Tell me what computer to buy

I’m going to retire my main computer and use it as a server and want a really good desktop for general use but I’m lost when it comes to computers these days. I know a good processor, but the specs are often unclear, and even if they aren’t, I still don’t know if it’s the best or just ok. Plus I’ve never heard of half these brands. So I’m outsourcing this to you. I want the best desktop I can get for a reasonable price. I’m setting the “reasonable price” at up to $1500. I can go higher so don’t rule that out, but it seems like that should be more than enough for what I need.

Here are the things I want or don’t want:

I don’t play games. I do some video encoding but nothing heavy. Any good computer should be able to handle that, so I certainly don’t need a ‘gaming device’ or a ‘multimedia computer’. I want a good video card though.

I don’t care about software, I’m going to wipe the drive and install Linux about 5 minutes after I get home.

Don’t need wireless, I ran cat5 through the whole house and prefer that for desktops.

A 1TB drive is plenty, I have around 3 more TB laying around.

As much RAM as possible but I won’t rule out only 6 gigs, expandable of course.

HDMI output would be nice, not required.

I will start the bidding with this. I think that looks like a good one for $1,079 but I’m not sure and I’ve never heard the name.

For your needs, I’d strongly consider just going to a reputable local system builder and asking them to throw together a decent Xeon box for you. Looks like the biggest open issue would be trying to get a video card that played well with Linux.

You may also be able to get a workstation from a place like Dell or HP, but I don’t know if you’d need to go through a business-purchasing channel.

If you’re looking for specific brands of computers, I’ve had good luck with Thinkmate systems in the past (

I would look for a computer with a better video card than the HD 6450 and I would also, without a doubt, find one with USB 3.0 ports.

If you don’t care about games or particularly complex video software, I can’t imagine what use you’d get out of a $1500 computer that couldn’t be met by a $600 one instead.