I guess what i'm trying to say is how much of an improvement would i see with the same cpu (phenomx4 or x6) but with an AM3 mobo and ddr3 ram? I just do gaming on this rig (wow, sc2 and skyrim) on high vid settings and now its a little slow with this setup. I see people on forums saying that for this kind of gaming I'd only see a 5% improvement with a budget (<100$) AM3 mobo and ddr3 ram. I know this type of mobo will be phased out eventually though but i have lots of ddr2 ram around but would have to buy ddr3. (ima newbie college kid with limited funds.) Thanks!
I would not spend the money to go to a new motherboard with DDR3 and a slightly faster CPU. If you spend money on anything that will be noticeable get an SSD. You could upgrade your GPU in a few months when you can jump up three or more rungs on Tom's graphic card ladder, if your PSU will handle the upgrade. Otherwise, save up for a new build in a year or so.
So the general question comparing an AM3 board w/DDR3 to a AM2+/3 w/DDR2 (same GPU) not much of a difference for gaming? At approx. what level AMD cpu and/or GPU will i start seeing a need to go for a AM3 mobo and DDR3? Also my budget is about 300 bucks so I may have exaggerated my limited funds possibly.
I wouldn't upgrade the memory and Motherboard unless you are after the features of say the 900 series motherboards like USB3.0 and UEFI 3TB+ booting otherwise keep your board and upgrade the CPU. You could also try unlocking the cores in your CPU to save money as of now you would be losing FPS in most games by moving that CPU and gaining FPS in other games so it is kind of a sideways upgrade in a lot of ways. Productivity wise though it would be a good upgrade as a lot of applications benefit from multiple cores.