Linux on all new iron

The last time I bought a new computer was 1997. It's on my desktop today. I've upgraded and/or fixed it a few times since then: more memory (now 512MB); replaced hard drives with bigger (now 2x 80GB); added DVD/CD R/W drive. In the end, it is still a P3/500. There are limits on what I can add or swap out to upgrade it further. I've been running dual boot Linux (Ubuntu 7.04) and Win2K SP4; I've tried VMWare server on the Linux side with Win2K as a guest, but with only 512MB RAM it pages a lot. It's too slow to use comfortably. The machine is used for Web development and testing (LAMP), for cross platform application development in C++, and as my personal workstation: web surfing and the like.

I need (want) a new machine. --- Full time Linux with a virtual machine to run Win2K for the one Windows only application I still use and for cross-platform application testing (IE for web apps and wxWidgets C++ apps). So, I go to my favorite white box store's web site and start picking parts. Here's what I've come up with.

Will the collective wisdom of the group comment on this proposed machine. Please.

Antec P182 case.
-- Quiet. Yes?

Antec power supply TPQ-850
-- Adaquate? Overkill? Quiet?

Asus motherboard P5N32-E SLI Extreme
-- Any troubles with Linux on this mobo?
-- Other 680i mobos better?

Intel CPU Core 2 Quad E6600
-- Comments?
-- Is there a Quad 6850? Is it worth it?

CPU cooler
-- Who's quiet CPU cooler is recommended?
-- Are there cooling issues I've overlooked?

4GB PC-6400 (2-pieces)
-- Memory hole on 32bit Linux. Comments?
-- Does 64bit Linux solve the memory hole problem? How?
-- Is 64bit Linux (Ubuntu) stable enough for "production" desktop use?

Asus Video card: GeForce 8600GT Silent 256MB PCI-E (EN8600GT2DHT256)
-- Is it cool enough as is?
-- Asus says it supports up to 3840x1900. Can I use 2 1920x1200 monitors with this to get the effect of a single screen 3840x1200? Do I want to? Alternative configurations?
-- How?

Seagate ST3500630NS 500GB SATA2 7200.10 hard drive
-- Some say that a 10,000 rpm boot drive is good, in addition to a separate drive for /home. Others say it does not make any(enough) difference to warrant the cost. What's the truth?

Lite on LH-20A1L LightScribe 20X SATA DVD+/-RW drive
-- Do SATA optical drives work with Linux? Will this one?

Vantec UGT-CR900 All In 1 USB 2.0 SD Card Reader
-- Linux will recognize and use it. Right?

D-Link DBT-120 Bluetooth USB2.0 Adapter
-- Linux will recognize this and use it. Right?

2x Samsung 245BW 24-inch (1920x1200) LCD monitors
-- Any personal experience with this monitor? 2 of them?


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