You can't go wrong with Brandon's, MM's, or CDA's suggestions. I've have many current generation chips and boards, and for most anything you do, both platforms will serve you well. If I have one opinion, it's on the board. I've owned probably 14 different Intel 1366 and 1156 boards over the last 2 years, and I can say that Gigabyte boards have been the best by far in terms of performance and reliability. With AMD, I would recommend Asus first, then Gigabyte and Biostar. If I had to pick a configuration for you, I'd probably offer something very close to Brandon's, though I'd add an SSD for a boot drive, and to save a little cash I'd go with a gtx 460. That's just me though, as I'm not an avid gamer.