Things I am looking at are a solid system with good performance with room to expand a future date. Initially I am only planning on one video card, but may add another one later. I will probably use my current 500 GB sata 2 drive for extra store (Pictures and such) although at a later date I will like add a large Sata 6 HD. I'm still debating between windows 7 Pro and 8 Pro, but articles here are leaniing more to try windows 8 Pro.
I plays games like skyrim(with lots of Mods) other roleplaying and strategy games and some web based games and MMO's. I also do some photo editing in paintshop pro and 3D rendering in Poser.
I see three difference Corsair Vengence 16GB at 1866, is there much difference between them?
Let me know if there is something I am missing from a compatability standpoint or a better component for a similar price.
There's plenty of room for upgrades. Although, I really don't see you needing them for a while. If you ever want to, I included support so you could add another 7970 in Crossfire for the future. Also, there's really no difference in the various RAM kits. Just grab 2 dimms of 8gb. The stuff I'm recommending is great. It's also low profile so you don't have to worry about clearance issues with the Hyper 212 Evo.
The HD 7970 will utterly destroy Skyrim. And mods will be no problem for it. If you want, you could also grab the GTX 670 if you're an Nvidia fan. It'll help if you plan on working with Adobe a lot.
The motherboard change and memory I'll definitely consider. I haven't used a cpu cooler in previous machines, but it is a small cost.
When I clicked the link for the SSD, B&H wasn't listed and NewEgg refers to it as a notebook upgrade kit (out of stock). I'm not familiar with B&H so didn't know where to go.
I'm not sure about the Case change, I can save a little by going with the non-blue edition of the CM case.
Why the change in powersupply? Was I underpowered with 650W? I went to a powersupply site and ran through their calculator and was running under 500W so thought I was getting a bit more than I needed. Not set on NVidia, but that is what I have more experience with
Well, you'll only want the 750w PSU if you plan on adding a second 7970 in the future. If you don't plan on doing this, then a 650w PSU will suffice.
You can pick whichever case you want. I'm only offering alternatives. You have the final say in this; it's your build and your money, lol. The case you originally chose was fine. It's a bit big, but it'll work. If you like the case and don't mind the extra bulk, then grab it.
Sorry about the bad SSD link. You don't want the notebook kit. Unfortunately, all the Samsung 256gb SSDs are out of stock. If you can find one in stock, then grab it. Otherwise, you'll want to grab the Crucial M4. Links to both will be below.
The CPU cooler is to help keep temperatures down. The i5 3570k can be overclocked. If you decide to overclock it, you'll need adequate cooling. Even if you don't overclock right away, it's always nice to have the feature at hand just in case.