, but they are a bit expensive at $13 a piece.