I've got a little problem on my hands right now regarding my next upgrade. I want to play Battlefield 3 (and other upcoming games) on some reasonably medium/high settings with good frame rates. Judging from my beta experience, the computer I have now can only do medium and frame rates can become bothersome.
I have an:
AMD Athlon 7850 Kuma BE, OC'd to 3.0GHz
Asus M4A77D AM2+ Motherboard
OCZ ModXStream 500w Power supply
Dell 1680x1050 Monitor
I'm thinking about upgrading the video card to a 560ti or Radeon 6950, but I'm wondering if my CPU would bottleneck it to the point that the upgrade will be very minimal at best. I'm trying to hold off on a brand new processor, since my motherboard still has DDR2 RAM which means I'll have to overhaul my entire system.
Side note: Power supply should be good enough for those two cards, right?
The AMD Athlon 7850 Kuma BE is a dual-core processor - it will absolutely bottleneck you in BF3. You need at least a tri-core CPU to run BF3 without significant bottlenecks (even xbox 360 has a tri-core), and ideally a quad core. A quad core at 3.0+ GHz with a 6950 or equivalent and you are good to go with BF3.
Get the graphics card that you want as it can easily slip into your current system. however...
You need to make the smartest decision here. If I were you I would save money and just buy everything that you really want for a brand new build. ddr2 is definitely obsolete, and you could seriously use a better cpu.
brand new build meaning a current cpu (intel 2500k comes to mind), future-proof board, ddr3 1600 ram (I suggest 4gb minimum), a quality PSU, and at GPU minimum a gtx570 or a 6950.
I also suggest buying an SSD and installing windows 7 on it. that however is a big price point so you can modify that part per your budget needs.
I know my computer is pretty obsolete at this point, it's been a couple of years and even then none of the parts were top of the line. The thing is, regarding trustyduck's post, is that i don't have the money at the moment for a new i5-2500k, new motherboard, new RAM, new PSU, and new GPU all at once. I will be doing a new build eventually, but my mentality with this little incremental upgrade was to get a semi-decent video card so that I can salvage it later for a new computer.
What I COULD do, along with a new video card, is to get an AMD X4 955 for about $115 and tough it out a little longer (hey, it's quad core at least). With that, would you think my power supply would be sufficient?