Ive always got the itch to upgrade like any gamer does. However, I really haven't been "tickled pink" so to say with the Sandy Bridge or the Ivy Bridge enough to justify upgrading over what I am currently running.
i7 970 (hex-core) OCd to 4.2 ghz stable on an Asus Sabertooth x58 board.
Im thinking Ill give it another look when Intel releases the next major cpu that makes everything else look like a joke. I dont really even bother looking at what AMD puts out now. (I used to be a hardcore AMD advocate until around the Core2 duo time when Intel left them in the dust.)
So the question I pose to you is, as a heavy gamer, how long do you think my 970 will keep me happy?
For at least 3years or more your system will keep you happy.
Even today majority of people are using Core 2 DUO for gaming because of the price and the performance which they are getting is quite enough for them.Your's is pretty beyond their limit.
In your case with Hex-core not even more then 5% people among the world have this configuration.I am just trying to say that the games are right now designed for using only quad cpu power capability and will require more years to bottleneck those quad system processor and after that they will switch to hex-core which will give you a quite a long time.
In simple and short you don't have to worry about your processor power just try to keep updating your system with the graphic cards of highest quality power and you will be always fine with your setup.
my brother has a i7 960 not overclocked at all... and just for curiosity I tried my 680 card in his system. The result was 20 FPS less (135ish in ORG) in WOW then on my Sandy Bridge 2600K that is clocked at 4.8 (155ish)
Ivy bridge is rumoured to not overclock well - to the point that expertly tweaked sandy bridge sysytems spank it on benchmarks, if only by a thin margin.
I would honestly wait untill your rig breaks (boards made these days arent intended to last more then 6 years on avarage, and overclocked procs typically die after 3-4) and then just get what you can afford.
Thanks for the responses, and I would have to say I agree. Tell your brother to OC, as wow is optimized for CPU usage not GPU. ITs why the game is is playable on almost any rig, including laptops without dedicated GPUs and still get decent frames.
For instance, the first BWE build for Guild Wars 2 was still optimized for CPU (which Anet has stated they will change to be more GPU friendly by release) and I was getting 90 fps or higher even in heavily populated areas with my 970, while the forums were flooding with people getting horrid fps with their core2 duos and Athlon X2's and even some i3 and i5 sandy bridge people.