I don't really follow computer hardware except when I need to build a computer. Since it's been 4 years I'm way out of the loop and feel like I need to ask for some help. The amount of information is staggering and I'm not sure I can figure this out on my own.
My current machine is a AMD Athlon X2 6000+ with 4 GB RAM, an ATI Radeon 4870, running Windows Vista 64-bit, with two 1680 x 1050 monitors. I'm looking forward to finally upgrading from this thing.
Approximate Purchase Date: Within 2 weeks or so. Does newegg have Black Friday deals?
Budget Range: $1000-$1200 INCLUDING shipping, BEFORE rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game modding, movies, web browsing
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitors, Speakers, HDD
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU; nVidia GPU. I would like an SSD for Windows and commonly used apps/games.
Overclocking: On the processor probably; GPU probably not
SLI or Crossfire: In the future I would like to upgrade to SLI but I don't need it immediately.
Monitor Resolution: 3360x1050 (2x 1680x1050 monitors) for general use; when gaming just a single 1680x1050 monitor
Additional Comments: I use a two monitor setup for surfing the net/working on stuff, but when gaming I only use a single monitor and play at 1680x1050. Also, I don't want to buy a standard HDD; they're just way too expensive right now. I have an older 400GB drive I'll use for a while as extra storage until the price comes down.
For RAM you're going to want to go with 1600mhz, 1.5V, and CL9. Anything from this list should work: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
The best brands are Corsair, G.Skill, Mushkin, and Kingston. If you get Corsair Vengance, though, make sure you get the low profile version because the giant heat spreaders on the normal kits get in the way of cpu coolers.
enermax, lepa, cougar, superflower are also great psus. Most of ocz and thermaltake but check reviews first. Go with the cheapest good model.
Any 1600mhz 1.65v and lower voltage low profile memory will do.
Price per gb and performance ssd atm is agility 3.
As mentioned the asrock z68 e3 gen3 is fantastic but i would stay away from asus LE mobos since they lack power phases to host your 2500k and it's OC potential.
I like the Corsair A70 better as a cooler.
Your monitor resolution is not that big so 560ti will be enough. If you are going to upgrade monitor at some point then consider the 570 or for crossfire later on a 6950.
vx53c makes a good point that I forgot to mention - the ASUS P8Z68-V LE doesn't overclock that well.
vx53c is also probably right about Agility III SSD's, but I have to reiterate that reliability is an important factor in SSD's and OCZ has a bad reputation in that area. The Agility III are as fast as any when they work, but the last time I saw a figure, OCZ drives have twice the failure rate as Crucial and Corsair drives (which have similar failure rates). Intel SSD's have the lowest failure rates but they're significantly more expensive. OCZ also has an issue with BSOD's in their drives which still lingers. Not to say that this means buyers should stay away from OCZ at all costs - there are certainly arguments for either side. However that's where the $20-$30 difference lies between the OCZ Agility III and the Crucial M4 and you can choose whether you want to spend it or not.