I'm a bit of a lurker here and this is actually my first post but I am getting a new computer for going to university and wanted some expert opinion on hardware combinations.
My desired specs as they stand are (this looks like it is going to count as my birthday and christmas presents... well forever):
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3500+ (i would love to be able to go up to the FX-53 but the price jump is a bit much, £200 to £500)
Motherboard: Asus A8V Deluxe (not certain about this, basically i need whatever will run the AMD 64 well along with the RAM and 8x AGP)
RAM: 1GB Corsair XMS (again a bit of a grey area for me, if anyone can explain the advantages of dual channel RAM and recommed the minimum required to make sure everything runs smoothly that would be great)
Graphics: ATI X800 Pro 256Mb
Soundcard: Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital 10000rpm (about 80Gb should be fine for me at least at first but i do want a quick hard drive)
From here on in it is additionals really. I have no idea what kind of power supply i would be looking at or what cooling would be required. All in all i'm about over my head being more of a software person
As far as use goes I do play quite a few games on my current PC and am looking forward to titles like HL2, plus i do quite alot of work with photoshop and CAD programs so graphics are important to me.
Anyway i hope this isnt too basic for this forum, please excuse my lack of hardware knowledge. Any advice as to what i need to improve on (any area that would hold the system backO) or could cut back on would be great, plus any tips or views on brands or models of hardware also appreciated.