By far, the biggest bottleneck in your build for gaming, will be that that 550 Ti GPU!
The 6870 suggestion is a much better buy.
You may be underestimating the power of the i5 2500K, and the 3570k is only 14,8% more powerful. If the OP's CPU were considered a bottleneck, he would have to double the power to make any decent progress. Those CPU's that are double the power of the OP's choice, are REALLY expensive, well over $1,000.
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.30GHz Scores 6719
Intel Core i5-3570K @ 3.40GHz Scores 7714
the SSDs have come a long way in the last few years. i say their BEST usage is in a laptop for a power user. i have one in my work Macbook and the damn thing cold boots in 15 seconds! but for a desktop where power consumption and physical movement are not to be considered, i like the raw power of a 10k
I do like 10k hard drives and have owned a few along the way, and the best way to desrcibe the performance differences between a Velociraptor and an SSD, is quoted below[hothardware.com].
Of course, even the fastest of today’s hard drives can’t compete with solid state drives in terms of peak transfer speeds and especially access times, but the release of the new WD VelociRaptor we’ll be showing you here today helps close the gap just a bit.
I'm going to make waves here and go against the crowd. I'd say drop the SSD, cheaper PSU and use that money in your budget to get a better video card.
You are correct, of course, as those cards are twice as powerful as the OP's choice, assuming the OP wants/needs to go that far up the chain. I suppose it would depend on whether the OP is a gaming enthusiast, or an obsessed gaming maniac.
Yeah - but the 3570K is only $10 more on Newegg. Anyone would be stupid to buy the 2500K now given that price difference?
As for the SSD discussion - its really not necessary, video card is far more important in a gaming build. Load times don't matter much if your frame rate is crap.
$10 difference would definitely make the 3570k a better buy than the 2500K, however I only addressed your statement that the OP's processor was the bottleneck in his proposed system, and if that is so, it will not be resolved by buying a processor that is a meager 15% stronger, even if it only costs $10 more.
As mentioned, I believe you underestimate the power of that 2500k, but assuming you are aware of how powerful it is and you still feel that it is bottlenecking his rig, you might propose a stronger CPU that is a minimum of 50% more powerful, or better yet, double the power.
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