First off it’s difficult to make any worthwhile suggestions when you don’t specify which components you currently have, which makes making sure the components work together a bit tricky.
That said, it looks like you are looking for a new CPU and graphics card. If your CPU is in the E4200-E6600 class, there is plenty of reasons to upgrade.
I’d defintely recommend the** Intel i5 750**
It’s extremely fast, almost as fast as the very top end CPUs and it’s also a quad core. Why is that important? Because when editing movies and playing games in a year’s time there will definetely be a difference between dual core and quad core CPUs; already now there a few more modern games that take advantage of quad core CPUs and the trend will only increase.
Also for games or applicationbs that only use 1 or two cores (like Left 4 Dead, Microsoft Office, etc.), the i5 750 can safely (without decreasing lifespan or reliability) and automatically increase the speed up to 3.2 Ghz (the so-called “Turbo Boost” feature) which greatly helps performance
You’ll want a motherboard and some DDR3 RAM to go with that. A cheaper motherboard from one the better manufacturers is fine in your case.
Something like the** Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2** ($105 or cheaper) would be decent.
I would go with 8 GB of RAM ($240 or cheaper). Since you are editing video it’s a very good to have as much of the video in RAM as possible and if you are multitasking heavily extra RAM will come in handy. You could also just buy 4 GB (2x 2GB configuration) and upgrade later since RAM is the easiest component to upgrade.
Graphics-wise I would recommend the HD 5850 ($310 or cheaper). The performance is great, it’s faster than the GTX 285 and cheaper too, and unlike the Geforce cards it has DirectX 11 support which may end up being important in the future (although adimittedly probably not a factor untill at least 2011.)
Some people might disagree with me, but I’d say that SLI is irrelevant unless you are a hardcore enthusiast, so don’t bother with the added cost to the motherboard (and possibly PSU).
You might want to look into upgrading your PSU, for the 5850 you’ll need two 75W 6-pin connectors, which your PSU may or may not have. It should also be at least 500W.
If you decide to upgrade your PSU I’d go with the Corsair CMPSU-650TX 650W or the Corsair CMPSU-750TX 750W. Both PSUs areenergy efficient, reliable and quiet.
The difference between SSDs and regular harddrives is night and day, it’s a completely different experience as far as starting programs, loading times in games and windows start up times. The problem is that they are expensive and relatively small. Untill recently they also had a major that, when used, the performance would degrade significantly due to something similiar to fragmentation. With Windows 7 (which is needed since Vista/XP does not support TRIM) and the latest firmware on the newst SSDs (some Intel, OCZ, Crucial and SuperTalent drives) that is averted with the so-called TRIM feature.
If your most used programs, games and Windows 7 take up no more than 60 GB total, I would get the** Intel X-25M G2** drive (the 34 nm version) and upgrade the firmware once it comes out at the end of November.
It’s an 80 GB drive and it’s one of the fastest drives out there.
Of course you’ll need an additional regular non-SSD drive to store music, video and the like as well.
If your games, applications and Windows 7 take up more than 60 GB, I’d recommend waiting 6-12 months and then get an SSD, they should fallen significantly in price by then and you’ll probably be able to get a 120 GB drive or more, just make sure whatever drive you buy has good random read/write performance and TRIM support.