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Looking to upgrade my homebuilt Quad Q6600@2.40ghz

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November 9, 2010 1:28:24 AM

I will paste my current system info below, but looking to upgrade the computer for massive multi-tasking (photo/video editing as part of work) as well as gaming. I can either go for the high cost option and swap out the motherboard/ram/processor when I upgrade from XP up to WIN7 64-bit, and take it up to a Intel Core 17-950, 3.06ghz, which will probably run me close to $1000. Or, I can go the cheap route and keep my current system and simply max out the RAM and do the WIN-7 64-bit upgrade for about $400.

The gist of my question, is how big of a speed difference will I actually get with the processor upgrade? I'm looking to run games like Dragon Age 2 and Fallout Vegas at optimal video, as well as handle the video editing and processing. Any thoughts here would be greatly appreciated!!!

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System Summary
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Windows XP (32-bit)
Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
3070 MB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
932GB HDD, 1863GB HDD, 279GB HDD
DVD, CD-RW/DVD

System Information

Operating System: Windows XP (32-bit)
Motherboard Manufacturer: ASUSTeK Computer INC.
Motherboard Model: P5N72-T PREMIUM
Motherboard Version: 1.XX
BIOS Manufacturer: Phoenix Technologies, LTD
BIOS Version: ASUS P5N72-T PREMIUM ACPI BIOS Revision 1001
BIOS Release Date: 03/18/2010

CPU Information
Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
Type: Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
Number of CPU's: 1
Cores per CPU: 4
Hyperthreading: Not capable
Measured Speed: 2369.7 MHz
Multiplier: 9X
Bus Speed: 263Mhz
Front Side Bus Speed: 263Mhz
L1 Instruction Cache: 4 x 32 KB
L1 Data Cache: 4 x 32 KB
L2 Cache Size: 2 x 4 MB
L3 Cache: (N/A)

Memory Information
Total Physical Memory: 3070 MB RAM
Available Physical Memory: 1867 MB RAM
Slot 1: DDR2, 1024MB, 800MHz
Slot 2: DDR2, 1024MB, 800MHz
Slot 3: DDR2, 1024MB, 800MHz
Slot 4: DDR2, 1024MB, 800MHz
Virtual Memory: C:\pagefile.sys (2046 MB)

Disk Information
Drive Letter (Number): C (Physical drive 0)
Model Number: WDC WD20EADS-00R6B0
Disk Size (Free space): 279.5 GBytes (208.2 GBytes)
Disk Cluster Size: 4 KBytes
File System: NTFS
Drive Letter (Number): D (Physical drive 0)
Model Number: WDC WD20EADS-00R6B0
Disk Size (Free space): 1863.0 GBytes (719.1 GBytes)
Disk Cluster Size: 4 KBytes
File System: NTFS
Drive Letter (Number): H (Physical drive 0)
Model Number: WDC WD20EADS-00R6B0
Disk Size (Free space): 931.5 GBytes (269.9 GBytes)
Disk Cluster Size: 4 KBytes
File System: NTFS

Video Adapters
Description: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX
Chip Type: GeForce 8800 GTX
DAC Type: Integrated RAMDAC
Memory: 768MB
Video BIOS: Version 60.80.0E.00.23
Driver Provider: NVIDIA
Driver Version: 6.14.12.5721
Driver Date: 6-7-2010
Monitor 1: 1920x1080x32 59Hz (Primary monitor)
Monitor 2: 1280x1024x32 60Hz
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 9, 2010 1:57:14 AM

First thing is first. Do not upgrade now. It is a really bad idea , especially since you've waited this long, you might as well wait until Sandy Bridge (the new intel line) and Cayman has been released. Since Cayman or (69xx) is expected to have a 20% increase in performance over the 480 GTX and from that you'll see a HUGE graphical increase in performance from your 8800 GTX. Then from there on (since the Caymans drop this month) wait until like Q1 of 2011 so like February and get an Sandy Bridge CPU. The performance increase is so much better than wasting money on a soon to be dead platform of 1366. No offense. But intel has stated from SB's launch they will move on to only 1155 (SB) and 1156.

SB read up, it really if you look at the benchs, even the i5 SB's beat out all the i7's of the 1156: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 9, 2010 2:15:46 AM


I just took a PC with a E6300 chip, added a Cooler Master 212 + heat sink and overclocked it to 3.3 Ghz stable. Tossed in some RAM, a small SSD, new GPU and Win7. It is now a fairly decent gaming machine - and everything except $40 in RAM will carry forward to the next build.

How much video editing do you really think you will be doing? Your system is a quad core, so you have a better base from which to begin. The i7-950 is a better chip, and has hyper-threading, but unless video editing is going to be your bread and butter, I recommend upgrading your existing config.

Do you have 2X2GB sticks of RAM or 4X1GB sticks? If you have two open slots, I would lean to just adding another $80 in RAM to max out 8 GB, then include the other items mentioned above. If all your memory slots are filled, then you might even try the other upgrades first to see if that buys you enough horsepower.

If you can put off your major upgrade for awhile, 2011 should be an exciting year with Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer marching out to do battle.
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Related resources
November 10, 2010 1:29:20 AM

eloric said:
I just took a PC with a E6300 chip, added a Cooler Master 212 + heat sink and overclocked it to 3.3 Ghz stable. Tossed in some RAM, a small SSD, new GPU and Win7. It is now a fairly decent gaming machine - and everything except $40 in RAM will carry forward to the next build.

How much video editing do you really think you will be doing? Your system is a quad core, so you have a better base from which to begin. The i7-950 is a better chip, and has hyper-threading, but unless video editing is going to be your bread and butter, I recommend upgrading your existing config.

Do you have 2X2GB sticks of RAM or 4X1GB sticks? If you have two open slots, I would lean to just adding another $80 in RAM to max out 8 GB, then include the other items mentioned above. If all your memory slots are filled, then you might even try the other upgrades first to see if that buys you enough horsepower.

If you can put off your major upgrade for awhile, 2011 should be an exciting year with Sandy Bridge and Bulldozer marching out to do battle.


So, I take from the recommendations that I should just shoot for upgrading the RAM and take it up to 64-bit so I can take advantage of the RAM, and then hold off for the new processors in Q1, does that sum it up?

Thanks a lot for taking the time to help out guys!
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 3:45:40 AM

I second that. SB and BD are (allegedly) going to be game changers.
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a c 91 B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 4:08:47 AM

Well now that I saw the BD amd charts, it seems like BD will be worth the wait, not just SB. Since BD's Denardo or something like that is supposed to be on par with the i5 and the Scorpius is on par with the i7 so... That's something to reckon with considering AMD is a budget builder mindset.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
November 10, 2010 10:02:16 PM

Upgrade the RAM, OS, and overclock the Q6600. With even a mediocre cooler, you can reach 3.3 GHz easily.

Then wait for the new CPU's.
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