Today I started building my new PC. Like all my desktop computers this one is intended to last a while so I tried not to skimp on the hardware too much. At the same time I don't exactly have unlimited funds so keeping the price around $2000 was the target. I already have a nice monitor, sets of 2.1 speakers and a keyboard and mouse so I only need the stuff "in the box", most of which I managed to acquire today:
Case: Antec Sonata III (including 500W PSU)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3R
RAM: 2 x A-DATA DDR2-800 2GB Kit
HDD: 2 x Seagate 750GB
DVD: 2 x Pioneer 212BK
Not bad for $1585!
For the astute members of the audience I am only missing a graphics card to have an operational system. Which is really aggravating, let me tell you: I want to take my baby out for a spin and see what a quad-core processor and 4GB of RAM can do!
My plan for the video card is a Leadtek 8800GTS with 640MB RAM, which should have enough grunt for playing some recent games. However, I do have the problem of whether to go with NVIDIA or ATI for the graphics card: I like to take Linux compatibility into account and I plan on dual-booting Windows XP and a 64-bit Linux distro (any suggestions?). In the past this would mean an automatic slam-dunk for NVIDIA seeing as they're the only one that seemed to take Linux seriously and provide decent drivers. Recent events have forced me to reconsider this though since AMD/ATI have released hardware specs for their GPUs so we should soon be seeing open source Linux drivers that are kept up-to-date by the community and integrated fully into the kernel or X.org. This makes ATI a very tempting option. At the end of the day though I think NVIDIA are still releasing slightly superior hardware and their Linux drivers work now, not in a year's time, so I'll probably go with the 8800GTS.