I have an AMD XP1900 pc (1.61ghz) with 1024mb ram and GeForce3 Ti 500 graphics card. Sound is provided by a Soundblaster Audigy.
Performance for most games I own is still very very good and at decent resolutions.
However, with the next wave of games software about to arrive (Half-Life 2 / Doom 3) I would imagine that my PC will begin to struggle if I want to play these games with good framerates at a high level of detail.
The question is, will an upgrade to one of the latest fast Nvidia or Radeon video cards give me visible benefits and cope with games releases over the next 6 months or so, bearing in mind that my processor speed is now some way off of what is cutting edge?
Ie will my processor speed still support such games and indeed the latest video cards or would it be advisable to purchase a new PC with far faster processor and graphics?
I would wait for a good wee while before upgrading until you really feel that the games you want to play are losing ground.
I doubt you would get much of an improved bang for your buck by upgrading your card now. By waiting 6 months or 1 year and spending the same money you will get a much better card for your cash at that time looking at the speed things are changing.
Its all too easy to get locked into the upgrade viscious circle.
Just for comparison I am still running an Athlon 900 with 64mb graphics card and even newer games still give an acceptable frame rate.
I will be upgrading at some time but only when I feel I will really notice it (and the games can take advantage of it).