he won't use the HDMI plug for his sound, he will most likely be running into a set or 3 different sets of studio moniters that are flat response. I'm not REAL familar with the ATI compartives for vid cards, but you Definatly don't need a Gaming vid card, I wouldn't even dream of ALI/Crosfire, a single card with 512mb ram should do good.
That motherboard would work, but imo I would go with this one,
I think it will be a better board for you and from a better company (my opinion)
I did a quick look at the video cards in the ATI line, don't spend more than $100 on a video card, get it with 512mb ram, you should be golden.
Ram-that ram is good, and a good bang for the buck, but 4GB is gonna be a bit on the lowside when you start stacking all your plugins. I would say 6GB is a good number to be at, but your motherboard choice and mine are both Dual Chan, so I would suggest the bump up to 8gb, that will give a lot of overhead for ALL your plugins, but to jump from the 4g-8g you looking at a price jump from ~$100 up to ~$300. I run with 4GB and I do pretty good with my USB Fast Track and using Sonar 8pro, and Ableton suite. Suite is a bit laggy once I throw a couple guitar tracks in using the Guitar Rig plugging which is pretty RAM intensive. 4 GB SHOULD be good, if you can get it in 2 sticks of 2gb each then later if its Not enough you can just throw 2 more sticks of the same ram in.
edit:for the case, since you have a trackroom, I would still go with the P180, or the P180 mini, but since noise isn't really an issue you can use really any case you want. But I am still a LARGE fan of the P180
I missed the last statment of your last post Annilaterob, Idealy if I were you I would go with the the raptor as your main OS drive, and a 1TB for storage. the 1TB's are Very stable now, I wouldn't say I have COMPLETE faith in them, but I have enough faith in them that if I was unsure of that stability, I would just implment a RAID or a similar, making backups or somthing. the 1TB WD Black will be VERY stable.
if you don't have the $$ to do the dual HD's, I would recomend the WD Black as a single drive, the blacks are really the jack of all trades drives, they can do everything good, the blue is more of a OS only drive, to use with another HD for actual storage, like a 1-2TB Green drive. the black is the best of both worlds.