I am considering an upgrade to the computer that is in my signature. I have about 300 dollars to spend. I play games like Crysis and Oblivion (with texture enhancers) on a 22" monitor. I've been thinking about getting a 4870 with 1GB of memory for large texture enhancers on Oblivion. However, I would also like to upgrade my motherboard and processor. I've been thinking about an Intel E8400, because I know that would be MUCH better than my current Athlon X2 5200+.
I think it would be better to get the motherboard upgrade done first since it would be the most work. Then, later, when I've saved another 300, I can get a new GPU. What do you think?
I agree with a video card first in this situation. The X2 5200 is no slouch, neither is the 8800 GTS but I think you gotta bit more head room with the 5200. You will see a bigger improvement over the 8800 GTS then with a better CPU.
I agree with the previous posters...a 4870 will definitely help out a ton (especially since they are dirt cheap)...if you can, try to squeeze out a little more performance out of that 5200+ by OCing it slightly (nothing major necessary).
I would definitely hold out on the CPU upgrade for now...
if you upgrade the GPU now you will not get the full effect because of your CPU/MOBO. I know nothing about the new 45nm AMD chips but LGA775 will be around for at least 2 more years so upgrading to a good P45 MOBO and e8400 will give you the greatest boost in performance. Your current GPU should be able to handle anything except crysis and crysis should run well at medium.
In two months the 48xx or GTX2xx will come down another 10%-20%. The CPU/MOBO's have already been reduced and are not expected to be again until late winter or spring of next year.