Upgrading core components

Its about that time to do some upgrading. I think current builds are about 2 1/2 years old. I always upgrade 2 pc's, 1 for me and 1 for my wife or she gets jealous.
Currently we have Intel E8400's on Gigabyte P35-DS3L boards. 4 gigs of ram. Single Radeon 4800 series cards and Win XP home. We play games at 1680 x 1050 resolution.

Things I would like to keep:
-- DvD/CD drive
-- 250GB Hard Drives SATA
-- Mice, keyboards and 22" monitors are fine
-- Onboard sound has been great so far
-- Power Supply is currently 650w from a known brand (just can't get to it at the moment to identify)


Things to upgrade:
>> Win Xp - Windows 7 for sure but is there a reason to get OEm vs full version besides price? I'm just use to having XP full since it came out and have installed it countless times over the years.

>> CPU -- Price is not really an issue but I'm a practical person. If an i5 750 will do the job for most games then I'm all for it. I kinda abandoned AMD a couple of chips ago so Intel would be my choice.

>> Motherboard - So many to choose from. I don't need bells and whistles so just the basic needs from a strong company. I have had both Asus and Gigabyte products before.

>> Case -- Normally I would keep the case but they really look ragged and made by ... who knows!? I saw Cooler Master cases but I need the top flat and smooth for settin' stuff on.(These cases are really old so with a new one do the standoff screws for the mobo come with it or is it seperate purchase?)

>> GPU -- Not sure really where these are at now. I see 460gtx and 5800 here and there so up to suggestions.

>> RAM -- Whatever is supported by the motherboard. 4 or 6? I'm not sure what Win 7 needs

I think thats about it. We have never overclocked but if a program did some minor adjustments on stock sinks I would try it. If it matters heat can be an issue, this area of the house really gets hot in the summer.

I know if I perused the forums long enough I could get up to speed and find what I need but I have really been working alot so free time is short at the moment.

Thank you to any able to give suggestions. We prefer buying from Newegg also.
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More about upgrading core components
  1. If money is no object, perhaps.

    You could get LARGE performance boosts just overclocking those Wolfdales though.

    3.0Ghz -> 3.6Ghz is usually nothing. You might need a better CPU cooler and your RAM might need some tweaking.

    Win 7 OEM is only really good for one motherboard. Full version let's you install on future motherboards as well. I think MS currently has a "family pack" that may be of interest.

    CPU. Sandybridge is coming out on a new platform soon. Hold off until then. The extended turbo function is going to dominate and then you can build on a new LGA 1155 board that will have some longevity. See the article at Anandtech
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-architecture-exposed

    If your RAM is decent I can walk you through a simple overclock on those Wolfdales easily. It is not a difficult CPU to OC, given a good board.
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