How much is that CPU? I'd highly recommend going with a s939 CPU for a new CPU/mobo rig right now. A s939 3200+ is $152 and a 3500+ is about $190. Put it with an Epox 9NPA+ Ultra, Abit AN8 Ultra orChaintech VNF4 Ultra and your golden.
The 3200+ with the Chaintech VNF4 Ultra should meet your budget, but I'm not sure of prices in your area. The 3400+ is a good gaming CPU and would be about as fast as a 3500+ Venice. What vid card do you have? That will be the largest limiting factor for game performance. If you have a good AGP card and want the option to transition to a PCIe card between upgrades, then take a look at the Asrock 939dual - FULL AGP and PCIe support for around $70USD.
If you don't want that option then and are determined to go s754, then a good mobo is the Epox 8KDA3J or 8KDA3+Pro.
Historically, I haven't been a huge fan of Asrock, but I haven't had a ton of experience with them. From what I've seen they have not traditionally built for the enthusiast market. The 939Dual seems to be a change in philosophy. It is a very interesting board and a great option for transitioning from AGP to PCIe...you should take a serious look at it. You definitely can't beat the price. I know that some more mfrs were supposed to bring out similar boards, but I haven't seen them on the streets...
what do you think of the DFI nForce3 250Gb Lanparty UT S754 ?
I guess its worth making sure i have the option of PCIe for the futre, im happy with the radeon 9800 at the moment as its only 5 months old in my machine but id like to be ready in case i do upgrade later on
Rugger, what boards do you recommend for PCIe video card (I want dual monitor support) ... perhaps this belongs in the graphics card section, but since you were talking cards here ... what good card offer dual monitor support?
IMO, the DFI was the best s754 mobo, but it does not support PCIe, but the Abit and Epox boards were also awesome boards. There are some s754 PCIe boards, like the Epox 8NPA7I and the DFI NF4X Infinity. VIAs K8T890 supports s754/PCIe, but I'd still go with an nForce4 chipset if you go this route. Be forewarned that these boards don't support AGP, so you put yourself in the upgrade GPU boat.
You'll spend the least money right now going with a s754/AGP board, but you lose the PCIe upgrade route. [/shrug] It just sets you up for an M2 upgrade when this system is no longer meeting your needs - that may be a good thing.
I'll be honest - I haven't done a lot with dual monitor setups. I can't give you a good recommendation, so I'll just have to recommend this for the GPU board. Sorry, but I just don't want to lead you down the wrong path!
Ive just read up on the specs for the lanparty board and its definately got the AGP 8x, at the moment i guess it will suit me fine and if i decide to go the PCIe route later on i can just upgrade, usualy spare parts make another pc and i sell them on so i make most of my money back anyway.
Also another little question is what PSU is worth using for an AMD64, im using a 500Watt now.
The reason i got the 500Watt is because i had a 300 running the Athlon 2400+, dual 80GB Hard drives, DVDRW, Audigy 2 NX (external), usb printer, usb card reader, usb webcam, the radeon 9800 and it kinda died on me hahahaha so i opted for the 500 just to be safe, i think its a mercury, not amazing but it was in the case when i bought it