Right now I'm using a phenom ii x4 965 and a radeon hd 6850. Im looking to upgrade and I'm wondering what would be a more efficient upgrade, the cpu or the video card. I am also looking to buy a new motherboard so CPU socket type is not a problem. Feel free to throw in some recommendations. Im working with a $150-250 budget.
Yeah based on the latest Tom's monthly article "best gaming CPU for the money", the Phenom-II X4 still receives a good recommendation. Some years ago the Intel i3 was recommended before it in the same price range, but with more and more games supporting more than two cores, now it's the Phenom-II X4 that gets the recommendation. I agree with Giovanni, it's still a very decent gaming CPU, so no need to change it yet.
Even your video card isn't that bad, so unless you're having some performance issues when gaming, you could postpone any upgrade to later and save even more money. But if you need to replace something I'd go with the GPU. In your price range, a Radeon 7870 or the new GTX-760 maybe?
Hey the phenom ii x4 965 is very powerful. You don't need 6 or 8 cores. Upgrade to the 760 beast bro!! Your CPU would be able to handle it well. You can OC the phenom anytime. If it bottlenecks it, I'd guess by only 1 to 3 fps. lol
It depends on what games you are trying to play. I used to have the same CPU and it's still a good one but it will hold back a graphics card in certain games. Take for example battlefield 3 (especially in multiplayer) the CPU is worked pretty hard and will hold you back, so if you know what kind of games you plan on playing you can kind of direct your build in a certain direction. At this point I would go with a GPU upgrade because it can always be transferred later on when you upgrade the CPU.
I believe its enough information. People are starting to agree. That means its consensual: IF you really want to get rid of some of your current parts, go for the GPU.
Although... i'd never refuse a PSU upgrade or case upgrade. Those are some of the few parts you can keep upon a future upgrade. My current PSU has been acompanying me for 3 generations of gaming rigs. It still rocks ass (Seventeam 850W Z-AF)