As the title suggests I'm assembling a machine aimed towards playing these two games heavily on the highest graphic settings available. I have a rough draft of the build but I'm not sure how it will perform vs. the daunting graphics of BF3 or the high screen activity in SC2.
oops meant to have the 2500k from the start, nice catch! I am considering overclocking and it looks like to achieve the performance levels I desire I will likely go that route in the long run(one BF3 goes live) I know i'll need a heatsink but what GPU cooling options should I look into?
I would add a HSF for the CPU like the Hyper 212+ and just leave the GPU as is. That Graphite will keep it cool enough. Unless of course, you want to get a full WC kit, which would set you back a good amount.
My overclocked 5850 maxes out SC2 so a 580 will rip it to pieces.
BF3 is using the Frostbite 2.0 engine which probably won't be taxing GPUs like Metro or Crysis. The hardware specs aren't released for BF3 yet, but from my guess, the 580 will easily give you top graphics/fps.
If you are going to use that SSD for OS, SC2, and BF3, then you can go for a smaller SSD with SATA 3 rather then SATA 2.
I got SC2 installed and its 12gigs. BF3 will probably be around 13-16gigs.
Is there a reason you are getting the i5-2500 over the 2500k? Looking at your hardware, you don't seem to be budget conscience enough to save 20 bucks on the CPU. If you aren't going to overclock the 2500 is fine, but might as well.
Overclocking the CPU would give you a nice boost (if you get that 580). The 580 is very powerful, but since thats a 120Hz 1080p display, it could be justified. I'm not extremely familiar with BF3s requirements, but it's probably a bit overkill. As ikyung suggested, maybe a 6950 would be a better option.
the 2500k is the processor I intend to go with for the materialized build. Just misposted it to my wishlist. I will probably drop the 96gb ssd for the 64 sata3 after reviewing the performance differentials.