I'm currently looking to upgrade my GPU, but my rig I built is now over 4 years old. It still runs great, but I'd like some extra performance when playing BF3 and Skyrim. My current GPU is an amd 5750 1gig running at stock speed and the rest of my setup is listed below. At what level of GPU upgrade will my CPU become a hindrance? I was thinking of getting a 6950, but might wait till Jan when the 7950 comes out. Will the tried and true Q6600 hinder performance?
Antec 850 PSU (I used to have a crossfire setup with 2900s)
Q6600 OC'd to 3.0ghz
4gig Mushkin ddr2 @ 1066 5-5-5-18 2t
MSI 5750 1gig DDR5 @ Stock speeds
Win 7 32bit
"Battlefield 3's single-player campaign doesn’t care if you’re using a $130 Core i3 or $315 Core i7. It doesn’t care if you come armed with two Hyper-Threaded cores or four Bulldozer modules...Any reasonably-modern processor is going to be held back by graphics long before hamstringing performance itself."
Skyrim on the other hand is more CPU based and GPU based, but you should be fine. You won't need an upgrade for another year or two maybe.
You should be ok for the most part. At 6950 and 78xx/79xx you'll start to see some issues with the Q6600. If you can get it to 3.4 or 3.6 you'll be in better shape but I wouldn't push it. There will always be the occasional game that stresses CPUs. As long as your not too demanding when they pop up you'll be ok with that CPU.