I want to upgrade to a 64 bit os, I know I need a new processor in order to do that, but I'm not sure if my motherboard would be capable of handling that? What should I be looking at to determine if I can use this same motherboard with updated components? Do some motherboards have better performance? Also is my old ram just garbage now?
Practically all system parts made from 2006 on support 64-bit OS's and environments. Some motherboards do have better performance than others, but it's not a noticeable difference in the end. Motherboards are more about what IO you need. And DDR2 memory is obsolete.
I also need to buy a larger tower because I already have 3 hard drives, and with the graphics card there just isn't enough room. If I got a SSD for the os would I notice the speed increase if I still keep my old hard drives as storage drives, ie save working files on the ssd along with os, then when done a project migrate it to the old hd's?
Using an SSD over an HDD will yield noticeable performance speeds for most applications. However, most people put programs on the SSDs and all data files on HDDs. It really depends on how big of files we're talking about and if you're impatient or not. However, while the speed increase is noticeable, it's not orders of magnitude greater.
If anyone knowledgeable is up to it I would also appreciate any recommendations for what I should be looking at to buy as far as cpu, graphics, and ram.
One of the resident parts listers can help you here. I'm kind of generic here.
and finally last question - I currently have 2 monitors setup through dvi on my graphics card. I'm looking at purchasing a wacom cintiq (essentially a third monitor) a little down the road and would like to keep my 2 existing monitors as well. This would mean a 3 monitor setup. This would mean I need 2 graphics cards correct? Would it be worth keeping my existing 8800 as well as a new graphics card, or should I buy 2 new graphics cards and sli them? Not sure what the best approach for this situation is.
You could recycle the 8800 and get a new card, if you wanted to.
I apologize if some of these answers are vague, but there is no "right or wrong" way to answer some of these.