I strongly suggest not going with XP if you can avoid it. Chances are, you will not be able to use all 4GB of RAM and frankly, that operating system is a dinosaur. I would either hold off until I could get Windows 7 or put XP on it and almost nothing else since you will delete XP when you install 7. Remember, if you are using an OEM/System Builders copy of Windows, you cannot transfer the license to another computer. There is nothing technically barring you from simply installing it on another PC, only a legal issue. You do not want the MSI 785G as it is an older motherboard and does not include USB 3.0, SATA 6, and CrossfireX. In other words, it doesn't have as many features and is thus not a good choice for the long run. Micro Center is probably marking it down more becuase the AMD 7 series chipsets are being replaced and they are trying to clear stock. SATA refers to the interface between the hard drive and the motherboard, the faster the interface, the faster the data transfer. Currently we are on SATA 3 and most drives still are, however, SATA 6 is much faster than SATA 3 and will replace it eventually. USB 3.0 is the successor to USB 2.0 which is what most devices, such as external hard drives, MP3 players, printers, etc., use to connect to the computer. Like SATA 6, USB 3.0 is a faster version of USB and is slowly making its way into consumer electronics. Both SATA 6 and USB 3 are backwards compatible with earlier forms of those technologies and are included with most AMD 8 series motherboards. With the RAM, the O.C. refers to overclocking. There really isn't a difference in speed between DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1333 and the DDR3-1333 will be fast enough unless you are a hardcore gamer who pushes the system to the limit to get that one last frame per second. Finally, the monitor is decent, but for a near 24-inch model, it really should have HDMI. I'm also a bit partial to LED backlit monitors as they use less power and have much better contrast than traditional monitors. For LED monitors, of varying sizes and price points, I suggest the following:Asus VE228H 21.5" 1920x1080 Full HD LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers
- Asus makes great monitors, this one comes with HDMI and speakers, though, speakers on a monitor should only be used while waiting on real speakers to arrive. $169ASUS MS238H Glossy Black 23"
- This is one of the most stylish monitors I've seen in a long time. It's an LED monitor with HDMI. $199Asus LS248H 23.6" 1920X1080 2ms Full HD LED
- This is mostly identical to the previous Asus monitor, only an inch larger and more expensive. I personally don't think the extra inch is worth the price increase. Here's it's website