EDIT: I’ve found hardocp.com to be a pretty thorough hub for quality, high-detail reviews on products, so I figured I’d share it with you all.

I spent all morning consulting with with kind folks of the Lightwave community (among them being someone who has worked on Battlestar Galactica!) and searching for good deals. Here’s one possible system configuration that i’ve found given my searches combined with their suggestions.

NOTES:

-I have more looking around to do, I want to get an intel system mockup done as well if only for comparison purposes.

-The store linked below is local (as in, within 30 minutes drive from where I live) and will likely be the place I purchase from regardless of configuration. Good pricing, no shipping costs, and if something goes wrong, I can go directly to the place for an exchange.

-I will be building the system if I purchase from microcenter, which is why all the parts are separate.

Here is my first mockup: an AMD system

$22 CASE
$180 CPU (AMD FX 8350 4ghz socket AM3)
$90 PSU (850w)
$95 MOBO (Asus M5A97 socket AM3, 4x memory slots)
$100 RAM (2x 8gb modules)
$90 SSD HD (128gb) <----Use old drives for storage until efficient replacement can be made
$0 GPU: None required; already have one
$100 Windows 7
__________________________

$724 (7% sales tax added to total)

Remainder: $26

Possible option?: Transpose power supply from old computer to increase budget by price of power supply. This was purchased around febuary last year. Note that this option will make my old computer unusable. -The wattage is insufficient for the system specs, 650w is the bare minimum. It could work for an intel system, but I feel like I’m taking a risk with this option with an AMD chip.

Comments? Suggestions? More to come!