System Usage from Most to Least Important: web/office applications/light gaming/home video editing
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Tiger Direct
Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel core i5; Samsung monitor (although I'm open to suggestions); I've always had good experience with WD drives
Overclocking: In the future
SLI or Crossfire: Probably not ... but would like to have the potential to add
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 or 1920x1200
Additional Comments: I'm not a gamer (last games were Myst series), but I tend to hold on to computers for a long time. I want a build that is likely to provide reasonable performance for at least 5 years.
To me, that means something that's relatively powerful now (not bleeding edge) with good upgrade possibilities. In the parts list below, the only parts that I actually selected were the Intel Core i5-3570K and the Samsung monitor. The rest are from Newegg's suggestions on the core i5-3750K page.
The total from Newegg is about $1600. If I drop the video card for now (assuming that the on-board graphics will run that monitor), the system fits better into my budget.
I noted that the Antec case only has 2x USB 2.0 on the front. Is it worth it to look for USB 3.0 on the front?
I would get the WD Blue's at the moment. The premium they put for the WD Black makes it not worth it I think knowing that prices will come down in the future (i.e. when infrastructures in Thailand gets fixed and when SSD comes down in price and becomes more readily available).
For your MoBo, I would go with the Gigabyte z77x-ud3h or the Asrock z77 Extreme 4. It allows you to xFire/SLI in the future, has similar expandability options, and is priced lower.
For RAM, 1600 would do the job. Anything past that and performance gains are barely noticeable.
I would not get the gtx 560 TI. Yes they are good GPU's but they are one generation old. A Radeon 7850 is a much better choice. I would hold off on buying a GPU at the moment though. The GTX 670 just came out and it is a significantly better card that the top-of-the-line Radeon 7970. If you can, wait for the mid-range gtx 6xx series and see what they have to offer.
In the Newegg comments, several people mention freezing problems with the Gigabyte z77x-ud5h with an Ivy Bridge cpu. There are too few comments on the ud3h at Newegg to draw any conclusions. Perhaps the Asrock is the answer.
I'm completely in the dark when it comes to SSDs. What do people typically load on a SSD other than the OS? Applications also? Is there really any need for a 128 GB SSD or would a 32 GB or 64 GB be just as good?
I know people who always are using Word or Excel that have those on their SSD, I don't know if they have all Microsoft Works on there though. Most of the people I am around are gamers, so they put their main game(s) on their SSDs. But some games don't really need to be on SSDs over HDDs other than having a faster initial load time. The RAM you selected has those heat-spreaders on the top. This may interfere with your Hyper 212 Evo, since it does take a lot of space right next to your RAM slots. Best to go with low-profile RAM sticks. Also, the PSU is a bit overkill, BUT if you are SERIOUSLY considering SLI in the future... you may want it.
I made some changes based on the comments. Total Newegg price now $1170 (including some AS5 thermal compound)
Will everything work together?
I noticed reading the manual for the Asrock Extreme4 that the default Northbridge configuration for "Primary Graphics Adapter" is "PCI Express" rather than "Onboard" (which is an optional setting). So what happens when I boot up the first time with no graphics board installed? Does the board just sense that nothing is in the slots and switch to the on-board graphics?