A gaming performance/bangbuck upgrade

Someone told me to use the template for my question so here it is:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Most likely in the next month (Mainly due to ATI's new lineup coming out)

BUDGET RANGE: Under $750-$1000 would be perfect, the parts I need will probably amount to less though.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (mostly all the time), Folding@Home (sometimes), surfing the internet.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Everything related to the computer, except a motherboard, PSU, Graphics card, RAM, and a CPU


PARTS PREFERENCES: I have no preference to whatever company, I am not a fanboy and will go buy the one with the better product and not by favoritism.


SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No, I will more than likely not need it.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024 although I might hook my PC up to my 52" HDTV just for fun from time to time (The TV does not affect purchasing decisions at all)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I wanted to orginally just get a new graphics card, but my computer is so old (AMD Sempon 3400+ with a Socket 939 and DDR Ram and a 250W PSU that I ended up finding out that I needed to do much more upgrading) So I need to get a new PSU, DDR2 or 3(someone told me 3 was better to get now), a graphics card to play most games on max or close to high (19"monitor with 1280x1024 native resolution), and a new CPU that is able to be overclockable. These upgrades may require me to get a new motherboard and I will get a new one if it need be.

It would be nice to have a 30" monitor but, in turn I would need a super great SLI or Crossfire configuration and I have the T.V. its bigger than that :)

Also when I see graphics cards on YouTube reviews they are very big, around 9 or so inches long I believe, when I look at my current motherboard (which sports the old Socket 939) the PCIe slot is surrounded by other junk on the motherboard so it looks like there is only about less than 7 inches, the graphics card might rise above the memory slot but then there's that ribbon thing. Here is a picture to illustrate what I'm talking about. The yellow circle indicates where the memory slots are, the green bracket to the right of it is that ribbon thing, the red circle on the far left is some random box thing right next to the PCI-e slot which is highlighted in a light blue box. The ruler in front is for perspective but it is in the foreground and it makes the room seem alot smaller but in reality, the left edge of the case to the memory slots is a little less than 7 inches.

So, in regards to this. I'm not sure if its just the motherboard that is causing this problem (actual size, configuration) or my actual case, my case measures approximately 15 3/4" x 6 3/4" x 14 1/2" (That is Length x Width x Height) on the outside. What do I do on this problem?
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More about gaming performance bangbuck upgrade
  1. The ram locks will barely open enough for install, but it works, best to install ram first, its easier. The rest comes down to length, which appears to be fine as long as you dont get a HUGE card
  2. Most cards are 9", so you have room, unless you get a looong card, everything else should be fine
    You may also find youll lose a PCI slot, due to the gfx cards width, which goes down from the center of the PCIE slot, and a 2 slot card will have you open another slot out the back for exhaust
  3. Get a new computer/computer parts.

    You will have to upgrade your motherboard as well as everything else. (I see you're using DDR1 RAM as well) The only thing you can salvage is your hard drive and DVD drive.
  4. He wants to keep his case
  5. Wait so your saying that a 9" or so card WILL fit? Oh golly that would be dandy. Sorry haha. It would be cool :). Is my case considered, what is it, micro-atx or atx? I think that's what they are. So when I get a new motherboard I can tell if it will fit before I buy it. And yes I would prefer to keep my case, unless another reason justifies otherwise.

    Edit: Oh wait, I just realized that it doesn't matter since I'm getting a new motherboard... well that was a waste of time haha. So should I get a gfx card, see how it goes and if I see a bottleneck(which I'm not sure how I would recognize) get a new motherboard for CPU and RAM?
  6. If I do get a new CPU and RAM which should I get for the CPU and DDR 2 or DDR 3 for RAM?
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