Novice wants to upgrade to gaming rig on a tight budget

I have an older PC my dad gave me with the following specs

-ABIT AN8 SLI w/ AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+ 2.2ghz stock [S939 :( ]
-1 gb kit of Kingston Value Ram pc3200/ddr400 cl3 unbuffered (2x512mb)
-Maxtor Diamondmax 300gb SATA 1.5GB/s HDD
-Soundblaster Audigy
-Standard ATX case with one 4 3/4" fan on back and one 3 1/3" in front as well as a tunnel vent thing leading to the cpu fan (not sure how else to describe cooling) :whistle:
-Apevia 680w PSU

I am looking to play newer games such as Skyrim, SC 2, Star Wars: Old Republic, and Diablo 3 & Secret World when they are released.

I would like some advice as to how I could use as much of the remaining hardware but upgrade the MoBo/CPU/GPU for as little $$ as possible. I am selling some stuff and hoping to get around $200-$250 for all of it. I know thats very little but maybe you can point me in the right direction on a combo or APU setup that'd be easy for a novice to install in my case.

I was looking to buy a GTS250 to upgrade the GPU and I already ordered the overpriced 2gb kit of PNY DDR400 ram for $35 and a wireless-g pci adapter but thinking of returning the ram to add my cache of funds and just overhaul the entire thing. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
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  1. Am i asking too much? :(
  2. Best answer
    you would need to upgrade cpu/mb/RAM /graphics

    Athlon X3 $75
    AM3+ motherboard $60 ok , $85 good
    2 x2 gig of DDR3 $25
    Radeon 6770 , or 5770 for about $90

    look on newegg
    set it to display lowest priced items first
  3. THANKS!

    OK I called Fry's and got a deal

    Athlon II X3 455- $77.99
    MSI 870A mobo- $94.99 w/ $20 mir
    Wintac 8gb (4x2gb) DDR3- $27.99

    The guy there tried to include a Zotac Geforce 8600gt for like $50 but thats ridiculous

    They will also do the full the install for me for $30

    So now I just need the right GPU - I prefer Nvidia so not sure if that goes well the Radeon chipset in that mobo but ik'm not looking to sli or crossfire so what would you recommend - I have to spend less than $100 if possible but want to play games in at light medium to high settings
  4. Best answer selected by turboknee.
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