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Could use a lot of advice on choosing hardware for a new build

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This is my first post here. I am going to attempt to build my first computer in about three weeks. Currently, I am running an HP a640n AMD 64 3400 machine with 1gb ram (max) and a 6600 video card. It never has been a good computer. It hasn't been very reliable and gives me grief on a regular basis :whistling: I want something better, faster, and more reliable. I am sure I can build anything. The tough part is knowing what to build, what to use, and what is going to be weak and what is overkill. Here are some of the things I want to do with this computer:

*I am wanting to learn photo editing and web design
*A computer with media capability, including recording from cable TV and burning dvd's
*I play Asheron's Call right now. I am thinking about playing Vanguard when it comes out. I don't need dual Geforce 7950 graphics, but I want it to look good.
*Needs to have lots of HD space, considering a RAID 0
*Will dual boot Win XP (Vista Later) and Ubuntu Linux.

I am not sure what Processor, Motherboard, power supply, ram, or video card to use. I don't need the most wicked of components. I want something tested and proven totally reliable. My goal is to keep this computer for a year and a half, which is until I graduate college. Until I know what I should be looking at, I can't set a baseline or a budget for what I need to spend to get there. Any advice, help, suggestions, or links to websites that could enlighten me would be awesome. Also, any good places to buy the stuff online would be good. I only really know about Fry's, Newegg, Tiger Direct, and ZipZoomFly, and only ordered from the latter before.
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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Why cant you just buy a case and motherboard and use all the other parts from the H-P. A amd 3400 should be plenty fast enough to do anything you want.

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Tru Techie

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k so you want a dual core processor for sure, if its in three weeks then you should wait for the Conroe ( Intel Core 2 Duo) but if u wanna buy now then get the AM2. anywayz so stick with dual core. For video card just get a 7900GT or GTX or x1900Xt or xtx, ur choice. no need to go for the xtx or gtx because G80s are just around the corner. as for storage you'd wanna get 74GB Raptor and partition it, you'd only use this for system files like the OS, games and programs. and get like 300GB Caviar which you will use for storage. as for ram you jus want 2x1GB Dual channel, pick one of any of these brands: OCZ, G.Skill, Crucial, Corsair, Patriot, mushkin, and either processor make sure its DDR2. and as for Motherboard, it depends which processor you pick. as for sound card, if you can afford it get the Creatie X-fi XtremeMusic.
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