Hi, I'm contemplating on purchasing a used Q6600 (~$75 around here), to replace my E6550. I also plan to follow up on a Hyper 212+ ($30) to OC to about 3-3.2 GHz.
My current specs are as follows:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (OC'ed to 2.8 GHz, stock volts)
HSF: Stock Intel HSF
MB: Asus P5QL Pro
RAM: 4x1 GB Kingston ValueRAM DDR2-667 CL5 (OC'ed to 800 MHz)
GPU: Inno3D GTX 460 768 MB (OC'ed to 820/1050 MHz)
PSU: HEC Cougar 550W 80+ Bronze
HDD: 500 GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
I seek to upgrade because I've noticed that my CPU has been bottlenecking my GPU in most of the games that I play (mostly racing games that are CPU-dependent). On a side note, I would also appreciate faster video encoding times.
I have been told, however, that it's a bit futile to invest on a dead platform. I put this statement under contention, given that I do plan to build a new system in about 2 years, and that this current PC will be handed down to my brother.
Upgrading to an H67 platform (i3-2100, 4 GB DDR3, H67 board) will set me back around $200, which I sadly have none. Besides, for my needs (since I don't plan to upgrade my GPU any further), the Q6600 is enough to relax the bottleneck and allow the GPU to deliver marginally higher frame rates.
yes it worth it, but if i were you i would go with a high frequency one such as a Core2Extreme or a 3.0 GHz Intel Core2Quad... this will make the overclocking much easier and more stable and help you achieve the desired performance with the GTX 460...
also here's a little comparison between the intel Q6600 and PII 955 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/53?vs=88
it performs close to the AMD 955 and if you overclock it a little bit more you'll get a great performance compared to the Phenom II 955
As much as I would have wanted a more recent quad (i.e. Q9400), those CPUs sell for over $150 here, even the secondhand models, and are simply impractical.
I reckon a 3 GHz overclock should be enough to increase my framerates with my CPU-bound games (i.e. F1 2010 and assumingly, the upcoming F1 2011, DiRT 3, etc.).
Given these constraints, is a Q6600 an economical upgrade?
yes it is, Intel Core 2 Extreme's performance equal the Phenom's six core II 1055T so when i talked about it i considered it to be more future proof and "not an issue" while upgrading the GPU in future....
for eg. if you upgrade to a GTX 580 the Q 6600 will be an issue even though you overclock it to 3.0 GHz cuz it will hold the GPU back and you'll get a massive drop in FPS
i've checked prices now on ebay and i found out they still the Core2extreme from 250 to 300 Bucks the core 2 quad Q9650 even is rated at the same range.
so in short, the Q660 will be a good solution but not in the long run, so you had better think of a new CPU and new MOBO
For $75 is probably worth it. The cost of the cooler doesn't count as it will carry over to a new build. The 212+ can work on S1156 and 1155. Depending on which Q6600 you are buying 3.0-3.2 can be done. If you get the better G0 model you might be able to hit 3.6GHz. $75 isn't a bad deal for this.
The Q6600 was a beast in its day, as long as you're buying the G0 revision, and not the B3, you should be fine to OC it to 3.4ghz stable without any issue, which should help reduce your bottlenecks for a long time given your upgrade cycle. For the money, and for your usage, I can't think of an equivalent upgrade. As a lot of people above me have mentioned, you can save a little more, and wait a little longer, but if you're always saving, and always waiting for the next big thing, you'll never end up buying anything.
On a side note, when I decided to upgrade my gaming rig years ago, my ideal build started at a Q6600, by the time I got around to buying anything, I had changed all the parts 3 times, and had waited 9 months of sub-par graphics for not a huge increase in performance