I have a friend that works at a comp recycling place (very cool) that built me a machine a few months ago. I haven't even started it up yet because he always tells me to wait for better parts to come in. I am too impatient for this and I know that only recycled parts come in so nothing from there will ever be all that current. My Sony Vaio is about to croak so i want to get my new rack mount machine up and running soon. I do not even know what it has in it now other than a AMD chip that is way slower than the P4 I've been using for 2 years. I want to swap out the mobo, processor, ram, and sound card to start (basically just keep the case and PS). Maybe add a SATA HD for the system stuff and apps. I keep my raw data on a 250 gb IDE. I make music (Acid, Sound Forge, Reason) and the rest is burning and surfing. I do want to be able to mix in 5.1 but I'm pretty sure that has more to do with the sound card than the mobo. I don't game on the PC or do video editing. I want PCI-Ex16 slots for future network HD capability. For now I just want a good mobo and decent pc to expand upon. I do not have 2 grand to spend by any means but would like to get something that will last for awhile for around 150-250 bucks. Does anyone have some recommendations for a mobo and processor? I can find the rest but I'm having trouble finding out what I need as far as the mobo/processor goes. I have been told that AMD is the way to go, is that necessarily true? Also, is there anything I should look out for when it comes to a sound card? I don't want a studio card but a couple of XLR inputs would be cool. Discrete 5.1 is my main concern. Please forgive me if this has been addressed on another thread. I tried to find this info before posting. Thanks very much in advance for all of your help.