Originally Posted by bobkn
The I5-2500k or I7-2600k will outperform any of the triple channel (X58 motherboard) chips for gaming. The 2600k apparently outperforms even the expensive six core Gulftown CPUs for most (not all) applications. The k suffix (unlocked multiplier) Sandy Bridge CPUs are also easy to overclock above 4 GHz. (Get a third party CPU cooler.)
The memory controller performance on the Sandy Bridge CPUs is also better than on the first generation chips, so that will partly make up for the dual channel limitation.
My main complaint with the P67/Z68 motherboards is that it appears to be easier to brick them than for the older boards. I don't know why, it may have something to do with uEFI. (MSI uses a hybrid BIOS/EFI system that is still supposed to support booting from GPT disks.) I'm on my third board. I'd never rendered a motherboard unbootable before, in 14 years of BIOS updates.
I still laugh at people whom hint that an x58 platform is insufficient for gaming. The only bottleneck in my rig is my 5770. I've yet to find a task that my system can't do adequetely. And I don't OC anymore.
That said, considering how cheap a 2600k system would be compare to an x58 based system... for a ground up build the 2600k is the way to go.