Hey guys so I have about 500$ that I think I will use on upgrading my smaller gaming rig (I use it for travel and moving around to different friends houses and tvs). My rig now:
GPU: EVGA GTX 550 Ti Superclocked 2GB (and OC to 1GHz core) (beast card actually I never understood why everyone hates on it soo much)
CPU: Intel Pentium G860
MoBo: ASUS P8H67-M Pro
RAM: 1x4GB 1333 MHz Team Xtreem (1600MHz but MoBo steps it down to 1333)
PSU: Antec 450 Watt Continous Power 2x6 pin PCIe
HDD: Barracuda 120GB 7200RPM (over PATA, definitely a bit old)
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
My thoughts: The HDD is a little old for sure and slow. PSU is solid, not really looking for an upgrade there. RAM is good, haven't needed more than 3 gigs yet. I love ASUS MoBos but it's one of the things I was upgrading as the one in there is physically a little short and I'd like more PCIe slots for SLI or CF. The GPU is great actually despite what everyone says. CPU is MUCH better than I was expecting for a dual core Pentium. Intel amazes me every time with their CPUs and AMD dissapoints me every time.
So I am looking for some input on what you what upgrade first with 500$ and that rig. For CPUs I definitely prefer Intel, for MoBo I am open to suggestions! But ASUS are exceptional MoBos. And for graphics I generally prefer AMD.
Continuing on, I can't really recommend you change that motherboard unless your heart is really set on SLI, because that will mean having to upgrade the PSU. If you're going to SLI, you may as well just sell your 550Ti and get a mid-range 6 series card that could still fit within 450W.
Flashing your current motherboard's BIOS to the latest one will give it full compatibility with Ivy Bridge CPU's. So any concern about that isn't needed.