Have an Abit IN9 32X 780i motherboard, 3gig of RAM, and a Q6600 at the moment, coupled with an 8800 ultra.
This was all pretty quick in the day, but now i7 is out, its getting old (er) hat.
However, I am not ready to ditch it yet, so while I may get a new graphics card (a 5870 seems like the best at the mo, at least that I can afford) I would like to squeeze some more out of the 775 socket before I go all out and get an i7.
So, with a budget of about £200, should I get a 3.3ghz e8600, a 3ghz Q9650, or should I just try and overclock my Q6600.
Mainly play games - in fact, assume that all I do, so does a quad core make much difference, or is it all about speed for games?
I've tried overclocking, but I am fumbling around in the dark a bit, and don't seem to get much success with it. However, as it is essentially free, I am prepared to learn a bit more if someone can point me in the direction of an idiots guide (google brings up loads of results, but its a wheat from the chaff situation really, nothing I have come across explains it in simple enough terms - something that makes me think I should just buy a faster processor!).
Theres some good C2D/C2Q guides in the Overclocking section here at Tom's, that would be a good place to start learning about overclocking.
Personally I would just by a Prolimatech Megahalems (or similiar air cooler) and overclock that Q6600 to atleast 3ghz. It'll be alot cheaper than buying a new processor and You'll learn alittle about overclocking.
I certainly wouldn't buy a C2D, theres a good chance that new games coming out will use 4 cores, The Q9650 is a great processor but I wouldn't invest alot of money on 775 anymore.
^ Yeah what he said. 3Ghz is a given for Kentsfield even on stock cooling. If not, get a good cpu cooler for ~20 quid and then blow the rest on a new gpu.
Just load bios default & then up FSB to 333Mhz so that 9 x 333 = ~ 3Ghz. Leave everything else as is or auto. If it fails, bump SPP, MCP & HT voltages up 1 notch. Do memtest for 3+ passes. Any more questions, go to overclocking forum.
You should read the current articles about building a balanced system. Depending on the games, your GPU may be limiting you and not your CPU. Upgrading the graphics card to a 5770 or 5850 that you can use in a new machine when you scrap this one and overclocking is probably going to do you the most good.
If you need a new cooler, something like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus (which fits every socket, including 1366 and 1156) and can be used again in your next computer would be a smart purchase.
I'm running stock cooler on an E8200 (2.66Ghz stock) that I've overclocked to 3.5Ghz - it still runs cool at 30 idle 40-45 load. Overclocking is good.
If you want some more grunt, probably go for a graphics card update...I recently bought a GTS250 to upgrade my 8600GT, and a 64GB SSD for an OS drive. My 1.7 year old computer now runs insanely fast and I'm hopefull to get another 2+ years out of my rig (unless current hardware power quadruples in that time).