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New System Advice

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I am looking to build a new system from scratch, buying and installing all of the components myself, but I am not sure whether
I need to go down the Server route with 2 processor chips or whether a good i7 chip would suffice.

I will be installing Windows 7 and here's what my new system would need to be able to run:

1) VMwareŽ Workstation, version: 7.1.1 build-282343, running 12 Win XP Virtual Machines simultaneously.
- each Virtual Machine needs to be allocated a minimum of 512MB RAM (they don't automatically draw this amount, they draw roughly
310MB is use - 512MB is the maximum I've set)

Run on the Host Machine (not on Virtual Machines)
2) MicroSoft Excel with 7 workbooks open
3) Windows Live Mail with 12 email accounts
4) GoToMyPc
5) Mozilla Firefox with an average of 5 pages open
6) Time planning program

At present I have:
-Intel Core 2 Quad 2.40GHz
-8.00GB RAM
-64 Bit operating system
-Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB SATA hardrive

Without any programs running, only services, processes and idled programs in the System Tray (like anti virus software), my computer uses 2.45GB Ram
There are 96 Processes running at this stage.

If I turn on the above mentioned programs on the main host machine, (but not the VMwareŽ Workstation program or any Virtual machines), the computer is
using 3.12GB Ram.

If I open VMwareŽ Workstation and turn on 6 virtual machines and run software on each machine (each VM draws roughly 310mb Ram in this state), then
the computer uses just over 7.00GB. I have found this to be the maximum number of machines that can be run before the machine starts to slow down
too much. Is the computer slowing down because I am getting close to the 8.00GB total ram that the machine has or because my Intel Core 2 Quad 2.40GHz processor
is becoming fully utilised? When I look at the performance of the main machine in Task Manager, the CPU Usage generally hangs around the 20% mark, but will go upto
45% TO 50% regularly and occasionally spikes to 80%.

The above suggestions are what I'd want to be able to run as a minimum. In future I would like to upgrade the system to run possibly 15-20 Virtual Machnines
using roughly 310MB Ram each and 2 other Virtual Machines that would run Win7 and may draw 2GB Ram each. Is there a system I could build that could handle
these tasks? I wouldn't want to buy a rack server as the system would be installed at home. I don't mind overkilling and buying more than I may need to ensure that
I get a system that works fast and is reliable. At the moment as I have mentioned, things start to slow down to an inadequate speed when utilizing 6 or 7 machines.

Can anyone help with suggestions for a system that will achieve my aims. Thanks.

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