Asus ROG Maximus III Gene 1156
I5-750 stock cooler
XFX XXX 5850
Seasonic X-650 PSU
8GB CL7 RIPJAWS 1600 MHZ
120 Go OCX Vertex 2
500 Go 7200 rpm HDD
ANTEC mini P180 case
Dell UltraSharp 21 inches 1680x1050 resolution ( Also considering using my 40'' 1080P HDTV )
I might be ready to invest a few hundred dollars to keep my gaming computer "up to date". I've suffered so much during college / university playing on a normal laptop that I want some eye candy!
Also, my wife is a amateur photograph and she does a lot of Adobe Lightroom on that computer. So if an upgrade is good for her, all the better.
Finally, I like my computer to be fairly quiet since it's in the kitchen/living room area.
Budget would be in the 300-400$, but I don't mind NOT buying that much and keeping my money for other hobbies.
So I've got a few ideas and looked on some sites, but I cannot decide.
1) Keep all my money for a GTX570+ / 6950+ (300-400$ or so)
2) Upgrade motherboard/cpu to I5-2500k or better and keep my 5850
3) Buy a Noctua D14 and OC my cpu for 100$, keep 200-300$ for GPU
4) Find a used 5850/5870 on Ebay and crossfire ? I'm unsure about the scaling with the 58xx.
i would get a 40-50$ heatsink ( even a 30$ hyper 212 would work, u can add a second fan on it which helps a lot) and OC the 750 to 3.6 Ghz. Than If you are not satisfied with gaming performance get a 6950.
Even a 3 Ghz i 750 is overkill for any current game so I would not replace it for now.
I would get an aftermarket CPU cooler and OC you CPU. Don't spend too much on one though (you can get a Hyper 212+ for about $30; it's a great CPU cooler). I would spend the rest of the money (depending on how much you have left over) and get another 5850, as well as a new power supply (I would aim for a 750 to 850W PSU to be on the safe side). Before you get a new PSU, research a bit more on CrossFire 5850s. You can also just keep your current PSU and get a different GPU (HD 6950, HD 6970, GTX 560 Ti, GTX 570). By the way, DO NOT buy any video cards from eBay; chances are it's a dud. Get one from Newegg.com or any other trusted site for PC components.