Upgrade Core2Duo... to i or not to i


For the whole following month I have that dilemma how to get biggest bang for buck (or 600 of them).

I'm looking for some advice about upgrading my system:
- Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz@3.25GHz, box http://processorfinder.intel.com/details.aspx?sSpec=SL9S8
- 2x1GB DDR2 667MHz CL5 "GoodRam" dual. http://www.goodram.com/pub/File/Datasheet/1GB%20DIMM/GR667D264L5-1G_128x8.pdf
- Gigabyte GA-P31-DS3L (LGA-775, 1xPCIe x16, 4 DDR2 banks, P-31/ICH7 chipset) http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/Products/Motherboard/Products_Overview.aspx?ProductID=2615
- EVGA GeForce 9800GTX 512 MB (slightly O/C ed) http://www.nvnews.net/reviews/evga_geforce_9800_gtx/index.shtml
- 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=c501895c8ccce110VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0aRCRD#tTabContentSpecifications
- 80GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=66cc26a2c88ef010VgnVCM100000f5ee0a0aRCRD&locale=en-US&reqPage=Legacy#
- NEC ND-4571A DVD-RW (rubbish don't buy that) http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Specific.aspx?ArticleId=17403
- Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE PCI http://uk.europe.creative.com/products/product.asp?category=1&subcategory=873&product=14257&nav=0&listby=
- Be quiet! Straight Power E6 500W PSU http://www.be-quiet.net/be-quiet.net/index.php?StoryID=220&websiteLang=en

My upgrade budget is 600$ (750$ max.), and my aim is to get highest gaming performance in 1920x1200 resolution and in Win7, preferably in racing & flying sims (Test drive Unlimited 2, GTR, X-Plane, Storm of War, FSX, Silent Hunter V).
I'm eager to overclock so a system that gives best results after being O/C'ed is most valuable for me.

So the big question is:
1) go for core i7-920 with 6 gigs of RAM platform and leave the current graphics card.
2) go for core i5-750 with 4 gigs of RAM platform and get another 9800 GTX or HD 5850 or two HD 4870's or GTX 280
3) go for Phenom II X4 955 (965) with 4 gigs of RAM platform and get Radeon HD5870 or two HD4890 or GF GTX 285 or two GF GTX 260's
4) go for Core 2 Quad Q9550 and get Radeon HD5870 or HD4870 X2 or GF GTX 285 and another 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM for current system.
5) get Radeon HD5970 or GTX295 and add another 2 gigs of DDR2 RAM for current system.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Own ideas welcome!

3 answers Last reply
More about upgrade core2duo
  1. i5 with ddr3 and another 9800gtx would be best keep that till march see what nvidia throws out on the gtx 300(gt100) series and upgrade video card then
  2. You have listed some intriguing options. This article will help you sort out what the performance differences are likely to be between the various processors you listed:

    It really comes down to what price you are willing to pay for a given increase in performance, and only you can make that decision.

    I found your Option 4 very interesting because you used to be able to get a Q9550 from Microcenter for $160. If this will work in your current motherboard, then adding a 5870 graphics card will give you a big performance jump. But you need to check the compatibility of all of the old and new components before trying this upgrade.

    Good luck.
  3. As for another 9800gtx I can go with core i7 860 and 4 gigs of ram, although I would rather want to avoid the need to upgrade PC in the next year.
    As for the no. 4 option I have a big deal deciding whether go for phenom 2 or stay with LGA775 (cost of upgrade is roughly the same for me because I plan to sell unused parts).
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