New Gaming Build - Advice Needed On First Build

Hi there I was hoping I'd be able to get some advice on how to go about my first build, something I've been wanting to do for a few years now. The PC will be used for quite a lot of gaming, I'm planning on purchasing BF3 and Skyrim on release.

Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as possible

Budget Range: £700

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web Surfing, Movies

Parts Not Required: OS, Monitor, Keyboard + Mouse

Country of Origin: England

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel, Nvidia

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future

Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

These are some of the components I've looked at so far, as far as I'm aware of they are all compatable and generally recieve favourable reviews.
I'm not necessarily going to purchase them from overclockers, just that it was an easy place to find them all.

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3

Processor: Intel i5-2500k

RAM: I'm a little unsure as to what RAM to go for with regards to 1600mHz or 1333mHz and things such as Timings if anyone would care to expand on that.
I've looked at this so far though - Corsair XMS3 6GB

Case: Again not too sure - Cooler Master Elite 335

GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 570 OC Twin FrozR III Power Edition 1280MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

I do have a preference towards NVidia and this is a toss-up between the 570 and the 560ti, is there much difference for the £100 price difference? Or is the HD 6950 a better option (for value for money)

PSU and Cooling are also some things that I could do with some advice on :)

Thanks for your time
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  1. RAM should be a dual channel kit
    either 2 x2 gig or 2 x4 gig .
    no advantage in gaming from adding the extra 4 gig but many people are anyway .

    look for 1600MHz and 1.5 volt. Timings are less important for gaming but LOWER is better
  2. Okay I've found some Corsair and G.Skill RAM with those specs, will I see a great increase in general performance between 4 gig to 8 gig?

    Also any thoughts on the other components, are they right for this type of build/budget and also just in general?
  3. for gaming you wont see any difference
  4. If you do plan on going CF/SLI then get the 6970 due to scaling advances in AMD's drivers of late. Plus, you won't have to drop a crazy power supply in it to run 3 cards. Nvidia may outperform AMD but, when running a 3-way card setup cooling and 12 amp rails on your PSU may become a issue.
  5. I may choose to run another card in the future, however that is unlikely to be any time soon as I don't have a spare £250 for another at the moment, so for now I'd just like the best for running single and value for money.
  6. Is the motherboard that I've mentioned recommended aswell or can I get a better one for cheaper or the same price?
  7. Okay I think I've decided on this setup now:

    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard

    CPU: Intel i5-2500k

    Case: Cooler Master Elite 335

    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9 1600MHz Dual Channel Kit

    PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX 650W V2 High Performance '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply

    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache

    GPU: I'm still undecided whether to go for the GTX 560Ti or the GTX 570. Another option is to get the GTX560Ti and add another at a later point if I feel the need to.

    Any suggestions on any of the components?
    Also can someone clarify the difference in OEM and Retail for me as I've noticed OEM seems to be cheaper.
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