I understand it's taking a long time for me to post back replies, but understand that I am a volunteer with a very busy life at the moment.
I never knew you had a Xeon board, I suggest returning it to open your options.
Till the price drops it's hard to make any recommendations as I'm not sure what processor will go at exactly what price point, all we have are rumoured price points, and they are exactly that rumours. After the Intel price drop you may be better of going the Intel route but I can't say for sure. In 10 days bump this post and I can give you a exact build.
I suggest AM2+ because it has a great upgradability path with the upcoming procesors, not for current advantages. However the new processor coming out at the end of the year or early next year will have a AM3 chipset, but will work on AM2+ chipset board. Though they won't work on AM2 boards. The differences between AM2+ and AM3 will be a few features, but nothing has been announced yet on what these features may be and we probably won't hear about them till a week or so before the launch of the product line.
Now for your build.
As it is, you won't need a sound card.
A x1650 or 7600GS would be plenty of power in your case, get which ever one you can find cheapest.
320GB has a great price point, must be SATA 2.0GB/s and 16mb cache is advisable.
20x IDE or SATA DVD drive, which ever is cheapest, there is no difference between the two when it comes to performance.
A P35 chipset board if we go the Intel route, AM2 chipset if we go the AMD route, it all depends on where the price are after the price cut.
2GB of ram if we go the Vista route, 1GB if we go the XP route.
Vista is the future so we might as well get that, but it's your call.
This is very vague, I understand, but till we see the budget cuts it's really hard to price something out with a budget when we don't know the cost of some of the hardware.
Also, do you have any plans on overclocking?
Lastly, hold off on the motherboard, does your case even support mATX? Or does it support ATX? or both?
Edited by james_8970, 14 July 2007 - 12:48 PM.