I am running a AMD Athlon XP 1.1, 1Gb Ram, 160G Raid 0 array, Radeon 9550 128 AGP, and most of the high end gfames run good...Far Cry, Half-Life, F.E.A.R., but I hear your gonna need more "OOMPH" to run the newer games coming out. Without breaking the bank, can anyone gimme an idea of what to look for..?
If you think those games look good with a 9550 AGP just wait till you see them on a 1950xt or even a 7900 GS - both of which can be had very cheap nowadays ($100 for the GS).
But you will need new mobo (PCI express), CPU, and PSU to go with it. I would say minimum of $250-$300 beyond the cost of the GPU if you can keep your case and your OS. If you go supercheap maybe $200.
Sorry for takin a while, painting the comp room...! I will keep the keyboard, mouse, and new Samsung LCD, plus I have a 6.1 sound system. The prices you chaps quote might be a little low compared to here in Canada. I have seen SOME good prices at TigerDirect, and to be honest, I really don't wanna go TOO cheap for fear of getting less outa the new games. I mostly surf, do some graphics and dabble in games. I am not a hard core gamer, I just love the graphics in games as I am a designer and photographer for last 30 years, and the games are too good too pass up...!!