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System component recommendations

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Matt Slick

Matt Slick

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First of all, this is a great forum. Wish I had found it earlier.

I have an old pentium 4, 3.0, 800fsb, 4gRam, dual vga/dvi with 256. Time to upgrade due to my intense system use; I'm a researcher who uses a LOT of programs, graphics stuff, basically no gaming.

Okay, so I've been doing research on MB', CPU's, Video Cards, etc. To say the least, it is confusing.

I want to stay with Intel CPU and MB. I heard G9x series is good for vid.

I'm looking for a CPU that is quad core. I figured the Quad Q9300 would be good or the intel core 2 Quad q9301. But which Motherboard? I'd like it to have lots of slots (pci express, usb, fire, etc.) for future add ons. I hate to admit it, but I'm clueless about this. Any recommendations?

Also, which video card would be good. I have two 24" monitors (HP w2408h) in tandem, hdmi, 1920 x 1200 and need to run them spanking good!

Finally, a case. I'm thinking of water cooled, but don't know if that is a good idea or not. Do the quads run hotter than my P4? cooler? Or is a good heatsink sufficient? My system runs a little hot sometime. I have 9 programs open right now (3 programs are ram/cpu intensive) and I push my machine -- so I push it.

Finally, I'll be switching to Vista Ultimate soon.

Anyway, i've been toughing it out trying to whittle it all down to something good. But, I'm in need of help. So, I figured I ask people who actually know what they are talking about.

btw, I have about $1200 to spend and I already have all the software I need. I've got spare sata HD's laying around, so I just need to put it all together.

one more thing. I live in Boise, ID and I was thinking of driving to Sacramento (to the nearest Fry's) so I can get a hands-on look, ask questions, etc. That seems excessive but I really need to build this right to last me another 4 to five years.

Thanks ahead of time.
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