I'm pretty much retarded when it comes to computer hardware. I understand electricity at the subatomic level, and that is the extent of my hardware knowledge. I am slightly better than an idiot when it comes to software. I can code in a handful of languages and use math nerd software, but I can barely string together a Powerpoint beyond text and photos. I need a computer to do a project I'm interested in, on my own time outside of work. This won't be a "home pc". Rather it will be a scientific workstation. It may run Linux, I haven't decided yet, but it will have a variety of compilers, math software and physics software installed and will have to crunch numbers over extended periods of time (potentially up to a week straight). So, can I actually put a computer like that together myself? If so, is it cheaper to just buy one or to build it myself? Anyone have some suggestions? I do know a few things: more slower processors can be better than fewer fast processors (highly parallel), and RAM won't be a HUGE limiter. I will probably use an NVIDIA workstation graphics card since that is what I'm most familiar with.