Re: PC builder challenge and network connection question
Sorry about the case, I forgot you had specific dimensions. Both the motherboards baron and I suggested are very good. It is more of how much you want to spend.
No you will not be able to put an i7 processor in this mobo. You will have to get a new mobo and ram if you want to go i7.
For the 512mb game recommendation thing, don't pay attention to those. The GPU has much more to do with running the game than the ram does. I picked the 512mb card because you don't sound like a too serious gamer and the games you do play are not very demanding. If you want to be able to stay with games for longer, you can upgrade the video card but you will go over budget. You are trying to fit a lot into a small budget. The network stuff alone takes up atleast $100.
I don't think you need a soundcard. The onboard will more than likely do you just fine. I think that should be an extra you can throw in if you have leftover money later.
RAID is where you put two or more disks together in one of several ways to make them more reliable, faster, or both.
RAID 0 - better performance, but if one drive fails, you lose all data.
RAID 1 - redundancy, if one drive fails, the other drive will still be usable with the same data on it.
RAID 10 - better performance with redundancy, this requires more drives.
there are also several more versions but thats a basic outline of some more popular ones.