When I built this it was specifically for video editing. I spent a whopping $80 on the 7600GT at a Fry's chrismas deal lol. First came the 3D game demos. Then BF2 addiction. Now I play lots of shooters and RPGs. Do I need to upgrade more than the graphics card to play the games I wanna play and make them look good at 1280x1024? Here's a list of the games that give me some trouble and ones I will get in the future:
F.E.A.R. (original and all the sequels)
Ghost Recon 1/2 (Also most of the other Tom Clancy games)
Crysis (not a must)
Battlefield 2142 (+sequels when they come out)
I have a little over $200 to spend. I'm thinking I'll need at least a new PSU and my mobo might not be PCIE 2.0 compliant so I may need one of those. Is this upgrade even tangible at this point? I can make some money this summer so waiting is an option.
You don't need a new PSU, in my opinion. That is a high quality PSU and you don't need to get a pci2.0 gpu. I'm not going to help you find a specific gpu, but if you steer away from the notoriously power hungy gpus, you'll be fine. Just for reference, I have measured the max draw at the outlet (which includes inefficiencies) for my OC'ed C2D/8800gts setup at around 250 watts. A 400 watt PS would not be recommended for a high end setup like what you can easily end up with (with just a gpu upgrade), IF it were a no-name brand PSU, but that is a nice one.
Double check with others (hopefully more posters will chime in with some expert GPU opinions), but the newer 9600 gpu from nvidia uses less power than the 8800 series, if I recall correctly. That may be a great choice, but I'm sure there are people here who can suggest a really low power, high performance GPU - and you really don't need the best of the best, just something a little newer and less handicapped. Don't get an 8600, unless things have changed, for instance.
Go for the 9600! At that resolution, that card will handle anything you throw at it. Don't get hung up on PCIE 2.0. The card is backwards compatible with PCIE1.0. Besides before any games come out to utilize the bandwith on the PCIE 2.0, you'll need a new system anyways. I agree with mattc, your PSU will be fine. Hope this was helpful.
Get a BFG 8800 GT OC2 GPU. Lifetime warranty and its a US company. If anyone even cares anymore!
If you want more FPS, buy a 9800 GTX OC, they are only 399.99 After you get this and if you still want more speed upgrade your ram to DDR2-800 4-4-4-12, I like Kingston Hyperx, but make sure your motherboard can handle it... as it runs at 2.20 volts.