little help building? (primarily gigabit lan vs 10/100)

ok, so me and my buddy have 2 comps connected to router and play lan games --- one newer comp and one old.
the mo'board blew on the older one, so we're trying to repair it on the cheap and I've been checkin' out some boards and hardware for the first time in a few years.
the older mATX boards have onboard 10/100 lan, while the newer boards have gigabit.
so, my question is -- is this really as good an upgrade as it sounds, or will there be no real performance difference?

if I get the gigabit board, I think I'll have to replace my agp card w/a pci express, which adds on another 100 bucks for no real reason, unless the gigabit lan will be totally awesome.
and while I'm on the subject -- some user review of a board said that due to the fsb the pci express x16 was limited to pci express x4 which made it worse than the agp stuff.
what do I need in a board to utilize the pci express cards if i get one?

also, is dual channel ram something I really want?
because otherwise I'm just getting a gig stick.

oh, and we use xp, and I plan on getting some fairly cheap board w/an athlon 64 x2 3800.
I forget what my agp card is.

thx for any help, or general advice.
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More about little building primarily gigabit
  1. Why not buy a 20 dollar pci card for gigabit?
  2. The only way that you'll get a benifit from a gigabit LAN is if your router also supports gigabit bandwidth and jumbo frames...

    Best thing I'd do is get a 10/100/1000 NIC card and install it in an available PCI slot. Shouldn't be any more than $30. Then, if you want, you can get a gigabit switch later down the road.
  3. thx for the suggestions -- is gigabit really as big an improvement as it sounds, or is it marginal?

    and how much better is dual channel?

    right now, I guess I'm just leaning towards an amd 64 x2 3800 on an msi board that supports agp -- I'll use some leftover best buy gift cards to get a gig stick of ddr2, so maybe this whole thing will be, like, 120 bucks.
  4. don't buy ram at best buy when you can get 2x1gb of good DDR2 800 ram for about $80 on line.
  5. Gigabit is better, but only marginally. It is really good for data transfer, but will be limited by the speed of your hard drives. It can handle any regular networking traffic just as good as any 10/100, but doesn't show any appreciable performance increase in that.

    Personally, I think overall performance enhancement would be roughly 20 percent better than 100Mb...

    Is that a big performance boost or marginal? That's up to you...
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