Balancing GPU and CPU for Socket 939 Upgrade

I'm looking to uprgade my son's 3-year old system for better gaming. It currently has an AMD 3000+ with 8600GT and I don't want to get into a full mobo replacement at this point.

Is there a GPU that would offer a nice performance boost without being CPU constrained?

If I went with an X2 3800 upgrade (the fastest readily available 939 CPU) would it make sense to go with a 4850/4870 or 260?
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  1. I don't think I'd go with the 4870/260. Assuming he isn't gaming on a huge screen (safe bet if he uses a 3000+ and a 8600GT) the 4850 is more then enough for the 3800x2. You could save even more and just get the 8800GT. An 8800 of some sort should be enough as well.
  2. Yes...the other piece of relevant info is that his LCD maxes out at 1650 x 1050.

    I notice the 9800GT is more readily available and less expensive than the 8800GT, but the 4850 is only about $25 more with 10.1 support, so that seems like a pretty good option.
  3. cpu will hold your system back but... a 4850 will work and still be a decent card if you decide to upgrade the cpu/motherboard.

    8800Gt/9800Gt are fine too.
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