[Homebuilt] $650 Gaming/Linux Desktop.. Want to be sure of myself

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next week or two as I get the rest of the money together

Budget Range: Currently at $650, wouldn't mind if it came out lower

System Usage from Most to Least Important: As a linux desktop: Minecraft, Internet, Audio Work, Development. As a windows desktop: Gaming, Audio Work, Internet. If it can hang, folding@home on both OSes

Parts Not Required: Monitor, hard drives, optical drive, wireless card, mouse/keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Country: United States, Florida

Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel CPU, will only use nVidia based GPU (ATI is more trouble than it's worth on linux from my understanding), PATA on motherboard is a plus. My current parts list will be at the end of this post

Overclocking: Doubt it

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the distant future if I feel I'll benefit from it

Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024

Additional Comments: Right now the primary OS of the system will be ArchLinux, likely virtualizing XP for audio work until I decide to get a copy of Windows7. I'm looking for feedback on all the parts being compatible with each other and "just working" in linux with minimal tweaking behind them. I'm comfortable enough with linux to get trickier things working, but the less work, the better. I'd like to make this system as future-proof as possible and leave room for upgrades along the way if possible. I'm open for suggestions on different parts and feedback on the entire build.

Probably the main thing I am unsure on is the memory. How do I pick the right speed for my cpu/motherboard combo? What about picking the right voltage?

From what I've read online the GTX 460 SuperClocked is about on par with the GTX 560. I'd like to save a bit of money by going that route as I doubt I'll be playing the newest games on the market for some time. Maybe Skyrim within the next year, but I'm not sure about that. Will the 460 serve me well for a while in terms of performance?

I seem to really like the motherboard I've picked out, especially that I can update the BIOS without having an OS installed via flash drive. Are there any out there for a similar cost which will offer similar features, maybe even with PATA connectors on them? I'd like the most bang for my buck on the motherboard and I'm not sure if this is it or there is better to be found.

Finally, I'd rather go for something with positive reviews online. Looking through reviews on newegg I can see a lot at times with bad reviews and bad support from the manufacturer. I want well-built parts that will last a long time with minimal fuss.

Much thanks to anyone who can help me with any of this, or just let me know my current parts list is looking good! :D

Parts list:
CPU: Intel Core i5-2400
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333
Video: EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1363-KR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi)
Power: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze 620W
Case: Coolermaster HAF 912
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  1. Looks good, good luck on folding! Plus you have a PSU that'll give you room to SLI in the future.
  2. aznshinobi said:
    Looks good, good luck on folding! Plus you have a PSU that'll give you room to SLI in the future.

    Thanks! I'm still uncertain on the SLI because that will probably mean losing some more expansion slots that may be filled eventually, but we'll see what happens if I ever start gaming heavily again.
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