Either make the jumps in performance big or don't bother at all.
For example going from an E8200 to an E8500 has no merit in terms of performance, it is a waste of money completely. Likewise going from a 8800 GT to an 9800 GT is a small performance increase, very small. Again there is little merit.
The only way to justify an upgrade is if you went from an E8200 to a quad core, perhaps Q9xxx or i7 and even then, the performance gain would be tiny.
The 9800 GT isn't that much powerful than the 8800 GT, a feasible upgrade would be to buy a 4870/GTX260 or better otherwise don't bother.
Even going quad might decrease performance as there is currently little software support for those threads. Its not unusually for the E8xxx series Core 2 Duos to defeat a high end Q9xxx. Although you'll get longevity it defeats the purpose when you've got a suitable CPU at the moment.
Your CPU isn't bottlenecking you in any way, neither is your GPU to be frank. But if its an increase of gaming performance your best bet is to just upgrade the GPU, at minimum a 4870/GTX260, but ideally a 4870 X2/GTX 280 to feel a big performance boost (FPS)
Last edited by Darren; Jan 29, 2009 at 04:42 PM.