So, I'm starting to look at upgrading to a new desktop PC to replace my athalon 64 3200+ that I've been running for the past few years. While it's a great PC, I tend to upgrade every few years, and I'm hoping to build a new one that will last me for the next 4 years or so to carry through my second degree. I realize that it can be cheaper in the long run to buy a mid-level pc and update the components as they drop in price, and generally that works I find for hard drives, burners, and to an extent video cards, but in terms of the motherboard, case, and processor, I prefer to go all out since that seems to end up paying off in the long run. So far it's worked, since my current rig has lasted me about twice as long as many of the people I know have had their pc's last (compatibility-wise at least). I've started shopping around for parts, and while I'm in no rush to get this thing together, I'll likely be peicing it together in the next few months or so. However, I've been looking into the new quad core processors, and I've come across one in particular that looks incredible. But, it's $1130!!, and I doubt it will be dropping any time soon. The chip itself is the Intel Core2 Extreme Processor QX9650, which runs at 3.0 GHz, has 12MB cache (2 x 6Mb), and has a 45 nm architecture. All of this sounds great, but I've never had much experience with the 'extreme' line of intel processors, and have generally stuck with AMD processors for the past 2 desktops that I've had. However, it seems intel is pulling ahead of AMD at the moment, so I think I'll try out an intel chip this go around. Does anyone have experience with the extreme chips, or have any opinions on spending close to the cost of a laptop on the processor alone? Granted I'm not planning on pushing my pc to it's absolute limits, but it's nice to have that extra power I've found to be able to do things either that much faster, or with that fewer crashes because the pc can't handle it. I paid a premium to jump onto the 64 bit processor line (I'd say I'm an early adopter of new technologies), but while the performance is great, I've yet to see much that takes advantage of the 64 bit processor, and it's kind of a dissapointment. I don't want to end up with the same dissapointment from the quad core, but I'm not sure that it will end up being the same. I'll admit that I'm not always up to speed with the latest in computing, but I do try to keep up, and I find getting opinions from real users of technology from a variety of walks of life (such as from this forum) tends to be more useful than reading benchmark tests on the internet.