I built this computer 2-3 years back. It was nice then. It is not now. I'm looking at different options for upgrading and cannot for the life of me find out what video cards are supported by my system.
This is what I have right now:
MB: MSI K9N Platinum motherboard (NVIDIA nForce 570 Chipset based) (It has PCIe (2.0 I think))
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+ (looking at upping to 6000+ Windsor 3.0GHz)
What are my options as far as video cards are concerned? Am I restricted to ATI or NVidia? How far up can I go with the new video cards? What bottle-necks should I be aware of?
At this point, I do not plan to do SLI (don't think this mobo supports crossfire).
Ok, I've modified my plan somewhat (thanks to your information). I was going back and forth between building a new Core i7 system and upgrading my current system. I believe I have settled on some middle ground and would like to know what you think as far as feasibility is concerned. The plan is to utilize some of the components that work in both my core i7 build as well as my upgrade build now and then upgrade to the rest of the core i7 build in 2011.
Core i7 Build (Finish building by 2011; Bold items work in current Upgrade build):
CPU: Intel i7 920 (will overclock) $290
MB: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 $310 HDD: 2 x WD Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200RPM 32MB Cache $140
[Boot Drive] Intel SSD 40GB (Splurge Item! ) $130
GPU: Radeon HD 4870 256-bit or HD 5770 128-bit $160ish
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred $160
PSU: Antec CP-850 $110
RAM: 6GB (3x2GB) G.Skill DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $165
Media: LG BD/DVD/CD combo $100
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 $30
Upgrade Build (build now, then change out CPU, MB, RAM, Media, and Cooler in 2011):
Both of your plans look very sound, I would guess it comes down to if you have the $1600 to spend now, then go for the new i7 build if not then go for the upgrade.
Your PSU should hold out with either build without overclocking, so that i7 might not be to safe without getting a larger one. If considering to crossfire in the future then a 650w from corsair, seasonic, antec, pc power & cooling will handle all of your needs.
The only real problem I have with your setup is your 1280x1024 monitor. I would look to get a new 1680x1050 or 1920x1080 monitor along with your new system to take full advantage of a 5770.