I think you would be better off with the ddr memory for future expansion reasons, and speeds. You can look at the mainboard guide for some benchmarks used in 3d studio max, they show the athlon outperforming dual pIII's I think...
Since you are looking for a solid work machine I think you have good specs here.
You can look at the DDR solutions, but you are realistically capped to 512MB memory at present (maybe doesn't bother you, but it does me). Unless you have access to cheaper DDR memory (some available for similar prices to PC133) then stick with the PC133.
How are you planning to use the HDDs? As a Raid0 on the Asus board? I think you'll actaully get better and easier performance out of a single, larger, IBM 7200rpm ATA100 drive. IDE raid is very stable though, I use an IDE raid card as I need some big volumes.
You also don't specify what OS you are using. This factors your single/dual cpu choice. I presume since you consider it that you'll be using 2000?
For 95% of the time, a single cpu will do the job. Duals come into there own in certain high end apps (specifically a lot of semi professional graphics packages) and also where you'll be doing long batch processing jobs, as you can have a 2nd cpu to e-mail, surf whatever whilst it's running.
As a final note - if you are self building this system, how do you rate your experience? Installing an AMD cpu properly is very straight forward, however if you get it wrong, it is easy to break your cpu. If you follow the procedures propery and are realatively handy, you'll be okay. It is also possible to damage an Intel CPU but they do tend to be more rugged.
Search the forums for info about coolers for your cpu (AMD or Intel, whichever you decide) and stay away from ThermalTake ORBs, of any flavour. These coolers are mostly not very good and are proving to be very good cpu killers.
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email for application details<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by peteb on 04/23/01 12:14 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
If your running a 3D animation package how many polygons in an average in a scene? Are you animating characters with complex bone structures? If your running CAD are you doing any material analysis? Do you normally work in solid mode or use meshes for CAM? Do you use Photoshop or similar to design for the web or print? If its print what size and what res do you work at? Are you using Premier, After Affects or similar for video?
Be carefull who you listen to in this forum. There are at least 2 total morons in here who you should ignore who love to preach 3D but don't know a friggin thing about it, otherwise you'll end up with a crappy system. Keep us posted!!!
"Cock-a-doodle-do" is what I say to my girl when I wake her UP in the morning!!
tonestar is absolutely right on this point. Before basing any important decisions on advice given in an unmoderated forum, it pays lurk awhile to get some feeling for the <A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/modules.php?name=Forums&..." target="_new">credibility</A> of various posters. Independent verification of the advice & opinions given is critical as well.
You mentioned IDE RAID. I doubt you'll find the integrated software based stuff that's out there terribly attractive, although it does give you two more IDE connectors. You might have a look at the hardware based solution from 3ware though.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.