Approximate Purchase Date: sooner the better, up to a fortnight
Budget Range: $600-$800, before shipping + taxes; would prefer cheap shipping and the $800 upper limit is slightly flexible
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Home Theatre, Map/Level Building, Image Editing (Photoshop)
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: Pretty much everything save the video card (GeForce GTS 250) but am not adverse to upgrading that either; Power Supply is Sparkle Power ATX-400PN (400 W) -- I don't think it will be adequate for a new system
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canadian sites unless the US prices are much better to offset the shipping
Location: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia - Physically travelling to the Lower Mainland isn't feasible at this time
Parts Preferences: Intel i5 CPU, 2500K if I can swing it
SLI or Crossfire: No (possible Maybe In The Far Future)
Your Monitor Resolution: 1600x900
Additional Comments: I live in a hot area with poor indoor temp. control so keeping things from running hot is a challenge. During the summer I have to use a powerful floor fan (WindMachine!). Recent game-wise I'm running Witcher 2, Arkham City, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed series.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: The heat finally did my previous machine in, either the CPU or the motherboard... it will turn on but not post and the fan goes into overdrive. Thermal paste has become more of a crust-residue. I had been planning to upgrade for some time (that machine is a P4 Prescott 3.0 GHz); this incident just forced the issue sooner than I'd like.
Here, should be pretty great for all your uses. I went with "only" a 6870 because your resolution is smaller than 1080p so it'll suffice. If you want more GPU muscle drop the SSD and upgrade to 7850 (esp. if planning an upgrade to bigger screen). Your general use will suffer a bit.
Thank you for your assistance! The monitor is definitely something that will be changed soon (the "good" one sadly blew out a few months ago) so the 7850 is what I'll be using. The only question I have is regarding the CPU: is it worthwhile to stay with the 3450 or would the 2500K or 3570K be better for the long-haul?