Intel i7205 Chipset

The Intel i7205 chipset utterly drowns any AMD chipset in raw bandwith … if money’s no object the best performance lies with one of those boards and a 3.06 GHz P4 … plus you can upgrade to a 4 GHz later instead of being stuck at 2800+ with the Athlon. OCing features are nill on the highest performing boards, but you can still trounce an AMD Athlon, especially with AGP 8x, 533 MHz effective RAM bandwith and a seperate PCI bus for onboard gigabit ethernet (plus the usual ICH4 with 6 USB ports and whatnot).

But for the price-no-object ultimate, I wouldn’t even look at Pentium or Athlon processors for gaming. I’d get two 3.06 GHz Xeons when they come out in a month or so (or 2.80 if you need them now), 16 Gb of dual channel PC2100 DDR (effective bandwith of 4.2 Gb/s), throw a FireGL X1 in there (256 Mb of RAM and no need for aux power due to AGP Pro). You have two PCI-X busses, so one for your gigabit ethernet, another for the FC disks you’d throw onto it, and the 32 bit 33 MHz PCI bus for an Audigy 2. Plus you have 6 USB 2.0 ports and two ATA/100 for your optical drives. Hehe …