Right.....Big AL for one is now considering upgrade PURELY cos of IL-2.
Luke is mid way through.....
So its advice time, and AWAY from Hardware forum cos it gets complex in there.
My suggestions are as follows......
AMD....nforce mobo with proper nvidia Soundstorm sound built in (5.1 EAX etc) for value and also network card built in too.
A processor along the lines of a 1800XP Thoroughbred is fine and dandy....it'll overlclock if you need it too, but for IL-2 its not essential.
With a few more quid and for better apps on other stuff (like MP3 etc) a Barton 2500 is good as gold and cooler.
2 sticks of mem to use the twin channel advances of nForce2.....you must have them in the 2 end slots. MINIMUM 512 mb of mem....and if you aint an overlcocker (and for this game you dont need to be) get MORE memory at PC2700 speeds rather than less at PC4000or over. Bandwidth is GOOD but not essential.....I have now got 1 gig of PC2700 instead on 512 of PC3500. Forget clock speeds at this altitude of PC...get more ram. Crucial ram ROCKS...and its delivered to the door.
Graphics......forget 9600 XT......9600 Pro is fine....but a 9700/9800 Pro would be good
Asus mobo is good (i have one) BUT Abit NF7 is highest regarded.
If I had to budget then MORE RAM, less processor......best card I could get WITHOUT falling for marketing hype on XT badges.....so a Pro Radeon.
AND WITHOUT DOUBLT THE MOST ESSENTIAL THING EVER......BESTINVESTMENT IN THE WORLD....A GOOD POWER SUPPLY....
Antec Trupower 430....big dough......BUT WORTH DOWNGRADING EVERYTHING ELSE BY ONE NOPTCH TO AFFORD IT....you do NOT wanna have a system crash in VEF.
Keep me posted for advice....and AGENT is a top bloke in Hardware.....to be trusted