[Windows] How should I upgrade this system?
Current specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
Windows XP Media Center Edition Professional SP3 (Build 2600)
CPU Arch : 1 CPU - 2 Cores - 2 Threads
CPU PSN : Intel Core2 CPU 6300 @ 1.86GHz
CPUID : 6.F.6 / Extended : 6.F
CPU Cache : L1 : 2 x 32 / 2 x 32 KB - L2 : 2048 KB
Core : Conroe (65 nm) / Stepping : B2
Freq : 1866.59 MHz (266.66 * 7)
MB Brand : Asus
MB Model : P5L-MX
NB : Intel i945P/PL/G/GZ rev A2
SB : Intel 82801GB (ICH7/R) rev A1
GPU Type : NVIDIA GeForce 7950 GT
GPU Clocks : Core 600 MHz / RAM 725 MHz
DirectX Version : 9.0c
RAM : 1024 MB DDR2 Single Channel
RAM Speed : 333.3 MHz (4:5) @ 5-5-5-15
Slot 1 : 1024MB (5300)
Slot 1 Manufacturer : Corsair

I would like to play 1080p files, wont be gaming, and wont be playing any bluray/hddvd discs

I understand that XBMC doesnt use hardware acceleration, but would still like a recommendation for a card that would playback 1080p HD content flawlessly when playing files through windows

I am also happy to add an SSD drive to run the O/S from, 30 or 80 gig version, but i dont think that makes a difference to the upgrade.

Thanks for your input
If you're sticking with Windows, upgrade to whatever video card you like with hardware acceleration and let XBMC launch MPC-HC for hardware accelerated video playback.

If you decide to try Linux, go with an NVIDIA card with support for VDPAU. The new GT 210 is cheap and capable of Feature Set C, but HDMI audio output isn't quite working yet (awaiting NVIDIA driver update, possibly fixed in the 195 beta).

Otherwise, focus on your own personal storage and navigation/control needs. A couple of 1gb sticks of DDR2 800 might not hurt anything either.
just got back from NCIX and picked up:

Visiontek Radeon HD 4850 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E VGA DVI HDMI Video Card
Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X4096-6400C5 4GB DDR2 2X2GB PC2-6400 DDR2-800 CL 5-5-5-18 240PIN Memory Kit
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1TB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 32MB Hard Drive OEM

that should keep me running for a while, for both software decoding as well as hardware (if i stick to windows - i didnt think about the VDPAU - linux combination when i was at the store)... down the road i'll nuke the system and put on windows 7 64 bit to take advantage of the ram

comments on the video card at all?

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