Its true that once real world full hd/AA+AF gaming is concerned is on the table - the bottleneck passes back to the CPU However u have a GT240 which is only as good as a previous gen 9600GT If u want to move several notches up anything like your chip, E2xxx just cannot cut it So in summary
a. Tone down res/settings for playable frames with latest games with current rig
b. With $1k and carefully picked out parts one could build a spanking new gaming monster hehe
A dual core Athlon 4200+ is a really weak processor by today's standards. You need a motherboard/processor/memory upgrade at this point. Do that first. The 240 is also not a top end GPU, but plugging it into a modern board with Quad core processor running at 3 ghz and about 4 gig of DDR3 memory will net you some pretty big returns over what you have now. Yeah, your CPU is a big bottleneck here.
Ok, glad to know I was right about the CPU. Sad to hear the gpu is barely midrange (should've done my research before taking the guys advice).
Should I just upgrade my mobo and CPU to match my current gpu, and save up my money for some upcoming tech for a new pc? Or should i really upgrade everything now? I don't really know what's on the horizon for computer tech.
Vada: I don't know anything about mobos, but it seems strange that the mobo is only $20 while everything else is $200+? I thought I would need a higher end mobo to run the high-end CPU and gpu.
And what's too much ram? Will I ever need more than 4 or 6 gb for gaming needs?
no not really all a gpu needs is a pci-e slot
and if u really want to save up money then thers some really cool stuff on the horizon
like nvidea's gtx 580 and intel's I5 SB (sandy bridge)
though u might have to wait for it until feb 2011 itz a good shot
and btw games like crysis need a good 8gb ram to play at ultra
and also u will not need to invest (too much) in the future if u get ddr 3 ram we can expect ddr3 to rule for quite a while and usb 3.0 is quite new too !