Sharing a post I made to Livejournal just to potentially get more responses. I'm mostly just looking for suggestions and opinions at this stage, I'll be doing my own research throughout the summer anyway before I start trying to buy components likely 1/month.
I've been thinking about it for years now, but I think I'm soon going to start trying to build a computer piece by piece. Essentially to make sure I have the hardware I want to have in it. I've got two computers right now, both of which are fairly old, have similar levels of power, but each have their own problems.
For instance, the first computer does quite a bit of the standard stuff I do. Except it crashes Minecraft randomly all the time. Under linux it does it even more spectacularly.
The second computer runs minecraft just fine, at least within it's level of power which... but there's a list of software I prefer to use that will reboot it spontaneously when I try to start the program. (As just one example: Emerald Editor.)
Neither of them are perfect at running games either, although that can vary with the OS being used. The first computer can run Terraria in XP for instance, the second can't.
Anyway, getting back on topic, one of the big problems with me trying to build a computer is that I'm not very savy at computer hardware. Most I've done in hardware upgrades is install a usb expansion card, upgrade ram, and swap harddrives. That's... about it.
Additionally looking over hardware I find myself fairly clueless over the reliabliity of various brands - although there are some brands I'll stay clear of entirely due to past experiences. Don't worry about which ones I'm avoiding, suggest what you think is best.
And so, while I'm likely going to spend the rest of the summer at least trying to read up on shit on my own, I'd like anyone reading to give me their opinions on their own preferences keeping in mind the following!
1. Ultimately I may want to dual-boot this thing with Windows 7 (preferably. I don't really care to try Windows 8. ) and Linux. (Various installations most likely) As a result I'll be making sure hardware suggestions will work under both OSes.
2. It's likely going to be a 64-bit system, as I'm going to want to load up on the ram. I plan on having 8gbs minimum.
3. I'd prefer it to be a system that can run quietly. Suggestions towards this end is a bonus.
4. I'd like a case that's easy to upgrade/exchange parts. One of the two computers I currently have for instance doesn't look very upgrade-friendly for the harddrive. Unless I'm missing something, it looks like I'd have to remove the ram, etc from the motherboard just to get the harddrive out in the case of a failure. I'd like to avoid this kind of thing.