1) Options for cpu processor (is is ok to sacrifice on this or no?): -Intel Quad QX9650 ($500) -Intel Quad Core Extreme ($400) -Intel Core 2 Duo E4700 ($105--includes heatsink fan) -Intel Quad Core Extreme QX6850 ($349) [u]All these are fine choices but You may also consider the new AMD Phenom II's, they bench about the same if not better than the core 2 Extreme's and are about half the price. Plus they OC better. But any of these will video edit just about the same, it will be encoding that makes or breaks the CPU. The lower end ones will take probably twice as long as the higher end ones. Luckily most C2D/C2E encode well. Spend what your budget allows, but if your budget allows shoot for at least the QX6850. [/u] 2) Case: -Antec 900 ($50-150)...I'm pretty set in stone on this Great case, awesome airflow. 3) Graphics/Video: -nVidia 9400 ($eh?) -nVidia 9500 ($74) Hmm both are lower end, probably wouldn't affect video editing too much as long as it supports all formats and codecs you will use, such as HD, etc. 4) RAM (or any mem module that fits 240 pin) -4GB 1066 Mhz DDR2/DDR3...blah blah blah possibly x 2 ($100) Yeah you will want 8GB. I don't think speed will affect your encoding/decoding too much so you could settle for DD2 to save money. 5) DVD -24x Dual Layer SATA DVD +/-RW Internal ($30) Optical drives rarely affect anything other than playback/installation and burning. That drive will work fine, I always by the cheapest unless it is BlueRay or something like than, then quality might matter. 6) Hard Drive! -Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ($80) I assume you will be storing all projects on an external drive yes? If so this drive is fine. I am guessing it is at least 160GB. I would recommend 2 internal drives, 1 for your OS ( can be 80GB) and one for all your programs and everything else ( will want this one at least 160GB or more). If your OS crashes or something happens to Windows (which it will lol) it is a lot easier to wipe a drive when it only has an OS and to reload it. 7) Operating Sys. -Going with Windows XP Home OEM ($60) This works fine, however I am loving Windows 7 and have a hard time recommending anything else now. But for that price and what you will do Windows XP Home will work fine. Make sure whatever software you are going to use to edit works with windows xp home (which is probably does). 8) Soundcard (just need sound here, nothing superb/fantastic/pimping the pony) -Creative Labs 7.1 Soundblaster...($9.00) This card works (Creative rocks) but your motherboard is going to have haflway decent sound already built in. Especially if you choose an Intel board you'll have the new Intel HD Audio which is 8 channel 24-bit now I believe. You can save your self 9 bucks. 9) Motherboard -P45 for Core 2 Quad, etc...($80) If you go Intel this board will work fine. 10) CPU heatsink + fan blah blah -Asus V60 ($50-80) Good heatsink, I think there are better ones out now in that price range. But anything other than the stock heatsink should be better. 11) Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker(s) (don't care what/who/how) -($45) Well most editing stations run dual monitors. Size doesn't matter too much as long as it is big enough to view what you are editing. I run dual 22' wide's but that is just me. Single monitor setup will work fine also, so just get what you can afford. 12) Power Supp -MicroX 500-680 Watt Dual ATX fan (fan?!) PS ($35)->(is this the entire computer's PS?). *confused* This is the Power Supply and it probably just has two fans inside to cool it. Some only have one fan, or some have none. You will want to shoot for at least 600W, but if you can get closer to 700W. 13) Antivirus Well There are a lot of good ones out there, personally I use AVG Free 8.5. Kaspearsky is also good and NOD 32 as well. 14) Cables needed? Enough SATA cablea and make sure whatever PSU you get has enough SATA connectors. 15) Controllers? You only need SATA controllers if you are mixxing SATA and IDE or you are running SATA drives on older IDE mobos. All mobos now have more than enough SATA ports and should be SATA and SATA V2 compatible. Unless you plan on running a RAID setup you won't need any kind of controller most likely. 16) Good video editing program Hmm I have been using Adobe Premiere up until recently. My dad loves Sony Vegas. I haven't looked up what is good now. But Windows Movie maker BLOOOWS. Haha I think that is obvious but yeah. I like Adobe Premiere I would suggest looking up the latest version of it. Like I said above, anytime you deal with editing projects, sound, video, photo, etc. You want to save EVERYTHING you do on an external hard drive. Your PC hard drive WILL die and Windows will crash via BSOD, virus, etc. You don't want to be the person that always says " Oh my data will be fine.." then the next day your PC won't boot or your hard drive starts clicking and everything is gone. In the Studio my band records at, we run Pro Tools and ANYTIME something is changed/edited/reverted/etc it is saved onto an external drive. All work we do goes to an external. And then at the end of the day all that work is backed up to another drive. Of course I don't think you will need to go to that extreme haha but seriously. Get an external drive. They are 80 bucks for 500GB.