Currently have a Dell Precision 380, Intel P4 3.8Ghz, 2 Gig RAM, Quadro Fx 3450 256 RAM/256 bus Video, 80GB Maxtor 7200rpm SATA HD, Phillips DVD RW, TSSTCorp CD RW, Dell 20" LCD & Viewsonic VX2000 20" LCD Monitors. Three external Maxtor HD, 1TB, 500MB, 300MB. Windows XP SP3.
Primarily used to edit digital images with Photoshop CS4. MSOffice, Internet surfing, E-Mail, Misc. MP3 stuff; No gaming (son has an XBox 360 Live, Playstation 3, PSP, Wii).
Looked at purchasing new pre-built system, Dell, Alienware, HP, Voodoo; couldn't get exactly what I wanted and price over 6000.00. Looked at having new system built, Pugetsystems, Digital Storm, Falcon, ABS...;all very flexible, could get what I want, but....prices over 6000.00. These prices did not include the two Dell 24" monitors I wanted.
Priced parts at Newegg; with tax = 4741.00
Two Dell Monitors w/tax = 1110.00
Here's what I ordered (Black Friday):
Silverstone Timjin TJ09 Black Full Tower Case
2-Scythe S-Flex 120mm Fans (extra cooling; the case comes with two fans)
Corsair HX1000 1KW PSU
Intel i7 965 3.2Ghz QuadCore Processor
ASUS P6T Deluxe LGA1366 Intel X58 ATX Mobo
12 GB Corsair DDR3 1333 Triple Channel RAM (2 6GB kits)
Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit SP1 OEM
2 - XFX GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCIe 2.0x16 HDCP SLI Video (one card per monitor)
2 Dell 24" 2408WFP Ultasharp Widescreen LCD Monitors
ASUS 20xDVD RW DVD Burner SATA
LG Super Multi Blu-Ray Burner SATA
Silverstone 3.5" 28-1 card reader USB2.0
I will probably add a TB Harddrive for more in-system storage. The Maxtor external drives have been great as transitional storage until I can burn the images to DVD.
Not interested in OC'ing; as an EE it's been my experience (and opinion) that systems designed to run at less than rated capacity tend to be more stable and last longer. I've got to say though that I am impressed by my nephew's liquid cooled gaming system (which he built himself!).
It's been awhile since I built PC's (late 80's/early 90's) but from what I can tell it's gotten easier (no more ribbon cables or slave/master jumpers!). There's a Fry's a couple miles from the house if I need anything so I should be ok, kinda looking forward to the experience.
And of course, I've got all this great support on the Tom's forums!