I've been out of the build community for a couple of years and haven't kept up with current hardware and performance trends. My current home studio PC was last updated in 2005(!) and is as follows:
-ASUS A8V DELUXE 939 VIA K8T800 Pro ATX
-AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Winchester 2.2GHz Socket 939
-ATI Radeon X850PRO 256MB 256-bit GDDR3
-3gigs PC 3200 RAM
-Antec tower w/ 430W PSU
-Windows XP Pro SP3
-x2 WD 37gig SSD hard drives (Windows install and applications, storage in 4 other large WD Caviar 7200rpm drives)
I currently use it almost exclusively for Adobe CS4 apps and other mundane web tasks. To be honest, this thing still runs like a charm and I don't have any real reason to upgrade...other than it's become a little dated for current games AND I'd like to make the move up to CS5 (Premiere Pro and After Effects CS5 won't install with my current hardware profile, requires dual-core). Additionally I'd like a little more speed running multiple Adobe CS apps side-by-side, as well as the ability to turn up the graphics settings on WoW (this machine used to run WoW maxed out...just came back from a 1.5yr break and most of the video options now require dual-core also!). Oh, obviously I'll be moving to Windows 7 as well.
Having said that, I don't feel I NEED to upgrade yet, but am wondering how much of a boost I could pull off looking at something in the say sub-$700 range. Is there enough bang for my buck to make the move and relegate my current system to a media server or something?
The OP is currently using a ATI card and the new ATI cards support Advanced Parallel Processing. Besides, the CPU does 95% of the CS5 workload anyways and the OP games, so I fit a nice card into the budget. Change the ATI card to something else if you feel inclined