Looking at your specs and assuming your machine is well maintained, Defragged and free of rubish. I have to say your 9600 is the weakest link.
I use Flight Sim 9, which is CPU intensive, rather than GPU intensive. Even with a 3 Ghz CPU and a 9600 X 256 MB I still got the stutters with all settings maxed out. An upgrade to an X700 AGP solved all my woes.
If finances are tight, you could try reducing your settings within games, to achieve a suitable level of play. And in the meantime start saving up.
On a technical note, the 9600 if I remember correctly has 4 pixel pipelines, while the X700 has 8....it makes a huge difference.