OS: $290 - Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
I work with sensitive data so I'd like the Bitlocker feature that Ultimate offers. This version also allows me to re-install on future computers. The cheaper OEM version is limited to 1 motherboard only.
Total: $1890 That's a little over my budget, but I'm OK with it.
Overclocking: Yes. CPU, GPU, and maybe RAM.
SLI or Crossfire: If you recommend it for a 3-monitor setup. I assume that I can use 2xDVI and 1xHDMI (in 1 video card) to support 3 monitors.
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200 across 3 montiors.
I play BF3 and SC2 occasionally. Will try Diablo 3 too. I don't need a bleeding edge graphics card as I can upgrade that later.
With the difference you'd save over going X79 you could get a really killer GPU like the Radeon 7870 - this is one area where you really don't want to skimp or compromise, especially on a $1500 or greater budget.
And I wouldn't get a liquid cooler - even a closed block one - if a water pipe breaks, there goes your system. If a fan breaks - you just replace the broken fan. Air is always safer than liquid - even a closed block - when a strong air cooler like a Noctua D14 will give you the same results: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Windows 7 warns me several times a day that my memory is low (4GB). I also run Windows XP within my Windows 7 environment. That alone knocks off 512KB RAM. I don't have much confidence in 8GB for future-proofing, and $90 for 16GB is not a bad deal.
Eyefinity! I'm definitely getting that.
I ordered my build and ended up just under $1,800. Cheers!
I grabbed 8GB RAM for $25 for my "old" 3.0GHZ computer to keep me afloat until the new computer is fully setup. After just 20 hours I am using up 7GB RAM! Google Chrome is the main RAM hog (Every single day I must have 20 tabs open with Google spreadsheets, media, and so on). I don't think there's a simple way to trim Google Chrome. I do have a few Chrome extensions but I use all of them daily. No Adware and no toolbars.
Anyway, 8GB RAM is cutting it a little too close for me. 16GB is relatively inexpensive and I'm glad I went with that for the new build in the long run. Thank you azeem40, serialkiller, and g-unit1111 for your recommendations.