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Overclock my cpu or buy an upgrade?

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July 19, 2010 7:00:29 PM

Hi,

I currently own an e6600 with a ATI 4890. Afaik, my system's bottleneck is the CPU (for gaming of course). Do you guys I think it is better to get a good cooler and overclock my CPU to the max I could or just get an upgrade? Feel free to suggest any upgrade if you think it is the right way to go.


Thank you.

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July 19, 2010 11:50:23 PM

I just wen't down a similar path. I have a Q6600 and upgraded my video card from an 8800 Ultra to an HD5870. I knew that I would be a bit CPU bottlenecked but decided to do it anyway because I got a good price.

I did some tests & found that in general I got less of a boost than I thought I would - more so in benchmarks than games.

I ran a bunch of games with the task manager in the background & also GPU-Z to see which were Graphics and CPU bottlenecked. Games like Crysis/GTA IV/Fallout 3 the CPU was maxed out but the GPU not so

ANYWAY

So I looked at the prices of an upgrade and figured the following (in NZ dollars)

Heatsink upgrade for CPU overclocking: $120
CPU upgrade to approx 3ghz: $400 (gaining maybe $150 from selling the old CPU)
Motherboard+CPU+RAM upgrade to X58/i5 or i7: $800+ (gaining maybe $400 from selling old parts)

In the end I went with a heatsink upgrade from stock (Got a Xigmatek HDT-s1283, arctic cooling MX2 and the crossbow kit to brace on rather than those crappy pushpins).

I installed it all (took 2 hours and had to practically disassemble the whole computer).

Anyway - I've now got a 35% overclock (3.24ghz) and in benchmarks there is a 20-30% increase in performance and in games about a 5-10% increase (though I haven't tried GTA IV yet). My CPU temps are actually less than they were with the stock cooler as well.

So in short - I am glad I went with the heatsink upgrade rather than a CPU upgrade to get the same speed for much less.
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July 20, 2010 8:38:10 PM

Offender, thanks for your input.
Did you have an e6600 and got a q6600? or you only had the q6600?

anyother views would be appreciated.
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July 20, 2010 8:52:58 PM

If you do end up buying a cooler, buy a nice one that's compatible with CPU's you might buy in the future. Then it would be a worthwhile investment either way you look at it.

Personally, I'd wait on an upgrade until you could get a completely new rig. Buying a HSF now though doesn't seem like a bad idea at all.
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July 20, 2010 9:38:13 PM

Just a Q6600.
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July 20, 2010 9:59:04 PM

You don't have a choice to be honest unless you are going to upgrade the board as well (going from one C2Q to another one is pointless). I say buy a decent cooler and overclock.
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July 21, 2010 3:14:32 AM

@redechelon and @OverClkr
Yeah, that's what I thought. It is not worth it to go from an e6600 to a Q-core processor. Thanks a lot for the info
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July 21, 2010 3:14:56 AM

Best answer selected by swell9.
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July 21, 2010 3:26:08 AM

@ OP, my bad I didnt see the "e" so I thought you were talking about going from a Q6600 to a Q9550 for example, anyways you have an E6600 which can do 3.2Ghz quite easily maybe even 3.4Ghz depending on the temps.
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July 21, 2010 10:35:25 PM

OvrClkr said:
@ OP, my bad I didnt see the "e" so I thought you were talking about going from a Q6600 to a Q9550 for example, anyways you have an E6600 which can do 3.2Ghz quite easily maybe even 3.4Ghz depending on the temps.


Yea. I am currently doing 3.1Ghz on my stock cooler. Very smooth and temps are almost the same as stock clocks. I think I can push it to 3.4ghz or even more with a good cooler!
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