Have a Dell Vostro 200 that came with 1Gb ram, 80GB HD, DVD-rom, Intel 420 Celeron @ 1.6,512KB, and a 19" E198WFP monitor. Using a HP W1907 monitor as the second monitor.
Disabled the onboard video and sound. Using a Asus extreme ax300se video card and a SB Audigy card that came with SBS 340 speakers.
Inform me if I missed any pertinent information.
I use this system to play World of Warcraft. No other online/offline games that need decent video. Windows Media Player, VLC Media Player, Ventrilo, Web Browser IE6 (several open) and Solitaire (for the long flights). I have 5 icons on the desktop, nothing in the system tray and no shortcut icons on the taskbar. Run a batch program, before doing anything, to reduce the background processes after I have turned on the PC. 14 processes using 89mb of ram (that includes task managers' process and memory to view this info). This system is fine even in raids. No lag. 20-30 FPS even in Dalaran.
I'm looking to upgrade what I have that will be (for the most part) a new build when I'm done. I will be using all the gear that I can till it is replaced or still being used. My inquiry for help is for the first step in this process. It includes 3 items I'm looking to replace. Video card, case (about the same size as the Dell case), and power supply. Not looking for the New Year's Eve firework spectacular on any item. Looking to have these 3 items still be usable when I upgrade the other items. The next upgrade will most likely be when Windows 7 w/SP1 is available. Then I'll be upgrading the Mobo, processor, memory, and hard drive.
Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 days for video, case, psu.
Budget Range: $100-200(USD) includes shipping.
Preferred Website For Parts: Newegg. Will consider others.
The elite 360 is the smallest case that I could find that took a full ATX board. It's also rather thin to cooling will be limited to small to medium size cooler. Also the PSU installs in the front of the case. that can make large GPUs a problem but since your only playing WoW I don't think this will be a issue. Using this case and the power supply I recommended I'm able to install a 8800gt in that case. (I use it for my HTPC) Since the case is rather thin it is a bit noisy.
The 8600GTS is nowhere near as good as the 9600GT.
The Corsair PSU is superior in every way. It is 80+ certified, stronger, and has active PFC.
If you want a cheap case, look at the Rosewills. In my experience, each of the 4-5 low-end Coolermaster cases I've bought over the last 2-3 years had [minor] quality issues, typically poorly tapped mobo standoff screw holes. My RC-690 was excellent, but for cheap cases, I've switched to Rosewill. I've used 3-4 of them in the last year, and had none of the quality issues that I had with Coolermaster.
your upgrades would be better overall but for you money you'd lose a lot of graphics power. at your resolution WoW should do fine. But if you plan on getting a 1080p monitor in the future i'd spend a bit more for the 9600gt.