I'm going to replace my old motherboard and processor with a new intell cpu for home use. I don't play games just surf the web and use word/excel documents. Money is not an obstacle but I don't want to buy more power than I can or will use. I also want to make sure I have enough power for 3 or 4 years down the road.
Any suggestions on the fastest cpu for my needs without getting into overkill?
I would say either a Sandy Bridge Pentium or an I3. The Pentium is a single core processor like the old Pentium but it's based off the Sandy Bridges architecture so it will be a good bit faster than the old Pentium processors. Since you're not going to be doing anything to demanding with it you can probably get away with the Pentium. If you wanted to go the next step up and IMO I would, take a look a the I3 processors. The I3 is a dual core processor with hyperthreading so if you are really putting a heavy demand on the CPU it will act like a quad core processor. Either one of those would be fine for what you need an I5 or I7 would be way overkill for your needs.