I've been thinking for a while about upgrading my CPU. This is my current CPU setup:
Fractal Design R3
i-7 960 (to be overclocked to around 4.2-4.4 ghz if I'm lucky)
2xGigabyte GTX580 1.5gb (to be overclocked soon)
OCZ Vertex 120gb SSD
6gb Kingston RAM (being changed)
Asus Sabretooth P67 mobo
1000watt Coolermaster PSU
Liquid cooling with two loops (1 2.120 for CPU and one 3.120 for gpus)
I'm thinking of upgrading my cpu soon simply because it's a bottle neck in my setup. The thing is I'm not sure whether I should
a) Just by a 2600k and OC it
b) wait for Sandy Bridge E to come out and splurge on the 3930
c) wait for Ivy Bridge and splurge on the top of the line processor that hails
The computer is used strictly for two purposes ONLY:
b) folding when I'm in a good mood
What do you think is the best idea? I'm leaning towards Ivy Bridge because they'll run cooler (less wattage from what I understand), and be easier to overclock (higher multiplier). Also have the announced anything regarding pricing structure or launch chips?
Wait for Sandy Bridge E. It will be the true successor of LGA 1366 and X58, which is still the best for the fastest i7 systems even now. Sandy Bridge E / X79 will have quad-channel memory, support for at least 16x/16x sli/xfire, and will be the new pinnacle of Intel's extreme enthusiast market.
Personally, I'd stay stick with what you've got. If anything, maybe GPU upgrade?
For gaming, CPU is never your bottleneck, and is becoming less and less utilized with many of the newer DX11 titles being released this and next year. Tessellation, AA, AF, and Textures are what is driving the newer titles, not necessarily CPU.
If you're folding a lot and that's your hobby, then CPU becomes a bit more viable. Personally I use a lot of CPU because I do a lot of MATLAB processing and Monte Carlo Simulations, so CPU is a big driver for me, though I game a lot as well. So it's really up to you
So, assuming folding is important, I'd afree with gmcizzle and wait for Sandy Bridge E. That'll work nicely. If gaming is your prerogative, then your CPU is more than enough to power even next-gen games. Its GPU you want to stay ahead with =)
I'd stick with what you have (or you can mail it to me :-D). I mean, what are you hoping to do with a new CPU, eek out an extra 1 FPS when you are already well over 60? I guess if you have money to burn then then you can justify the cost, but I don't think it is worth it.
Just as a note, Tom's puts the i7-960 in the same tier as the i7-2600k when it comes to gaming.
Thanks for the responses guys, I decided for now that I'll wait until IB and see what it looks like. Another reason for upgrading is because OCing my cpu now puts a lot more stress on the motherboard, and there arne't any good water blocks for my motherboard. Thanks again