Desktop system with good parallell processing ability

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.

I ought to have purchased a desktop for years ago, but I didn't have the impetus to do so until I read this article: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/rbg/code/civ/

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:

AMD: http://www.prisjakt.nu/list.php?l=1033565
Intel: http://www.prisjakt.nu/list.php?l=1033831

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:

AMD: http://www.prisjakt.nu/list.php?l=1033834 (This mainboard has the advantage that I could upgrade the RAM very much if nessesary).

Intel: http://www.prisjakt.nu/list.php?l=1033549 (Or would it be better to buy a hexacore CPU now and postpone the buying of two memory modules?)

Thanks for your help, and sorry if my English is bad!
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  1. Thanks for the advice, that would be well within bidget. Moreover a 2600K CPU on a z68 mainbard seems to be easy to overclock, which I would do some day. :)
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