@whatthefunk As this is my first foray into using a OS based on the linux kernel, I don't know what to expect in terms of gaming experience. I'm keeping an open mind and hoping to learn more about the linux platform in the process. If the gaming experience is disappointing, I'll probably partition the hard drive and mount windows and use it as a game slave. I've heard mixed things about Wine, but I am hopeful that the near future holds many good things for linux gamers as DanglingPointer suggested.
@Danglingpointer Good to know that there are not many driver and kernel compatibility issues when purchasing hardware! I'm thinking I'll probably just run Ubuntu on a stick just like you. And I'm leaning more towards Asus because their reviews have been generally more favorable than Gigabytes and I read somewhere that Asus is Linux Certified (whatever that means).
@1s3ct0wn Great suggestions! Many of your picks are choices that I am strongly leaning towards. I do have a question about your storage pics though. I generally keep my files on large external hard drives (mostly movies...everything else I keep on my internal hard drive for quick access). Why would you need more than 1 internal hard drive? I know that access is generally quicker on an internal hard drive. But is there any other added benefit to having 3 internals or is it mainly just the cool factor? Thanks again for giving me your picks! Lots of good ideas...I still have to do some more research on power supply and graphics cards though. But I feel pretty close to making purchases.
@Arthur_D Thanks for responding. Yeah it seems to be a consensus that there are not many OS/motherboard compatibility issues and I can pick a Mobo based on personal preference. I am probably going to go with some Asus Mobo. I am hearing mixed things on graphics cards, but generally I have heard better things about the GTX780. This might be a totally nooby question for me to ask, but can you install both a GTX780 and AMD graphics card? I know there is some technology that allows for multiple graphics cards, but I don't know if that applies to cards from different manufacturers or if it depends on whether the Mobo offers that feature??