My current system has been essentially "as-is" since September of 2003! I've been running an Abit NF7-S board with an AMD Barton 2500+ since then in an Antec 1040 case. Obviously I haven't had any issues. Earlier this year (February) I did drop $200 to add more memory and a newer video card in order to play Caesar 4. The upgrades helped tremendously to go from unplayable to very playable. However, now I have the bug to build a new system.
The dilemma is this: What to do with the old system which is still completely useable? What do you do with an older system? I'm thinking:
Option 1: Keep the system as is and have it around as a backup.
Option 2: Donate system to charity of some kind.
Option 3: Do either of the above but put it into a smaller case and use the Antec 1040 for the new build.
On to the new proposed build. The following are the components I'm considering. If more than one is listed in a category, the leading contender is bolded. For what it is worth, I am probably NOT going to order and build until October, so some selections may depend on what prices do between now and then.
Case: I'm looking at the following but also considering re-using my existing case. Completely undecided here. May buy a "cheap case" for my old hardware and re-use the 1040 for the new build.
Cooler Master Stacker 810
Cooler Master Centurion 534
Antec Nine Hundred
Thermaltake Armor VA8000BWS
PSU: Corsair is the leading contender based on reviews and such but the cheaper FSP FX700-GLN is a strong second.
FSP FX700-GLN 700W Corsair 620HX 620W
Antec NeoPower 650 Blue 650W
PC Power&Cooling Silencer 750 750W
OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W
Thermaltake W0106RU 700W
Antec True Power Trio TP3-650 650W
Video: This is the one that really depends on what prices do between now and October. The 1950XT should be fine for games I play like Caesar 4 or CIV 4 but if the 8800GTS drops anymore I may go with it.
evga 8800GTS 320 ***ATI x1950xt
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 7200RPM SATA 3.0GB/s in Raid 1 (maybe; may just have a dedicated "backup drive")
-either 160 or 250gb sizes
My advice will be to basically redo an entire new build. New case new everything. Let the old PC be your basic work PC and let this new rig be your fast gaming rig. Any kind of work stuff you do, do it on the old PC (unless it's something that involves faster processing then do that on the gamer). As for the new build, build it fast and build it better.
Go with the Armor case on this new build and go with the 320mb 8800GTS (or even the 640). Hands down Nvidia is kicking ATI's butt and it'll be in your best interest to jump on board. That ATI x1950xt is a DX9 card. The 8800 series are DX10 so go with that (your building a new machine so don't take any steps backwards).
The MSI P35D3 board you chose is a DDR3 ONLY board, meaning you HAVE to put DDR3 modules in it. A DDR2 module physically cannot go into a DDR3 slot because of the notch position changes. Unless you have $350 to $400 bucks to drop on a 2GB DDR3 kit go right ahead but i'd stick with the DDR2 boards for now. You may want to switch your selection to the GA-P35C-DS3R. It can take both DDR2 and DDR3 memory sticks. You cannot run both at the same time but must choose one or the other but at least you have the DDR3 option without having to buy a brand new mobo.
Go with Corsair instead of Mushkin (corsair does memory better) for the memory and go with Thermaltake instead of Corsair for the PSU (thermaltake does PSU's better). HDD wise go with like a pure back up drive like 320GB big and maybe your main OS/Programs drive on either a 150GB Raptor drive or a big 500GB drive.