Obviously my mobo and ram are a bid outdated with DDR3 all the rage now, so I am looking to upgrade those two first and the GPU after. I believe my CPU has plenty of power to last me a bit longer. My question is this: what would be your choice for a new motherboard to accompany my current setup? Also, what brand/size of ram should I purchase? Should I buy another of hd4870 and crossfire them or look to upgrade my GPU as well?
Heh, yeah. It's a tricky spot to be in for sure. Computer hardware is always tough to purchase for me, so I try to do as much homework as I can before I do! Thanks, I definitely need to get some DDR3 ram going. Anyone have a suggestion for a DDR3 mobo w/ crossfire and sata 6 that is compatible with my current GPU and CPU?
Interesting point, I must admit my knowledge on how ram supports gaming is very limited. Thanks for your suggestion. I've had my eye on some 58xx cards
I play natively @ 1920x1080
Budget is generally not an issue, but I don't really want to spend $200+ on, say, a motherboard.
Don't say "budget isn't an issue" around here. You're liable to get someone suggesting an i7-980X and SLI 580 setup.
A 4870 is currently at little weak at 1920x1080. The Phenom II X4 965 is a perfectly fine gaming processor, and as mentioned, there's little to no (1-2% at worst) difference in gaming between DDR2 & DDR3.
Newegg is out of stock of 4870s at the moment, if you wanted to buy another one and CF, you'll need to find somewhere that has them in stock.
What I would do is take a look at Tom's Best Graphics Cards for the Money (November) or wait for the December version to come out, as it will have recommendations that include the GTX 570, and hopefully the new AMD 69nn series as well. So take a look at one of those articles and see what fits your budget.
I think the best value right now might be the AMD 6950 for about $300, or else a GTX 460 1 GB for about $180. If the price of the 6850 comes down, it has performance equivalent to the GTX 460.
No problem...looking at the chart I linked in more depth, I wouldn't recommend upgrading to the GTX 460 or the AMD 6850. They're good upgrades from other cards, but the jump from a 4870 would probably be underwhelming. Note that the chart suggest not upgrading unless you go up 3 levels.
There are recommendations on the previous pages, for the most part right now, nVidia and AMD cards are fairly equivalent, just go with the better value, unless you intend to CrossFire down the road (unlikely, based on your current dilemma, I think).
In other words, you're looking at tracking down a 4870 & going CrossFire (assuming your mobo supports it, I didn't check), or dropping at least $300 on a new graphics card...probably the new AMD 6950.