$3200 - 2 new machines - Gaming/Media Storage and ESXi Whitebox

- APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 2 weeks from today
- BUDGET RANGE: $3200 Before Rebates
- SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Giant RAID for Media and file storage
- PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard (basic Logitech), mouse (Logitech G9x), monitor (Samsung T260), speakers (Logitech 2.1). I also have a spare 17" LCD, keyboard, and mouse for the ESXi box
- PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg and tigerdirect, doesn't really matter though.
-COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: East Bay Area, California, USA

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm basically looking to replace my aged Dell Dimension 9200 that has an old 9600 GT in it with a new gaming PC. I don't need SLI/Crossfire, but only because I can't afford two 5970/5870s right now. There are a lot of games such as Supreme Commander, Company of Heroes, Stalker, Crysis, Oblivion, BioShock, etc. that I can't run at full resolution even at low/medium settings, and since I own them, I'd like to be able to play them :)

In addition, I'm looking for a way to get about 4-6 TB of space in a RAID (preferably hardware w/BBC RAID 6) so that I can have a repository of TV shows/Movies/Music that I can stream/transcode to my PS3 using PS3 Media Server. I'm a Network Analyst/Systems Administrator so I know that RAID is NOT a BACKUP, but I like to hoard full TV seasons of shows and also there are a lot of DVDs I own that I'd like to rip and store so I can just browse and play on my PS3. That means a LOT of space. As all my time is spent with servers due to work and such, I'm hard pressed to keep up with the latest, greatest, and what makes the best build.

As hard as I try I can't get work to buy me my own test server for home (man I wish), so I'd like to have a decent Quad-Core (i7/i5) ESXi whitebox with 16GB+ of RAM that can run 5-6 VMs mainly for testing and learning. It's never going to be running a database or anything that requires a ton of I/O and local storage is just fine. I looked at getting a cheap dell tower server, but to get Xeons with the Intel VT capabilities, I have to go with the E5520s which bump the cost of the server up significantly. Plus to get a fair amount of RAM you need dual procs because of the Nehalem architecture. Also, when you want a fair amount of RAM or more storage space they screw you on the prices. A 2TB SATA HDD from Dell as an upgrade is $1100!

If I can't afford both with my budget I understand, as I have big dreams and in that case I'd like the gaming machine to be able to run 1-3 VMs using VMware Workstation and have 12+GB of RAM. If anyone has any advice for me on how I should proceed I would be so very grateful. Thank you in advance
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More about 3200 machines gaming media storage esxi whitebox
  1. is it 3200 for both or 3200 for just 1
  2. Total budget for one or both
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