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Want to upgrade from Q6600, but eyeing Ivy Bridge on the horizon...

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July 7, 2011 9:57:03 PM

Hello Tom's hardware!

My system is pretty much still the same on my profile, all stock clocks, minus one 8800GTS512. (Died)

I'm looking for input on whether to upgrade my system, and if so - how far. I have never been able to overclock my G0 Q6600 past 2.8, and I think it's my mobo. (Damn you nVidia chipsets) I'm also out of space, so I'll be purchasing a good-sized HDD soon. I'm trying to decide between the following:

1. Buy a 2TB HDD and shut up.
2. Seek more performance via SSD, more RAM newer Mobo with (hopefully) better overclocking potential, maybe a Nvidia 560 Ti card.
3. Buy CPU/RAM/Mobo to jump into the Sandy Bridge world
4. Wait for Ivy Bridge...

What do you think?

Usage: HD Netflix, medium gaming, hosting Minecraft and Vent server.
Screen: 22" 1680x1050
Budget: 300ish (flexible)
Time frame: End of summer...

July 7, 2011 10:08:41 PM

I would also like to add that I'm very much concerned with how fast the system "feels" rather than how many FPS I get. My 8800GTS 512MB was more than enough to comfortably play Mass Effect 1-2, Dragon Age, Supreme Commander II, etc...

This leads me to think that an SSD would help out a lot. Also, my Minecraft server eats RAM like a mofo...but there is no real way to grab more DDR2 at a reasonable price nowadays! Lame! D:
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July 7, 2011 10:56:36 PM

Yeah, I saw the e-blast in my email this morning. Tempting! I totally agree with 775 being too old, it's unfair how quickly DDR2 became so expensive. =\ It seems like I'm so close to being able to pull off a Sandy Bridge setup with $300 though:

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $294.97

Would an upgrade like that be technically and economically feasible?
a c 84 B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2011 11:31:11 PM

I like the plan. No sense in investing more in lga775. Turn the high cost of ddr2 to your advantage; sell yours on e-bay. Q6600 might bring something too.

You might get a Z68 based board instead. That will allow you the option to add a small ssd later to speed up that large hard drive. It won't cost much more.

The ivy bridge 22nm cpu's are supposed to be compatible with the P67 and Z68 chipsets with a bios/firmware update.
July 7, 2011 11:40:01 PM

As far as Passmark goes:

Q6600 = 2,981
i3-2100 = 3,829

Now that I think about it, I have some dipstick friends with 775 boards and E2180's that might be interested in my Q6600... The chip alone could easily fetch a third of my SB upgrade! I hadn't considered resale value, thanks!

I'm not too interested in Intel's smart cache thing, I'd sooner spend a bit more on a 100GB SSD for a boot drive than a 30GB that offers marginal increases in speed. Basically, if I'm gonna purchase one, I want it to blow my mind. ;) 

I hadn't heard that about Ivy. I just started getting back in to the CPU world after not giving a crap when the i7-920 first came out. I'm out of touch. XD I was concerned that tri-gate might have different voltage/current requirements than basic flat processors.
a c 113 B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2011 11:42:29 PM

Sure, you can't overclock that CPU but it will be faster for you and the MB has USB 3 and SATA 6GB/S.

My thought was that you could get more performance up front with an overclocked Phenom II on an AMD 870 or 880G chipset, but that's probably not true for a gaming machine.

As an exercise though:
P II 965 $120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asus 970 board $95
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Cooler $28
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

July 8, 2011 4:15:10 PM

I don't figure I'm losing out on much, considering I haven't had very good luck overclocking my Q6600. Plus I would be set for a 2500K later on. I could fairly easily pick that up, plus a 2TB HDD, and then maybe around Black Friday or Christmas get an SSD to round it out.

My main worry now is that I don't want to be strapped to a dead socket in a year. I've had a long run with LGA775, from an old P4 to Pentium D 915 to E2180 to E6700 to Q6600... Can I expect anything remotely like that from LGA1155? If tri-gate Ivy Bridge CPU's will be a drop-in replacement around Q4 2012 (when I'm itching to upgrade again), then I'm sold.
!