For gaming, you don't need an i7...stick with the i5. I'd also suggest considering a Z68 motherboard, if you're using 6950s. Might save you some cash.
Reasons for the mboard recommendation? (I liked the overclocking and other features of the ASUS P8Z77-V LK - in a review - which is why I selected it...not being familiar with socket 1155 at all.)
thnx for all advice so far - its appreciated