I am not limited by budget but don’t want bleeding edge tech either… looking for the sweet spot in terms of performance/value/future proofing (if that even exits, lol). Plan on buying components as I find them on sale (especially Black Friday).
Re: 2500K vs 2600K -- It will be primarily for gaming, but it won't be it's only purpose. Aside from that I play Civ V quite a bit and that uses multi-threading + I hope other programs will utilize it in the future as well.
Re: Hyper N vs Hyper 212 -- I was concerned about the size of the fan not fitting in the case & blocking the RAM slots. Do you think I will have a problem that if I chose the 212 with this setup?
OK, I'm convinced... I was going to go with the 2600K b/c $100 wasn't going to break me and I thought I might be able to take advantage of the HT at some point, even if it wasn't utilized fully. But I don't expect to do much encoding/decoding + lower gaming performance and a higher price just makes it kind of popintless to go with the 2600K.
I did some checking and it seems my MB + RAM combo with a Hyper 212 should work just fine. Not only is the fan adjustable but there might not be an issue at all depending on how far the RAM slots are away from the CPU on the MB.