So I have a computer that I've had for years making only minor upgrades. It started based on the ASUS a8n-sli motherboard that was very popular and uses the AMD socket 939.
Well to jump right into it, it really is starting to show its age but all the components besides the motherboard, ram and CPU are fine. Basically, I need the equivalent of one of neweggs RAM+CPU+MOBO combo deals, with a budget of about 250 dollars.
So, here's what I have right now.
Antec p180b mid-tower case
250 GB WD SATA Hard Drive
Corsair 650w PSU
GeForce 8800 GTS
Newegg has a combo deal for $159.00 with:
ECS BLACK SERIES GF8200A (V1.0) AM2+/AM3 NVIDIA GeForce 8200 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Well, no one can predict the future, but what you have there seems to be solid for that cost. The socket AM3 is a newer socket that should still have some life in it, but since it has been an evolution part, and AMD may bring in an revolution part anytime (not likely given the current situation in AMD atm), i can't say on its future. AMD should be playing it safe by keeping as much part compatibility to make some safe case from it's existing users upgrading older machines, so who knows, maybe you'll be able to get upgrades for a long time.
But if an revolution happens (think back to AMD's s754/s939/s940 bull and the current i3/i5/i7 aka lga775/lga1156/lga1366 split) then it's all up in the air when something like this happens, companies will try to milk your money, they will play it safe with compatible drop-in replacements when they are not the top dog, but they will ditch you and make you buy a 2000+ platform when they are holding the crown and make sure new = all new.
in short, get what you can now, worry about later for later since all is in the air, and when they moved to the AM stuff from s939 it was a blow for me personally since I was expecting some more life from the 939 (esp the AM stuff had a similar pin count, it felt like AMD was making us buying new machines when they had the huge performance lead over intel stuff when I already spent top dollars for their "top" socket)
i don't see the point in I7 anyway particauly if they are going to get rid of the 920 I m not paying £400 for a cpu when a Q9550 or AMDs =ing can do that same job for less okay might not be as fast but who cares with kerpersky scans last longer by 30seconds I m not