Alright I'm between a rock and a hard place, this is going to be helping me and a friend of mine so if anyone has any suggestions, that would be great. I know here recently that the intel core2 extreme has been ripping up any of AMD's offerings, however I can't decide what to do. My friend and I are both wanting to build new systems for around $500 with some starting parts, though not much. Therefore we're going budget but preformance. For these I was thinking we may be better of with an athlon 64x2 because I don't know much about the lower end intel core 2, but I know that the 64x2 is a good proc. Anyone have any suggestions without screaming brand loyalty?