|One of the regulars here, jam, gave me some advice on a very cost-effective system, for my budget. A GA-EP45-UD3L (775) and a Intel E5300 2.6 Ghz. Which is under $145, at Newegg, and more than adequate for my needs.|
OK so I did some research, which is probably just dangerous since I am a software guy working in a vacuum... you guys know this stuff inside/out so I don't want to waste a lot of bandwidth going into the rationale (just fire away if I am off the rails):
If I go with a P45, it would make sense to spend a little more and get a GA-EP45T-USB3P ($109 after rebate at Fry's) w/Intel E7400 2.8 Ghz ($125 at NewEgg) for $235.
If I go P55, the GA-P55-USB3 ($116 at NewEgg) wIntel i3-530 2.93 Ghz ($119 at NewEgg) for $235.
... same price! But I really don't know which is better, I would just assume the P55 system.
I can't even spell AMD, so please spec me an Intel killing - AMD mobo/CPU combo for under $250. I don't care what brand... stability and reliability (build it and forget), along with full size ATX and 7.1 surround (optical SPDIF and HDMI) are my main objectives.