Good computer for fast computation
Not sure if this is a good place to ask this, or not. But, I'm thinking of buying a new computer (PC, Windows 7) sometime in the next few months and I would like it to be pretty fast. It will be a home computer that I will use personally (I don't do anything that is computer intensive like gaming), but I would also love it to run Sage quickly if I am doing a lot of calculations. At the same time, I don't want to break the bank. I'll probably spend $1500 or less.
I don't know exactly what to ask, but I wonder if any of you know which aspects of a computer I should emphasize the most? I mean, I know I want fast processors and a lot of RAM. I may try to get an Intel i7 with 8 processors and I'll definitely get at least 8 GB of RAM. Is a graphics card important here? I have heard of graphics cards being very good at certain computations but perhaps you'd need to do programming to specifically have the graphics card do those calculations? Any thing else I should look at?
A related question, is there a way to divert resources to Sage? I'm currently searching for a graph minor (that I know doesn't exist), for example, and it looks like it's taking up 50% of the system RAM. Are there any simple ways to force it to use more resources to make it run faster?