i recently built this machine: cheapo elitegroup mobo that accepts up to quad core 1333 fsb chip
4mb ddr2 667 ram
lga775 3.6ghz/1mb/800 pentium 4 (yeah i know its a p4 i got it for 45 bucks on ebay)
cheapo 6600le graphics card (massive gpu upgrade coming soon)
500gb 7200 rpm sata hdd
boots vista, xp and ubuntu ultimate
i built this thing with cheap performance in mind, and it works pretty well using a 32" 720 lcd as a monitor, but i know i have potential for a huge cpu and gpu upgrade. im not a big gamer, but i picked up far cry 2 recently and it works without a hitch on lower settings. anyway im gonna buy a 1080 42" lcd which will be my new living room tv / monitor for this box, and will want to watch high def movies from the pc, play games at high resolution and settings, maybe edit some photos and video. no overclocking either. im not that adventuresome.
im thinking q6600 and hd4670 would be a good bang for the buck way to go