BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 500-800, +200/year upgrades) After Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: OpenGL Dual Monitor 3d Games, 3d Linux DE, Video Storage, Virtualization and Multi-Boot, Internet browsing, etc.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitors, Speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, amazon.com, tigerdirect.com
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: The United States of America
PARTS PREFERENCES: I would like to use a i5 cpu, with the 1156 chipset, nVidia graphics card, and DDR3 RAM.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Later
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 and 1600x1200
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: There is a specific game that I like, [link], written for the graphics intense Spring RTS engine, [link], which has dual monitor support. However, when I hooked up an external monitor to my laptop, the game could not use the extra monitor. A friend recommended these fora to ask about hardware that will allow me to play this game with dual monitor support before I lay out the cash. Extra thanks if you know of a graphics card which has good linux drivers and OpenGL support.
My financial plan relies on upgrades, the hardware needs to be capable of easy expansion.
Thanks so much for answering my question. I basically started with this and then figured out what I could shave $20 bucks here and there on. For now I'm going to loot my external drives for DVDRW and HDD.
I got the build to under $700 by getting the Antec 300 Illusion case ($60), a geforce 9500 gt ($45), the Corsair tx650w PSU, and the MSI GD65.
I did some research, links to which I will post if requested, which unanimously proclaimed nVidia the way to go for Linux, otherwise I would have been down with ATI the whole way.
If anyone has any further interest in my build I will post full specs.
My little brother has also commissioned me set up a build for him, prospective parts for which I have posted elsewhere.
The 9500GT will do a good job playing games with light load.
Oh and good choice on the PSU. I prefer Antec and Corsair PSU's, they are excellent manufacturers. You won't need much power for a 9500GT. And if you wanna do future GPU upgrades, you can put a high end GPU without a problem, especially because your PSU is a quality one, not crappy from some unknown manufacturer.
Speaking of crappy psu's... my lil brother wants to play SC2 with me, and seems able to build his own computer.
I have created a frankenstein out of cheap newegg parts for him which looks like it can play SC2 smoothly on low settings. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/285145-31-computer
I used the WD 160 GB mentiened in the post in an external drive for years with no problems.
The 500 GB SEAGATE I mentiened performed well in my pre-purchase tests, but since I got it from craigslist for the longest time I thought it was just the drive causing the problems.
Now that the WD 160 GB has problems when used as the boot device too, I have begun to suspect the motherboard... but the problem is so intermittent!
*buys $700 gaming computer*
*painstakingly reads manuals, researches, watches videos upon videos, and builds*
*useless because of stupid little late blooming undiagnosed problem*