What do you want from the system? 150FPS? or is 40-60 enough? I say this because I'm still running on a Q9550 w/8GB RAM and a GTX470 while running every graphics setting in "High." I'm no pro gamer, but very much want and enjoy a smooth running system.
You could probably really really scale back on... nearly everything, still get a kick-azz system, then drop the money into something like a high-res monitor. (Dell U2711 comes to mind).
Simply purchase components that scale, then 1 year from now when you think you'll be happier with a better video card, spend $300 to upgrade. If you need more ram, add more later... just make sure you purchase a mobo that will handle it.
Rough specs of something I'd do:
i5 2500k ~$220
nVidia vid card, no more than ~$350
mobo no more than ~$150 (USB 3.0 requirement, configure ram for future upgrade)
ram, 8GB minimum ~$80
DVD-burner, do you *really* need blu-ray? ~$30
600-800w PSU ~$150
Monitor: 2560x1440 max res - ~$1000 (you WILL be impressed) If you end up buying the Dell monitor, buy it from Dell (not NewEgg) and spend the extra $70 on 2 additional years of warranty -total 5 years warranty.
total price probably very near $2300.
edit - forgot disk... 1 SSD + an old spinner for data, adds a couple hundred bucks, or you could reuse a disk from a current system.
Nvidia Geforce GTX 680 (any i can get at this point, newegg has been out of stock for over a month) suggestions, alternatives please
recomendation on monitors sizes and cooling would be appreciated
i would suggest a better case for your budget.Corsair 650D is a great choice.Mid tower but more room then a lot of full towers.cooling,cable management,looks everything is excellent.click here to take a look at a good review.here's the rating-
Loads of room
Wire management is made very easy by all the passages
Eight expansion slots to make quad-Crossfire or quad-SLI a possibility
Elegant looks and thoughtful styling
Removable fan filters and all the front I/O you would need
Room at the top for a 2x120 or 2x140 radiator for water cooling
All in a mid tower
you don't need i7 for gaming.for gaming,i5 3550 is enough and will not cause any bottlenecks.
i am a big asus fanboy for motherboards but i won't suggest that board for your budget,Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H is a solid performer for it's price.main reason is that i recently saw this board and it's really awesome.lot's of ports,SLi/CF ready,great overclocker and solid build quality.if you want Asus then go with i would suggest Asus P8Z77-V or P8Z77-V PRO.
once again RAM is overkill.8gb is more than enough.Mushkin enhanced blackline 8gb is more than enough for gaming and other daily stuff.it is a 1.5v 1600mhz kit and it's perfect for your build.
OCZ is the worst SSD maker with highest failure rates.my dad has suffered two failures and ended up getting a muskin enhanced chronos deluxe which is working flawless.if you are thinking about RAID 0 then you are risking your money and data.SSDs are already very fast and don't need any raid or other crappy stuff.better get a 1tb drive(Samsung 1tb is my suggestion) for backup,movies and music.get a reliable SSD for OS and games.kingston hyperx 240gb ssd is a great deal for it's price.
For gpu,gtx 670 is best bang for buck but if you are willing to pay extra for 680 then it's fine,i am a big fan of MSi Twinfrozer iii cooler.very quiet,effective and overclocks like a beast.other good options are gigabyte windforce x3 and asus TOP.i hope you find one is stock
home premium 64 bit is enough for daily stuff and gaming.
for gaming,get a 23-24" 1080p monitor for a sharp image quality due to high pixel density.i trust Asus for good and high quality monitors.this is my suggestions- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
you don't need cooling for cpu if you are not gonna overclock,but sometimes the stock HSF sound can be annoying so i would suggest this cooler for maintaining noise and temps- hyper 212+it's a fairly silent cooler.
i guess i answered all of your questions.if you have any doubts,feel free to ask
same ivy bridge i7 and possibly the gtx670 i can order it on tigerdirect
without the graphics card in the mix im at $1365 w/o tax and shipping.
the gtx670 on tigerdirect is about 400
are you sure that you want that case with a $2300 rig?if yes then no problem otherwise i would suggest something better.This is a good deal.
as i said in my previous post that for gaming you don't need i7.