So here I sit with a homebrew system about a year old, and I've got a few questions that I hope the community can help with. First off, my PC is mainly used for MMO gaming, with extra duty as a typical MS Office machine and internet timesink. I run at 1920x1080, and would like to play most games at or near Max settings. Bleeding edge tech isn't neccessary, but above average peformance is preferable. Upgrade cost could be offset somewhat by the fact that my buddy is building a budget rig similar to mine and I can pass down the parts to him (save for the PSU, he's picked that up already). Lastly, I am an AMD diehard.
Now, I know there is a disconnect between my needs (lets face it an MMO gaming machine isn't in need of bleeding edge stuff) and my desire to upgrade and tinker. She (my PC, that is) runs most MMOs I've played recently very well, including WoW, Champions Online, STO, and AoC. Thing is I tend to like to putz around for the hell of it, so even if the PC is sufficient, getting some extra performance couldn't hurt. Sorry if this seems rather silly, but Tom's seems to be a good place for PC advice. So, that out of the way, on to the questions...
1) Is there an obvious bottleneck in this system? If so where and what would alleviate it?
2) Is overclocking my CPU or upgrading to a quad-core more beneficial?
3) Is getting another 5770 for Crossfire or getting a new 6xxx series more beneficial?
4) Would 2) or 3) create a new bottleneck, and what would alleviate that?
5) What benchmarks should I run to keep tabs on system performance?
MOBO: Gigabyte GA-890XA-UD3 (790X/SB850)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE @ 3.2GHz
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1333 (4 x 2GB)
GPU: HIS Radeon HD 5770
PSU: Raidmax Hybrid 2 RX-630SS 630W
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB 7200 RPM
1) No there isn't a bottleneck in your system big enough to point out.
2 )MMOs seem to be more CPU reliant then other type of games so upgrading your x2 to a x4 will definitely give you better performance.
3) Grab a 2nd 5770 for CF. You can probably find one for 100dollars or maybe even less if you look around places trying to get rid of the 5000 series.
5) Benchmarks to measure the score of your system? Just go on youtube and type in computer benchmarks. Theres guides, suggestions, all the goodies.
1. Yes: 2
3. a newer card is always better, but CF is a more immediate remedy. Wait around 2 generations for an upgrade.
4. Without 2, you have a GPU bottleneck if you follow three. That GPU can hang with a quad core's FP Processing for texturing and shading. If you add a second card, you'll basically give your cards the day off. Yes, performance in games will improve, but your cards will be waiting on that CPU to figure out what goes where.
5. I'm always a fan of the built in Benchmarks of the games I play. I use the CS:S benchmark to see where my CPU bottlenecks my GPU, because CS:S has such low polygons, that all your card really does is waits on your CPU to process while it already had the entire level textured when it loaded. Second Benchmark I use is the Metro 2033 Benchmark, because all that does is ignores all logic and reason and literally shits on my GPU. That game could crush a elephant if the elephant was made out of textures. So there are the two good system checks for me. A GPU (Metro 2033) and a CPU (Counter Strike Source). I know all you do is tilt back and mana boost your character, but you asked for benchmarks and those are what I use.