First time builder here. It feels like I know next to nothing, but after a few hours of research and a few posted builds, I have come up with the following build. Please let me know if anything seems out of place or just downright aweful.
Approximate Purchase Date: approx. 3 months from now
Budget Range: $1500 - $2000 (not including rebates)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, some light schoolwork
Parts Not Required: mouse, keyboard, monitor, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com and tigerdirect.com
Country of Origin:USA
Parts Preferences: Intel processor; nvidia GPUs
Overclocking: Yes, just as soon as I figure out how to do it safely
SLI or Crossfire: Yes
Monitor Resolution: unsure
Additional Comments: I just want to run demanding high end graphics games with max settings and a decent framrate. I also want my system to last for a year or so without upgrades.
You would probably do fine with i5 2500k, for gaming it's just as good as the i7 2600k.
At 1920x1080 GTX 560Ti will give you good framerates on most games with high settings - so in any case upgrade the graphics card to at least 560Ti.
But since you want to play the highest end games at max settings, including crysis 2 i would imagine. I would say that get a 2nd 560Ti as well and SLI.
That should pack enough punch to keep you going for a year. When overclocked they really pack a punch.
Get ones with good non reference coolers such as Asus DirectCUII or Gigabyte 3 fan models.