Having reached the point where I feel I need to build/rebuild a computer for my own use, I reread Superboyac's thread
for any ideas & info I might pinch and it struck me how many different approaches there are to the task. My needs/situation are very similar to his, though I do a fair bit of image stuff. Neither of us need gaming rigs and neither of us change computers often. In recent years, my approach has mostly been to go cheap on the basis that I don't need to pay more in most areas and I will only pay more for things I think I specifically need.
This time I mostly need more speed. I nearly always have lots of apps open and my current computer (only bought as an emergency stopgap 4 years ago, when I didn't have time to fix what was my primary computer - still haven't found time to do it) is getting bogged down. Partly that's because it needs stripping back down & having everything reinstalled (well, on the things I am still using); I always used to reinstall Windows every 3 years or so anyway, though I've not found it so necessary recently. So that means lots more RAM (the current 2GB tends to be 90%+ used most of the time + the same amount of paging). I have a naive belief that this sort of usage will benefit from as many cores as I can get (not that I'm clear that there is really much evidence for that; and it might well be the number of threads that matters more - and Intel beats AMD clearly there). Image processing benefits from multicores & lots of RAM anyway, especially with increasing file sizes. And moving stuff around will benefit from usb3 & sata3.
So that leads me to AMD (cheap & good for IG) new chipset mobo & the slow 6 core CPU (I'll take my chance that a fast 4 core would have been more productive for me). 8GB RAM (in 4GB sticks so I can double up later if I need). I can always add a graphics card later if needed. I'll try the integrated sound - and if I don't like it, I can go back to my old relatively high end sound card; will be nice to get my speakers working again.
I'll probably put them into a very old full tower I have (I can always change it later if I don't like it). I'll start by using HDDs, DVDs & floppy drives I already have (I know there's no need to use floppies, but it is nice to be able to read floppies I might come across). I'll also test the system with a PSU I already have before doing anything else; though I know I will get a new one when I make my mind up which to get. I will also need a new HDD for the OS drive to get the best startup speed; don't like raptors, so am thinking of trying a SSD - but might wait to see what the price of one with sata3 is. I'll keep my monitors, input devices etc. Will install W7 (bought my copy last year & haven't touched it yet).
So, a very cheapskate & piecemeal approach. Reluctantly buying some of the latest stuff because I believe (probably mistakenly) that I'll get a productivity gain with the new features. The full build will probably spread over a few months & I'll keep it to Linux until I've got it all together. And then I'll add the software (gradually), keeping both computers in use, and then really cut back on the progs on my current computer and/or reformat it and start installing from scratch there too. As I've found in the past, having a spare available can be critical if you have work/deadlines that must be done/met.