I built a machine yesterday to be my development workshop for my current project. This gets easier every time I do it, because cabling gets more & more sensible. SATA cables are so easy to deal with that even I can route them properly.
DanW wanted to know what hardware I chose, so here’s the exact list:
Supermicro X9SCI-LN4F mobo (Intel Sandy Bridge, socket 1155, micro ATX)
Intel Xeon E3-1230 3.2GHz
240-pin DDR3 ECC unbuffered RAM (not yet available in usable 8G size, unfortunately, so you can’t yet hit the mobo’s max of 32GB)
Samsung 64GB SSD (6Gbit/s SATA III)
2x Samsung 2TB HD204 (3Gbit/s SATA II)
SeaSonic X650 Gold PSU (all modular)
Have a USB stick with your Linux distro of choice (for me, Ubuntu 11 server) to boot from. No graphics, no CD/DVD drive, because all this is doing is sitting in our home rack being a server, storing data, and compiling things now & then. It would make a pleasantly capable desktop machine as well if you added some graphics.