I built a PC a while ago (from memory about 2 years ago?) and am presently on hols in HK with a chance of visiting the local computer centres for some components. Therefore, I'd like some advice on whether it's worth upgrading any of my components.
I should first add that I'm very new to overclocking and have not yet overclocked my PC even though I'm aware it has much potential to do so. I was planning on using the PC on base spec until it was on its last legs, then overclock to get more use of of it. Therefore, I assume many of the responses will be along the lines of "don't upgrade, but overclock instead". I'd appreciate any tips on this too, although realise I should raise this sub-question in a different forum category.
However, this is my present spec so if there are any glaring areas that would be better to upgrade than overclock, then let me know. In terms of budget, I'd probably be looking at upgrading just one, perhaps two, components (e.g. new memory, new graphics card), but probably won't be able to stretch to more than one or two components. Again, a range of advice would be good (e.g. if it makes more sense to upgrade both memory and graphics to mid-range spec rather than graphics only to higher spec).
MB : Asus P5K Deluxe
Memory : 4GB Corsair...Unfortunately I don't have the details handy on what I brought now!
CPU : Intel Q6600 2.4GHz
Graphics : 8800GT (again, can't recall the make)
HHD : Can't recall from memory!
Sound : X-Fi Gamer
Monitor : Samsung 20" (not helping here...no model number again!)
PSU : Antec Truepower Trio TP3-650
Case : Antec P180
OS : Win7
I'm very much into gaming, so am primarily concerned with gaming performance.
From reading some areas of the forum, I understand upgrading CPU to Q9650 / Q9550 would not really gain much compared with overclocking the Q6600. I guess more RAM wouldn't go amiss, although for gaming I expect the most beneficial upgrade will be Graphics card.
If RAM is the suggestion, with such little detail I guess it's hard to comment, but I don't know whether anyone can provide generic advice. For example, I know the MB can take up to DDR3 1333, so is it possible to mix this with my present DDR2 RAM (regardless of what FSB it may be), and is there any benefit to do so.
If Graphics is the suggested approach, should I consider Crossfire on two cheaper cards or go for a more powerful single card. I seem to get the impression some time ago that Crossfire is not really worth it, but haven't been up to speed recently to know if this opinion has changed.
If I get any more details by trying to locate my original purcahse e-mails on-line, then I'll post them in this thread, but I doubt I'll be able to get any further detail whilst out here in Hong Kong!
Q6600 tops out at 3.6Ghz comfortably on air. Q9550/Q9650 can go further on air. Don't talk about LN2/phase/DICE unless you got any of 'em AND overclock on a daily basis. Most of us are on air. Also, the 45nm quads have more cache at least on the earlier revisions. Your kentfields got 8MB. One Yorkfields got 12MB. It makes a difference in video conversion.
I'm by no means suggesting a cpu upgrade. I'm glad I got rid of my LGA 775 last year. You can keep prolonging the inevitable, but by then your quad rig won't be worth anything.
Save up for a next-gen i5 gaming rig. Q2 would be the best time cuz Ferma (GT400; 300 codename dropped, maybe reserved for rebranding 200s; 100 was the new codename) should be out.
Wow - I wasn't expecting a response that quickly! For what it's worth, I've located a few more details in respect of spec. From this reply though it sounds like I may as well stick with the current system and overclock. I'm on air cooling as per the following spec. I'd welcome other replies to confirm everyone is of the same opinion.
Yup, overclock the CPU -- it's free and going to a 775 quad core isn't worth the money for what you'll get.
You could probably benefit from going to 4GB of RAM ... but on the other hand, if you're going to replace this system in a year or two it could be a waste. Same with the video card ... could go to a 4870 or so, but again, if you're not keeping this system terribly long, not worth the money.
Personally, I would just overclock the thing and keep the $200+ that you'd have to spend for a decent upgrade, and put that toward a new system.