How much improvement will OCing give me?

I'm not going to be gaming on this machine, strictly a photo editing box, but there will be a lot of intensive batch processing which typically take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the action running.

I'm building a new box that will house a Q9450 on a ASUS P5K E board using Corsair XMS2 DHX 2x2G RAM

Will OCing give me much of a performance boost since I wont be gaming? If it will what should I be targeting, 3.2ish?

If OCing will provide a significant performance boost for me without sacrificing longevity I definitely want to do it and will add a Xigmatex S1283
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  1. It will help. And 3.2 is an easy speed for the processor you plan on getting. I recommend you test it for yourself when you get all the parts. Just bench her at stock with your own tests, the ones that matter for you, and get a base line view of her performance, then get to over clocking and you can tell us the difference in time overclocking saves!

    And since it's free beyond ordering the parts, why not, if it helps?

    As far as CPU life goes, I doubt 3.2 would do anything to it, really. Just watch the temps and all that jazz, and you'll be good to go!

    I have the same board here, though not with a 45 NM chip, so i can help ya when you need it!

  2. Don't overlook the hard drives. You are going to be doing a lot of disk I/O. I do not recommend RAID 0 or Raptors, but there are some pretty fast SATA II hard drives available today.
  3. As jsc suggests, it all depends on whether your batch processing is CPU limited or hard-drive limited. If the time is mostly spent calculating (for example filters/blends/rendering), then OCing the CPU should help pretty directly (i.e. I'd expect close to 20% task speed increase from a 20% overclock). If the time is mostly spent loading/saving large image files, then speeding up the disks should be your priority. RAID 0 will essentially double the loading/saving speed, but doubles the risk of data loss due to drive failure. I'd go with a RAID 0+1 setup (4 drives, giving double throughput and full data duplication, but only the storage space equivalent of 2 drives).
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