I currently have a Q6600 processor but my current motherboard is starting to go belly up. Rather then to replace the motherboard with the same socket to use my Q6600 in, would I see a significant improvement if I were to upgrade to a i7-920?
I'm basically wondering if it would be a good idea to get a LGA 1366 socket motherboard, or if Intel was going to be switching to yet another socket soon for their newer line of processors.
Depends on what you use your pc for. The general answer is no. It will cost you around $500 or more to make the change. Intel is always changing, but this socket will be around for awhile. If you do it, look for frys (in stores only) or newegg combo specials. 4 gb of good ddr3 will run you around $85-95. I like corsair or crucial 1600 ddr3.
I went from a Q9550 to an i7 920. Really didn't see any significant improvement, but overall I'm happy because it's better for my multi-GPU setup. I was more happy with my Intel X25-M 80g G2 SSD than my i7 920. Still got the Q9550 setup. It's still a beast. I have Dual 4870 in CFX on that one and 2 WD Blacks in Raid-0.
My i7 rig is for nVidia Games and my Q9550 rig is for ATI games.
Performance improvement depends on what you are doing with your PC. If you are gaming, then you will probably see small improvements. It depends on the game, but you'll probably only see a few % increase.
If you are gonna encode video, well now that's different. You will definitely see improved performance.
Intel basically change sockets about every two years based on recent track record. If you want a more stable socket lifetime, then go with AMD so that your motherboard does not become "obsolete" after only two years.
The following article shows that the Q6600 is a very capable performer when compared to other processors: http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=364...
I like Leon's advice to replace the motherboard and overclock the Q6600 to boost the performance. This will only cost you about $120.
If you really want to get another 30 percent boost in performance, and are willing to spend $390, then a i750 CPU ($150 at Microcenter), a Gigabyte P55-UD3R motherboard ($140), and two sticks of 2GB RAM ($100) is a good option. The i750 / P55 computer actually outperforms the i920 / X58 system for gaming because the i750 processor incorporates the PCIe bus on the chip, thus eliminating the bandwidth bottleneck associated with the northbridge chip required for the i920 processor.