Currently as of this writing with an AMD Athlon X2 6400+ my CPU load is about 50% on each core.
My RAM load is 3.1 of 3.9GB
I'm in my standard mode which is 2 Firefox windows sharing 60 tabs, a chrome window with 30 tabs, a Thunderbird instance, pidgin IM client (just being thorough ) all on a 64 bit Ubuntu Linux OS. That should give an idea of my computing habits. Although I do do things that will stress my system occasionally like a virtual Win7 OS. Also my monitor resolution is 1920x1200 and 1280x1024 - dual with a dedicated card.
Newegg Only please - unless there is a very good reason.
TOTAL - $800 - Would much rather decrease or stay the same rather than increase... heh heh
Please pay special attention to ** questions.
I want to keep price as low as possible but still have quality parts. This should explain the PS. I figure I can use this particular one for 10 years. I could knock off a few $$ here though even with the same brand, and maybe less watts. **Or, am I being ridiculous? Can I get by with a $100 PS just fine, possibly even a $100 PC Power and Cooling?
I'm hoping to use the case for a long while as well. So any input on cases would be appreciated. I am focusing mostly on the P193 VS case and the Antec 1200 V3, but am leaning towards the P193. I have built about 5 computers with Antec 900's and have loved them. Although, I like the idea of noise reduction and don't really care about lights. I did look at the HAF X. Not super excited about it. Any other contenders, or reasons for HAF X, 1200, etc?
How about my CPU Mobo combo? I almost always go with AMD for the price/performance. I won't be gaming. **Should I stick with the higher clocked quad cores or go for a lower clocked 6 core? Should I spend the $60 for a 3.7 Ghz? Any reason for another Mobo? I'll say that every build I have ever built has been ASUS. I probably won't deviate. They have been very good to me and I don't see any reason to switch - although I could for a compelling reason - maybe it would be good to branch out. My primary OS is Ubuntu Linux. I am pretty sure driver support should be fine though.
**Is 1600 RAM a good idea? Should I just use 1333 or 1066? What are pros and cons? I do want reliability, so maybe OC RAM is a bad idea. I have gone with crucial often, any other brand suggestions? Please relate to any mobo and CPU suggestions.
As far as the HD goes, I wasn't even going to go with the SSD until I saw some $50 16GB kingston drives. Then I read reviews and there was a decent amount of failures. But I figure Intel should be reliable and for $100 it's hard to say no. It would be a fun new addition to my build. Reliability is the very most important thing in hard drives for me.
I think you got a good handle on the quality parts.
CPU: No point in spending extra money for getting the extra few MHz which you can just as easilly overclock from the 965 BE. As for the hex cores, if you intend to do something like raytracing or something similar then you might benefit from the hex cores, otherwise the quads work just fine for you and in most cases better.
PSU: You are definitely on the right track here quality wise, that psu will give you all the power you will need. I would maybe consider Corsair 850HX as an alternative. Corsair HX850 at $169 ( $149.99 after rebate )
Also comes with a 7-year warranty.
The thing here is that you will get by with less. Probably a 450-500W PSU would even work for you just fine. If you are looking to save some money and go down on wattage
there is a 750W version of the Corsair for example at about $129.99. It's just that when you want reliability and quality it does usually end up costing a bit. The HX750 should give you lots of room to grow be reliable and still save you about $50.
MB: Asus is generally a very good choice.
RAM: 1600Mhz ram seems to be the sweet spot atm, so i think you will do fine with what you have selected. Lots of good choices here anyway from Corsair, Gskill, Kingston and Mushkin as well.
SSD: 40GB is pretty small it will pretty much just install your OS and maybe a couple of critical applications but that's it. But then you won't be installing games on it so it should be reasonably ok. Intel does seem to offer a 5 year warranty with it's SSD's so that is generally a good choice for reliability. Bigger obviously would be better up to about 120GB maybe but the prices also go up so much that your budget would be shot.
You didn't list a DVD drive but then those are 20 bucks and you might have an old one anyway.