Well, for what its worth, I'll jump in and third what the two guys above me have said. I've had plenty of chipsets and platforms subzero and I still comeback to my favourite being 775. As stated, the processors are cheap as hell to get started and you can definitely be competitive with a great set of DDR2 memory ($30 or $40) and a good x48 or P45 motherboard. DDR3 boards really only provide advantage for Super Pi or other benchmarks where memory speed is important, which is nice to have but the boards are usually very expensive. Personally I started with a Rampage Formula and Pentium 4 641 Cedar Mill, and now I own way, way, way too many 775 boards because I just can't bear to get rid of them.