Q6600 (G0 SLACR) @ 3.0 Ghz (been stable on stock voltage since late 2008)
Artic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
ASROCK Penryn 1600SLI-110db (socket 775)
2 - EVGA GTS 450 SC (occasionally run in SLI when gaming)
4 x WD Black 1TB (FALS)
8GB (4X2GB) PC2 6400 Corsair XMS2 (DDR2800)
Coolmax 950 PS (CUG-950B)
Antec NineHundred Ultimate Gamer Case
4 - Acer AL2223W 22” LCDs
W7 Ultimate 64-Bit
This is my personal pc and I've built it in early 2008. Needless to say it's been awesome! I use this pc for a little of everything including video encoding, day trading, extreme multitasking (meaning 12+ applications running simultaneously), photoshop, general office, school, business use, and light to moderate gaming (AVP 2011 and a few other older games).
When I upgraded in 2008, I went from a Pentium D 3.2Ghz w/ 2gb DDR2 and an old nvidia 256mb pci video card to the above build (different video card in '08 though). What I experienced was a night and day difference in what my pc could do.
I'm now looking for a new "night and day" difference and have budgeted between $400-$600 to spend on a new cpu, mb, and RAM. I was hoping that by now Intel would have released new 6 and 8 core cpus that would be in the $200-$300 range but that hasn't happened. Intel does have the i7 2600k and i5 2500k that look appealing and show tremendous benchmarks in many places throughout the web. However, they are both 4 core cpus and I'm not sure if upgrading from my good old q6600 to any 4 core cpu would give me that "night and day" difference I experienced above. Currently, Intel's new 6 core cpu starts out around $600 and is out of my budget range, which is a big disappointment.
I have also researched AMDs new 8 core cpus (AMD FX 8150) and the popular consensus seems to be that the "Bulldozer" cpus are "epic fails" for AMD. I'd also like to stay with Intel / Nvidia for driver stability and SLI capabilities.
One other thing I've been told to consider is upgrading my W7 drive to an SSD. I've checked this out and I know this would give my system a good boost in performance, but I can't get a straight answer on whether or not my Asrock 775 mb will support it or not. I sort of doubt it and if I have to upgrade my mb in order to use an SSD, then I've might as well upgrade the rest of my pc also.
So my question to you all is, "Is there a cpu on the market today, or possibly in the next few months, that will give me the "new pc" feel that I'm looking for or am I better off waiting until later this year." My current build is sufficient for my current needs, but with the lack of esata, usb3, and my old 775 motherboards max RAM of 8gb already maxed out, I see it coming to the end of its life very soon. Any input or advice is appreciated.