APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next month BUDGET RANGE: $600-$1000 (after rebates)
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Games (at the level of StarCraft II & HL2/L4D/TF2/...), Virtualization (VirtualBox, probably), Good Linux Driver support (but will probably boot windows most of the time), reliable dual-head setup.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I can probably get away with my existing keyboard, mouse & speakers, and, if i have to to meet the budget, monitors.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, tiger direct, whatever COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Probably a mid-tower profile, basic but sturdy case, maybe a full tower profile if it'll better fit.
OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably Not
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently have one 17" 1280x768 monitor (Samsung LTN1785W), and one 17" 1600x1024 monitor (SGI 1600sw w/ MultiLink adaptor) If it can be done within budget, though, I'd like to replace the SGI one with something bigger & better (maybe something in the 20"-22" range?).
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'd prefer this to be semi-quiet, and I don't need any bling w/ my case (see-through window, lots of leds, etc).
This is the first time I've built a system from scratch. My current desktop is a late-2003 era Dell Dimension 8300 with added hard drives (totaling about 1TB if I include the external one), ram (2GB), and an (AGP) GeForce 7600 GS. I don't need as much storage space as I have now, and can keep the old system around as a dumb file server or what not for a while. But more ram, a multi-core processor with virtualization extensions, and a better GPU.
As far as gaming, I'm not expecting to be able to run stuff at their maximum settings. But, being able to play StarCraft II at higher than the lowest settings would be nice