I am putting together an analysis computer for my lab. It will be used for storing and analyzing copious amounts of image and electrophysiological data using Matlab, JAVA, and C based code. Memory is my biggest concern, as Matlab eats it like a stoner eats Cheetos, and I'll probably want to run analysis in parallel. My only graphics needs are something that can handle Matlab's OpenGL rendering of plots that sometimes contain 10^8 data points and messing around in Photoshop and Illustrator. Here's what I have so far.
CPU: Core i7 920 (probably not OC'd since I've never done it and this is for work use)
Mobo: ASUS P6T
RAM: OCZ Gold 6GB DDR3 1600 (3G1600LV6GK)
PSU: Antec EA650
Graphics: Radeon HD 4830 512GB from MSI
Case: Antec 300
HDs: 1x300GB Velociraptor
3x1TB Hitachi Deskstar7k1000 in RAID 5 (thoughts on a hardware RAID controller?)
Optical: LITE-ON 22x DVD burner
OS: something 64bit to utilize the memory
I'm new to the build your own bandwagon so I could use the recommendations and critique. Thanks!
If you will be running several high ram jobs concurrently, you might want to consider 12gb.
Vista 64 bit will be better than xp. Home premium is usually sufficient, but check if the feature of business or ultimate might have something you need.
I would install an oem cooler up front. A good cooler is necessary to overclock properly. Only a mild overclock at stock voltages gets you the same performance as a $1000 i7 965. Even at stock, your system will run quieter.