I found y'all with a google for "best desktop for GIS"--(my machine is failing); thought I'd join and search on it, but haven't found a post on that, I'm a cartographer in Open Space/Trail Planning http://www.LandPeople.net and a part timer with city and county of san francisco pub works, bureau of engineering; coming at maps from two ends of planning; which cow paths will become bike trails? and which 20 foot transport storage box sewer is too small? lots of fun with ArcGIS and AutoCAD...looking forward to using more design tools...MapIllustrator?
and so what hardware (spec.s or general) do YOU you recommend for heavy GIS/CAD -- barebones system on a us$650 or less budget?? I've got a gig of 168 pin sdram it might be nice to recycle.....or just throw it all away and start over?