P4 for encoding and file crunching, Athlon 64 for gaming.
Abit IC7 Max3, Asus P4C800 Deluxe or similar Intel 875P chipset motherboard for the P4.
The Athlon 64 isn't quite as clear cut, Via's KT800 chipset motherboards are performing well (MSI, Asus, Abit) but look out for the new Nvidia Nforce3 250 chipset (note 250 not 150) rumoured to be slightly quicker than the rest when it arrives.
One thing is clear at this moment in time there is no clear winner for Athlon 64, all three offerings from Via, Nvidia and SIS perform almost the same.
Replying helps further our knowledge, without comment leaves us wondering.
johnodq (TechnicalUser)May 5, 2004The Intel chips have NO support for 32bit os's/apps but the AMD's will run 32bit os's/apps aswell as 64bit, if you don't want to invest in all new 64bit software then AMD is the better option.
I would suggest that you look at the sites for the respective manufacturers to help you decide.
hope this helps