During the last years I have had a laptop as single computer. I am using Linux on it without any problems, but unfortunately my work sometimes forces me to run Windows, and it really bogs my computer down.
This reminded me about when I was a boy and poked (around) in Qbasic. I dreamed about making such AI experiments, but in those days the nessesary computing power was unavailable for me. Now it might be within reach!
My budget is currently about $1600 (€1200). I would rather buy hardware that give most bang for the buck than hardware that is as fast as possible. I searched on a price comparing site in my country (do you know a good price comparing site that covers the whole European Union?) and came up with the following options:
Since I am going to experiment with parallel computing I thought it might be better to buy a server mainboard with two CPU:s. I thought to buy one CPU now to begin with and the other one later when the price has dropped and my finacial situation is better:
My budget is currently about $1600 (€1200). I would rather buy hardware that give most bang for the buck than hardware that is as fast as possible.
I don't see these as conflicting at all.
The fastest processor is currently one of the most cost effective as well. I7 2600 or 2600K should be within your reach, since you do not need much of a GPU. That will give you 8 threads as needed, and be very fast in single-threaded apps as well.