I was playing Battlefield 3 earlier and wanted to check my CPU usage. I opened task manager and noticed that Battlefield 3 and basically all my games only use 20-40% of my CPU. Is there any way possible to use more of the CPU when playing games?
You have a heavily overclocked i7 2600k, that's about as good as it gets when it comes to gaming CPUs right now. First off, games don't use hyperthreading, so there goes 50% of the overall CPU usage right there. Secondly, with that much CPU power, all your games are going to be GPU bottlenecked at virtually all resolutions. The only way you can use more of that monster CPU would be if you got a really high end SLI or Crossfire setup ie. Triple SLI GTX 580s. Are you getting poor performance in your games? If not, don't worry about it, you're getting good performance, your hardware doesn't need to work any harder. If you are not getting good performance, odds are you need a more powerful graphics setup to get better performance, because there is no way your CPU is holding you back on any properly coded game.
I had the same question except I have a core i7 3930k (currently at liquid cooled stock 3.2 ghz that I will be overclocking to about 4.0ghz)
I just bought the computer and I have a single 6870 so getting a high-end video card set up is kind of set off for future and gradual improvement... any advice?
You are definitely going to be GPU bottlenecked under virtually all circumstances, overclocked or not. Depending on your resolution and what games you play, you still will get good gaming performance in most cases, it's just that your CPU isn't going to have to work hard. If you have a 1080p or lower monitor your 6870 will do well in most titles, with only the absolutely most demanding games causing it to struggle. At this point, I would say wait for the HD 7000 series to hit and see how they perform. You then have the choice of buying a newer more powerful card, or maybe snatch up another 6870 when prices drop on them due to retailers wanting to clear out old stock, depends on how much money you want to spend on a GPU upgrade.