crossfire is not worth it if you're going performance/bang for the buck. it's more for the people that have a huge budget. because you can get better price performance from a single powerful card than 2 less powerful cards. and if you pick a powerful card, by the time it drops in price, there'll be newer cards out there.
The Socket 1155 has most likely reached the end of it's upgrade-cycle:
So if you want something you can still upgrade later on, then you have to go for the Socket 2011 or wait for Socket 1150. A machine based on Socket 2011 is not cheap.
You want to have a GPU which will play everything you throw at it ? Then I would not settle for something less then a Gigabyte GTX670-OC / HD7970-OC.
Here are the GPU-Charts:
Here are the CPU-Charts (Multi-Core 4 / up to 8 Threads):
CPU-Charts Multi-Core 4 / 8 Threads
Here are the CPU-Charts (Multi-Core 8 / up to 12 Threads):
CPU-Charts Multi-Core 8 / 12 Threads
Intel-CPU's are better then AMD-CPU's in real-world conditions.
If you want to go for SLI / CrossFire later on, even that a Single-GPU-Setup is always the better / less-issues-causing solution, as you have to rely on certain Driver- / Game-support etc. and a Multi-GPU-Setup is mainly needed for high screen-resolutions / Multi-Screen-Setup's / 120Hz-Screens + fps >= 120, then you should go straight for a bigger PSU.
Another thing you should think about is, if 2x PCIe v3.0 x8 is enough for you (it is for 2-Way-SLI / CrossFire) or if you would maybe need 2/3/4x PCIe v3.0 x16 (usually only needed for really extreme Setup's or more then 2 GPU's).
This site here: This PSU is only an example to show which Info's you can get from this site
... can give you some more info's about the quality of a PSU, if it got tested by them.
If you have a look into my System-Spec's, then you have an example what you would roughly need to play Battlefield-3 with Ultra-Settings and Crysis-3 with mainly High-Settings and a screen resolution of 1920x1080. I will not need to upgrade this year, but maybe next year if I still would like to play future games on minimum High-Settings. Ignore all the fancy stuff of my system, like Case / Liquid-Cooling.
but the problem is newer cards keep coming out.
the only people that get something out of crossfire are those that have some money to spare and want the best performance possible. or if you have a serious multimonitor scenario (and I'm not talking 2 monitors).
I'm a bit late to this thread, but for what it's worth here are my thoughts.
The rig suggested by oldpro21 is almost perfect, I would make a few changes myself though.
1st - If you are planning on running multiple GPUs then avoid Crossfire go for SLI, I'm running Crossfire with my 6990 and it is far more prone to suffering from stuttering where one card causes a temporary bottleneck by taking longer to render a frame making the second card wait until the frame is rendered. In most games this is not noticeable, but in others it almost makes the games unplayable. Far Cry 3 really doesn't do as well with AMD/ATI Crossfire as it does with the equivalent nVidia cards in SLI as you see in the tests here. I would suggest the slightly more expensive EVGA GTX670 FTW Edition, this overclocked GTX670 performs as well as a standard GTX680.
2nd - Getting an SSD will pay off in amazing startup times but will need an additional drive for storage, I use two drives, one for storage and I have installed Steam, Origin and Uplay on a second hard drive. This means I can keep my SSD use to a minimum and only install the most essential bit of software on to it.
3rd - If you are planning on adding another GPU later get a better PSU now so that you don't have to rebuild later, get a good brand and around 700 to 750 watts to give you some head room.
The type of games I want to play are The elder scrolls online & Skyrim. I will probably be playing a lot of MMORPG type games. I also like games like Simcity, Sports games another one of my favorites. as long as I can play games like these with no problem I will be very happy.
Also this may be a dumb question. But processors do still need heat sinks on top of them right? Like I said before this is one of my biggest fears of building a PC. I know that heatsink compound needs to be put on almost perfectly for it to work right. You can not put to little it will not transfer the heat to the heatsink right. But to much will not let any heat through at all. Maybe I could ask a PC specialist to just do this one part for me? I could ask him/her to show me how maybe let me watch them do it.
If you buy a retail cpu, the fan will come with it and will have paste already applied. Just set it on the cpu, and press the locking pins down. It's simple.