Best bang for the buck?

My computer right now has:

P4 3.0ghz
2GB RAM
7600GT 256mb video card
Windows Vista Premium SP1

I’m planning on upgrading the video card one month and the processor/mobo/ram the next month. I mainly use the PC for gaming, primarily a heavily modded version of Oblivion right now. Since it’s been quite a while since I looked at upgrades I’m not really up on what the best deals are right now. I have between $200-300 to spend each month on this upgrade. Does anyone have any recommendations for parts in that price range that will give me a good performance boost?

Also, I noticed that most video cards are saying they’re PCI Express 2.0 x16. I’m pretty sure my motherboard (a Biostar T-Series) only has PCI Express x16. Will those cards not work on my current mobo?

The cards will work. Get an ATI HD4850 ($200) or the HD4870 ($300).

I agree with mono. Those are your best current options in your price range.

Double-check that your power supply has two PCIe six-pin power plugs if you go with the 4870 (or really, almost any card over $200). If it only has one, get the 4850.

Don’t forget that you can get a nice speed boost from a new fast hard drive as well. Loading up programs, game levels and such.

I still think the 9800GTX is a pretty good buy for video at around $200.

I would wait to upgrade your motherboard and processor for when the new socket from Intel comes out for Nehalem.