I would like to upgrade my 4870 to something faster and less noisy.
The 3 y.o. rig I currently have is
22" 1680x1050 display
Phenom II x3 720 @ stock 2.8Ghz
4Gb ddr2 800Mhz memory
Asrock A780 full HD microATX mobo
I'd like to be able to play games like RIFT/GW2/starwars on close to max setting, as well as shogun2 and civ5. I plan to stick to 1680x1050 single monitor gaming set up. I might add a second monitor, but for browsing purposes only.
My budget is around $250-300, so I was thinking a 6950. Is it worth upgrading the gpu or should I go ahead and build a new computer?
Do some google search on CPU/GPU bottlenecks, anyway i'll give you some clarifications;-
Basically at low resolutions your GPU isn't working that hard so it's more how many frames can your CPU push though. As your resolution/detail/AA is increased though, the GPU has to work harder and harder to keep up with the CPU and eventually becomes the limiting factor.
Low resolutions means 1024x768/1280x not 1680x with everything maxed out.
The OP might not get the maximum FPS he supposed to get, but this is another thing to discuss and has nothing to do with a CPU bottleneck.