After some help from this forum, I've come up with the following build:
Approximate Purchase Date: December 11 to January 15
Budget Range: <$800
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Work, Internet
Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Microcenter , Newegg
Overclocking: Maybe in the future
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future
Monitor Resolution: 1280 x 1084 (may upgrade if I've got enough money leftover)
CPU: ($180) Intel i5 2500k
Motherboard: ($90) Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Z68 ATX
Memory: ($30) G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB
Video Card: ($130) SAPPHIRE 100315L Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
Case: ($50) HAF 912
HD ($93) Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
Power: ($50) Corsair Builder Series 600 Watt ATX 12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: ($19) ASUS DVD Burner
Operating System: ($100) Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
CPU Fan: ($34) COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO
Total: $776 before shipping/tax
I've got two questions:
(1) A couple of people on another forum are recommending that I go with a ASUS P8Z68-V LX LGA 1155 Z68 ATX Intel Motherboard instead of the UD3. They say its pretty much equivalent but a little cheaper so I could use the money to upgrade to a Radeon HD 6870. Any thoughts? I would err on the side of a better motherboard. I want this build to last a while which means the GPU will get replaced once or twice.
(2) Newegg just rolled out a deal on a i7-2600k combo. Is it better than my current build? I've already ordered the case and optical drive from Newegg so I'd have to pay shipping/restocking. From what I've read, the i7-2600k doesn't seem that much better than the i5-2500k.
By the time I add a GPU, magnetic hard drive, and a cpu fan, it would actually be more expensive then my i5-2500k rig. Plus, I've red that the i5-2500k is faster when overclocked (which I may do in the future). I'm leaning towards sticking with the original plan.