Hello there everyone! My current computer is a customized HP Pavilion P6305sc. It runs all the games on highest settings with no problems/lag. So here are the specs:
AMD Athlon II X4 2.8 ghz 630 (AM3)
XFX 6870, which replaced my hated HD 5450
Sapphire 625W, which replaced the old standard that had 300W
4 gb of samsung ram
So that's probaly all you need to know about my current system.
So I want to upgrade my system by "a bit" before Skyrim and Battlefield 3 is released. In order to upgrade my system I'll need a new motherboard. The motherboard will have to be micro-atx which should be 244mm big, right? So I found the MSI 890GXM-G65 which is capable of the Phenom II X6 1055 and crossfire. So my question is, should I replace my CPU with the Phenom II X6 1055 or the XFX 6870? Also, if the answer is "Upgrade the CPU", won't my PC start working? Because I've read that you can't change CPU, motherboard etc with an OEM OS. Please help me!
You can replace the CPU without having to fuss with your windows install.
The only thing that will (should) affect your OEM install would be a motherboard switch.
From what I understand, you can often get away with an OEM OS reinstall on a different motherboard. If it doesn't work, you may be able to call microsoft (with a sad story) and get a new activation key.
That CPU is adequate for most games and should give you very good performance. If you do decide to upgrade get a phenom II X4 955 or better. That MOBO should be able to run it with no problem. I wouldn't suggest going to a Phenom II X6 CPU because it's not going to improve performance in games.
In your situation, the only reason to replace the motherboard at this time is if you want to run 2 Radeon HD 6870 cards in Crossfire X. If that's a forseeable upgrade for you then get an AM3+ board that uses one of the following chipsets - 790FX, 870, 890FX, or 990FX. That way you can upgrade to an AMD FX (bulldozer) CPU later. I would avoid the 880 chipset because it only supports Crossfire X at 16x, 4x. and it's not really intended for Crossfire although it's an excellent chipset for general use and single GPU gaming.