So the day has finally come when the wife will give me enough blue ones (we live in Taiwan and a 1000nt note is blue) so that I might go and squander them all away on the immediate obsolescence that is the new pc. Anyways I have been deep in thought on what was going into this thing for like months now and now that we are fast approaching the day I need some help or beer or a different hobby.. I read the thing on how to ask questions so here goes.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: next week (barring the second coming)
BUDGET RANGE: maybe US 150
USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: I want to be able to play current and newly released games, my assumption is that if it is capable of that it can do anything else I want it to.
CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: none, new build
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: I have a motherboard, mid range gigabyte board it is new but only one pcie slot
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Anything can be had off the shelf for about 10-20% more than newegg (I mean anything I bought a ps3 laser off the shelf)
PARTS PREFERENCES: playability of games is more important
MONITOR RESOLUTION: got a new 22incher so whichever resolution is going to look decent
So here is why I cant sleep at night... At first I had all of this as a done deal.. I purchased a sempron 140 processor with the intention of unlocking the other core and running it with a gts 250.. Then I read that the performance of the card would never be realized due to it being bottlenecked by the chip (which is crazy to me seeing as how I thought my old 6000+ in the states was plenty fast for the 9800 gtx) Anyways the sempron will now be a paperweight and I will pony up the bucks for a decent phenom ii (maybe x3 or x4).. So my question is will a gts 250 be enough to play new games... I am not trying to brag about how high my fps are I just want to be able to play games on the thing.. (starcraft 2 must run like a champ)...I am also thinking about hd 5770.. but wondering if the performance gains will be that great..
What Resolution will you be running in? If your running 1650 x 1050. I would say that a 5770 would be a fine fit. Also recommend a good 600 watt PSU. Also, you might think of cross firing later. And 2 5770 will have the performance between a single 5850 and a single 5870
Starcraft 2 should run fine on your GTS 250, unless you absolutely need to max everything out. A 5770 is a good card to be sure, but I'm not entirely convinced that the upgrade is worth it unless you can sell the GTS 250 to help cover the cost.
Honestly though, why not just live with the graphics card being bottlenecked? No it won't be a balanced PC, but one is probably going to bottleneck the other anyway. Where did you read about this performance bottle-necking? It would be nice to also read the article you saw. If it's not a huge bottleneck, it's not even worth upgrading your CPU just for your GPU to run at full power.
In my opinion you should hold onto your money for now, and upgrade your GPU in a year or so, or whatever day hosts the biggests sales in Taiwan.
As rolli mentioned, a 5850 would be a good choice, but it's nearly double your budget. It might be a good idea to wait until a 5850 (or its equivalent) is within your budget range and upgrade then.