I am putting together a wish list for a new computer.
I would like it to be dual-boot: Windows 7 and Linux (probably Ubuntu because I am not proficient with Linux).

Any advice, tips, or suggestions for factors I should take into consideration when selecting a new computer?
Does type of formatting matter (NTFS or not)?
Any suggestion as to what proportion should be set for each side of the computer (e.g. - 50% Windows, 50% Linux)?

Any recommendations?

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It depends upon the Linux OS you are going to use. Myself, I prefer to have a pure Linux host OS, and then use a virtual machine to run Windows. This is MUCH more secure, and you don't need to reboot the system to run the virtual machine. I also, at work, do it the other way around, running Windows 7 as the host OS, and Linux in virtual machines. Our business applications are mostly in Windows, but my development work is exclusively in Linux (C, C++, Java, System R, Python, etc), so I run Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and 6 in virtual machines there. On my home/consulting workstation/server I run a clone of Red Hat, Scientific Linux 6, and run Windows XP in a virtual machine.

If you plan on running PC games, then use 64-bit Windows 7 for the host operating system. With today's multi-core CPUs and 8+ GB of RAM, you can easily (and happily) run Linux in a VM with 1 or 2 cores and several GB of RAM, and not impact your Windows applications much to speak of. Using a good virtual machine manager, such as Oracle's Virtual Box (free and open source), you can take snapshots of the system periodically, so if you really screw the pooch, you can instantly revert to the last saved snapshot, quite painlessly.

rubber is right but only if you have good computer...
For example, i cant run with VM bc i have 1GB ram and pentium 4... Well i can run but it is very slow, so i need to dual boot (ntfs for windows, ext(2 or 4) for linux).
I can suggest one thing: run windows as host(bc you are new to linux) and TRY linux with virtual machine, if you can do whatever you want with virtual machine, keep it, if it is not fast enought, dual boot...

By the way, if you want to learn linux, try other distro, bc modern ubuntu is very easy to use and i dont think you will learn much about linux with it.I started with ubuntu, then changed to arch linux(i learned a lot with arch).

I agree with khajvah, Windows should be the host, but for a different reason. Ubuntu Linux, which I suggest you use, is one of only two Linux Distros (that I've seen, the other being Debian) that has a windows installer. (And Debian's win installer wasn't half as easy). Using a win installer makes installing Linux exponentially easier. For someone new to linux, this could be a good idea. It partitions itself and you set the size, but it also runs it similar to a windows program. I.e. when you are sick of Ubuntu (which I hope is never.. unless you discover BSD, or ^Arch Linux) you can uninstall Ubuntu from the Windows host by going into control panel and "uninstalling" it from the windows prog list. As far as hardware, it doesn't take much at all to dual boot -it really only takes as much as each OS individually requires-, but VMs are very taxing, as said above.

For your OS, Ubuntu is probably the best idea. It takes very little exerience as said above, but it does teach you much about linux. I've fiddled around with other popular distros, namely Debian, Fedora, Linux Mint, etc., and they frustrated me when I tried to install a new piece of hardware. Once, I was running Debian and got a new Usb Wifi card for my desktop. I went online to find support, searched for a week, and couldn't find any, the card was for Windows anyway. Then I installed XP, which it was built for, and even XP didn't recognize it. I then installed Ubuntu, and voila, instant internet. Ubuntu is incredible for widespread support, it definitely (I believe I can say) has the most support/help of all the Linux distros. This is very necessary for a new Linux user, because things get confusing very fast with all the power Linux gives you. I hope this helps!

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