I've been playing with computers since the Apple II plus. My primary interest is computer art, and currently interested on 3D graphics where I can incorporate decades of my 2D art. The primary program I'll be running is Blender, then Gimp and Inkscape. In addition to the challenge of the build I'm new to Linux (Mint).
The primary things I want in my first build is a stable system, speed (for 3D rendering), ease of build, and in the price range of $1400 to $1500.
I have tentatively identified some components that seem to fit the bill.
CASE: I have a Corsair Graphite 600T
CPU: i7 2600K ( I don't plan to do much overclocking but I do want Multithreading.)
MOTHERBOARD: Asus P8Z68-V
GRAPHICS CARD: NVIDIA Quadro 600 1GB (low watt)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM Dual Channel
POWER SUPPLY: Corair Professional Series 650- Watt 80 Plus
SSD:128GB drive but undecided about make and model, I do want ease of set up as the Boot drive and garbage collection in Linux.
HDD: I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Desk 2 TB USB 3.0 and a couple of USB 2.0 Western Digital My Books 320 GB.
DVD DRIVE: Lite-On LightScribe IHAS424-98
KEYBOARD: I'm undecided, want it to work in a dark room.
MOUSE: I have.
MONITOR: I'm undecided, would it to be 24” or a little less, and work in variable lighting, in the $200 range.
You raised one of my biggest concerns, I feel 128 GB ssd is plenty but am concerned about support and stability, is a Crucial m4, Samsung 830, or a Intel the best? I get confused with all the numbers, i don't care about small differences in speed or dollars.
Intel has been praised as extremely reliable on their latest SSD models. I've also heard great things about the m4 but I haven't heard as great about the Samsung 830. I think the m4 and 830 are good choices right now.
I have been visiting various forums; Crucial, Linux Mint and Ubuntu were most helpful. The Crucial site gave the best info. The Linux sites praised the Crucial ssds and indicate most of the ssd issues are in the past with the newer ssds and Mint 12 and Ubuntu 11.10 releases. I think I'll go with the 128 m4. This was my biggest concern.