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1. Avoid AMD like the plague. Unsable, cheap, unreliable. There's a reason why most businesses won't use them =]
2. Asus and Intel make the best motherboards
3. Buy the best you can afford. Remember, cheap hardware = cheap computer.
4. Plan your machine around your primary OS
5. Do NOT buy a cheap power supply. Antec are usually the best.
6. Plan for an upgrade cycle, so you can avoid completely rebuilding your kit every year. Scalability!
7. Read the reviews!
8. SATA is NOT ready for prime time.
9. Burn is always a good idea.
10. Save your boxes and reciepts =]