Computer Hardware

Thinking about hardware upgrades, I’m wondering if I’m wrong at looking at the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 DualCore 2.40GHz based on this review over at TechReport. I’ve been thinking of hardware upgrades since putting new RAM in my machine, and even though anything is a bit away, I’ve been out of the game a while so I don’t know the answer to AMD vs Intel or ATI vs nVidia. Last I heard things had swung from ATI to nVidia, and comparing the Intel chips for gaming on this page makes something like the E6600 look good, especially comparing it’s price ($400) to that of Athlon FX-64 ($1000).

Any hardware gurus out there able to tell me for the applications I mainly use, Photoshop and FPS games like Battlefield 2, UT2004, FEAR, etc, what the questions of:

From what I can see, I can get myself upgraded with only a CPU and Video card (say, the nVidia 7950/512) on a DDR based motherboard and be able to keep everything else on my system and be upgraded for about $800. Course, that’s still pretty pricy to just upgrade the guts, and that doesn’t even include a new case!

Anyway, if any hardware guys out there can point me in the right direction for the above questions I’d appreciate it. Basically looking to game and photoshop and have something that’ll give best bang for the buck but not break the bank or be only marginally faster than my current system (xp2800 / ATI Radon 9800 Pro 256mb / 2G).