First post here, and first attempt at build from parts.
I just bought (but haven't yet received) a DIY kit including a Phenom II X4 955BE, Gigabyte AM3 MB and 4GB DDR3 1600.
I didn't buy a graphics card yet, but I was thinking, if I just pull the 8800gt from my ancient (and current) Athlon 64 3200+ box, will I actually suffer noticeably?
The most taxing thing I plan to use the computer for is 1680x1050 gaming with medium-high settings (minimal AA or filtering, but other effects high); I don't care about benchmarks or huge framerate numbers as long as I have smooth, stutter-free gameplay and the ability to play 1080i/p video files. I don't plan to play bleeding-edge graphics games (like Crysis series).
I know the bottleneck may be laughable in this case, but how much longer could I get by with the 8800gt?
^ 8800GT is still a decent card and how long it would last would depend on the type of games that you want to play...
For the current FPS games I doubt it would suffice at that resolution at settings though...
I have a 8800GT by PNY, and it's still serving me beautifully, even for BlackOps. Right now I'm running medium settings at 1440 x 900 and pulling in a good 30FPS, excluding the lag-spikes due to w/e issue they're having with the game. I'm on an even worse setup than your current PC, I'm running this on a E2200 @ 3.05GHz and 4 gigs of ram.
I am upgrading my PC however, cause I know the card's getting old, like, literally old. Mine's been overclocked for 90% of it's life and that's taken quite a hit on the poor thing. I had to switch to a better cooler last year cause my temps hit 100C and I was afraid I would fry the thing. Now they're better, maxing out at about 85-90C. I don't know if it's just my imagination or not, but my frames have started to drop, I don't know what it might be, but I'm thinking my GPU might be slowly giving way if that's even possible. That, or I'm just seeing things.
Hmm 1680 x 1050 if u tone down medium i would think it's still doable
I don't know how much of a bottlekneck my CPU is (E2200 @ 3.05GHz) but at medium settings for Fallout New Vegas I'm hardly pulling in 40FPS, and I'm only on a 1440x900 screen.. I'm not sure how well medium would do on a 1680x1050..
BlackOps I'm on medium, and pulling in about 30-40FPS as well.
The average optimal number of CPU cores suggested by the test results is 2.75, showing a clear trend towards at least three CPU cores.The question of whether the CPU or GPU is most important is easily answered. If you don't have a multi-core CPU, then upgrade it. If you have a dual-core CPU at around 3 GHz, then invest your money into a graphics card, as most games are GPU-limited. This is not something that will change with new DirectX 11 games.
So just Rana X3 + cheap 770/785 board and hit a GPU upgrade if your games are screaming for it hehe