Building a VM-hosting box, self-education project, $800?

It's time for a new desktop. My last desktop is long in the tooth now, a "gaming and other stuff" machine.

This will be my new desktop but gaming won't be the hardest-hitting use now. I'm looking to build something that can handle multiple VM's running at once. I'm looking to bone up on my sysadmin knowledge and there's nothing like actually running the software to gain real, practical experience. And since it's a new desktop, I figure I'd throw in a decent graphics card. I have a 17" monitor right now, don't plan on replacing it until it breaks, will probably go with those ridiculously affordable 20-somethings when that happens.

I've read a bunch of threads here and I find it's too easy to get the tech lust and spec out hardware that's not quite what I need, certainly beyond my budget.

I don't want to be on the bleeding edge, staying back from the blood spray is just fine by me.

I'm seeing good stuff about the Phenom II 940's. It's looking like 8gb of RAM is the sane amount these days? I know Asus mobo's were good years back; are they still holding their reputation?

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated!
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More about building hosting self education project

    BUDGET RANGE: $800 but am flexible if my expectations for that price point are unrealistic

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: running multiple VM's at once, gaming, home surfing stuff

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse, keyboard, monitor, sound. Pretty much need everything that will be in the case. Old computer will be repurposed as is.

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg is fine.

    PARTS PREFERENCES: Liking what I'm hearing about AMD Phenom II, am otherwise agnostic on this.



    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768, will upgrade when current monitor dies. (can't bring myself to throw away working hardware.)

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd like to see how quiet I can make it. Current machine is a noisy beast. Guessing this will be more fans that are larger and at a lower RPM.
  2. Thanks for the suggestions! How nice is that Cooler Master case to work on? I've had the Antec 900/902 line recommended to me but I don't know if that's just total overkill. The 902 is $119 without power supply and it looks like I'm going to be spending $50+ for a decent one.

    I see there's no power supply included in the case you recommended. What's a decent size for this setup? I see you can go absolutely bonkers with what's on the market these days.
  3. if you read the list clearly there is a 650 watts psu and the antec 900 and antec 900 2 are better than the coolermaster 650 if you are ready to spend more then get on of them
  4. Whoops, my bad! Thanks.
  5. Hmm am thinking one could hit an AM3/DDR3 build once u hit $8xx so a suggestion:

    $849.23 after ship less MIR
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