BF3 Hardware Advice

I run Battlefield 3 at medium-low settings and maintain 50-60FPS most of the time. However, on maps like Seine Crossing I average ~35FPS, dipping to 20-25FPS during intense firefights even with all settings low. I'm looking for more consistent results but have a limited budget.

Current Rig:

Windows 7 64 Ultra
AMD Phenom II X4 955
ATI Radeon HD-4850 1GB GDDR3 (Overclocked)

I'm guessing the GPU is the limiting factor. Is there a budget card at around $100 (rebates, etc.) that would provide significant improvement (I'm fine with lower graphics setting as long as I net a consistent 50-60 FPS)? Would I be better off finding another 4850 for dual Xfire? Would a more considerable GPU upgrade get bottle-necked by my CPU? Thanks in advance for any advice/info.
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  1. a second 4850 would certainly give you the best performance increase, but you'd need a pretty good PSU and it would be NOISY.

    if you can scratch together a few extra dollars then this card would offer you a nice improvement:

    Its 130 after rebates. and at least comes with a free copy of dirt 3

    anything lower isn't really going to be worth the expenditure.
  2. What is your GPU % usage in scenarios where fps drops to 20-25?
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