Hi. I've not posted on toms in ages, and felt the need a big update thread dedicated to my PC
I started upgrading in February starting with an E8400, Asus Silent Knight - II MSI P35 Neo-2, 4x1 Gb G.Skill HK ram, and an ATI 3870.
Next, I found some cheap overclocked 3850's and bought a pair along with 2x2 Gb of OCZ 800 Mhz Reapers. I actually managed to make more then the cost of the new ram from selling my 4x1 Gb sticks (They could do 1066 Mhz @ 4-4-4-12 with one pair, but with all four sticks installed they wouldn't go higher then 900 Mhz so I wanted 2x2 Gb).
The new parts were brilliant - the 3850's could reach 816 / 2150 and I bios modded them to 775 / 2000 and they were 24/7 stable. The OCZ ram managed to peak at 1110 Mhz, and I ran them along with a 450 Mhz FSB with 4050 Mhz on the E8400 and 1080 Mhz on the ram.
I then upgraded to an MSI X48c Platinum because crossfire was weak on the P35. I was going to wait for the P45, but once I heard they were only going to have an 8x 8x PCI-E configuration, I was put of and got the X48, managing to sell my Neo-2 at the same price as what I bought it for (It was dead cheap anyway). I also spotted some OCZ Flex - II 1150 Mhz sticks for £99 so went ahead and bought some, but to my dismay the 800 Mhz reapers had tumpled in price an I only managed to sell them for £60 (I tried to get £75 for them).
Following this, I managed to reach an FSB of 480 with 1152 Mhz on the ram, and had to drop my CPU multi down to 8.5 for 4080 Mhz (My E8400 maxes at around 4.2 Ghz but isnt 24/7 stable boo!).
That was all going fine, untill the custom cooled 4850's were released, and I got tempted by the 1 Gb Powercolor ones with the same Zerotherm coolers I had on my 3850's. I grabbed a pair, along with a new Acer G24 monitor to make the best of them and for full 1080P gaming and movies
And thats where I have currently stopped. It looks expensive, but each upgrade didnt cost much, except for the Monitor because I just sell my previous parts for as much as I can.
Next I want to wait for the price of the E8600 to come down after Nehelem is released, and grab one for the 10x multi to go with my 480 FSB, hoping that I can do at least 9.5x 480 for 4.5 Ghz, or even 10x 480 for 4.8 Ghz. I am then going to skip Nehalem and DDR3 entirely and wait for the next die shrink in a couple of years time.
My previous specs are in my Sig, I think that I have made quite a huge improvement. Oh, I also bought a second 500 Gb T166 when they were reduced to £39 a week before they ended up discontinued and replaced with F1's, so I have 1 Tb of storage
Now you probably want some pictures of the thing, be warned, the cables are a mess and I cant do anything about it:
I have a whole Copper and Blue thing going on. Oh, and I forgot to mention the PSU upgrade - OCZ ModXStream 780 Watts for just £58.
Now I just wait for the E8600 price to come down after Nehalem gets released. I was just going to get an E0 E8400 first after they come out, but there isnt much point if I am running at 480 FSB for 24/7 use, I'll need a higher multi or theres no point. And then I promise no more upgrades for another 1-2 years untill 32 nm CPUs
Going from an E8400 to an E8600 doesn't seem like much of a jump even as far as the over clocking potential is concerned. I know the newer stepping will help, but if you only manage to reach 4.4 - 4.6 GHz it would probably only relate to a 10% performance increase in gaming. I say you wait for the Q9650 to go down in price since by that time more games should be optimized to make better use out of 4 or more cores.
I know its not much difference, but I dont want a quad core yet, just the final dual core for S775 which is E8600. I just want it for overclocking, I doubt I will get 4.8 Ghz, but I would like to try .
I only play games and a higher clocked dual core still looks to be more advantageous then a quad core for my needs. Plus I just Ebay my E8400 like Ive done with my minor upgrades so far.
New socket, DDR3+ and quad core can wait untill 32 nm. I did similar upgrades on my S939 rig as well, starting with an athlon 3000+, 2x1 Gb ram, the first SLI motherboard - Asus A8N-SLI and a pair of 6800's in SLI slowly upgrading up to a top end S939 rig untill there is nothing more I can get without changing socket. Then I waited a long long time before upgrading to S775 (The E8400 convinced me to upgrade in february)
My E8400 wont even reach 4.2 Ghz (I can boot up to 4275 Mhz, but it isnt stable), I want to try get 4.5 Ghz and that should last me fine untill 32 nm.
Just like there is no difference going from my 1080 Mhz ram to 1150 Mhz except for 30 Mhz more on the FSB. There is hardly any difference in performance, but I enjoy overclocking and want the best parts for it.