Hi community. I'm looking for some input on building or buying a computer. I'm leaning toward a build for price, but let's put the cart before the horse. I HAVE to put Windows on it, at least one release bootable. The others I can vbox. Ubuntu will be the main OS I use. I don't do anything that requires a lot of beef, but I do want to build the most powerful computer I can. I occasionally will get on a gaming kick, but short of that it is general surfing, text editing, java, video etc. Here is the rest of the story.

I am looking to stay in a $500 US budget. I already have plenty of video cards, cases (ATX, mid ATX, but prefer the bigger case), PSUs from 850W to 1050, 8 Gb of DDR2 (I'll drop that in favor of DDR3), lots of sata HDDs (but would prefer SSD for the OSes). My old mobo died from the build I had about 5 or 6 years ago. Served me quite well, but now I need a new one. I'm willing to buy a new box if the price makes sense or use the stuff I have now or any combination of the two. I'm looking for 6 or more memory sockets, I am not brand loyal to AMD or Intel, and I am looking for a great deal. I tend not to overclock anything. I'm not really for or against it, but aside from curiousity it never really was a big deal for me. Oh, and I would like to RAID from 2-4 SATA drives, depending on what I have laying around.

Links in response to this or PMs are very much welcome. Interesting builds, cooling methods, and whatnot would be appreciated, but are not a requirement. I'm looking for ideas and help finding deals.

Thank you kindly.