Upgrading from P5QL Pro and Intel Q6600

Hello. i am a first time forum browser. Whenever I had pc problem I somehow always stumble onto this site googling. From what i've seen most are knowledgeable and helpful so I'm going to bother you guys!

I am your average mid 25 male whose knowledge of hardware is mediocre at best. I've been using a friend's hand-me-down computer.

Gathered from dxdiag

Motherboard: P5QL PRO
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM
Graphic card: GeForce GTX 550 Ti
A coolmaster case with blue light and 4 fans
1 terabyte harddrive
not sure what power supply
running duel monitor (21 inch Samsung syncmaster and a 19 inch lcd)

I am have about $500 to try to upgrade the computer

I really have no direction as to where to spend it... On one hand I would like to get a bigger monitor... but i got the 21 inch not too long ago. quality isn't as good as i hoped to be. black isn't black enough on the led and no adjustment.

on the other I would like to play diablo 3 on maximum resolution with good fps.

I am a 3d animation graduate and I would use the computer for programs like maya/blender/zbrush

Would someone give me some advice please?
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Intel i7-2600k - $289.99

    GIGABYTE GA-Z68AP-D3(R2.0) LGA 1155 Motherboard - $89.99

    That ought to be a better match for your relatively new GPU and leave you an extra slot if you want to add another one later. For gaming I'd say the i5-2500k is identical, but if you're doing video editing, etc. the hyperthreading on the 2600k actually is useful.

    Looks like you have a mobo with DDR2 RAM, so you'll probably need to pick up a new set, which it a pity since you already had 8GB.

    Before you try any of this, though: Why not see how far you can overclock that q6600. It's old but still among the better CPUs of its generation. If you can get it to 3.2 GHz, 3.4GHz, you might be happy enough with the results that you can put off upgrading for a while and not spend the money.

    If you do go down the upgrade path, though, remember - a q6600 will sell for about $100 on ebay, so you can recoup a significant part of your cost right there.
  2. I've already overclocked the q6600 to the best of my ability. However the system becomes really unstable when I go above 355 fsb and gives me the blue screen of "memory dump" Not sure if it has to do with the voltage and power supply (350watt IIRC) don't laugh at me if i said anything wrong plz because i still have a very vague idea of what was doing after reading a overclock site.

    As for the old parts (if i plan to upgrade)... i was hoping to just salvage it and put into the GF's computer. but that's another story.

    It seems this new thing called ivy bridge is out. Even tho my price range is not going near it... Prices for older technology might come down soon? My consumer instinct tells me I SHOULD hold off buying for a little while a wait for deals. I might be better off just getting a new monitor for some instant gratification.

    thanks, you really gave me some direction as to what to do!
  3. You'll probably be waiting a long time for Intel's prices to come down, if they ever do. Right now AMD has nothing that can touch Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge and they know it. If the last couple of generations from Intel are any indication, prices will stay the same right until they're almost ready to quit making the CPU, then drop a small bit as they sell off excess. Heck, the q9550 came out at around $325 and stayed right near $300 all the way to the end.

    The improvement of Ivy Bridge over Sandy Bridge is pretty marginal as of yet, basically $50 more for the same processing power and IB doesn't overclock as well because of problems dispersing heat.

    It really is EASY to overclock the Sandy Bridge K processors, by the way. 100 times easier than messing with a q6600. Even if you know next to nothing, you can get it from 3.4GHz up to 4.0-4.4GHz in about 5 minutes. I would honestly just get one of those and call it a day.
  4. Best answer selected by toast_1984.
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