Originally Posted by whiteslashasian
2x2gb ram should be fine for now. I never get close to maxing out my 4gb but then again, I don't use my machine as a server of any kind or do extensive Photoshoping. Can always slap 4gb more. Get whatever case makes you happy; I'm partial to Lian Li and Silverstone cases myself (check out the FT02!!!!)
Depends on what he wants to do, heavy gaming will eat up 4GB, as will any media editing. Lian Lis are beautiful, but way more $$$ than they're worth, imo. Unless you plan on displaying your build it isn't really worth it.
Originally Posted by skitlets
I think it's about impossible to plan for the future, so buy the best bang for your buck now and then upgrade when the time comes. You end up saving money that way instead of buying top of the line now and trying to predict how demanding future games will be. On that note, Blizzard is known for lax systems so don't worry about running SC2/ D3. For water cooling, some entry-level systems aren't that bad. The Corsair H50 can be found occasionally for about $60 all inclusive. Top of the line heatsinks cost just as much and usually don't come with a fan. Performance between top of the line air cooling and the H50 are just about the same.
2nd that, don't go for the brand new toy unless money is no issue to you. Best to go with 1 or 2 generations back and it'll still last you a number of years (though after 2 you'll likely have to scale down to medium-low graphics on new games). And aside from RAM requirements, I can't really see D3/SC2 taking up too much. My laptop should be able to handle both adequately and it's a year and half old (though among the best value-portable gaming platforms) Water cooling is a pain in the ass, imo. Only really worth it if you want to pay for a quiet system or plan on doing some heavy overclocking