Upgrading from C2D E6600

Hello everyone I posted this in CPUs but I believe that was the wrong section,

I've been having some problems with my ~3 year old build, I think the mobo is starting to go, or maybe the PSU, regardless its a good excuse to upgrade:).

My current specs are as follows:
Intel C2D E6600 at stock 2.4 ghz
4 gb ddr2 800mhz
Intel 775 gigabyte mobo
ati 5770
ocz 650w psu

The graphics card is a new part after my 8800 gtx stopped working, and I'm pretty happy with it, so I'm not looking to upgrade it unless it really is necessary.

I'm leaning towards an AMD phenom II 955 black edition with an AM3/AM2+/AM2 mobo so I can keep my current ram. Money isn't really a huge issue, but I'd like the best bang for my buck.

My question is, will I be happier with an i5 setup? The cpu would cost more, the mobo would cost more, and I would have to get new ram as well. The only game I've run into trouble running at decent fps is the FFXIV beta, and I think my cpu is the main culprit.

What kind of difference in performance am I looking at between the phenom II 955 vs say an intel i5 750, I'm not looking for the best possible performance, ~60 fps at high settings for most games will make me happy, and at the moment I'm only running at 1440x990, though I would like to be able to run at 1080p if I ever decide to go with a bigger monitor.

While money isn't an issue, value is. I can get a phenom II 955 BE and a gigabyte Am3/Am2+ mobo for $205 total from newegg, and that should be all the upgrade I need unless my psu is going.


I can get an i5-760 with an asus p55 mobo, and 4gb ddr3 memory for $430, and I'm not even sure if my PSU supports an i5.
This is my PSU if anyone could shine light if it will work for either of these builds

So I suppose my question is, is it worth more than double the price?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts
20 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrading e6600
  1. that PSU at 3 years old may not be providing the power it advertises. If you're worried its going, DON'T keep it! It might be OK, or it might not.

    any DDR2 AMD board is going to really still be an AM2 board, and its Hypertransport limit of 1000 MHz FSB (a 2000 MT/s rating) will be a bottleneck on any AM3 chip, which can use a 2600 MHz FSB (5200 MT/s Rating)

    You'd be better off getting a DDR3 board (good ones are as low as $60) and DDR3 Ram (4 GB is as low as $80), which would still leave room for a Rana Athlon II X3 440 ($75) for about $215. The 445 X3 would pump it up to $220. In most games, the X3 440 is within 5% of a 955 in terms of framerate with the same settings.
  2. If that's the case and I'm better off going with a ddr3 capable mobo, is the i5 setup that much better? We're looking at maybe a ~50% premium on the intel setup in terms of price still.
  3. the i5 *is* faster. The question really is, is it enough faster to be worth the, as you said, 50% markup.
  4. ScrewySqrl said:
    any DDR2 AMD board is going to really still be an AM2 board, and its Hypertransport limit of 1000 MHz FSB (a 2000 MT/s rating) will be a bottleneck on any AM3 chip, which can use a 2600 MHz FSB (5200 MT/s Rating
    A slight correction- DDR2 does not equal AM2, though all AM2 motherboards are DDR2.

    You can get AM2+ motherboards that support DDR2 and not have the Hyper Transport bus penalty. AM2+ motherboards support 2600 MHz FSB (5200 MT/s Rating) but AM2 does not. Screwy is correct that AM2 boards minus the "+" (is that an oxymoron?) will have a penalty if you install an AM2+ or AM3 CPU. It depends on the chipset and you will have to do your homework whether or not their is a HT penalty. It's a pretty safe bet that AMD 7xx chipsets using DDR2 will not have the penalty, though the 740G is an exception because it is a rebranded 690G.

    For example-

    AM2 motherboard: 690G chipset, DDR2 only, HT penalty with AM2+/AM3 CPU's
    AM2+ motherboard: 785G chipset, some use DDR2 some use DDR3, no HT penalty either way
    AM3 motherboard: 880G chipset, all use DDR3, no HT penalty

    AM3 CPU's can run on all three AM2/AM2+/AM3 but will have a penalty on an AM2 board.
  5. Here are some AM2+ mobos:

    The thing is:

    - DDR3 isn't better than DDR2.

    - You won't need SATA 3 and USB 3.0 for quite a while.

    - Both Intel and AMD will change the sockets soon. The future AM3+ socket from AMD will work with the current AM3 CPUs.

    So maybe is better to get a cheapo AM2+/DDR2 mobo now and a CPU as a stopgap measure. After the dust settles you can either go DDR3 Intel (it will be a while until the prices drop on the new sockets both from AMD and Intel), or DDR3 AM3+ and carry the CPU to the next platform in which case you can get a better CPU now.

    If you feel like going Intel after that you can get a cheaper Athlon II X3 or X4, if you feel like going AMD you can get a Phenom II X4 or even a 6 core.

    The Intel variant being more expensive would be THE new rig for quite some time, the AM2+ option is just temporary (at least for the mobo/RAM).

    Going Intel Core i5-760 now will cost you some $450 now.

    Going AM2+ with ,say, AMD Phenom II X4 955 will cost you half of that and you get to reuse the CPU if you stay AMD.
  6. Alright, then if I were to go with an AMD cpu and get a 785G chipset mobo, retaining my current ddr2 memory, I wont really see a big difference in gaming performance compared to getting an AM3 only mobo with ddr3 memory?

    Also, if any of you have the ability to postulate this, what kind of fps difference do you think I would see in higher end games, such as FFXIV? (I know this is very difficult to do, especially that FFXIV is in beta)

    Currently I am getting ~20-40 fps varied with my current setup. Keeping the 5770 gpu what kind of increase in fps could I reasonably expect from these 3 setups:

    1) Phenom II x4 955
    785 chipset
    4 gb ddr2 ram

    2) Phenom II x4 955
    880 G chipset
    4gb ddr3

    4) Intel i5-760
    p55 chipset
    4 gb ddr3

    I'm hoping to get near 50 or 60 fps, can I expect such a large fps jump from simply changing the cpu from an E6600?
  7. one thing: AMD's bulldozer is NOT going to be backwards comptable with the AM3.

    This has been stated repeatedly.

    Here's a quote from the Bulldozer blog:

    Bulldozer will fit into the current “Maranello” and “San Marino/Adelaide” platforms. “Maranello” is our high performance platform that will support up to 4 CPUs. Combining a “Maranello” platform with the upcoming 16-core “Interlagos” processors, the total core density of a 4P system will reach as many as 64 cores.

    and from the comments:



    Paul September 7, 2010

    is something unclear…we will can use zambezi cpu on our AM3 platform?or we need a new socket?
    John Fruehe September 7, 2010

    Zambezi will work in AM3+ only.
  8. Read here the different scores obtained with their benchmark tool and what do those scores mean in terms of playability.

    Read on their linked site some user benchmarks (look only at 5770 video cards on red). Some of them that use the 5770:

    E6300 - score 2079
    E8400 - 2238
    Phenom II X4 965 - 4081
    Phenom II X4 955- score 4178
    Core-i7 980X - 4182
    i5-750 - 4505
    i5-750 - 4551
    i5 760 - 3508

    [3000-4499] Fairly High Performance
    Capable of running the game on default settings. Consider switching to a higher resolution depending on performance.

    Conclusion - nice jump in playability from a dual core to a quad but I don't think you'll double your FPS (doubling the score doesn't mean that). Anyway the game loves more than 2 cores.
  9. ScrewySqrl said:
    one thing: AMD's bulldozer is NOT going to be backwards comptable with the AM3.

    Nobody said that. The AM3 CPUs will work in the AM3+ mobos.
  10. A 500 point jump from the 955 BE to the i5-750 seems large to me, ~20% higher score. I wonder what that equates to in reality.

    Also- if I were to go with the i5-760, I saw some discussion about longevity issues with the lga 1156 set, any new words on that?
  11. Best answer
    If you go 1156 or AM3 you're gonna keep that for a while and IMO those will be good quite some time from now on.

    i5-760 ~ $450 - best performance

    AM3 ~ $350 - a little slower but you save $100

    AM2+ ~ $250 - as good as the AM3 now and later upgrade to the new sockets. Say, one year or so from now, $500 for the new Intel or $250 for the AM3+ (if you keep the CPU).
  12. Its seems like, honestly, according to many of the benchmarks on tomshardware in terms of gaming I won't see much better performance from the i5, most benchmarks show a few fps difference, I don't see the rational in spending double the money for very diminishing gains.
  13. One more though-

    By upgrading the mobo to a PCI Express 2.0 capable one, I wonder what kind of performance gain I might see from my 5770, which I believe is 2.0?
  14. You don't spend double the money on the Intel compared to AM2+, you spend about the same (the AM2+ upgraded later to AM3+ is $250 now + $250 later in order to get the DDR3/USB3.0/SATA3 that Intel/AM3 offers right now). But you get back some money if you sell your old stuff (mobo, RAM) and end up with the latest AMD socket.

    But between the AM3 and 1156 (long term investment) I would probably go Intel even if it's more expensive. It's not like you're building a whole new rig and you need those extra $100 for a better video card or something (I usually recommend AM3 for new systems on a budget because of that) so if those $100 are not a problem you can go Intel.

    L;E: From what I know your video card is working at full potential already on the PCIe 1.0 but I might be wrong.
  15. Alright, after doing some more reading on FFXIV, I think I'm bottle necking at the gpu level too. What suggestions do you have in this case? My first thought is to crossfire with another 5770 and jump up to 5870 quality but only spend 150 more, of course this will effect the mobo I can select.

    What are your thoughts?
  16. I didn't find any crossfire AM2+ mobos (they have disappeared from the offers) except the Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-UD5P above but it's way too expensive. For crossfire go AM3 (to keep the total price in check) with something like this:

    Try it with your video card and only if you're not happy get another one the same brand. You can also go

    only $10 more and a bit faster. You can easily OC it to 4.0GHz.
  17. Thank you everyone for all the help, I am sure now that I would rather upgrade to a new Am3 or 1153 mobo so that I can take advantage of Crossfire if I deem it necessary, my only quandary now is between the intel and amd setup. For ~$40 more I can get a crossfire/sli biostar board, i5-750, and 4 gb ddr3.

    It seems that there may be more overclocking room on the i5, and its more efficient, but I'm not sure what this equates to real world fps, my inclination is it doesn't make much of a difference. However, I hear that the i5 is better at handling crossfire/sli setups.

    Wish it was like 4 years ago when buying a core 2 was a no brainer
  18. Fry's had a very good deal on an i5-760 for 160, MSI P55-DG80 for 109 after rebate, and 4 gb of corsair xms3 for ~$80 after rebate. In ffxiv, I've seen close to a doubling in fps, rarely ever going below 35 fps, including within cities, and in the outside environments I max out at the apparent fps cap of 60. With this thing overclocked, I can't imagine the upside. I'm quite happy with my choice. Thanks for everyone's advice.
  19. Best answer selected by pensar.
  20. Great deal there, you're set now for quite some time.
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