Building a cheap compter today that can be a great gaming rig tomorrow

I need to upgrade from Windows XP to ... Windows 7, I guess? I'd like to try to build a cheap machine today that I can upgrade to a better one later. My idea is to buy a motherboard and cheap processor, use my current graphics card and any other compatible hardware (memory, DVD, PSU, hard drives maybe? They're getting old.) and then upgrade each of those later when I have more money.

So I guess I am looking for a motherboard that will take a cheap processor today but allow me to upgrade later to what is now a powerful gaming processor. And any other advice you might have about this plan.

My current machine is

MSI K9N6GM MS-7309
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+
Gigabyte GeForce 9800GT 1 GB GV-N98TSL-1GI
2GB Kingston PC2-53500 (33MHZ) RAM DDR2
Corsair VX450W Power Supply

(2 hard drives)
Maxtor DiamondMax 20 STM3160812A 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5"
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3500630A 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5"

LiteOn LH-52C1P (CD-RW / DVD-ROM combo drive - IDE)
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More about building cheap compter today great gaming rig tomorrow
  1. Well no new motherboards support DDR2 so you can't use your RAM

    No new motherboards have IDE so you can't use your hard drives or optical drive

    A new PC is going to need new power requirements so your PSU probbaly doesn't have an 8-pin CPU power or SATA power

    So really you could maybe use your old video card, although I think sometimes old old cards don't like new systems, so that might even be out of the question, so you can't really use anything.
  2. Best answer
    The core of any system is the CPU, Motherboard, RAM and storage. Start with good, solid parts there and you'll be fine for gaming later.

    On the intel side a quad core i5 K-series (* for overclockability...go non-K with the HIGHEST stock speed you can afford if you don't want to OC later) is a good starting point.

    On the AMD side an FX 6300 with a 970 chipset board or FX 8350 with a 990fx chipset board is a good starting point.

    PSU will be tricky. This can be greatly impacted by how much you OC...IF you even OC...and how many/what type of GPU you add later.

    64 bit Windows 7 professional Upgrade. Just run the installer 2x.

    8GB of the fastest stock ram that matches up with your CPU and Board combo. For example, on AMD this is DDR3 1866.

    Mid-sized SSD (IE: 120-250GB) for Boot, OS and apps. I refcommend Crucial M500 or Samsung 840 series.
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