I've run into an issue on what I should upgrade next to increase my FPS in games such as League of Legends, Starcraft 2, Vindictus and the Total War series
Processor: AMD Phenom X4 9500 2.2ghz
Graphics: Nvidia (ASUS) 560 GTX
If i need to give more info i gladly will, not sure what else i should add.
I suspect that you have a relatively well balanced pc for gaming purposes.
Normally, the graphics card is the most effective upgrade, buy you already have a very good card.
To help clarify your options, run these two tests:
a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.
It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
If a graphics card upgrade is in order, make it a significant jump, or you may be disappointed. Perhaps to a GTX670 or 7870 class card.
If a cpu upgrade is in order, can the motherboard support a stronger replacement amd X4 cpu, like the X4 955?
If not, then you are looking at a motherboard replacement, and the best gaming cpu chips will be from Intel.
Here is a link to <$200 gaming cpu review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
Look particularly at the starcraft 2 tests.
^^the easiest way would be monitoring the usage% on the gpu when playing. Just have gpu-z open when playing, it will show how much usage there is on the gpu... (sensors tab) If it is constantly below say 90 when the fps is low, then it is the cpu.
Imo most likely you are being held back by the cpu.
+1 Sunius made an excellent suggestion for the upgrade already.
I want to thank all for the responses and suggestions, im going to try the CPU limiting that geo suggested first. As well as thanks to Sunius for making life much easier with the suggestions so i don't kill myself shopping XD