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Q6660 to i7, multi GPU benefits and future releases

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August 8, 2009 8:01:41 AM

Hi chaps, It´s been a year since you helped me with me first build last summer and it´s been absolutely fantastic.
Just to remind you what I have:
Q6660 at 3.2 ghz, arctic freezer 7 pro, HD4870x2, Abit IP35 Pro, 4gb Dominator XMS2 at 1068, corsair 650w, OCZ vertex 32gb (boot drive), seagate 500gb (storage), Antec 1200. Samsung 22" at 1680x1050.

I just graduated and have started to work in a bank and my first pay day is coming up adn am thinking of upgrading. I have a few questions that I haven´t been able to get a straight answer to:

1. Is my q6660 bottlenecking my GPU? I have been told that multi GPU cards only peform at about 60% with this sort of CPU and I should really get an i7.
2. In which case I would get a 920 (obviously) DO and overclock the beast, may even build an H2O cooling setup. I have doubts my PSU would be sufficient, true?

finally and most importantly,

3. Given Intel´s new launch pplans (i5, i3 etc) should i be looking to grab an i7920 for the LGA1366 now? From what I´ve been reading on other forums it seems like Intel want to discontinue the 1366 920 because it is preventing sales of the more expensive 960. I don´t like the idea of a 920 on a smaller form factor (1155 or whatever it is) since it would be less powerful. If this was true, when the i5 and i3 are released , the 1366 920 will start to vanish. I have already seen overclockers.co.uk trying to shift their 920 DO OEMs a.s.a.p.
Essentially my question is, do you think that this is a limited window of opportunity in which to get the last cheap, powerful 1366 i7 920s?

I could be completely wrong and just panicking, when in fact the new i7s might be ultra overclockable.
I will overclock, dont care about turbo modes.

Thanks for your help guys,

fruees
August 8, 2009 8:29:39 AM

q6600 at 3.2ghz if not goin' to be a bottleneck. Quick test you can do though to make sure.

Open up your favorite multicore game, and make note of the fps. Start turning off cores in the affinity tab. To do this open up taskmanager, right click on your game, and click set affinity. Start un-checking cores and make note of your fps again, for each core.

If the processor is not the bottleneck, turning off 1- 2 cores shouldn't make much difference. Additionally set the processor at stock, and take not of the difference in fps, if any. And lastly change the resolution, if the processor is the bottleneck, your framerate shouldn't change much, if any. If the gfx card is the bottleneck the fps should drop a noticeable amount the higher resolution you choose. Note: Low resolution are most likely going to be bottlenecked by the processor, where as high resolution less likely.
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August 8, 2009 9:08:18 AM

1. Your cpu doesn't bottleneck your gpu.
2. No point upgrading now for i7. You can get a thermalright or prolimatech on air and you can get pretty close to water cooling results. You psu is sufficient.
3. i7 will not be discontinued. Intel prepares a new cpu with 6 cores.
So relax! You have a good rig.
August 8, 2009 9:19:51 AM

The worries for the i7 upgrade path are, there are none listed, only i9, which is only top line, and who knows how much that will cost?

Its replacing the 975, which is a 1000$ chip
August 8, 2009 10:53:52 AM

Thanks guys, you´re v helpful as always. I´ll try those tests. I guess I´ll probably stick with my current cpu aswell, but probably install a watercooling loop to pust my chip and GPU as far as possible and also satisfy my urge for tech improvements.

That release calendar is what mede me worried in the first place, if you look, the only i7 920s that will be available are the mainstream procassors, i.e destined for LGA 1156, not the current 920s which run on LGA 1366
August 8, 2009 11:55:35 AM

You can see that i7 920 it will in the mainstream until the end of next year. The point with new intel 6 cores cpu, is that it will bring down the prices for the rest of the line.
I don't suggest you to buy a watercooling system. Check the reviews and you will see that the air cooling is pretty close to water cooling and many times does even a better job.
August 8, 2009 2:37:30 PM

Q6600 is still a great cpu. If you plan to upgrade anything wait till dx11 comes out. What to see how multi-cpu will benefit as well as parallel processing.
!