So I decided to see how much a dream system would cost at the moment, given my usual needs and without just spending more because I can. Like if I tried to be reasonable with my specs.
AMD Phenom II X4 940 Quad-Core Processor - $275.00
[Specs: 3.0GHz 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 125W] I want a quad core. I probably don't need one, but there you go. I have been happy with AMD, and this was reasonably priced.
GIGABYTE GA-MA78G-DS3HP TX AMD Motherboard - $85.99
[Specs: AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI] This motherboard had everything I needed. I like my current monitor, so I don't want to change it. The ATI video chipset may not be the best, but I don't game with heavy 3d rendering needs. Just as long as I have some decent stuff work with Compiz on Ubuntu.
2 x OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB SDRAM kit (8gb total) - $151.98
[Specs: (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500)] 8gb of RAM would be nice, but I'd have to use an x64 build to access it all. Luckily, my main needs with x64 were recently met when Adobe got Flash working.
APEVIA X-JUPITER-JR ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $69.99
[Specs: G-Type X-JPJGT-BK Black SECC Steel ] I chose this case because it looked nice. Really, I don't see why anyone needs some high end gaming case that sits under your desk most of the time. But I didn't want some beige generibox, either. I liked the screwless design as well.
CORSAIR CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Power Supply - $99.99
[Specs: CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready Certified Active PFC] This got a good rating from Newegg buyers. I don't think any computer I have needs over 400watts since I don't have a massive dual video card monstrosity with 2 CPUs and a laser light show inside the case and so on.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB Hard Drive - $119
[Specs: 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s] Man, 1TB drives have dropped in price. I don't think I'd use 1TB of data for a long time since I don't have some huge illegal movie collection or anything. All our music, photos, and writing take up 180gb on the data server so far, and I have really slacked down on buying music lately. I thought about getting a really FAST drive, but I wouldn't know the difference. I looked at SSDs, but they were still too expensive versus performance gains.
LITE-ON 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe - $27.99
[Specs: Black IDE Model iHAP422-08] Meh. It plays CDs, burns them, and has Lightscribe [sound of small party horn].
TOTAL: $830.93 [plus shipping] Wow, cheaper than I thought. I could probably go about $300 less if I dropped the Quad core, used an existing case I had, and some other cutbacks. I don't HAVE $830 (or even $550), but there you go.
The thing that annoys me is I have some of my older computers that are perfectly good, and all they end up as SETI servers. I would be more upset at the waste of a perfectly good computer that I have now, so even if I had money to burn, I would feel resistance at being so wasteful. Plus, I have an iPhone, which means I have to run iTunes to update it, so I need Windows on something.