I'm planning on building a home entertainment computer, and I'd like specific ideas please. The goal is a computer that is family-oriented, and able to be used as a normal computer, and also as a home movie theatre, etc. to include a full surround sound speaker system (regular speakers, not "computer speakers"). I have a 47" LCD TV with HDMI connection capability (also has 1080i and 1080p).
I want to have at least two optical drives, possibly three (the capability to copy a disk while watching a movie seems appealing). I haven't checked into Blu-Ray, but if it's not an affordable option right now, and will be in the future, I'll wait to upgrade one of the drives to it. I'm not interested in HD-DVD.
I want the system to be moderately compatible with gaming, but just games like Civilization... nothing extremely graphic intensive. I think 64-bit Vista would be best, but let me know if I'm wrong.
I want to have more than 4GB of RAM, possibly 8GB (are there affordable mobo's that support that?), and I don't want to go all out on a processor, but I definitely want one that handles things like converting video, graphics editing (i.e. Photoshop), and multitasking while playing a movie, etc. well. Are there quad-cores that would be out of my price range (at end of post)?
Obviously, I want a decent graphics card (or cards), but again nothing too spendy. I do want to be able to use both the TV display and the computer monitor at the same time for different tasks.
I'm also unsure as to hard disk storage; I know the paging file works best if on a separate hard drive (I know a separate partition doesn't do it any good), so would it be possible to use some sort of SSD for the paging file? Also, would it be a big boost in performance for the things I mentioned to get a 10k RPM drive, or should I stick with (a) 7,500 RPM drive(s)? I'm not interested in a RAID system; I'm going to have an external drive attached for system and file backups. I would like two hard disks (besides the paging file), though: one for the system, and one for media (unless someone has a better suggestion).
I also plan on being able to wirelessly use the computer as a "server" for managing files to and from a laptop or two. I have a wireless G router (Linksys).
I also want a water-cooled system, and definitely am going to look into making my own. I do need a new case for this, though. Are custom cases hard to make? I'd like to look into making my own case, so any help in that area would be appreciated as well.
As to user input, I'd like a moderate range RF wireless keyboard/mouse set (15 to 20 feet), and would really like a remote control for watching movies and otherwise controlling the computer, if possible.
I also am planning on getting a new monitor, probably 22" widescreen or a similiar size.
I would LIKE to spend less than US$2k.