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Upgrade to i7 worth it?

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March 22, 2010 4:53:22 PM

Hey guys,

I am a professional photographer and currently run a q6600 Overclocked to 3.0ghz with 6Gigs of ram on Windows 7 Ultimate.

I was thinking about upgrading to a I7 920 or 930. I was wondering if I would see a huge jump. I have seen benchmarks using the photoshop speedtest on q6600 compared to a I7 920 and it looks like a good jump but this is not an overclocked q6600. How does a q6600 OC'ed to 3.0ghz compare to an I7 920 in photoshop?

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March 22, 2010 5:54:18 PM

Here's a benchmark of the Q6600 overclocked to various levels in Photoshop Elements. Overclocking it to 3.265 GHz showed a performance bump of about 25%. Comparing that to the benchmarks of the stock Q6600 and stock i7-920, you get about a 33% performance bump. However, you're not taking into account that you can overclock the i7-920 too. An i7 can approach 4 GHz with a good overclock, which would destroy the Q6600.
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March 22, 2010 10:48:26 PM

How would a 955(OC) with 8GB DDR3 and nvidia 250GTX stack up ??

= +SSD ? =

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March 22, 2010 11:43:43 PM

AMD chips just don't do well in Photoshop - it was written with Intel chips in mind. Even with two very similar chips from both companies, the Intel one will be faster.

However, Photoshop loves lots of RAM, and you can even use a RAMDISK as a scratch disk to speed it up some more. I did that on a computer at work, and it has helped tremendously on a mobile Core 2 @ 2GHz with 4GB RAM and a slow 5400RPM hard drive.

As for the GPU, only a few filters in Photoshop are designed to use it, but the ones that do (zooming, mostly), use it fantastically!
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March 22, 2010 11:50:47 PM

sjordan said:
Hey guys,

I am a professional photographer and currently run a q6600 Overclocked to 3.0ghz with 6Gigs of ram on Windows 7 Ultimate.

I was thinking about upgrading to a I7 920 or 930. I was wondering if I would see a huge jump. I have seen benchmarks using the photoshop speedtest on q6600 compared to a I7 920 and it looks like a good jump but this is not an overclocked q6600. How does a q6600 OC'ed to 3.0ghz compare to an I7 920 in photoshop?

It would depend on what filters you are running, along with what version of Photoshop you have. Some filters will eat more threads up, while others will only use one or two. Even a mild overclock on the i7 would give you a heap of difference, though.

Also, if cost is prohibitive, I'd get a Xeon X3440 on a P55 board that has BIOS support for them (Asrock or MSI). I upgraded from a Xeon X3220 (the equivalent to the Q6600) OCed to 3GHz & 8GB of DDR2-1066 to the build in my sig, cost me around $500 for my initial upgrade, then added another 4GB of RAM to bring it to around $600 total. You can also skimp on the motherboard if you're not doing any extreme overclocking and go with an Asrock H55 board, should still be able to bring you to around 3.4GHz and some less expensive RAM to bring the cost down, probably closer to $450.

That is, IF you're using DDR2 with that Q6600.
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