Hi mate. Just a couple of other solid options with your some of your choices:
Intel Core i5 2500K $235 - Are you really not overclocking? If not, no reason to get the 'K' model with unlocked cores. OCing your processor isn't a difficult process and gives a great performance boost. Easily get upto 4.0 - 4.3Mhz without even adjusting voltage.
My only reservation would be buying that ASRock board, I haven't heard good things about their durability or reliability. I think I'd be happier with maybe a Gigabyte or Asus board if anyone could recommend one?
As for OCing the 2500k, I'd like to have the option to do it in the future if need be. And in that instance I'll then buy an aftermarket CPU cooler, etc.
Oh and. If I was to add either another 560 Ti or 570 at a later date, would the PSU (and the other hardware, incidentally) manage to run these in SLI?
I would definitely encourage buying brands you are comfortable with. Personally I think Asrock are the real deal now. Unless your aiming at extreme overclocking, they are my pick and I'd rather have a feature packed Asrock Mobo than a similarly priced Asus with less features... just because it's Asus.
Many would argue you can get away with less depending on your OC... but this way you have plenty of head room and allowing for decreasing output over the life of the PSU, however that is less of a huge factor with quality like Corsair.
As far as I'm aware, all I need is SATA3 compatibility, USB 3.0 capability, compatibility with the rest of the hardware listed above and sufficient PCI slots for a GPU and a network card (SLI is really only an added bonus, I mightn't even worry about it in the future). Will I receive any discernible performance boost or increased longevity? Is it even worth buying a Z68 board if I mightn't use SLI in the future?
GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 is a micro-atx board.. not necessarily a deal breaker.
The GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 and GA-Z68X-UD3-B3 look fairly basic feature wise, but hey... they have USB 3.0, SATA 6.0 ports (might be needing in the future) and can run dual GPUs. Provided you're not doing any extreme overclocking or big network stuff... they are a great price. My only problem with the cheapest Mobos in any line is that you'd expect 'cheap' construction (see small MOFSET heatsink etc) but you get a 3 year warranty like any other good board. Maybe post in Mobos see if anyone has had any specific experience.
In regards to your last question, if you can find a good deal on a P67 board I still think they are a great option, if you are looking for more performance/features for the money, and don't need any z68 features... although they are becoming more scarce.
On another note. If you can find a local retailer that sells a case you're happy with you'll save half of your shipping from PCCaseGear. Are you near an MSY?
Sorry for a very belated reply - went away to Tassie for a week or two. I've been doing a heap of reading on mobos and think I agree with you on the 'cheapness' of the Gigabyte options I've listed. A great compromise (according to the reviews I've read) appears to be the ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 board (which has had $20 dropped from it while I've been away). Looks very nice for a $200 board, has everything I can envisage needing from this build and has a three year warranty.
So that means the full parts list will look like this:
ASUS P8Z68-V Gen3 Motherboard - $199
GTX 560 Ti - $275
8GB Corsair Vengeance Low Profile Kit - $55 ASUS doesn't list this as compatible RAM, however the 'high profile' version is compatible. Would I be correct in assuming that the low profile would therefore work, too?
i5 2500k - $229
NZXT H2 Black - $109 or maybe $20 more for the Fractal R3
Corsair TX-650W V2 PSU - $115
Seagate Barracuda 1TB - $109
Equals ~$1100 plus postage, leaving me plenty of headroom to buy an optical drive, network adapter, monitor, etc. etc.
Unfortunately I'm nowhere near an MSY dealer (I live in rural WA) so don't have much option with the postage charges.
The Asus p8z68 -V is a great board. Awesome features and top build quality.
The low profile Corsair Vengeance RAM is pretty new... board manufacturers might not have updated their lists yet... just check you get a DDR3 1600 1.5v 8GB kit (like posted above) and you'll be right.
Rural WA!... Your shipping charge will be high (bummer), PCCaseGear is over in Vic so your going all the way across country.
If you like the Fractal cases... have you seen the Arc? The R3 isn't to my personal tastes 'style' wise. I just don't like the whole 'door' on the front mini bar fridge look. It is a popular case though.