Ok, my last full computer upgrade is pushing 6.5 years ago and I’m still using that system for “gaming.” I think for the last few years my opponents online have been gaming, I’ve just been fresh meat to devour. Anyway, I intend to use this new system upgrade for some light to moderate gaming keeping in mind I seem to like older games: Counter Strike Source, Company of Heroes, Civilization series. I’m looking to keep this system for another 5 years or so with the understanding toward the last few years it’s not going to be anywhere near top performance but I have a high tolerance for imperfect gaming.
Approximate purchase date: In the next few weeks
Budget Range: About $800 or less
System usage from most to least: Gaming, web browsing.
Buying monitor: No
Interested in SLI: No
Over clocking: Maybe but not likely
OS: Plan on using the copy of XP Pro I have
Preferred website: Newegg
Monitor Resolution: My desktop is kept at 1680x 1050
I agree mostly with Bolivious here. The GTX 480 just isn't a very good choice at all. Those things are absolute heaters and can consume some power. The price range, the Radeon 7850 is much better in this regard and the 7870 would absolutely blow it away (more powerful than the GTX 570 in most aspects and close to the 580 in others). If Nvidia really is your thing though, you can always look at the 660 (non Ti version). It isn't quite as good of a bargain as the 7870 is (and very crippled in the memory bandwidth department), but some people stick to brands they identify better with. As to the PSU, it's a bit pricey, but Seasonic is THE premier PSU manufacturer. You aren't just paying for a name though as they really are VERY high quality if you ever pop one open. It's a gold rated unit which is a premium you pay for a little difference with an ordinary 80-plus unit - all depends on your priority here though.
One of the best bargain units for the price is the Antec 620c. The internals are in fact Seasonic (aka S12II). Catch this one on sale, and it's as low as $35.