Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz vs. Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz vs. ??
I know the 2500K is almost "old" now, but is a newer i5 (or going up to an i7) going to increase gaming performance at all?
Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155
Is this a good board? Any alternative suggestions? I'm a fan of ASUS, but not rabidly.
Is an SSD for my OS/Primary drive worth it?
1. If you looking to have a future proof CPU, then Ivy Bridge is the way to go. It has support for newer technology,a higher cpu multiplier, and lower power consumption. If your looking to save money *anywhere*, then you should be fine with a SB 2500K. As for game performance, that is usually dictated by the speed and performance of the graphics processor. If I were going to spend 1200+ on a new rig, I'd definitely get the IB.
2. The PantherPoint Z77 chipset has only been out for 1 or 2 months, so reviews on those motherboards are a bit light. Asus, however, is well known for making quality components and their excellent customer service.
*If you're light on cash, then a 1TB Barracuda SATA III 7200 64MB for $90 would be fine.
On the build, I'd definitely DIY. You have experience.