Thanks for all the great advice. From what I gathered ffxiv does not utilize hyper threading. Would it be more cost effective to go the 3570k route and put the 100 bucks toward a gtx 680sc or gtx 670 sc 4gb?
From what I've seen, the differences between the ivy bridge i5 and i7 range from no difference at all to a few frames higher when at similar clock speeds. A few references after a quick google search. http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core-i7-3770k-i5-3570k_6.html#sect0 http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i7-3770k-and-3750-review-with-z77/24 http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/05/01/intel-core-i5-3570k-cpu-review/6
If we're buying new, the i5 is roughly 2/3 the price of an i7 on amazon and newegg. If you're buying used or find a good sale or a nice deal from somewhere else, that price may differ. I can't speak for FFXIV 2.0, but for gaming in general, for the price and performance the i5 is far more appealing to me, and would without question be my choice if I were to get an ivy bridge CPU right now. Whether you find the extra $100 to be a worthy investment to you is your call.
Oh, and as for the cpu cooler, I was going to recommend the Hyper 212 plus cooler, as I got one a week ago for $20 with free shipping on newegg which I felt was just too good to pass up, but it seems the price has jumped to $30. The Evo, after rebate, is the same price now rather than the $15 difference it was when I got it, so that'd likely be the better option if you were to go for something from Cooler Master. Edited, Aug 20th 2012 11:35am by Susanoh