I've always been a console/handheld gamer but I just can't pass up all these insane Steam deals going around so this is my first foray into building my own computer. I have a tower that's been helping me deal with my WoW addiction for 7 years (Yes it's chugging along in Cata but just barely) I would like to be able to play Skyrim and other games on PC as opposed to consoles. So...
My goal is to build a solid gaming computer that can easily upgrade into a new Kepler card when they come out. Above I said I don't need a keyboard, mouse and speakers but I wouldn't mind being pointed towards something new. My main goal is to have a PC that I don't have to fuss with at all for several years (3-5 would be ideal) once I upgrade to the new Kepler card. With that being said please don't hesitate to suggest pricier parts that will withstand the test of time a little better.
GPU: GTX 560 Ti - $249.99
This is just a place holder until the Kepler cards come out. I'm not sure when the actual release date is but would it be worth while to downgrade to a 550ti or something similar as to not completely waste money on a GTX 560ti?
HD: I know prices are jacked at the moment but I'd like a decent sized one that is fast.
MOBO: I don't have anything picked out. I'm totally lost here. I think I want a Z68 board? I understand this is a lot about personal preference but ultimately I want something that will last.
Case: I've looked at a few, namely the Fractal Arc. Again I know this has to do with personal preference but I'm really lost here as well. What has good cable management? Good cooling? Solid build? Blah blah blah?
PSU: Something that will be strong enough to support a high end Kepler card. If the projected power of the cards holds true then I don't want to be bothered with SLI.
*On a side note I'm going to be buying two monitors (not part of this budget) so I can have one monitor for an MMO and the other monitor for a web browser or a movie or something.
Your build is definitely on the right tracks...here are my thoughts:
CPU: Fine, pretty much the best gaming CPU right now.
GPU: Personally, I'd recommend sticking with the 560Ti. It's in the 'sweet spot' for price v performance. If you drop to a lower spec card, you'll still be paying the vast majority of the price for the 560Ti and getting less performance. The 560Ti will probably eBay well, and it runs modern games without breaking a sweat right now so you'd not feel like you compromised whilst waiting for Kepler...gives you some time to enjoy your new build while waiting for Kepler's prices to drop, too.
RAM: You'll probably not notice the difference between 1333 and 1600, but most folk tend to go with 1600. GSkill is an excellent brand, as is Corsair.
SSD: Not sure how good that one is, but there are OCZ Vertex IIIs and the Corsair Novas you can look at too. Point to note here, if you get a Z68 motherboard (see below) then you can take advantage of SSD caching. You won't see your SSD in Windows, but it'l put your most commonly used programmes on it so you get the speed advantage. It only works up with SSDs up to 60GB in size, so if you got a 128GB drive, you'd be wasting 68GB. The alternative is using them as two separate drives and choosing where to install your files...swings and roundabouts. However, if you decide to use SSD caching (called Intel Smart Response Technology, if you want to Google it) then you'll save some money by getting a smaller SSD.
Heatsink: That's a good budget heatsink, highly recommended even for reasonable overclocks.
HDD: Get a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 or a Seagate Barracuda...job done.
Mobo: P8Z68-Pro...gives you SSD caching and good overclocking options, plus the option of SLI down the road (in case the 'probably' changes into a 'let's give it a go'). Anyways, this mobo is worth it for the overclocking features alone.
Case: Corsair 600D is a lovely case. The Fractal Design Define R3 is also nice.
PSU: Something from XFX, Corsair, Be Quiet!, Silverstone or Enermax that is 80+ certified. I'd go for about 750W to be on the safe side.
Looks good, but i mean you can consider the Asrock Extreme3 Gen3 which includes a Pci 3.0x16 slot. Definetely get a Z68 board as your 2500k can OC to pretty high. Samsung 830 is awesome, reliable and stable. Cooler Master 212 is awesome.
You could get a 500GB unless you really need the 1TB space. Cavier Blue, Samsung, Seagate, Hitachi are all good. Corsair cases are sturdy and spacious. Theres not really a difference between 1333 and 1600, but then get a 1.5V for your ram as it runs best.