This was probably asked a lot times already, and I've tried compile information - and of course, I've came to no conclusion, so, as a last resort, I decided to ask here. Sorry!
So, I'm want to future proof my build (ang get rid of the lags on 3rd display), currently I have: Phenom II x4 925 (@3.14, with aftermarket cooling), GF GT 550Ti (2 displays - 1680x1050), GF 8400 PCI-Ex1 (1 display - 1680x1050), SSD, 3 HDD, 8GB DDR3 ram (3 sticks), Chieftec GPA-500S8 (500W, 80+? - this is not consistent, I live in Europe and have 230V in my wallplugs).
I have around $600 to spend. I mostly game on this PC (with some simulation work from time to time). I am not going to change motherboard and displays soon.
And, here are my questions (and things I was thinking I could upgrade):
Is changing my GPUs to Radeon 7970 or GeForce 770 worth it? From what I read both are able to drive 3 displays, and should give me nice performance boost (possibly gaming on all three displays). My problem is that two of my displays are VGA only, and one has DVI - and from what I read I would need to
a) buy active DP-VGA adapter for Radeon 7970. This would cost me around $560
b) just connect them to GeForce 770. This would cost me around $500
Is bumping ram from 8GB to 16GB worth is these days? (Around $80)
Is upgrading my CPU to FX-8XXX worth it? FX-8XXX series processors start from $130
And finally, will I have to change my PSU if I decide to upgrade GPU only (I don't know really, PSU calc says no but...)/GPU+CPU(probably)?
If you're trying to future proof with AMD, get the FX 8350.
Also if you want to squeeze a little more life out of your potential gpu by overclocking, ignore the 770. It's pretty well just a superclocked 680.
1. When connecting 3 monitors or more, only two of them can use VGA/DVI/HDMI, after using 2 you can only use display port/mini display port. So you will need a display port to VGA/DVI to connect to your monitor.
3. The FX series processor uses a different socket (AM3+) than your Phenom II x4 925 (AM3).
The best upgrade you can do is grab a GTX 770 ($400) and grab a display port to VGA/DVI (~$20).
Then upgrade your psu to the XFX 650w: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
After that, I would save up for a FX-8350 / FX-8320 + 990X / 990FX / 970 chipset motherboard and overclock it.
@realchaos - thanks a lot for an answer! I asked about CPU because I recently bought a replacement motherboard (GA-970A-D3 rev. 1.3) that supports FX cpus. As for the rest points:
I can't find this XFX PSU in shops in Poland, but I found good quality Polish OEM 650W PSU with 80+ Bronze rating with good reviews. So, does this "80+ Bronze" badges mean anything, and I will be good to go?
I'll go with this GT770 + DP-VGA adapter - but does nVidia has the same "active adapter" bull---- that AMD has? Or, as I read somewhere, DP-VGA adapters are all "active"