I recently did a partial overhaul on my computer, keeping the same processor and graphics card. I have a Intel 3.2 Ghz HT 540 processor and a Nvidia 256mb 7600 GT OC graphics card with 4GB of ram. I bought Medal of Honor Airbourne and it was running like crap, even when I put it on the lowest settings. It requires a 2.8 Ghz processor and a 128MB graphics card. So I figured that I need to also replace my graphics card and processor, to be able to play the newer games. I can't decide whether to buy a new graphics card now and a proccessor later, but I hear all of the new cards are comming out soon that will work with direct X 11, which will be more current longer with the release of Win 7. I have been looking at the 1GB Radion HD 4850 and the 4870 and as far as processors I have been looking at the 2.8 Ghz w/2mb of cache (E6300), the 2.6 Ghz w/6MB cache (E8200), or one of the cheaper quad cores, in the $100-150. range? I need so help deciding which to go with, I'd rather not get them both at the same time, just because of money. Any help would be appreciated. Sorry about the long read.
Ok, so the question is will you see more benefit from a dual core proc or a new video card. Here's my take, if you get a new video card first it will be bottle-necked by the old single core.
Otherwise if you already had a dual core I would say def get the new graphics card first.
Go with the E6300. I think the E8200 possibly may not have the virtualization technology that may be useful in win7, but don't quote me on that. The E6300 is good.
I f you get the proccy first then in a couple of months the new video cards will be out and will have settled somewhat in pricing. You could pick up an HD 4890 for the current price of a 4870, or you could find an affordable DirectX 11 part.
Before looking at the card upgrade, look at the powersupply, I suspect the one currently installed may be too weak to feed a powerful card such as the HD4870, so please post its specs, particularly the +12 volt output. Corsair, Antec, OCZ, Pc Power and Cooling and Seasonic are amongst the best. I like to overspecify here so 520 -600W with twin PCI-E connectors would be my choice.
If you are patient, then wait for the new hardware, at latest it should be at retail in time for the Windows 7 launch in late October but other rumours suggest it may turn up a month earlier, at least for ATI, Nvidia still seem to be lagging behind by several months, again, according to rumour.
If you're impatient, then the 1 Gb HD4870 or GTX260 would be good, yes, they'll both be hampered by the Pentium, but I think you'll be surprised how much of an instant improvement it will bring, EVGA, BFG and XFX offer the best warranties.
Everything is finally moving to multi-core, so I's say get the best Quad you can afford and 4Gb of RAM to match it. Right now the AMD Phenom II and AM3 seems to offer the best value but do some research before making a decision. Perhaps a carefully worded post in the Homebuilt or CPU and Component Forums would be useful here.
would you like to get an AMD Phenom 2 X3 720BE (3 cores).. ive heard that they overclock pretty good and are very cheap.. (around 110-125 u$D).. or then again ud probably be upgrading to another mobo if that would be ur choice.. so maybe not..
i suggest getting a new vid card at first even though the CPU would bottleneck it.. i believe its a better choice if u want to improve framerates of games as to getting the new CPU first.. except for GTA4 w/c loves CPU power and doesnt really care as much with ur vid card
I just replaced my motherboard during the overhaul. I relplaced it with a Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3LR. It supports both dual and quad core. I also put in 4 GB of DDR2 800 memory. I actually would have liked to get an AMD quad core phenom II but at that point in time I wasn't considering replacing the processor, because I thought it was sufficient enough. So for now I'm going to have to stick to socket 775 intel proccessors.