Depends on the game title, but your CPU is starting to show its age. If you ran like 4K at the highest settings on an older title, maybe. Anywhere you are GPU bound. But if your CPU is always at 100% a new GPU isn't going to improve things much.
I would spend the money on a new platform before replacing the GPU. Or do both at the same time if you have the cash.
Basically you need to set a target. So like BF1 at 2560x1440 at 75Hz. That is going to take a lot more CPU and GPU. Minecraft woud be more CPU/Memory. Or if you only play games like LoL or DOTA2, well I'm not 100% sure there, haven't checked out anyone playing that title with a Phenom.
Well seeing your running a 1050 TI I guess you have a UEFI bios which is rare for AM3. You can easily bump up to a 1060 3gb, your Phenom will handle that fairly well. Yes at some point your going to see a bottleneck but this is to be expected with such a old CPU.
Depends on the game your playing. If you're constantly seeing 100% CPU usage in your games, you're better off upgrading the CPU. Also, a GTX 1050ti is pretty good for 1080p so unless you want to go for a higher resolution, a new GPU won't do you much good.
Sometimes. Many of them won't give you a picture in the BIOS which can make OS installation nearly impossible. Though AM3 isn't quite old enough to have that problem I would think.
Almost always work if you already have an OS installed though. Just need the drivers in Windows.
Nvidia has really cut back on backwards compatibility. I often recommend AMD for FM1/AM2 or 3rd gen and older Intel systems. Just depends on how your motherboard manufacturer feels about BIOS updates for old stuff. OEM computers are most susceptible to not working, since they might get BIOS updates while the product is still actively being produced, but that might be an 18 month window. After that they are pretty much abandoned.
I did a clean Windows 7 install using this board (see above) and the GTX 1050 Ti. No issues at all. Same with my sort-of neighbor. He's using my old AM2+ board and a GTX 1050 (non Ti). And he installed Windows 10 Home on his.
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Yes, I'm only playing at 1080p on a 60Hz display. I guess I'll stick with the 1050 Ti.
@Delaro: What does UEFI have to do with it? I'm using the GTX 1050 Ti on a regular BIOS. UEFI cards work on legacy BIOS too.
Nvidia stopping Legacy support during the 700 series, there is quite a difference on how a Legacy and UEFI BIOS deal with booting hardware. If you managed to get it to work consider yourself lucky but don't expect the same results with another card. This is a well known issue and you can find thousands of threads that say "I't don't work for me" but only a handful of threads that say "It works".
I've experienced this myself and have yet to get a 900 series and up card to work on a Legacy BIOS running Windows 10.
It's unfortunate that RAM prices are still stupid, 8GB should be around $40-$50 and 16G should start at $75. Both of these are something like 40% faster over the best Phenom II chips and you have full UEFI support. I still have my Phenom II 965 CPU/MB/RAM sitting in the basement from the finale upgrade so I have a pretty good idea how much of a performance gap you get for the money. You have a pretty nice AM3 board sold as a combo "CPU/MB/RAM" you could get around $125-$150 back.