I've already covered building a small Shuttle machine. Here's the specification for a traditional desktop machine that is state of the art right now:
- ASUS P4PE. Tom's Hardware confirms just how great this board is. The 845PE is the chipset and includes on board RAID and just about everything else.
- 2.53 or 2.66 GHz Pentium 4. Depending ont he day, but these are at the $250 inflection point.
- ATI Radeon Pro 9700. There is a real war on between nVidia and Radeon so this is likely to be obsolete soon, so watch the prices drop. Right now at $315.
- Western Digital WD2000JB hard drive. As Storage review says its the biggest and fastest IDE drive, but wait, the new 250GBper drives are coming out, so I'd probably wait for these since the 200GB drive prices will drop.