I had my thread earlier about getting a Mac Pro or not. I've thought very long and hard about it, and I just don't think I can swing it right now; and if I want to start doing more freelance work, like I want to pursue in 2008, I need something faster sooner rather than later (maybe once I get paid for a nice project, I can switch to a Mac Pro; Intel's Nehalem with hyperthreading makes Penryn seem less enticing anyway ). Anyway, so my budget target was around $2,000, and here's what I came up with: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz (Kentsfield) CPU - $280 MSI NX8800 GTS (G92) video card - $385 Asus Striker Extreme (nForce 680i) Motherboard - $300 8GB (4 x 2GB) Corsair XMS2 240-Pin DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) SDRAM - $198 (after rebates) Thermaltake W0131RU ATX12V / EPS12V 850W Power Supply - $209 (after rebates) Western Digital Raptor X WD1500AHFD 150GB 10,000 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM - $175 Western Digital Caviar GP WD10EACS 1TB 5400 to 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM - $270 Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse - $55 (after rebates) LIAN LI PC-A10B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $260 M-AUDIO Studiophile AV 40 40 Watts 2.0 Speaker - $150 Creative SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 Channels (PCI Express & Vista Certified) - $66 Total: $2348.00 And, last but not least... Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit) - Full Retail - ~$230 (I get a discount through work ) A few notes: 1) I thought that the CPU was a good balance of price versus performance, so that's why I went with that. Comments and recommendations, though, are welcome. 2) I'm iffy with the specific video card. On one hand, I'd like to start PC gaming again. On the other, I've been using an ATI FireGL card over the last few years, because I do 3D modeling/animation. Does anyone think that a gaming card like that would be a problem, in terms of 3D work? My general instinct is that it shouldn't be a problem at all, as I used to do 3D perfectly fine on an old 128 MB GeForce4 card. I might add a second card later in 2008 for SLI...or maybe I won't. Also, what do you think of MSI as a brand? 3) I know that a lot of people don't like Vista, particularly the 64-bit version, but I also know that if I want to use all 8 GB of my RAM, I need a 64-bit OS. With that, should there be any problems? I think all of the hardware I'm using is compatible with it. 4) As for the power supply, I used to use Antec exclusively, but I get the impression that they have completely gone to hell since I used them last. I get the impression that Thermaltake is a good brand, plus I can get that 750W PSU with a $50 mail-in rebate. Should this PSU suffice, including if I decided to add a second video card later, or should I go for something even beefier? 5) Is the case acceptable? A mid-tower would be nice, because it wouldn't be so large as the full-tower I have now, but I'm willing to bump back up to a full-tower if it would be advisable (that particular case design, which I like quite a bit, also has a full-tower version). 6) The speakers I've chosen are probably a bit unconventional, but I'm tired of these 5.1+ setups, where I feel like I'm being strangled with cords everywhere. I have a pair of these with my Avid Adrenaline that I use at work, and I quite love the sound quality. 7) The Creative sound card I chose, because it was Vista certified, and I hear that onboard audio tends to suck your system resources a bit. I'd like to avoid that this time around. Just as a summary, I will be using this machine as a general purpose computer that will be doing video editing, motion graphics, and 3D animation/modeling/rendering, with some web development and will have a Linux installation on it too (probably virtualized, rather than dual-boot). So what do you think?