OK, it is a couple of months off at the moment, but at easter time (week off work ), I want to build a PC that will be suitable as a media centre, and capable of playing the latest games at a good level. I would also like to have a graphics card capable of displaying on my plasma (PW6) and a LCD screen without having to disconnect cables etc... Now I've done a bit of searching over the last week or so, and set a budget of £600 for the PC, I could go a little higher if I had too, but I think i'll be able to squeeze it in at around this mark quite comfortably. I'll go though the components that i think i'll need, and then if you have any opinions or better ideas, please let me know ......................................................................................................... The Processor I've built a couple of PCs before and have always gone with 'Intel', but the AMD Athlon64 Processors seem to get a very good write up, especially for game performance. What would be the best way to go?? I need at least an equivalent of 3Ghz to be able to play high-def material without experiencing judder I believe. The Motherboard Now am at a bit of a crossroads, from a brief search around there seems to be a transitional stage going on with new more powerful boards about to hit the market. SLi Graphics, PCI-Express etc..... I'm not sure i'll be really needing these, and buying a motherboard that supports them will just up my budget in the long run. So do you think i'm better off keeping with a AGPx8 motherboard for my uses??, if so what make is at the top at the moment. ASUS?? The computer I built at the moment is based on a Gigabyte motherboard, and i've been extremely happy with the way it has run, and the whole package that came with it. Memory Ok, basically I want 1 Gig of memory, not overly bothered about overclocking etc.... but I just want stable, reasonably well respect brand of memory. Hard Drive I was looking at a 300gig HD, but the prices seem to rocket after the 200 mark, so I may go with just a single 200 for now. But what I would like is my PC to be on the quiet side, so what would you recommend. Graphics Card Always been a NiVida man, but I feel that it might be time for me to venture into the ATI side of things. I need a suitable graphics card, that would be able to display Hi-Def video to my plasma. I may also try out using the PC as a DVD player if I can get it to better the picture and sound performance of my 'Denon 2900', do you think this will be possible within my budget? Also games must run at a reasonable to good level, good enough to be displayed on the plasma, with is just a SD definition model. Oh and as I mentioned, are there graphics cards that come with dual outputs, maybe I should pick up a DVI card for my plasma?? Anyone else has the same situation LCD screen and Plasma connected in the same setup?? CD/DVD Fairly straight forward this I think, i'll go for a combined CD/DVD writer of the new dual layer variety. Soundcard Do you think i'll need one?? No doubt the motherboard will have onboard 5.1/7.1 sound, with hopefully an optical output. But would it be beneficial getting a £50 soundcard to go to my amp?? I may rip all my CD in a lossless format, and take my CD player out of my setup at a later date . . . . The Case This final option could have a major impact on the answers to the questions that have gone before. I would like to build a PC that isn't in a conventional case, so maybe a small form factor PC. But I am concerned about the heat build up in these, and the lack of PCI slots for expansion etc..... I also found this which I think I could live with as I it would be able to go above my amp on a separate shelf. But I did like the idea of a little SFF PC . . . . . . Any advice on this part? LCD Monitor This is not included in my £600ish budget, I would have about £200 to spend on a 17-inch LCD, which would be suitable for displaying all that i've said before. So games and video, and a nice screen to actually look at. Software Not really sure of the best software that is around for the Media Centre stuff, other than Microsofts. So is there anything better?? and how about improving the picture with scaling software?? ......................................................................................................... Sorry for the long post, but I think that is about it, so anybody out there who has gone though this, or is going though the same kinda of dilemmas feel free to join in, as after the next 2 months I have to be certain i'm getting the best for my money and performance. Cheers in advance for the help received Giz.