I appreciated the advice I have received in these forums; so I have returned asking for some more help deciding on parts for a new build.
Approx. purchase date: 1-2 weeks
Budget: $750-850 (not firm, I can add a little more if need be)
System Use: Gaming (all the newest games), everything else
Buying Monitor: No (current resolution 1600 x 1200);
next monitor might be a yamakasi catleap @ 2560x1440
Parts to upgrade: CPU, MB, RAM, GPU, PSU, HDD/SSD*, DVD burner
Need OS: Yes
SLI or Crossfire: No
Location: California (newegg and amazon charge me tax ),
but I am have a microcenter an hour's drive away
Part Preference: Not interested in OCZ products (I have a brick with that label already)
Note: I am going to scrap my (still working) core2duo build and use the same case. *I realize the budget may be a bit tight to include a SSD, therefore, if need be, I can hold off on purchasing extra storage and reuse my aging 320gb HDD until I can find a good deal for a HDD and SSD during Black Friday or Cyber Monday.* I would also like to point out that I have recently soldiered and replaced some failing capacitors on my old Samsung monitor which is working fine now; but if it starts giving me problems again I have my eye set on a 27" yamakasi catleap monitor as a replacement.
Your partpicker choices, together with CPU and mobo, would be fine for your current monitor.
However, if you upgrade monitor to 1440p, you are likely to want to also upgrade graphics. The most logical thing, then, would be to add a 2nd HD7870, in crossfire. If that is "likely", it may be a good idea to get a suitable PSU, now, rather than having to change that, as well. 700/750w would be fine.
For single cards, at the higher resolution, I would tend to prefer Radeon. It's, of course, a question of degree. More is always better, obviously subject to the limitations of budget. You can check out the "bench" fps, for different cards, in different games/ resolutions, on "anandtech"'s site. Just go to "bench" and "2012 GPU", and you can check out any REFERENCE card. You have to guess a bit, on the effects of overclocking, but ideal as a guide.
I checked the benchmarks on anandtech and it seems that, for my purposes, the HD7950 & GTX670 are either overkill or at high settings in some games not adequate; the exception being Batman (poorly coded?) and BF3 running on a GTX670 (optimized for nvidia?).
Thanks for reviewing the parts I had selected. I think it makes more sense for me to save for a SSD at this point and consider a different GPU('s) when that time comes. I will take the PSU suggestion under advisement when it's time to order.