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Is this system worth upgrading or should I just build a new one?

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December 4, 2010 2:21:12 AM


I am having slowness and stuttering problems doing video editing and large photo editing in CS5 Premiere and Photoshop. Running Windows 7 64.

Also when it comes time to encode video, all 4 CPUs max out and it is fairly time consuming.

Advice needed: should I upgrade my existing system with more RAM, a new graphics card and an SSD boot drive, or just do a whole new build?

My current system:

Gigabyte P-35 Motherboard
Intel Q6600 CPU
4 MB of DDR2-800 RAM
Nvidia 8600 GTS GPU

I am contemplating buying 16 MB of RAM for $399, a new GPU, maybe the Nvidia 570 that is supposed to come out next week, and an OCZ 60 GB SSD drive for about $140. Also overclocking the CPU, which I haven't done yet. The new components aren't cheap, but are obviously cheaper than a whole new system.

Willl any or all of these steps give a nice bang for the buck, or is it throwing good money after bad and should I just build a new Sandy Bridge system when the parts become available?

If I do the upgrade of the existing system, the plan would be to wait another year and a half or so and build a state of the art system to keep for a while.

I would appreciate feedback about pros/cons of the two strategies.
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2010 3:05:01 AM

1) If all 4 cores are in use, and you are 100% cpu bound, and it takes a long time, then more cpu power is needed.
replacing the cpu with a Q 9550 or such will help, but not dramaticaly. OC is possible, but not a major help. Something like a i7-950 would be good, and it will respond to overclocks. Check the anand benches for your type of jobs:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/53?vs=50

2) Unless your need is urgent, I suggest you wait for Jan 9 when sandy bridge processors will launch. Rendering performance of the i5-2400 is near the i7-980X, a $1000 cpu. The unlocked 2500K or 2600K can only be a bunch better yet.read about it here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

3) The SSD is very nice, but it won't help your editing. If you can, though, plan on one, it makes everything feel faster.

4) 16gb of DDR3 ram suitable for sandy bridge is about $260:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

5) I think CS5 can use the CUDA capabilities of the Nvidia fermi cards, the GTS450 does not cost that much. Check it out, I am no expert there.

6) There is still a market on e-bay for your old parts. Check out the completed auction listings

---Build your state of the art system in January----
!