New CPU vs New Build

I currently use my computer for photoshop and lightroom and its a bit slow- I built it approx 3 years ago and am looking for a bit more performance

The crucial specs are:
Win XP
Asus p5b deluxe
2megs RAM
E6600 core duo
radeon 8800gt

I have 2 in college and am not looking to rebuild on an i5/i7 platform (approx $1000) unless I have to

reasonable bang for the buck:

New CPU (Q9300 or 9550)($275)

video (even today 8800GT is pretty fast)

Time to rebuild? (Hope not)

Thanks

Steve
12 answers Last reply
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  1. I think if you want to keep your system for another year or two it would be worth it to upgrade the CPU. Do you live near a Microcenter? If so, they have some cheap Core 2 Quads.

    Also, you could do with another 2GB RAM.

    P.S. My P5B Deluxe is still great... I expect it will last me another 2-3 years (built in 2006). Good board for overclocking, maybe you should experiment with that?
  2. I would not be spending more than ~130 on a C2Q, much past that and you can full out switch to an AMD platform for the price.
  3. Photoshop likes ram. Perhaps you can get another 2gb.

    Check out e-bay for better used cpu's that your motherboard supports.
    Your E6600 is worth about $50-$60 to sell there.
  4. srock77 said:
    New CPU (Q9300 or 9550)($275)

    The Core 2 Quad processors are a very bad value now. For $275 you could practically put together a new, faster Phenom II X4 955 or Core i5-750 system (CPU, Motherboard, RAM).
  5. CPU and more memory will help most. The graphics card is not an issue. Need to know make/model of your psu, and whether you have an original Windows disk or not. If no disk (or a "recovery disk"), you can't change mobo and cpu without buying a new copy of Windows.

    The Q9550 should provide results like this (find Photoshop):

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/61?vs=50

    An i5 750 platform should provide even better results, like this:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/61?vs=109

    So for $275, if that's your cost for a Q9550, you get substantial speed improvement in your app, and elsewhere, but no more memory. Add a little more for memory, or not.

    For a little over $100 more (including 4GB of DDR3 memory), you get even better performance. Comparing Q9550 and i5 750:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/61?vs=109

    About 10% improvement vs the Q9550, without factoring in any improvement for additional memory which on its own could be substantial. Plus you get a modern platform. You can evaluate whether the extra money is available and worth it to you. Will provide specific parts if you wish to take a closer look.
  6. eventually I will invest in a new platform

    It might be best to go to q9300 for 139 at microcenter-

    I have 2 megs ram for winxp - increasing to 4 only gives me 3 only addressable - ? value there

    Steve
  7. Sounds reasonable. Think again about the memory - even losing nearly a gig due to OS, your concern should be how much speed does a LARGE percentage increase in available memory (2GB - OS use vs 3GB - OS use) generate?

    Sorry I can't answer it for you. You might recerve more memory for a second step if needed.
  8. sp12 said:
    I would not be spending more than ~130 on a C2Q, much past that and you can full out switch to an AMD platform for the price.

    +1.

    For $250, you can get a new AM3 CPU (probably a Athlon II X4), DDR3 RAM, and a new AM3 board.

    If you DO plan to get a fully new system wait until at least Sandy Bridge comes out.
  9. i had a similar rig back in the day (E6600 // ASUS P5B Deluxe -Wifi // 2gb) - overclocked it to 3200/1600 since day one was a monster

    on the other hand my board revision *supported* quads (NOTE: Q6xxx only), it would not run solid on cold starts - not sure if its my board or the series with that fault so i just replaced it etc
  10. srock77 said:
    I have 2 megs ram for winxp - increasing to 4 only gives me 3 only addressable - ? value there
    A valid point. You could just get another 2x512GB RAM for a total of 3GB rather than spend double for a 2x1GB kit that would give you ~3.3-3.5GB usable RAM on 32-bit. If you plan to stay 32-bit that is.


    Anonymous said:
    on the other hand my board revision *supported* quads (NOTE: Q6xxx only), it would not run solid on cold starts - not sure if its my board or the series with that fault so i just replaced it etc
    Running a Q9xxx on my P5B. Solid as can be.
  11. For now xp 32 bit - New platform in a year or two 64 bit . Just too much pain to reinstall OS and all of the software. I fondly remember when an OS install did not force reinstallation of everything. I sort of hate the registry (end of rant). I'll look into a 9300 and a meg of additonal ram and wait a year or so for the next platform. I think for now that may well be my sweet spot.

    Steve
  12. Please, get the MB vs GB thing right. You should get 1GB additional RAM.
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