I am currently in the process of building a new setup and I am trying to decide if I should purchase a new video card now or hold off till the next gen. I am running a i7 920 with CF 5770s and will be building an i7 3770k. I had planned on getting a HD 7870 for the new machine but after doing some research I am not convinced that I would see a large improvement. Should I move the 5770s to the new PC and pop an old GTX 260 I have laying around into the old one to wait for the next gen? Or will I see a large enough improvement over the 5770s to upgrade to a 7870? I'm running everything at 1080p.
You can see the difference in performance in Madretch' link. It is noticeable but your 5770 should be able to make it till' the next gen if you are willing to step away from "Ultra" on the latest games.
i think he said CF, here's my take:
if you are still ok with the kind of graphic settings in the games that you play, then hold off. save your money, if you save a few more then you can probably get a higher video card, maybe an 8970 (or something)
I have that CPU. I'd definitely wait - that new i7 won't improve your gaming performance. Other non-gaming stuff sure, but Haswell is coming in a few months, and that might actually be significantly faster for gaming. Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge have really just been refinements of Nehalem as far as gaming is concerned - the major advances were in the non-gaming performance and the integrated graphics.
I have already purchased the processor from the IRE winter deal but if you are correct in saying that I won't notice a huge difference in performance between the 920 and 3770k it leads me to believe that I should hold off until the next gen and go for a top tier graphics card. No sense in spending $250ish on a 7870 right now on top of the rest of the build to see only a marginal increase in performance. Does that sound correct?
Pretty much! It's the CPU that really won't be a benefit - the graphics card would add a bit more benefit (though still not masses). I'd either keep the CPU and use the money saved to grab a GTX670, for a genuinely noticeable gain, or leave upgrading entirely until the new stuff is out. But i7 920 + GTX670 will be a hell of lot better than i7 3770K + 7870 for gaming performance.