WHAT I AIM TO GET:
First of all, I wish to keep as many of my parts as possible, this includes the MOBO, the RAM, I guess the processor (I have unlocked to QUAD CORE through BIOS) and the PSU.
I am looking to firstly install a SAMSUNG 830 (128 or 256gb) SSD, perhaps even the vertex 4. Plus the 1tb HDD that I am not using atm the Spinpoint F3. Do you think this will be good combination? Is samsung 830 a good choice currently?
I am also looking to identify the chokepoint currently, not inc the HDD issues. I have performance issues constantly and I presume this is due to poor HDD, but have a feeling that the graphics card is outdated. Do you think I should be able to play games on high setting with this card? Or is it wishful thinking? I want to get at least 60FPS and play on 1080P FULL HD. I have a HANNS HD monitor that supports 1900v etc and 1080p. Please advise me if I should consider a new GPU and if so which ones would do me justice; I thought briefly about a 6950 XFX CDDC or a 7850.
Lastly, I realise that my motherboard and CPU are ageing, however I do not know if it will cause me performance drawbacks at this time. WIll my current motherboard and CPU combo, bearing in mind the unlocked 2 cores via BIOS, last me a little longer whilst I upgrade the HDD to SSD and ponder a new GFX?
Or perhaps I got it all wrong and I do not need a new GFX, perhaps gbetting a new GFX would be pointless wiht my current motherboard?
I appreciate and thank you in advance for your time taken. Please note, I am not entirely a technical person, so bear in mind when replying.
The SSD + Samsung HDD upgrade should improve your PC's general responsiveness and give you faster load times, but should not have a dramatic impact on your gaming in general.
As you already suspect, "WIll my current motherboard and CPU combo, bearing in mind the unlocked 2 cores via BIOS, last me a little longer whilst I upgrade the HDD to SSD and ponder a new GFX? " Yes. Your CPU and motherboard are not likely to be holding you back significantly, and you have plenty of RAM. The graphics card is almost always the single biggest contributor / detractor to gaming performance.
If you can afford it, the GeForce 670 is a phenomenal card for the price at $400. If that's outside your budget, take a look at the 'Best GPU for the money' guide that Tom's just updated for this month and figure out what the best card you can afford on that list is.
And yes, the Samsung 830 is a fine choice for your SSD. Almost any SSD will give similarly noticeable responsiveness, don't worry too much about finding the brand/model that yields the best synthetic benchmark results. Just find one with the capacity you want for a good price and you'll probably be happy.
Finally, you should keep in mind that, depending on what KIND of performance issues you are currently having, these upgrades (while still a good idea) may not solve the root issue. If you install these upgrades and are still having problems, you may need to do some troubleshooting to see if there's a problem with overheating, or something to do with the unlocked cores being faulty, etc.
What is your budget for this upgrade? That will really determine what you can/should do.
AFAIK GBP300 is a pretty good price. Generally, prices are the same numerically overseas (a GPU that is USD400 = GBP400 overseas). I've also had much better success with NVIDIA drivers than AMD, but since you're running an AMD platform it may work a little better with an AMD GPU.
I am sold for the 670GTX, I cant be wasting anymore time on this as time = money and I have allraedy theoretically spent 100£ just deciding.
As you know, the mobo and cpu I am using is ageing. My biggest cocnern now, is that havign decided on the gtx 670, I may find myself in a situation where my CPU is the bottleneck. Now when upgrading, I understand concepts of keeping amd and etc together. However If I choose to upgrade my Motherboard and CPU within a 0.5-1 year, I will probably go with Intel. Maybe an i5 and a gaming motherboard to go with my ripjaws memory.
So what do you think? Will the gtx 670 work well with my Phenom II X2 550 3.1Ghz black edition?
I thought about it and considered it would be stupid of me to invest £300 into a GPU only to find that its going to be as effective as a 7850 which is almost half the price; due to the bottleneck at my CPU/MOBO.
SO therefore can anyone perhaps demystify these specs? Also, anyone has experience buying components from abroad? Do they get stuck at customs and do they ask you to pay tax on them?
Probably too belated to be of any use to you, but the lack of PCIE3.0 will make almost no difference at all. You find some reviews on Toms where they determine that the difference is completely negligible.
The 670 upgrade will probably give you a big performance boost, and change your bottleneck to being CPU instead of GPU, and should be less noticeable. So, a future upgrade to an i5 is a great idea, but the 670 alone should hold you over until you can make that happen. Of course this is all in theory, you should see the results for yourself.