Some latest games although playable are laggy on my PC and i'm thinking of upgrading my graphics card, I'm have squared upon the sapphire 7950 3GB flex edition. As of now i cant afford to upgrade the entire setup and i would like to know if it's ok to upgrade just the GFX card , i have a fair idea on hardware and as far as i know the higher the graphics settings (Full HD ultra high) the lesser CPU power it demands.
1. so will the processor and motherboard be a bottle neck?
2. Do i need to update my bios to support the new GFX card?
3. If the CPU is a bottleneck what will be the FPS hit?
Firstly, you will see big gains over your current card. However, without knowing what games you are talking about, I have no idea what FPS you will get. Even if I did, one does simply predict FPS. I would, get the 7950 now, then save for a better CPU/mobo.
* Your PSU make and model would help us help you on our recommendations.
* Your BIOS won't need upgrading for a GPU upgrade, but you will need to use the correct driver for your new GPU.
* Your CPU will probably be the limiting factor, but you should see a big increase in performance over the 4850.
that cpu will most definately bottleneck the 7950.
so his best choice is either 7850 or 7870. even 7870 will bottleneck to an extent.
so its wise to settle for a 7850 considering the cpu and the psu as well unless he's willing to upgrade his entire setup
Honestly The bottleneck may not be too bad, I'm running a core 2 Quad with a 670 and I don't get too much of a bottleneck. If he was running a dual core cpu that old then I'd be much more worried about bottlenecks.
Get the 7950, a 670 or a 660ti, then when you can afford to build a new setup just migrate the card over and throw the old card back in this system.
At this point a new motherboard/cpu may be in order, depending on whether yhe games you want to play are CPU or GPU dependent
Check out Tom's quarterly System Builder Marathon $500 and $1000 builds for results of different combinations of CPU/GPU performance.
Anandtech BENCH Phenom 9650 vs I3 3220 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/23?vs=677
I think it will be better for you if you could somehow settle for the hd 7850 or the hd 7870...your psu might not be able to power the 7950.
you can alway check that out at extreme outervision psu calculator.
I calculated the PSU requirements in the above website as you mentioned and i got a 339W recommended rating for my current config and a 361W for the same setup with a 7950. so i dont think PSU would be a factor. and sapphire website list 500W as the psu requirement for 7950