I would consider a CPU by AMD with the Venice core (or San Diego). Those are "code" names. Some of the basic specs read the same, so it's important to know "which core". Choose the speed that fits the budget.
And a board with the Nvidia nForce4 Plus (or SLI) chipset from one of the top tier manufacturers. If the budget dictates, there are some second-shelf boards that are OK. Perhaps someone else can chime in with brand preferences.
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