upgrade the cpu. i saw a guy claiming he can get a q9550 for 150..
your cpu meets minimum requirments but the cpu upgrade will allow you run the game smoother overall as the gfx your selecting would bottleneck the cpu u currently have.
Honestly, I wouldn't invest in the old Core2 technology unless you got a quad core dirt cheap.
Your best best is to upgrade the video. Although I am not completely sure how much of a boost a 6850 will give you over a 9800GTX+. I'm sure it is an upgrade, but not sure if it will be a mind boggling one. At least you gain DX11. For a few extra bucks you could upgrade that to a 6870.
Your best best CPU wise is to save up and replace your core system (mobo,cpu,mem) within the next 6-12 months in addition to a video upgrade.
My #1 rule though is to always go for at least "Recommended System" if you want to play & enjoy the game. I also get a feeling that Skyrim will run great as long as you have a big CPU and lots of VRAM (much like GTA4).
With that in mind, you'd need to:
- Upgrade to a Quad CPU. That said, I doubt you'd get a respectable upgrade with 150$ in mind.
- Make sure you have at least 3 gig of RAM
With this upgrade, you'd probably be able to play at medium settings...not high.
Welcome to PC Gaming (where every component upgrade is mucho expensive)...totally worth it, though.
Perhaps the community can post great CPU deals in your area.
Would upgrade the cpu first. A lot of games since the dawn of console-ports have been trending toward increasing cpu requirements. Just seems like the general trend, and Skyrim is going to be another console-port with some limited dx11 features as it has been described now. Might be best really to wait for it to come out and see what people have to say about it after experiencing it on a wider variety of systems.