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Q6600 Upgrade Path for a Digital Artist.

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August 13, 2011 6:08:31 PM

I've been pouring over the net trying to figure out the best upgrade path for me, and to be honest I feel like im getting more and more confused. I hope I can pick some of your brains and get some good info in order to help me out.

I am a CG Artist and use my system to create video game art, CG animated movies, CG animations, etc... Below I've listed some tools and examples of their use just in case anyone reading is not familiar with them.

Is the performance increase from a q6600 system to a 2500k/2600k system worth the price or should i wait for ivy?
Which processor is the best value?
Is hyperthreading a real performance booster?
I've already bought Intel 320 120gig sata2 SSD. Would this be more of a work performance upgrade vs the cpu?

Thanks!

Current build:
q6600 stock clock, stock cooling (b3 not g0 so not a good o/c)
msi p6n sli Platinum
6gigs ram mushkin (i cant remember the speed)
ati 5850
WD Caviar Green Sata1 (boot drive, will be replacing with Intel 320 120gig sata2 SSD)

Upgrade:
2500k / 2600k (some O/C, nothing to drastic)
asus p8z69-v pro
8 gigs mushkin blackline 1600 c9
Intel 320 120gig sata2 SSD (already bought it)
keeping the rest of my hardware

Tools and examples:
Photoshop - I work on any size power of two textures, 16x16 up to 4096x4096 pixels.
3Ds Max - 3d modelling, rendering, animation. loading many large texture files per scene.
Mudbox/zBrush - Realtime high poly modelling, in the 20 millions but the limit is directly related to the amount of system ram.
August 13, 2011 8:16:54 PM

I might get a AM3+ mobo and hope that bulldozer is fantastic. most of your applications are well multithreaded so you could get a 1055T or 1090T and getting at least 8GB of ram for a workstation environment should work fairly well for you. there are some upsides and downsides for AMD vs. Intel so you should look into it.
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August 13, 2011 8:41:05 PM

Here are some benchmarks to show the performance increase. Accoridng to these you're looking at half the render time vs the q6600 with either the i5 or i7. The i7's hyperthreading will give 10-30% more performance so if you can swing it, it can help. When you upgrade is up to you, if you feel renders times are too long, it's time to upgrade. Constantly waiting for the next greatest thing will get you nowhere.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/287?vs=53
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/sandy-bridge-core-i...
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August 14, 2011 1:45:43 AM

PS3Hacker, I will admit that the 2500K is a bit faster than the 1100T in most multithreading workloads, so that choice is definitely fine, if you look into some other sites benches They tended to shift more towards the Thuban cores.

I was recommending the Thuban because it will have an upgrade path into bulldozer, the 2500K build may or may not have an upgrade path into Ivy bridge. I guess it would make more sense to wait a few more weeks to see how BD does before jumping onboard though.

That aside it will be quite some time before Ivy bridge, and that processor is about twice as fast as the Q6600 not counting any OC. So i would recommend upgrading shortly. There may or may not be price drops for 2500K CPUs following Bulldozer though, I have no idea what will happen right now.
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August 28, 2011 12:49:05 AM

Best answer selected by thyroid.
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