First time building a PC, looking for opinions on components and performance!

Hi all,

I'm building my first PC here and after doing some research, I've put together this list. The primary use will be for gaming but it will double as a work computer.

Before the components, I want to state a few goals here:
1) My budget is flexible but I want to be cost effective.
2) I'm looking to make this computer easily upgradable - as a result, I chose higher end and higher capacity parts for the case, PSU, cooling, hard drives, etc. so that those components can survive an upgrade or two over the next 2-4 years.
3) I'm currently working off of a 1920x1080 23" monitor that is sufficient for now, but looking to upgrade to a 2560x1600 27"+ in the future. I anticipate this will require a new video card or Crossfire/SLI, which is something I am planning on either before or during the first upgrade in a year or two.

And here's the component list:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($28.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($103.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($263.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Case: BitFenix Colossus Window (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: BitFenix Spectre Pro LED 56.2 CFM 120mm Fan ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: BitFenix Spectre Pro LED 56.2 CFM 120mm Fan ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Case Fan: BitFenix Spectre Pro LED 86.7 CFM 140mm Fan ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($91.17 @ Amazon)
Keyboard: Logitech G710 Wired Gaming Keyboard ALREADY OWN
Mouse: Logitech G700 Wireless Laser Mouse ALREADY OWN
Other: Sennheiser RS 180 Wireless 2.4GHz Headphones ALREADY OWN
Total: $1549
(Prices are MANUALLY adjusted and include shipping, taxes, and discounts.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-31 14:40 EDT-0400)

A few questions I'd like to get some separate opinions on:
1) Is it worth it to grab another 7950 (for something like $210 effective cost) for gaming purposes right now?
2) Does it make sense to grab a 64gb SSD for a Windows-only drive for easy Windows reinstalls? Or are frequent Windows reinstalls out of vogue now?
3) Is it worth it to upgrade to water cooling for the CPU? I definitely plan to overclock the i-3570K and don't know how much possible extra life a good closed-system CPU water cooler would bring.
4) Is it worth considering a whole-system water cooling system now if Crossfire/SLI is in the future? Or does something like that make sense to install only upon the later upgrade (or at all)?
5) How is the overall cost-to-performance (given the desirability of easy future upgradability) of this system?
6) Any thoughts on grabbing a 1600p monitor sooner vs. later for gaming purposes?

Thanks in advance for the help, and sorry for the length!
2 answers Last reply
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  1. 1) Not right now.
    2) Yes, it does. I personally have something like that, except with 128 GB.
    3) Do custom loop if doing water cooling. Otherwise, don't.
    4) Not right now. I would only advise custom loops when you have a lot more money to spend. Good kits are like $400+, without the graphics card block.
    5) 8/10. I don't see the need for 500 GB of SSD, nor do I see 16 GB as good.
    6) Later. Cards are slowly optimizing for 2560x1600, but they are not quite there yet.

    I would recommend the ASUS P8Z77-V LK instead, 8 GB of Patriot Viper 1866 MHz RAM, the 840 PRO 256 GB + 64 GB SanDisk Ultra Plus, the GTX 670 FTW by EVGA and the 650D from Corsair.
  2. Solid build, but as shoryuken said, go with the 840 pro.
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