Video card upgrade or complete overhaul?


Jun 15, 2009
I have a 3.5 year old system that I want to upgrade. I am thinking that I either (I) just buy a new graphics card or I'll have to (II) buy almost everything new.

I am trying to figure out what combinations of components make sense. In particular, I have not been able to find very much information on which CPU - video card combinations are "optimal", in the sense that the CPU can feed the video card to its full extent, and is also not faster than the GPU can handle.

I am also not sure on whether I'd be able to use my current power supply with option (I)...

My current system (don't laugh) is:

Antec P150 Quiet PC Mid Tower Case
Viewsonic VP930B 19in LCD Monitor
Abit KN8 Ultra NF4 Ultra Athlon 64(FX)/64 X2 Dual-Core Skt939 DDR ATX Motherboard
eVGA e-GeForce 7800 GT PCI Express 256MB DDR3 Video Card
Kingston KVR400X64C3AK2/2G 2GB Kit DDR400 PC3200 Memory
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Processor (Venice) Socket 939 Retail

Now, if I go with option (I), what is the highest end video card you would bother with for this system?

As you can see, I'm pretty much screwed when it comes to CPU upgrade. There are not a lot of socket 939 CPUs out there, and the ones that are still available are not good value for the money, so I won't bother with that.

I am reasonably happy with my 19" monitor, which is native 1280x1024.

Happy for any feedback...