Rookie here. My friend sschnauzer recommended I post here--he was really happy with the advice you all provided.
Approx Purchase Date: before March 16th (NCIX sale ending)
Budget range: hoping for $700-800
System usage: multitasking (surfing the net, multi programs open, downloading, streaming video, rendering a video, fiddling on photoshop). No games.
Parts not required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (likely buy Student discounted Windows 7 Pro x64)
Preferred websites: Canadian websites. Ncix and then will try to price match with DirectCanada (ppl have had troubles in the past) or others
SLI or Crossfire: maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 for now. Will buy another monitor 2560x1600 eventually and use both.
Additional Comments: Eventually would like to add another hard drive (have lots of HD video), and possibly a dedicated video card. I've considered a SSD as well, though not sure if the extra speed warrants the cost for my purposes (already over budget). I prefer quiet.
Thinking about this one. Gigabyte H67A-UD3H-B3 ATX LGA1155 H67 DDR3 2PCI-E1 3PCI 1PCI-E16 CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard
I chose this one because it has a Display Port for 2560x1600. Will try to use built in graphics, and possibly buy a dedicated video card in the future if need be. Will this mobo combined with the 2500k allow me to run dual monitors one 2560x1600 (using display port) and one 1920 x 1080 (using HDMI or DVI)? I realize I lose the ability to OC the CPU (I can get the 2500K for the same price as the 2500).
another alternative is to get an H67 motherboard, which will use the HD 3000 Graphics built into your 2500K, and forgo a graphics card altogether. the HD30 is fairly good on its own. Its *fantastic* at video conversion. For example, HD1080p to 1024x768 for your ipad, 4 minute video converts in 22 seconds. And its fine with HD video playing, web surfing, and even very light gaming -- it'll handle any console-released game on low settings at 720p.
Hold off on the SSD since the new Sandforce controller will be integrated into all the newer SSD's the current ones will drop slightly in price.
i have no idea if H67 or P67 boards support dual monitors im 90% sure though they don't. Youd probably need an ATI card that supports eyefinity. or whatever the nvidia equivalent is.