Not my first rodeo, but this is the first time I've built a high-end PC for myself (built one for my little brother in 2011). This is going to be my dream PC on both a performance and aesthetic basis. Price isn't a major issue, but would like to keep under $3000 ($2500 if possible). I will be slowly building this over the next few months, so if there are any new and upcoming parts I should be aware of, please let me know.
I will be primarily using the computer for the following tasks: Gaming, Engineering Design/Simulation (AutoCad, Solidworks, Matlab, etc), Photoshop CS6
Here are the parts I am considering at the moment and any justifications:
Case: In Win D Frame Coolest case I've ever seen. Already ordered the red version. Given the completely open design, I'd like for most of my components to be red/black
CPU: Intel i7 4770k
CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Plus Good experience with this cooler before, but open to suggestions. Would like to use Noctua NH-D14 if ugly beige fans can be replaced
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Formula Z87 Has all the features I foresee needing, and red accents/ROG armor look awesome. Built in Wifi is a plus
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 1866 Want at least 16GB Ram, 1866 seems like a good enough speed, and comes in red
SSD: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256 GB Seems to be the best 256GB SSD for the money
HDD: Western Digital 1TB What's the difference between blue/black? I want the fast one
GPU: This is is really where I need suggestions. Looking for the best solution for under $700. Whether this be a single or multi card solution doesn't matter, I just want the best. AMD or Nvidia, no preference. Definitely waiting for new AMD benchmarks
PSU: CORSAIR AX760 TBD based on GPUs. Would like to stick with Corsair. Open to suggestions
Optical Drive: Asus Black Blu-Ray Drive
OS: On the fence between sticking with Windows 7 or moving onto 8.1
Fans: AeroCool Shark Fan 12cm Devil Red Edition 120mm In Win doesn't supply fans with the D frame. Going to need 4 120s, preferably red/red LED
Monitor: Looking for a 1080p monitor with accurate colors that is also good for gaming. 1440 is too expensive at this time.
M/KB: Open to suggestions. Prefer wireless connection, but don't want to sacrifice performance.
Build looks good. Not much of a difference between black and blue hdd, just get the blue it's cheaper. As for the gpu I would suggest getting sli msi twin frozr 2gb oc cards, they have the best cooling systems and outperform nvidia's gtx titan in allot of benchmarks ($500 for 2!). For your monitor I would suggest in getting an asus vn247-p 23.6" (1080p) for $180. I have one and it works well for gaming/everyday use. Also, if you want 1440p display for a good price check out QNIX (They're around $350-$380 and are good quality).
1. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 is a great budget cooler, but the new i7's output quite a bit of heat. If you are not overclocking then this is not an issue, but if you intend to overclock I recommend a better cooler. The Noctua NH D14 as you yourself mentioned is a beast, and I believe the fans can indeed be replaced. If you feel a bit more extreme you could go with a custom watercooling loop
2. As for the hard drive, the Black is considered to be Western Digital's high end line, so it would be slightly faster. Although make sure that 1TB is enough for you if you are building a workstation. 2 or 3 TB can be had for not too much more.
3. As for the GPU, I would hold off on purchasing anything for the next couple of days as AMD is about to release their latest line of graphics cards. So I would wait a bit before making a decision.