Additional Comments: I building the desktop now and hope to upgrade it in about 3 months and will have another $500 then. So, I want to be able to improve it without changing around a ton of parts. My other concern is the best way to upgrade it. I would probably assume crossfire would be the best bet but I've read about a lot of people complaining about micro-stuttering. I would like to know if just buying a bulkier single gpu would be better than adding another. Another option I was considering was doing x3 crossfire with a Radeon HD 6870 X2 as i read recently that it can help remove micro - stuttering.
Also, I wanted to get USB 3.0 since I move data around a lot on flash drives.
i would go with a single card setup and get the new gtx600 series/ati 7000 serires when they release in a couple month. you can use onboard for the time being but the gaming experience is going to suck.
another option is to drop i52500k and the cpu cooler and get a i3 2100 + 6770. Sell them and get the i5 2500k + new gpu when you are ready.
I wouldn't build right now. Just wait till u get the rest. By that time new parts will come out. Also a lot of people don't realise that in order to use pcie 3.0 of new gpus you'll need ivy bridge
+1 Totally agree there.
In 3 months not only will you have a substantial amount more money available, but much better products will be available.
Also, those 6870 x2 are only available from Powercolor, I think. The next-gen 7xxx series cards from AMD are releasing January 9th and might shake up the current pricing and lineup. One of those would probably be a safer and better setup than two of those 6870 x2 cards.
On top of that, two of those cards would completely blow away your current budget, even with the extra $500.