The problem I'm having is that going with a dual-580 build comes out something in the area of $500 more than going with a traditional air cooled dual-570 build in a full tower case. Using the same components but replacing the Gene-Z (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) with the Gigabyte board (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), swapping to a full tower case, adding a decent $30 aftermarket CPU heatsink, and obviously using a pair of GTX 570s instead of the pair of water-cooled GTX 580s comes out at $2000 whereas the liquid-cooled build comes to around $2500 for my chosen components.
I guess the question here is whether I actually need the power of the dual-580s for the next three years and whether this liquid-cooled system should be expected to last as long as an air-cooled system. I run a single monitor at 1920x1200 for gaming (plus a second monitor for web-browsing while my game takes up my primary screen). I want to run everything at max settings. Even Metro 2033 runs at like 54 fps at this resolution on dual-570s (according to guru3d's VGA charts) so it seems like the 580s may be overkill. However, I would also like this computer to last 3 years (yes I know it would be likely less expensive to use less expensive cards and just upgrade them later instead of buying high-end right now but my financial situation means I have money to spend right now and may not later). So, in the interest of "future-proofing" (lol) and the cool-factor of the smaller form-factor, should I drop $500 more on the dual-580 liquid-cooled build?
Edit: I'm purchasing this weekend. I'm not carrying anything over from my old system except a 1TB storage drive. I prefer intel/nvidia. I do overclock though usually not aggressively. I almost exclusively order parts from newegg though would order from tigerdirect or amazon if the deal was good. All other info should be in the post above. Thanks!
Yeah, I doubt I'll see any real improvement from the CPU but I want my current system to still be usable since I'm giving it to someone to replace their current gaming computer (firstname.lastname@example.org/gtx260). Since I'm getting all new stuff anyway, I figure I may as well go with the sandy bridge.
And yeah the GTX 570s would be a nice upgrade, especially for directx11 support. The question is more whether I should drop the extra $500 to get the small size (which I count as a benefit) and the significantly better graphics cards (including more headroom for overclocking due to the liquid cooling) compared to the GTX570 build.