i would like to build with 2gb of ram, but do i need cas 4 like am2? ive heard that core 2 duo doesnt need cas 4.
also, do i need ddr2 800 or can i go with ddr2 667 ?
as for mobo, 5.1 audio is a MUST as well as support for front panel usb. i would prefer more than 2 pci expansion slots as well as the pci x16 slot.
i dont need sli or crossfire
usually i would spend hours searching this stuff out myself, but i figured with the core2 duo madness, there have to be a few experts here who could give me some parts off hand, saving me alot of time!
You don't say how "budget" your "budget system" is, but I just spec'd out a E6300 system last week and these are the parts I decided on after lots of research. I consider this more of a "mid-range system":
I chose the Patriot RAM specifically because people were having good luck using it in that motherboard. The only RAM I've seen people having trouble with is OCZ, but that may have been fixed in later BIOS revisions (still, I'd be wary).
I got the DDR2 667 RAM and have had people tell me I should have got the DDR2 800 RAM and then other people that tell me I should have got the DDR2 533 RAM, so I figure I'm probably right.