I'm planning to finally upgrade my trustworthy Radeon 4870 to a Radeon 7870. My question is: will my CPU become a bottleneck, in a way that I wouldn't get the most out of this card? My CPU is an AMD Phenom II X4 965.
The other problem I may have is I only have 4Gb of RAM. The thing is that my older mobo uses DDR2 memory, and I can't find a decently priced 8Gb kit from a reliable source. Could that also be a bottleneck, both for speed and size?
Or one could say... upgrade mobo+CPU+RAM before the video card? I'm ready to spend on that VGA, but not sure about the mobo+CPU+RAM as that will be close to twice the price. And so of course, definitely not ready to upgrade everything.
I don't think your CPU will be a major bottleneck for a 7870. Take a look at this nice comparison Tom's recently published: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 427-9.html
With most newer games taking advantage of quad-cores, the old phenom II architecture holds up pretty well in these games. Tom's even picks your x4 965 CPU as their current budget gaming CPU of choice at the $100 mark (essentially gives you the same gaming potential as an ivy bridge core i3 in most new games that are multi-threaded). Again, don't take my word for it, but the read the link above.
Intel i7 950 @ 4.3GHz, EVGA X58 3x SLI, Corsair 12GB DDR3, Corsair 160GB SSD + 2TB WD 7200rpm HDD, EVGA GeForce GTX 570 Superclocked, Asus Xonar Essence audio, Sony Blu-ray writer, Corsair 700D case