I have an AMD-based system that I use for my general-purpose home computer, mostly gaming, video, but also some work. Depending on which graphics card I upgrade to, I may also use this rig to test some simulation code that could utilize the GPU cores.
This system is at least two years old, is it time to start from scratch, or could I make significant improvements simply by swapping a few components?
Motherboard: ASUS M4A87TD EVO
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Black Edition (unlocked all 4 cores)
GPU: MSI Hawk Radeon 5770 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...)
RAM: 1x CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB DDR31600
2x CORSAIR 4GB DDR3 1600 (one installed)
PSU: I don't recall but I believe it's 600W
HDD: 1 TB 7200RPM Samsung (can't remember which, again)
coming soon: 120GB SSD, 2TB 7200RPM Drive
I think I am good on memory, storage, the PSU, and peripherals. The GPU could use an upgrade though, and possibly the CPU. Would something as simple as an upgrade to a GTX 660 or HD 7870 give me a significant enhancement in performance? I currently have trouble playing BF3 at decent framerates (multiplayer) at 1920 x 1200 and have had to lower my resolution and turn my settings down significantly.
My budget varies, but since I can recycle some of the components, I'd say I'd be willing to spend $500 on new components (including that SSD I'm planning on getting). I was hoping to do things sequentially. Perhaps upgrade the graphics card, determine how it's preforming, and if it's unsuitable, upgrade the mobo + cpu. That way, I'm not throwing a lot of money out all at once.
I'm just going to bump this. I mostly just want to know whether investing in a new GPU will give me some significant performance enhancements without upgrading the MOBO or CPU. I do plan on upgrading these components later in the year, but I wanted to try to do this step by step and identify the weakest parts.