Its a good spec, wish I could afford it but never mind. I would upgrade the graphics card as you say you want it for the latest games, I'd go for either the FX5900XT which is what I have or the Radeon 9800 Pro. I would also recommend getting 2 seperate optical drives that way if one fails you can still use the second one. I'd get a DVD reader and a DVD writer. Memory unsure of whether there is a great deal of difference between the 512 and 1 gig in terms of performance but I'm sure someone else will know. Onboard sound is ok unless you're really into music. Can't comment on the other things you ask. Good luck.