Could anybody recommend some basic components for me, or at least point me to a well organized and up-to-date hardware guide?
I'd like to keep my budget under $1600, and performance with ZBrush is my #1 priority. Other than that, I'd just like to run games decently well for the next couple years. Maxing stuff out is fun, but not a priority for me, except in ZBrush of course. Word in the ZBrush community is that RAM is essential. The number of polygons I can push in my digital sculpting is directly related to my RAM. With this in mind, I'm planning to make the jump to Vista x64 in order to break the ~3 GB RAM ceiling. ZBrush also has great support for multiple processors (they were boasting support for 256 cores with their latest release), and supposedly makes no use of graphics cards.
I'd also like my computer to be quiet, as my current system is pretty loud and has been driving me crazy, plus I keep my sugar gliders in the same room. I sometimes wonder if the never ending whurring and buzzing causes them stress.
Any help is greatly appreciated.