Hello, everyone! You didn't think that I'd stay away forever, did you? :chk: It's time for me to build a new power house! Let's have some fun with this one! :good: I could use an update as to what the best hardware on the market are. If something better is due for release within the next two or three months, then please list both (best current hardware and best future hardware) That includes the following (an AMD machine for mostly gaming): - CPU Is it the AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 processor that is currently the fastest? - Motherboard Is the best mobo still the Asus SK8N or is there something better for the 64-bit technology? List as many of the 'best' options as you think should be considered. Descriptions wanted! - Memory Is it still the Corsair 1GB 400Mhz PC-3200 DDR memory sticks? I'll want at least 2GB of memory. I might go for 3GB if I can afford it. Do they go faster than PC-3200? Would I still be able to get the best motherboard with faster memory? What's the best possible combination? - Video Card Is it the Radeon XT? What's the absolute fastest; best video card on the market? The video card's use will be primarily for gaming. I don't need the All-In-Wonder package - unless there's a new video card that is both the fastest AND comes with those features. - Sound Card This is another important one. Is the best (for gaming) still the Creative Labs SB Audigy 2 ZS Platinum? - Hard Drives I'm going to need two hard drives, one large one and one smaller one. The large one will be for gaming and other entertainment related stuff and the smaller one would be for work/programming related stuff. I was thinking the larger one could be a 250GB hard drive and the smaller one could be an 80GB hard drive. However, I want them to be fast. Is 7,200rpm still the fastest? What brand should I purchase? Also, should I use RAID? I don't know anything about RAID. Can someone give me a quick lesson? Do I need it? Should I use it? Is it fun to use or just an inconvenience? Is it too expensive (typically used only for high end servers; thousands of dollars)? - DVD/CD Player I have an old DVD-ROM, but if the technology is obsolete and I could get a faster one, then it'd be worth doing. Is the best still the Pioneer 16x DVD-ROM? What would you recommend? - DVD/CD Burner I have an old Sony 12x/8x/32x MultiRead CD-RW. Is that too slow? Are there much better out there? Is the best still the Plextor 52x32x52 CD-RW? What would you recommend? - Case & Cooling I love stylish cases, like the one's at www.voodoopc.com and www.go-l.com. Unfortunately, you can't purchase their cases separately. My primary concern is cooling. I wouldn't hesitate to pay $1,500.00 dollars just for a great case with great cooling (water cooling or whatever works BEST). An old PC (over $3,000 dollars) of mine overheated. Since then, I've been extremely cautious with overheating. I don't care if it's not necessary. I want the absolute best cooling - will spend up to $1,500.00 just for cooling and case. The cheaper the better, though! Go ahead and assume that the computer will be on 24/7. Looks are important, but not as important as cooling. - Monitor I recently read that monitors are good in the gaming world for their 'ms' response time. What does 'ms' stand for? I have an old Multiscan E400 Sony Trinitron Monitor. I don't know what the ms response time is on it. I'll have to do a google search to find out. Anyway, would the dream machine that I'm currently working towards building work well with this monitor? Should I upgrade my monitor? It's important that my monitor doesn't lag or act noticeably slow. I play the occasional FPS game and especially in those, it's essential that nothing slows down your performance. Would you recommend I purchase a new monitor? I heard the fastest is the 21-ms response time. Would that be the best option? Would there be a noticable difference? How much do those generally cost and which one would you recommend? I'd like the monitor to be at least 21' inches. I don't care about TFT (thin) Panel unless the price difference isn't much; if there's only a $200.00 - $300.00 hundred dollar difference, then I'll go ahead and get the TFT (thin) Panel. I need some lessons on monitors! Educate me!