Thinking about upgrading

Hey folks, I know there's probably tons of this sort of thread but hopefully I can get some helpful feedback :)

Seeing as Christmas is rolling around again I've been thinking about hardware upgrades, and I'm pretty sure my cpu is my current bottleneck (unless otherwise informed), so I've been looking around to see what options I have.

Current specs:

Cpu: AMD Phenom II x2 550
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770-UD3
Memory: 4 gigs DDR2
Video: Geforce 460 GTX
HD: 128 gig SSD + 2 TB storage drive
PSU: 850 watt OCZ
OS: Win7

First off, I did actually manage to unlock all 4 cores on my cpu, so I've been enjoying that for quite a while, but I've been pretty much unsuccessful trying to overclock this puppy, it's 3.1 ghz by default, and I couldn't even manage a 5% overclock with any kind of stability.

I use my computer for some gaming, although I'm far from a graphics whore, I'm happy to play new games at mediumish kind of settings, its more important to me that they run smoothly then have ultra high settings. I also do a bit of video editing in virtualdub, although I'm not particularly annoyed when that takes a while, unlocking the 4 cores was real good for speeding that up :)

So my question is, with my current setup, is it worth upgrading just the cpu? I believe that mother board can handle things like the Phenom II X4 965's and such, but if they clock in at 3.4 ghz, that sounds like a 10% improvement (ie barely noticeable) Correct me if I'm wrong though of course.

I also have the feeling that if I go for a new motherboard (either am3+ or whatever intel's up to these days) I'd be need new ram as well? Upgrading 3 things at once is ok, but it would have to be a quite noticeable upgrade to be worth it to me if I have to fork out $200-300 or something like that.

And finally as far as price goes, well as you may be able to tell, I'm no top of the liner or anything, so I'd like to keep things "reasonable" I usually buy components in the $70-100 range give or take.

So thanks for your time, I'm just in the early stages of deciding if its a decent time to upgrade or if I should wait another year or something heh heh
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More about thinking upgrading
  1. Your processor is an older dual core it can bottleneck your games alot. Upgrading to the new am3+ fx 6300 or 4300 will keep you good for a few years. The 4300 ranges $130 while the 6300 ranges around $150 these are both am3+ platforms so yes they will need a new mobo
  2. or u can get a cheap intel motherboard and i3
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