Looking for advice on optimal motherboard and CPU for upgrade

I am not up on what the best in the market is, so hopefully someone who's an expert can guide me.

My goal.  Super fast computer!!  Here's what I currently have in my system

Soyo Dragon P41875 motherboard
Intel Pentium 4  3Ghz hyperthread CPU
1 Gig Ram
2 WD SATA drives in RAID 0 for DATA
1 WD Raptor 10k drive SATA for Program Files and OS
1 WD 200 GB IDE storage drive
Nividia GeoForce 6600GT video card
Creative Soundblaster card and 5.25" bay input panel

I do some video editing and a lot of multitasking....hardly any gaming.  I would like to have applications boot up as fast as possible and cut video rendering times down as much as I can.  Would I benefit from switching to and AMD system?  What's the most cost effective solution.  I know CPUs go up to as much as $1000 or more!!!  I'm looking to keep that under about $400 or $500...if that's necessary.  I do not need audio or Video outputs on the motherboard due to my setup either.  Where will I find the biggest bang for my buck and get a substantial improvement over my current system, without spending a wad to have the cutting edge.  Could you recommend a couple options for motherboard and CPU.   thank you!!


ohmetwAsked:
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you do a lot of heavy duty cpu multitasking and notice the cpu lagging, the dual core X2 will be a noticeable improvement.  If you are not heavily utilizing the cpu right now, you won't notice a difference.
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CallandorCommented:
You already have a pretty fast machine.  Depending on how heavy you multitask and how much cpu they use, you may benefit from an Athlon64 X2 cpu and motherboard.  An X2 3800+ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562 costs about $300, and a socket 939 motherboard like the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130484 costs about $110.  You can use all your current hardware (depending on whether your video card is PCI-e or not) and just add another 1GB PC3200 RAM.  For fastest bootup, you might put your OS and programs on two 37GB Raptors set up as RAID-0, but two SATA 7200rpm drives are pretty fast already.
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ohmetwAuthor Commented:
well, the GeoForce card I have is an AGP slot card...any thoughts?
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ohmetwAuthor Commented:
I searched thru the AMD motherboards on newegg, but didn't see one in that series that supports AGP.....is that an AMD thing? as I said...I do not know.  would you recommend that I get a different video card.  And...keeping this in perspective...making the suggested upgrade....would you expect a noticeable  difference?  I would just be upgrading motherboard, CPU, and RAM  (possibly now video card) per your suggestion.  

Thanks Callandor!

Todd
 
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CallandorCommented:
AGP is still good for many things, especially if 3D gaming is not important.  In that case, the MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum will fit the bill (I have one and like it a lot, more than any other of my socket 939 boards).
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ohmetwAuthor Commented:
excellent.   thank you very much for your guidance!  

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