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How to spend my money cleverly -- Q6600 B3

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July 31, 2009 5:50:45 PM

Hi there.

I'm writing this thread hoping for some help on what I should do in regards of my computer.
In September I will have saved up money (tax return!) and I've decided to give my system a boost to be able to handle the new games that'll be coming out beautifully (Crysis is no biggie). I'd also like to speed up tasks such as compiling (I'm an avid programmer). I'm also moving big files around on my system, but I'm not sure if I want to invest in SSD's ;-)

--- Here's my current build ---
CPU:Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4GHz (B3-stepping) -- Overclocked to 3.2GHz [Link]
HSF:XIGMATEK HDT-S1284EE 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler [Link]
MB:MSI P35 Neo-F LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard [Link]
PSU:Fortron/Source Epsilon 700W

GFX:XFX GeForce 8800GTX 600M 768MB XT GDDR3 [Link]

RAM:2x Corsair TWIN2X 6400 DDR2, 2048MB CL5

HDD 1:Western Digital Raptor 74GB SATA 16MB 10 000RPM
HDD 2:Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB SATA2

Case:Cooler Master Stacker 831 SE [Link]

RESOLUTION 1920x1200

--- Current temperatures ---
I haven't been able to get Arctic Silver 5 yet so currently I had to use Arctic Silver Ceramique Thermal Compound instead. I am also very unsure about the airflow in the case.
The case has 1x 120mm fan in the front that sucks air in, and an exhaust fan of 120mm in the back.

Core Temp with Tj Max = 100C.

Idle:43 42 41 40
Load:67 65 65 63

---- End temperatures ---


What I'd like to know first is whether to toss this motherboard or not. I've seen that it is broadly labeled as a low-end motherboard. I've read similar topics before, that have discussed whether it'll be best to just scrap the Q6600 for an i7 920, and that's one of the things I want to know.
I guess an upgrade of the graphics card is in order, but I am unable to use CF/SLI with my current motherboard as it isn't supported. Unfortunately.

Again, I'd like to stress that I am trying to figure out how to spend my money as cleverly as possible while still getting a performance boost that lasts!

The upgrade wont take place before the beginning of September. I was unsure whether or not to make up a budget, because I just want to see what would be a resonable step to take because I'm trying not to throw money out the window if you know what I mean. Though, I am hoping to get things sorted for $450-700, but It's flexible both ways if that's what it takes :) 

Thanks a lot in advance :) 
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 31, 2009 9:52:36 PM

The neo range are basic with fewer connectors nd features but performance isnt different to higher spec boards .
IMO theres no point changing the mb or cpu at this time

The temps dont look too bad either

Best value is to swap out the gfx card for a 2009 model
July 31, 2009 10:31:59 PM

Outlander_04 said:
The neo range are basic with fewer connectors nd features but performance isnt different to higher spec boards .
IMO theres no point changing the mb or cpu at this time

The temps dont look too bad either

Best value is to swap out the gfx card for a 2009 model


Thanks a lot for you reply - I am glad to hear that you think I will do just fine with a graphics card update. I am hoping to be able to push my Q6600 to 3.4GHz, at least when I re-seat it and use AS5, and perhaps try to see if I can better the airflow within the case.

I've been looking at the HD 4870 and I've heard it's being praised at least in Crossfire. I am however unable to use Crossfire, should I look in the direction of the 4890? Perhaps even a 4890 X2 (if it's coming?).

Oh the decisions!

Edit:

At the current speed of my system, will I get a bottleneck by introducing one of the newer graphics cards?

I'm running a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels.
Related resources
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
July 31, 2009 11:23:34 PM

Your Q6600 is essentially the same cores as the later C2quad processors . Later they shrank them and increased the speed . You have already OC'd so you wont be far off the performance of the current line up .
I dont think that will be a problem for cpu power

Dont expect miracles from thermal compound . Its only there to fill tiny imperfections in the surface of the heatsink .

You could add more case fans , or higher flow fans .

Thanks for mentioning the resolution . Thats critical . The 4870 is OK at 1920x 1200 bu t the 4890 or GTX 275 are better ! Have a look at the charts section of this site .
And later this year there will be new models released like the 5870 ..
You might want to wait for one of those
July 31, 2009 11:32:12 PM

Outlander_04 said:
Your Q6600 is essentially the same cores as the later C2quad processors . Later they shrank them and increased the speed . You have already OC'd so you wont be far off the performance of the current line up .
I dont think that will be a problem for cpu power

Dont expect miracles from thermal compound . Its only there to fill tiny imperfections in the surface of the heatsink .

You could add more case fans , or higher flow fans .

Thanks for mentioning the resolution . Thats critical . The 4870 is OK at 1920x 1200 bu t the 4890 or GTX 275 are better ! Have a look at the charts section of this site .
And later this year there will be new models released like the 5870 ..
You might want to wait for one of those


Thanks, I had some trouble seating the HSF due to the push-pins -- I might get the Crossbow to make sure I don't break the board in two ;-) I might just do exactly what you suggested about the 5870. I am just hoping the models that are worth going for are going to be too expensive so that it further postpones my upgrade plans.
August 1, 2009 12:35:33 AM

I agree with the outlander 100%, your biggest boost will be from updating your GPU.
!