First, I have one singular computer. It's over 6 years old and I still run Cakewalk and Fruity Loops on it. Latency is surprisingly not so bad, but I can run any VSTs and trying to manipulate 12MP photos is nearly comedic! It's still running but it seems like the sands of time are beginning to run dry.
If you were to build a general purpose/DAW/Photoshop PC on a mid-priced budget, what would you go for? It seems like we are on a divergance in processors, you have to choose a faster dual core or slower quad core.
Ideally I'd run the max RAM for the Mobo/OS, a "nice" soundcard, maybe Sonar unless you'd recommed something else along with whatever the latest drum track creation VST is. On the Photo editing side I think I'd like to go all out with Photoshop CS4, I'm not sure if I'd need Lightroom.
So... what would you build? Would it be absolutely laughable to think you could get a laptop and USB breakout box to do the above stuff?