Hi everybody, I am in the process of putting together a video workstation at the office where I work. The main task of this machine will be encoding 25-minute long DV files (captured via firewire) into MPEG-1 (for XVCD) and eventually MPEG-2 (for DVD). We will be using TMPGEnc for encoding. The considerations are as follows: (1) The machine must be STABLE and never crash (2) We'd like to keep costs reasonable (3) The best performance for a reasonable price would be preferred I understand the Intel chipset is the most stable for Intel CPUs and the NFORCE2 is the preferred choice for AMD. Is one chipset more stable than the other? We would be willing to pay more for Intel if the result is a more stable machine, but if the AMD/NFORCE2 combo is reliable, we would be thrilled to save some money. I have my eye on the MSI K7N2-L motherboard and AMD Athlon XP2700+ CPU. Cost at directron.com is $106 for the MB and $259 for the CPU. Is there an Intel solution that would be (1) more stable, or (2) faster, for not much more $$$? Also some more questions: For MPEG encoding, does the RAM speed matter? DDR400 seems to be standard on the Nforce MBs but the Intel MBs come in 266, 333, 400, etc. How much RAM would you guys recommend? Is there a dual-processor solution I should consider for this workstation? Many thanks EDIT: thought I shoud add a few things: I looked at AMD vs. Intel performance benchmarks at tomshardware.com. The fastest Athlon in the benchmark was the 2600+. It encoded a test clip to MPEG-2 in 70.254 seconds. The highest rated non-overclocked Intel was the 2.8ghz P4 which did the same clip in 61.659 seconds. Only a 13% increase in speed for an extra $140. Doesn't seem worth it. Also I realize that a truly stable machine requires an adequate power supply like a nice big Fortron, and I know how to calculate my power needs. Also I realize that quality, name-brand RAM will be necessary for a stable machine, as well as adequate cooling.