I have a desktop that I want to upgrade to a gaming Desktop. Here are the specifications of my desktop.
Time of this report: 10/28/2011, 19:16:53
Machine name: PC-00
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.101209-1647)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: ECS
System Model: 945GCT-M2
BIOS: Default System BIOS
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU E2180 @ 2.00GHz (2 CPUs)
Memory: 2040MB RAM
Page File: 599MB used, 2813MB available
Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Card name: Intel(R) 82945G Express Chipset Family
Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
Chip type: Intel(R) 82945G Express Chipset Family
DAC type: Internal
Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2772&SUBSYS_26331019&REV_02
Display Memory: 128.0 MB
Current Mode: 1024 x 768 (32 bit) (60Hz)
Monitor: Plug and Play Monitor
Monitor Max Res: 1600,1200
Should I upgrade the CPU or get a graphics card or should I build a PC from scratch? I would want to play the latest PC games. Thanks in advance.
The PSU in your rig was probably something minimally sized for the installed components, with little if any margin for upgrades. Assuming it is at least 300W, the strongest card it is likely to support is a HD6670. That card would be a reasonable match for your CPU, and could play most games, especially at your current 1024x768 resolution. Any higher, and any recent game would need to have settings turned down, possibly a lot. This may not be a bad idea if you're just looking to get your feet wet and see if gaming is for you, or to find out what kinds of games you would most like to play.
Otherwise, anticipate that you'll probably need to spend close to $800-$900 (includes the cost of a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium, but not a new monitor) to build a new PC capable of playing the latest games at "good" (high, but not necessarily "ultra") settings, and closer to $1200 if you want "ultra" settings.
Edit: If, however, this was an older office PC you snagged somewhere and want to turn into a gamer, expect to spend no less than $300 for an upgraded PSU and as powerful a GPU as your relatively weak CPU can handle; something like a 500W Antec EA-500D and a HD6870 or GTX560.