Hurricanes? no. Monte Carlo / Density Functional Theory / ab initio
atomic-molecular physics calculations? yes. I spent a summer doing some 3 summers ago and molecules with upwards of say...5 atoms start taking a long time (many were 10+ hours), even using 4 nodes of an HP-UX superdome cluster (though from the opinions I've heard on HP-UX, that could have been for other reasons
) along with the occaisional bit of my raytracing hobby.
That said, nonzero, recent research has led me to agree with your miserliness. I'd been seeing most of my current system's performance through my windows install. (I took a brief break from linux this summer after spending the previous semester fighting with linux over what wound up being a bad piece of memory which I only discovered thanks to windows even less capable handling of it.) The last few days of renewed linux use have reminded me of just how well it uses hardware. For now I'm going to enjoy the stability I have and get to know linux better. For some reason I never got past a good week of working with it before the memory error did awful things to either my filesystems or something else.
Audigy2 and any that Creative Labs makes is not pro-grade
True. That's actually one place I don't really expect pro-grade since I don't work with audio. Most computer audiophiles don't even consider them to be good budget-solutions. Until the most recent line (something past the audigy) they didn't even output bit-perfect, and the DAC's on the secondary channels were inferior to the main stereo (aka front l/r) out. They were still a huge upgrade for me since I'd never heard 24 bit pc sound before.
I about kicked myself for buying the WD 80gig sata instead of the raptor when I heard about them.
For the record: SLI is capable of working in linux, but its waiting on the drivers from nVidia.