OK, the object of this exercise is to have a modern, fast computer, installed with Windows XP Pro on a 320G SATA drive, Windows 7 on a second 320G Hard drive, and a 1TB shared data drive.This computer will dual boot into either 7 or XP by modifying the boot disk priority in the BIOS. As both of these hard drives will use NTFS formatting, and so will the shared data drive, full access and read and write abilities between all 3 drives will be possible.I'm going to build it a little at a time, keeping everything as compatible as possible with the skt775 Pentium D it will be replacing, so I can just change over one part at at time as I can afford to buy them. Of course, I'll start with the motherboard. I'll be saving all the parts as I replace them, and reassembling the old Pentium D as I get new parts, so eventually I will have the old beast as a spare, just as it is now.The motherboard is my current priority because it only has 2 SATA ports, and I am using 2 SATA and 1 IDE hard drive, and an IDE burner. Its just not tidy! Ideally, I'd like 6 SATA ports (3 different versions of Windows, I'd add Vista to the other 2, and a shared data drive), to connect 4 drives and 2 burners, but you are starting to spend a lot more money to get a board with 6 ports than you will for one with just 4 ports.I've gone with a budget motherboard. Its not a bad board, it has reasonable onboard graphics, 4 SATA ports, and a built in Wi-Fi system. Its capable of taking a Core2 Quad processor, which is about as high as I am willing to go with my budget.It has a PCI-Ex16 slot for a graphics card, a PCI-Ex1 slot, and a couple of PCI slots.The downsides of the cheap board are that it only supports up to 667MHz DDR2 memory, and only has 2 dimm slots, so the best possible is 4GB DDR2 667. Still a pretty effective RAM setup though, and I have 2GB DDR2 667 installed in the old system I can use until I can buy the RAM.This isnt the fastest or most RAM i've ever used, but 4GB of 667 DDR2 is still sufficient to do just about anything you want it to do and as fast as you need it done.Asus P5B-MX WiFi Intel 775
Mitz from Tips4pc
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