monitor's resolution is (I think) 1600x900 max resolution (so I think it's only capable of 720p anyway). as for the rest of the components, I'm running the following:
Core 2 Quad Q9550
4 GB of DDR2
Gigabyte P43 motherboard
has (1) PCi-Express x16 v2.0 slot
I have only a 500 watt PSU right now (Antec) but will probably be upgrading at some point.
The system is fairly lightly loaded, with only 2 SATA hard drives and (1) SATA DVD burner. It's not overclocked at all, so no extra power usage there.
And I"m running a standard air-cooling setup so no extra power is being used for cooling purposes other than a bout (4) 120mm fans.
As for the games I (plan) to play, well I've been trying to finish GTA-4, Fallout, and a few others. I may get Portal 2 when it comes out, and may try Crysis 2.
With that known, what is the recommendation? I know the 4870 is the MINIMUM that I see for Crysis (according to what I've seen around the Internet).
The reason I won't go all out and get a $300 video card is not because I can't afford it, honestly, but more that I need to justify such a purchase to myself. I play games on occasion, and not on a daily basis like some. I may play for a few hours a week, or maybe an hour a day or so, so I'm not really a "true" gamer according to most standards, but would like to be able to pick up a game and not have to worry about the game not playing because my video card is not powerful enough.
At least the re-assuring aspect is that if (and when) I do rebuild, I can take the PCI-E video card with me to the new system (which I don't plan to rebuild for at least nother year yet).
(FYI: My system was originall built for engineering, programming, and video transcoding work --not video editing or games-- so that's why my rig is somewhat plain.)