I haven't really had my head in the game for a while... I mean over three years since I've even toyed around with the idea of upgrading. Several generations of new hardware have come and gone and I really don't know what's what anymore and I have come to seek your advice.
I have and AMD system that I bought off the shelf in 2011 with the following components:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6850
MB: Gigabyte 870A-UD3
8gig DDR3 RAM
1 TB HD 7200rpm
I soon realized that even an i5 performed better than this system for gaming and was pissed I didn't go intel. So given that I really don't want to spend a grand or more on a whole new unit. What parts could I buy to beef things up a bit?
I was looking at AMD FX-9590 Eight-Core but I don't even know if my MB supports it. Probably not. Processor is important to me because that is a bigger bottleneck in Skyrim (yes, I just started a new game all over after a year break) than the GPU. In any case I'd pay up to $300 for an upgrade.
GPU- I'd pay about the same, $300 to upgrade, but I'd like to ensure it's a worthwhile jump in performance.
I'm in the same boat here and I decided that upgrading to Intel was the better choice. I build computers for a living and we have some of the biggest companies as customers and I've built hundreds of PC's encompassing dozens of different configurations and there's always one constant: EVERY build I've done used Intel CPU's and motherboards. If I was you though I'd look more to the i5 because from what I can tell it's actually better at running games than the i7 and you can get a decent CPU and mobo combo for right around you're $300 price point.