What graphics card(s) are you running and are you sure the CPU is the next thing that is due an upgrade. The Q6600 is still a pretty good CPU in my opinion, sure not as fast as the latest processors but still a reasonable gaming chip especially if overclocked
Personally I would try overclocking your current CPU and making sure that it is the Q6600 that is limiting you before upgrading. I can get my Q6600 to 3.0 GHz on the stock cooler, at which point my GPU (ATI HD 4850) is probably my limiting factor.
I agree with OllieUK. I also have a Q6600 although its at 3.4Ghz. I was also planning on upgrading it for a new I5/I7 rig but it happily plays anything I throw at , mostly Shogun 2 paired with a bios modded 6970 (6950) . I'd bank the money and sit on it a while longer. What Video card are you running or intend on purchasing with the upgrade?
As OllieUK stated, the Q6600 should with a fair degree of certainty reach 3.0Ghz, pair that with a bigger cpu cooler, an Ati 6950/GTX 560ti or better and you will be good for another year i bet.
And you will still have the £400 in the bank to feel happy about.
I run a email@example.comGhz, on a NVIDIA NFORCE 680i LT SLI, with win7 pro64bit, I'm interested in finding out whats a good upgrade cpu,mobo to equal or increase my gaming, up to about 1K
You shouldn't need an upgrade, I've a Q6600 (stock clock speed) and a HD4870 and it still runs most games at 1920*1080 and full specs pretty smoothly. I have to dial it down for some of the newer games but not by much. If anything is your limiting factor it's probably your motherboard. Most newer GPUs utilise PCIe 2.0, I think your motherboard is just PCIe (1.0 or 1.1) which limits the trasfer speed between your GPU and your CPU, depending on your GPU that is, but you'll still see an increase if you get a newer card, but you wont fully be able to use it on older PCIe architecture. Id say hold out til you can afford a full upgrade and go with a sandy bridge setup, or as many people have told me, the best and most noticable increase in speed for your money is to buy a small SSD (80-120GB) and sticking your OS and a game or two on there if you use it for that.
The question i have, is his board any good for OC ing his 6600, the next question he will have is how do i OC my CPU, so all you Q6600 fan boys can help him there, and offer him the best CPU aftermarket cooler reccs.
Thnx every1, awesome to have such replies going through, and yes my video card is going to be on the upgrade list as well... I was running a NVIDIA GTX 285, which basically roared through everything... but it had a meltdown on me, and I had mr regular gaming night on so used a spare i had in the cupboard, a GT220, and yes its pretty useless but its getting me through, have been ready to do an upgrade and was going to include it on my list to do, but wanted to sort out the m/b and cpu before i went to far....
And yeah I dont really know much about overclocking, or at least havent tried it yet...
One more reason to keep what you have: nVidia has said that the chipset is incompatible with the 45 nm quad core CPU's.
In the case of my 680i eVGA motherboard, they were certainly correct.
If you are planning to overclock, you need to look at the general OC guide linked above. You also need to look for a guide for your specific motherboard. The nVidia BIOS works differently from the rest.