Desktop for data computation
This is my first post so I'm not sure if this post belongs here.
I'm going to be a Graduate student and am in need of a new desktop/notebook for data computation. Currently, I am running a Fujitsu S-series lifebook with a Pentium M 1.4ghz and 1gb of ram on Debian Linux/Windows XP.
It is clear to me that my laptop is not as fast as it could be. Transforming data and manipulating data (around a million lines and 20 columns per line) take a good amount of time. Usually what I do is code in a text editor, then alt-tab over to my Statistics package and load the code. I guess the wait-time is not *that* bad assuming your code does not mess up, but my code usually messes up 5 minutes into the process.
Another gripe I have is the intense alt-tabbing I have to do. Usually I have a few text editors open, gaim (AIM), a few mozilla firefox windows, some openoffice documents, and a few terminals open. It's getting annoying, so I'm planning to have at least two monitors.
So here is my proposed setup for the concerns I just described. I hope you guys will comment.
*AMD Athlon 64 single or duo core processor
*2gb (overkill?) ram
*any mobo that supports cpu and ram
*mid-range graphics card (preferably Nvidia as it has native Linux drivers) that supports two or more monitors
*a few 19" lcds
As for the other parts, I will salvage from a computer I have at home: old ATX antec case, 160gb 7200rpm 8mb cache Maxtor hard drive and dvd burner.
I'm not sure what video card I might need to support what I do. I don't game (although I can't resist a new game sometimes, but I am not a hardcore gamer). I hope to just have firefox, text editors, and an occasional movie playing all at once.
Is this setup ideal for what I described? My budget is most likely $1000. Will you guys help me fill in the blanks for some of the brands/model numbers?
OR do you guys think my old AMD Athlon XP 2100 with 1gb ram and the above salvaged parts is good enough for data manipulation? I honestly don't know how the old desktop will compare to my notebook.