So I am going to give my old PC to my neighbor who currently plays BF3 on PS3. It contains an AMD Phenom 9550 2.2Ghz, M3A78-EM HDMI Motherboard, 2gigs of DDR2, a 9600GT and a 450w PSU. The case is an old HP case with one small exhaust fan on it, so airflow might become an issue. It has no drives and I'm certain we need to ditch that video card to expect anything decent from Battlefield 3 (I used to use it for BF3 at about 19 FPS on low, 720p). He will be gaming on an HDTV that is about 32 inches.
I was suggesting he get a 128GB m4 SSD, 4 to 8GB of DDR2 1066 (Win7 x64) and an EVGA GTX 480.
Now, my question is this: Will that PSU be enough to power that card? Will the SSD be overkill for this system?
Also, will the CPU bottleneck that card? I know this system is less-than-stellar but I'm just trying to get him to convert to PC gaming with a halfway decent experience.
What would be the best or a better option for a video card on that MoBo/CPU? What would be the best RAM? Cheap but dependable PSU, if needed? Looking to get the "Best bang-for-buck" options; the goal is BF3 on medium at 1080p.
The old Phenom I will surely bottle neck the GTX 480. The component upgrade you propose is a bit like thowing good money after bad. The board is ancient as well if it uses DDR2 memory. Unless he wants to upgrade the motherboard, CPU, memory, and possibly the PSU, I would say just get card in the HD 6850 range and see how it performs at the resolution he plays. If he has a 720p HDTV he should be good. But if he has a 1080p display, he will struggle.