I'm just getting started with research on my new build. I plan to buy at the end of Feb once I figure out my tax return.
I am a gamer, but this desktop will also be my work PC. I do software development - so use Visual Studio 2010/2012, and Eclipse on the core PC. I am planning to use a VMWare free license to have up 3-4 VMs running while I develop for testing. They will be running Windows server 2008, SqlServer, IIS, and Apache / open source linux. I work out of my home so this is a PC I will be using 8+ hours per day - but also want to be able to do some light gaming at night. I do a few builds, but have a dedicated build server I remote into so not a lot of demand for full builds except for my own debugging. I'm really sold on the VMs because currently I have 3 or 4 PCs all using power for these purposes (mostly old HP quad cores I got from work) - so the ability to buy 1 PC with a lot of RAM and unplug the rest is very appealing.
I'm thinking of i7 and at least 16 gig of RAM for the VMs, but would consider going to 32 gig if it makes sense. I'm not sure the 6 core i7 is worth the cost, but would consider it if it increases the longevity of my machine.
Video card wise I have a 6870 that I could use, but thinking about giving that to my son and get something better. I have not been following graphic cards at all, but something in the $150-250 range might make sense for my gaming purposes.
I'm debating on the OS. I have MSDN so any windows OS is an option but I'm worried about going to Windows 8 with compatibility (I still support some code back at visual C++ 6.0). On the other hand if there is a compelling reason I'm willing to deal with the headaches of a new MS OS. Either way I'll have at least 1 VM at windows 8 for test purposes.
I only build a new PC every 3-4 years so willing to go to $1500-2000 if there is a compelling reason.
Thanks in advance