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Upgrading questions- trying to squeeze 2 more years out of my machine

This is my first post, I have come here often for advice, I appreciate what you guys do to help people.


Current system (what I was running before I bought new hardware, which is yet to be installed)

E8400 cpu
775 MB with 1 pci-e slot, only 4 power phase, 1600 FSB
radeon HD 6970 2 gb
8 GB DDR2 OCZ titanium 4-4-4-15 2.2v RAM

I need to wait 1.5 years before I spend any serious $ on a new rig, and although my rig is doing 'ok' for me, it is very luke-warm performance-wise, and want to do something to improve my experience. Anyways, it has been on my mind to do some upgrading to carry me for another 18 months before I build a all-new machine (I would like to wait awhile until I am in a position to build something really great) .Then I just happened to get lucky and have a Gigabyte 775 board with 2 true 16x PCI-E slots, 1600 FSB, OC friendly # of power phases- fall into my lap for free...

So, I decided to spend some money and try to get some bang for my buck(I hope) to hold me over until I spend the serious $. I ended up spending about $400 more than I wanted, but mostly that money went to things I can reuse in 18 months, like a corsair H100i cpu cooler, sound reactive lights n such, plus a full atx tower with built in liquid cooling, which I will use purely for my GPUs. I spent $100 on a brand new q9650 core 2 quad (just happened to come across it online). I bought it a little bit on impulse thinking it was the best I could do for my 775 MB, but now I'm concerned it will bottleneck my two radeon HD 6970s and my whole idea here isn't very worth-while. I can return the q9650, and stick with my e8400 awhile longer, but there's no way I can run two 6970s in crossfire, making the second one I just bought to go with the new MB useless (I paid $100 for the 2nd 6970, it's in great condition. I could maybe return that as well).

Was my thinking flawed, should I of just bit the bullet and built a whole new machine early and buy hardware a few notches cheaper then I had planned? Can I use my corsair H100i and overclock the stuffing out of the q9650 and not worry about bottlenecking crossfire'd 6970s? I know I would still be in a bit of trouble with CPU intensive games though.

I only recently have free time enough to play games again, so I'll be picking up a few, but there are no specific games I am wanting to upgrade for.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading questions squeeze years machine
  1. That CPU will perform fine with two 6970's ;)
  2. Thank you aatje for the reply. Are you positive on this? I have read many conflicting reports. Also, how much can I overclock this q9650? I know every cpu is different, but considering it's brand new still and I don't need multiple years from it, and have a H100i to cool it, whats a ballpark on the max I can hope to get out of it? I read of somebody taking a q9650 to 4.5GHz using just very good air cooling, can I go beyond that possibly? And would I even want to? I would find this out for myself with my specific cpu, but I don't want to take it out of the box and install it until I'm sure I'm keeping it. The MB I got for free is a GIGABYTE GA-X38-DS4
  3. Best answer
    Even if you could take it up to 4ghz, you'll be fine, i think you can squeeze it out of it maybe 4.5 but that's a gamble. Either way that cpu will keep you going for 1.5 year just fine.
  4. Great to hear, thanks again!
  5. No problem ;).

    Remember to select best answer :)
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