Sorry, it's taken about 3 days to write this due to various interruptions, work and sleep being the least annoying of the bunch.
Thanks for that Troy. I was pretty sure of that but not positive. I'll just ask before ordering one.
I have decided on most of the hardware already, and actually ordered a couple things to take advantage of deals/discounts.
It turns out, that after many product comparisons, most of the hardware Troy listed in his 2nd post is what I'll get. I'm getting the Core i7-2600, Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit). I'm sticking with the higher capacity SSD and HDD to pre-empt storage issues down the road. The motherboad he suggested is actually cheaper than the most comparable one, and the PSU should be more than enough without being too much. Comparable video cards each had some quirk in their specs that made them slightly less than desirable. I am going to get different RAM though. I haven't yet decided on a case and the fans in that link are out of stock (possibly forever), so I need to find a new one of those, but I might just wait until I get the case and see what I need.
So basically, this is what I have:
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit 1-Pack - OEMhttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16832116997
Intel Core i7-2600 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I72600http://www.newegg.co...N82E16819115071
GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD7-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboardhttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16813128480
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drivehttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16822136792
Corsair Performance 3 Series CSSD-P3128GB2-BRKT 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)http://www.newegg.co...N82E16820233154
HIS H697FT2G2M Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinityhttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16814161360
CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supplyhttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16817139010
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXMhttp://www.newegg.co...N82E16820231445
I have no use for a blueray drive at the moment so I'll pass on that. I'm not sure if I'm gonna sell my current computer as is or in pieces, so I may take my current DVD-/+RW and put it in the new one for now. Otherwise I have other DVD drives from older computers I can use.
I also can use Office 2003 from my previous purchase on this computer, so no need to buy a new one.
will you only install 2 video cards?
Suggestion for a case already optimised for gaming.
Honestly, I've never even heard of using two video cards before reading that. What would require multiple video cards? Multiple monitors are the only thing I can think of, but my current card (256MB NVIDIA GeForce 6800) handles having two monitors without problems, at least the way I have it set up where one is just an extension of the other. Surely the one above is powerful enough, and it has two DVI ports so it should perform the same.
As for cases, I'm kinda leaning toward the Antec Twelve Hundred, but I want to keep my eye open for something better. I like the fact that it includes air filters, and a ton of drive bays (even though they have to be grouped in threes which is a bit quirky). However I've seen unique features that I really like (mesh siding, reset button, tool-less/screwless side panel) on other models that either don't have enough external bays or have received bad reviews regarding functionality, sturdiness, cord length, etc.
One thing I really like about my Dell (probably the only thing) is that there is a button on the top of the case that acts as a release mechanism for the side panel. Push the button and the panel pops off. So I'm a bit spoiled on the "screw-less" aspect.