Hey all, and thank you for taking the time to read and help with my post.
I have never built my own computer before - right now I am using an old HP 1 GHz 128 RAM; you can see why I need to upgrade. Since I don't really have any parts from this to work with I am starting from scratch by choosing a good mobo/CPU as my starting point. I am not seriously into gaming, but I would like to use the computer as a media center for my household for things such as movies, video/pic editing, some gaming, and as I am an engineering student some CAD programs. As always I am looking for something that won't be obsolete in 10 days (e.g. Vista capable) but won't break my mostly student loan bank account (think Christmas presents). My problem is that I don't have any clue what processor I need versus what would be overkill. My gut instinct is to go Core 2 Duo, and this is one random mobo/cpu setup I came up with at TigerDirect that wasn't too expensive:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz / 2MB Cache / 1066MHz FSB / Dual-Core / OEM / Socket 775 / Processor:
Intel DG965WHMKR Intel Socket 775 ATX Motherboard / Audio / Video / PCI Express / Gigabit LAN / S/PDIF / USB 2.0 & Firewire / Serial ATA / RAID:
I am not against AMD and don't wish to start a debate between the two. I realize this is an open-ended question that will vary for each person's opinion; any input is greatly appreciated, and if there is a tutorial/similar post I missed I apologize in advance.