How many monitors at what resolution?
How parallel are the programs you are using (will they benefit from quad core)?
There will be two monitors both having a resolution of 1920x1200.
The programs will be run simultaneously so they will benefit from quad core.
What's your current platform?
My current platform is Windows 7 but I am anxious to move onto Linux as soon as it becomes appropiate. No, I will not spend unlimited funds on a new computer. By saying I have no budget means that I am not limited to having to buy the cheapest items available, and that I can pay extra for good quality
OS/apps/scratch file drive: Intel X25M G2 80/160GB
Data drive: WD Green or Samsung EcoGreen
GPU: The newly released Nvidia GTX460..no great cooling solutions available right now, but should be in a few months. The MSI typhoon seems to be the quietest. Or, if your budget is limitless, get an NVidia Quaddro card - silent cooling might be difficult.
What is the reasoning for running the OS on a solid state drive? I was under the impression they were slower.
For the graphics card, from my research I was unable to determine whether any of these are passively cooled. The graphics card has to be passivley cooled. Since the Quadro cards all contain fans and are very overpriced, I shall not be getting one.
Thanks for all the help