System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, game design- Hobby not work (more specifically, would like to design an xbox 360 game for the fun of it) - (3D software), surfing the internet, watching movies.
Parts Not Required: Starting from scratch but keyboard and mouse are least of my worries.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com (from what I read, although I've never purchased from them).
Country: Canada (border city, close to U.S.).
Parts Preferences: I would like to stay away from AMD. So far I'm leaning on Core i5 2500k on a ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3. Although I don't know how compatible that is or if it is even ideal for crossfire set up.
Overclocking: Yes- I would like to when I learn how. Or if there's an easy way to do it for a noob like me.
SLI or Crossfire: Yes-crossfire.
Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050 or better
Additional Comments: Handle nothing less than direct X 11, lots of storage. I would like something quiet, looks a little flashy ( I do prefer green ), and something that can be upgraded instead of scrapped in 2-3 years.
At 1680 X 1050 it doesn't seem like you're gonna need crossfire. For most builds it is more advisable to get one fast graphics card vs two slower ones. If you really want crossfire no one will be able to stop you, but you claim you are a noob and I def wouldn't recommend crossfire for you. Multi-GPU isn't for everyone, and you will need to be aware of the inherent hassles such a setup incurs.
So to that end, it looks like maxing out newer releases like BF3 and Skyrim would be best suited with either an HD6970 or GTX 570. That's at 1080p, so you'll have some room to grow. I think the i5/Asrock board is a good choice, I recommend 8 gigs DDR3 1600 memory. CL9 is fine, 7 or 8 is better but you'll pay for lower latency.
As far as the OC goes, the k series CPUs have unlocked multipliers which makes them very easy to overclock. I'd get an aftermarket cooler for sure, it will be safer for higher clocks as it will keep temps down, in addition to being more quiet than the stock HSF.
Take a look at Frostytech.com for the latest on CPU coolers. I recommend something in the $30 range like the CM Hyper 212+. Thermalright also has a Macho cooler in that price range that is very good.
Case-wise you should pick one that has good airflow for a gaming system. If you do decide to go for crossfire, find a case well suited to a pair of big honking cards.
I'm not completely set on crossfire and I definitely understand your point, but I do want to leave the option open. I'm glad you like my choice of mobo and i5 because after all the reading I've done in the last month or two, that's pretty much set in stone. However, when I started reading about cases and cooling, and extra RAM and crossfire, I started to become worried that it might not fit nicely on that board. I also want to make sure there's sufficient cooling.
Thanks cute beans. Looks nice. Although since I went to look for that on newegg, I like the way the 922 looks . And there's definitely room. We'll see how much budget I got to work with when spring comes.
I've really been planning this build around the i5 2500k. However, recently I've been thinking maybe I should pay the extra and get a newer Core i7-3930K. Should I try and buy the latest PCU? Or should I stick with my bang for buck option i5 2500k