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Ok, part of the following is my opinon so....

First off, the motherboard... It is fairly easy to replace, but you need some minimalistic knowledge like stated above... There actually is a "standard" (not offically) for mounting them. Do you have an orderd system (dell, compaq, gateway) or a computer shop system.. If you have an orderd system, it might be a little more difficult due to the specally desinged mobo's that most of thoes companies use to cut cost. Just remember not to shock anything with static electricy. I have never ruined anything in my 6+ years of computer hardware work (knock on wood), but it could happen to you... So be a wee bit careful.

Ok, now the console... I am personally waiting for the Game Cube *drool* ... I am a hardcore nintendo fan... The games on their systems are just simply wonderful to play... The PS2 is having some rough times, and i sold mine soon after i got it because it was a let down... Now the x-box is a diffent story.. Microsoft never made any good games. And now they are making a console system... So no matter what the hype says, its going to be a coin toss..

Also keep in mind the price range, xbox and ps2 are $300, while the gamecube is $200... The gamecube is going to be just as capable as the xbox and ps2. The specs that nintendo has issued may seem lower than the xbox or ps2, but they are real world performance, versus the specs that the xbox and ps2 are going by are purely theoretical.

You should check out http://www.ign.com
They can answer most of your questions... Good luck, and god bless nintendo..
 

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oh yes, one more thing about the motherboard, if you decide to replace it, its a good idea to draw a diagram of where all the wires were plugged in at on your old motherboard so you have a good chance of telling where they go on you new one and if you have to, being able to put the old one back in properly...
 

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Along with PCI cards being slower, they cannot use system memory for textures.... if the need ever arose...
 
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