Originally Posted by Jayjr1105
Newer games are becoming more and more resource hungry. For example BF3 uses all 4 of my 4.5Ghz cores at about 65% usage each. This depends on how much your CPU has to keep up with your graphics cards. If you have a solo 6870 card, technically your current CPU should handle it fine, but the more CPU hungry games are going to make you struggle.
No I would not go with the AMD setup. Yes I know it is tempting because of the price you can get an AMD quad core for plus the boards are typically cheaper, but trust me. I was a huge AMD advocate for a long time because you could obtain a true quad core CPU for ~$100 and play 99% of games on ultra. That isn't the case anymore. If you go with that AMD you will be barely upgrading if at all. Your solution is simple if you have the cash for it. Get the 2500k, crossfire your 6870 and I promise you, you'll be happily gaming for years to come, plus ivy bridge chips are going to be the same socket (1155) so get a gen 3 board and you'll really be future proofed.
I just recently came from a similar situation. I had one 5770, and an AMD quad core phenom... I went with the i5 2500k, got a second 5770 for crossfire, and now I play BF3 with all settings on high and 2x AA @ 50+ fps.
The i3 is not the problem in this situation, my i3 can push a single 470 at 900MHz core (stock is 607MHz so basically a 470+50%) in the games the OP mentioned with no problems or bottle-necking.
I can't comment on SLI as my board is limited by the PCI-E slots but one high-end card will be fine and the 6870 is less powerful than my 470 is.
A 470 at 900MHz is only slightly behind a 580 unless it's running out of VRAM by the way.
I'm not saying that the clarkdale chip is as good as a 2500K but BF3 is going to be GPU limited anyway.
Edit: Actually, there's no point in going for crossfire unless the OP also upgrades his board so the 2500K isn't a bad suggestion if you wanted to go that route.
The H55m-UD2H has a PCI-E 2.0 x16 slot and a PCI-E 1.1 x4 slot so the second card won't have enough bandwidth to make a big difference to performance.
Personally, I'd upgrade to a 7970, 580,480,6970,570,6950 or a 560ti 448 core to get better performance in games because your HD 6870 should be the limiting factor in the games you mentioned.Edited by Mike-IRL - 2/6/12 at 6:46am