I recently got a new apartment and I plan to have a centralized rig help control the place. The main computer will be using independent virtual desktops to have screens in several rooms of the house, each separately controllable. (I already have software so that each screen can be independently controlled by separate peripherals) The rig will also have a video security system set up to be used when no one is home among other smaller tasks. The main point of this is to have a screen in the 3 main used rooms in the house. The goal is to be able to watch movies in the living room, look up something online in the kitchen and do word processing in the office, all at the same time.
Now, on to the build!
Purchase Date: This/next week
Budget Range: $1200-$1300
Parts Not Required: Monitors, Peripherals
Parts Sites: Currently I'm using Newegg, Frys, and one or two sites for one part but I'll go anywhere.
Country: United States
Parts Preferences: Mid tower case if it's possible
How often will each of your nodes be in use at the same time for high performance computing tasks? Watching movies, email, web-surfing and home office tasks won't be a problem. But if someone wants to game on one node with someone on a 2nd node and do video/audio editing on a 3rd node we might need to talk further about your RAM requirements.
I think 8GB is going to be fine for you.
And if you ever find you're hosting virtual Crysis2 LAN meets on your system you can always upgrade the RAM later.
I do suggest a larger SSD boot drive - nothing less than 60GB/64GB although I think its double what you really need.
I'm scratching my head and trying to understand why you'd buy a $30 case and then put $100 worth of fans/fan controller in it. Most of us would probably just get a really nice $130 case. What are your thoughts there?