What bothers me is that many games are showing quite poor fps or drops even in low/medium settings, even though auto-config sets the bar to high/ultra in most games. For instance:
Saints Row 3 -> Medium settings will run around 30-40fps, with noticeable drops to 15-20 often.
GTAIV -> Same thing as above, have to run it in low-mid custom quality, and still work through some fps drops.
Guild Wars 2 -> Can run in 40 fps in mid/high, with some drops bellow 25 in medium action.
Battlefield 3 -> I need to run it in low quality settings to avoid drops below 25.
Are these numbers normal? Could it be the GPU is suffering sort kind of bottleneck from the PSU or CPU?
Yea, that seems about right.
I think the CPU is bottle-necking the card, the games you have mentioned are known for being somewhat CPU dependent over GPU.
Few things you can do about that.
1. Platform upgrade, new CPU mobo and likely RAM unles you can find more of those sticks.
2. Overclock the CPU to see if you can get more performance.
3 This is unique to the Phenom/Athlon X3's. Back when they were being made, there were Tri and Quad Core chips, however the demand for Tri cores was much greater than the Quads. To meet that demand AMD started shipping out Quad's with one of the cores disabled.
Its complete luck of the draw whether you got a Quad core CPU or not. Follow this video, and if your lucky a 4th core will be unlocked. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGKBXgbmCOk
either way the 650Ti is not meant to run games a 1920 x 1080. Your GPU is under powered for that resolution. the 650Ti is a 1680 x 1050 res card. Yes the CPU has a lack of power for what you expect but an OC or unlock of cores can help that.
Personally I would sacrifice settings before resolution. But considering that the 650Ti is competing against the 7850 1GB, it should be fairly decent at 1080p.
(yeah, slight AMD fanboy here. Have to equate Nvidia cards relative to AMD's lineup )
I've heard before that the 650Ti is kind of equivalent to a simple GTX560, slightly worse in some circunstances.
I think the build is underperforming, considering many GTX 650Ti reviews I've seen around. I know they use Core i7's for these reviews and some high performance RAM, but I thought the GPU was the most important piece of hardware in gaming matter, and the other hardware (excluding bottlenecks) would increase framerate just a bit.