My actual system was built in 2009 (description follows).
Base was an LGA1366 Mainboard with PCI-X Sockets, allowing me to use some specific Hardware i already owned. The System Dual Boots RHEL 5.3 x86_64 (now RHEL 6.3 x86_64) and Windows Vista-x64 (now Windows 7-x64). This was one of the reasons to put in the Hardware RAID Controller i already had.
When the system was built, it had three main purposes.
1. Running Complex Virtual Environments and compile/create small software modules.
2. Play the most recent games on decent FPS and resolution.
3. General Workstation for family Video & Graphis editing & do some planning with 2D/3D-CAD
And of course do the standard office crap such as taxes, expenses, office stuff, internet and so on. Of course no need for such as system for that
My LGA1366 Build from 2009
1 x Asus P6T WS Pro, Intel X58, LGA 1366, SLI, CFX, PCI-X
1 x Intel Core i7 920 D0 BOX, Quad Core, 2.66 GHz, LGA 1366, HT, 4x256kB L2 Cache, 8MB L3 Cache, 45 nm, TDP 130 Watt with Asus Triton 88 Cooler
6 x Corsair TR3X6G1333C9, 2GB, DDR3-1333, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V
1 x AMCC 3WARE 9500S-4LP SATA/SAS RAID Controller, with BBU and Write caching
4 x Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s 16MB Cache 3.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive
1 x Basic COntainer is a 1TB RAID-10 Container, built with the 4 Drives
1 x NVIDIA GTX-8800 (later broken, replaced then with NVIDIA GTX-580)
Other Relevant Parts
1 x Intel PRO/1000 GT Quadport 1-Gigabit Ethernet PCI-X Card
1 x Video/TV Card
1 x PCI zu 2x seriell RS-232 COM Card
The System never let me down, was very stable. But now the 3 Year Warranty for most of the parts has expired and i wonder if it would be worth thinking about replace/upgrade the system ?
I do not have experience with the actual Desktop Hardware and wonder:
Would i actually feel a difference when i replace the system with a new Platform? (Maybe based on LGA2011 or LGA1155 Z77 with a decent i7 CPU.)
Or would it be fine just to take out the old RAID Controller and Drives and replace it with a new SSD (e.g. INTEL Series 320) and add an additional Big Harddrive for local data storage ? (most data is stored and backed up on dedicated systems now, so no "real" need for the RAID Controller anymore)
The only thing i can currently compare with are either servers or my (Company) Notebook.
It's a Lenovo T430S Ivy Bridge with a Intel Core i7 3520M (2.9GHz), 16GB Memory and an Intel 320 Series SSD and additional 1TB SATA Disk. Beside Graphic performance (no need for that in company Notebook) that thing is a monster. Do not have it that long but "feels" like it can do all the stuff what i can do on my Workstation. At the same speed.
So it feels like the Ivy Bridge Platfoem is really fast, but maybe only the SSD makes the diffrerence ?
And as it has a Notebook CPU, would the Desktop Version be even faster ? (for gaming, i guess the GPU is still the part what makes the difference)
I would get an ssd and clone it off one of your current drives if the file size is the same or less. It only takes me 20 minutes. You boot up with your regular drive; download your hardrive manufacturer's software and install it. Then reboot and connect the ssd while windows is running. Windows will detect the new ssd; select "clone" and follow the directions. After cloning is complete, my software powers off the system with the touch of any key. Then I reboot with only the ssd connected, making it the only boot drive. Then I connect the other drives to make them secondary. Ssd's are faster than conventional drives in raid mode; two ssd's in raid are really fast. I only need 60 gb; current best value is the sata 3.0 120-128 gb ssd's for around $80 after rebate. I use ocz; corsair and Intel are also good. The rest of your system is fine; I wouldn't do a new build unless you find a buyer for your old board/cpu/ram first. You might get $350 for all three. If you like your current raid array, then skip the ssd; adding it might disable your raid setup; there's no point in having an ssd unless it's the primary boot device.
So you would recommend to switch to an SSD and keep the rest untouched ?
Unfortunately, it won't be that easy to clone my system, as it's a dual boot setup with Windows/Linux. But i could imagine that i build the system new and clean on an SSD in parallel and keep the RAID Controller with it's disks as additional storage. Maybe replace the 4 x 500GB drives with 4 x 1TB/2TB drives. ( As the Win7 was upgraded from Vista, a clean build would be a good thing anyway.)
You also have any ideas how much the performance "gain" (still performing nice but i start to miss USB 3.0) would be when i would switch the Platform to LGA2011/LGA1155.
In general, after reviewing some of the threads in this Forum, i'm starting to feel that the best thing would be to keep the system as it is, as the i7 920 is still a quiet nice CPU compared with the actual i7. Then skip Sandy/Ivy-Bridge and wait for the coming Haswell Platform in 2013.
Performance gain depends on what you use your system for the most. If money isn't a concern, then upgrade. But you won't see that much gain for the $$ spent. I use a sempron system for surfing the net. I don't see much need to spend on new system upgrades anymore.