I am able to run most games at nearly maxed out settings, but some games force me to lower them just a bit.
So I can get another 4gb of Crucial Ballistix 4GB DDR3 1600 for 71.99 with free shipping from newegg, pretty amazing deal. I don't need 8gb now, but within 2 years, I'm sure there will be several games recommending more than 4gb.
Or I can get the Phenom 955. I was reading about the differences between my processer, the AthlonII X3 440 3.0, and the phenom 955, and referring to the Gaming CPU Heirarchy Chart, and the author mentions "I don’t recommend upgrading your CPU unless the potential replacement is at least three tiers higher" http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-cpu-overclocki...
Is a tier considered a grey or white grouping of processors in this chart? Or is a tier just one single line?
Would the Athlon II X3 445, 440, 435 be in the same tier as the Phenom II X6 1055T according to this chart?
I don't want to buy a SSD right now cause I could only afford a 64gb... ewww. I'd like to have my OS, my programs and at least 2 games on the SSD when I get one.
Alternatively, I could save for another 6 mo or so, and then upgrade my gpu.
I would look at the Phenom II series and not go with SSD's just yet. The 955 is a power house which is good and should run games just fine. But the L3 cache really does make a large difference. Sooooooo. Oh also don't get the X6 unless you have programs that can actually make use of the six core, because if you running a game like GMod for example its going to run as fast as my old Phenom X2 because GMod only uses 1 thread. But for synthetic tests the Phenom II X6 would be miles a head of the Athlon X3. So go with the X4 your 5770 will thank you (I was bottle necking it with too little RAM 3gbs and a kinda slow Phenom II 550)
The 5770 is not going to be "bottlenecked" by any multi-core chip. I surely wouldn't buy a new CPU, big changes are happening from both the AMD and Intel camps, which could/should affect pricing. If you feel the need to upgrade, get a new GPU. It will be the most noticeable change you can purchase.
Save up money for the new SSDs the new intels and ocz vertex 3 pros look preety nice and they will noticeably improve boot times as well as loading times a 120gb ssd should be fine for your requirements
After that get a 6870 once they're liquidated for the new series
enough for all programs and 2 games maybe depends on the amount of programs. But if going to purchase a SSD now is not the time to do it wait for the vertex 3 pros coming in two or three months and buy those they will be significantly faster http://www.anandtech.com/show/4100/ocz-vertex-pro-3-dem...