Q6600 to 2600K - or - 4870X2 to 6970

That's_Corporate

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Here's my dilemma. It seems that the 2600K helps in gaming when going from a Q6600, even at the res that I game at (2560x). I also heard that a 6970 is a "medium-ish" upgrade from a 4870X2.

So both of my options seem to be diagonal upgrades rather than completely vertical, but which do you think will be marginally better than the other in terms of gaming performance?
 

That's_Corporate

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Well it's kinda one or the other. Even if I go for a 2500, I'll still need the mobo and RAM. Also, the 6970 is on sale and it's only $50 more than a 6950 so those are about even as well. Good thinking though :)
 

Omegas

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I"m going to assume he's already OC'd since he's talking a 2600k instead of a locked 2600.
 

Rauelius

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With my Q6600 even at 3.6Ghz, I saw a jump in performance going to my 1090t x6 @ 4.0Ghz and saw a bigger jump going to my 2600k....I'd just get the 2600k if I were you...It's great even at stock...OC'd it's no contest!
 

Huskernation

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I went from a q6600@3.2 to a 2500k @4.4 and love it . If you can only do one I say go for the cpu upgrade. What's nice about it is you get a new mobo ram and cpu and are ready to go with sata3 usb3.0 and ready to add new gpus hdds etc. When you feel you want and can afford a gpu you have a simple upgrade path.
 

GotNoRice

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You should figure out if the game you play is more CPU or GPU intensive.

The Q6600 is still a fine, capable chip but it's single-threaded performance isn't anything to write home about and although games are much more multi-threaded on average than they were a few years ago, there are still a lot of games that will benefit from more performance on each core. World of Warcraft for example, the most popular MMO, uses "3 threads" but in reality almost all the work is done on one thread with a few other threads handling minor model loading, etc. Many games are similar. If you don't play many games that make good use of all 4 cores then you essentially have the equivalent of a first-gen conroe E6600.

The 4870x2 is still a very powerful card and I think you will be able to get a lot more mileage out of it. The performance difference between a 4870x2 and a 6970 in a GPU limited situation would be less than the performance difference between a Q6600 @ 3.3 and a Sandy Bridge processor in a CPU limited situation, so in that respect it has the potential to be a bigger upgrade, but as I said before, it depends on the game you play.

The biggest upgrade will be the one that eliminates a bottleneck in your system, and at this point we don't have enough information to determine if your CPU or your GPU is a bigger bottleneck for you and your gaming habits.
 

Omegas

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my suggestion, wait and save up to do it all at once. Your so close between the two that it boils down to the game, not to the setup. If you're not running into disgust for the comps gaming capabilites, then just save up and really wow yourself with a completely new setup. May save a few bucks or even have better options.
 

That's_Corporate

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my suggestion, wait and save up to do it all at once. Your so close between the two that it boils down to the game, not to the setup. If you're not running into disgust for the comps gaming capabilites, then just save up and really wow yourself with a completely new setup. May save a few bucks or even have better options.

That's what I thought (that the two options would be too close to tell). Thanks for the sage advice :) I'll wait and save up for ivy bridge and maybe a 69xx refresh.
 

Jeremy C

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my suggestion, wait and save up to do it all at once. Your so close between the two that it boils down to the game, not to the setup. If you're not running into disgust for the comps gaming capabilites, then just save up and really wow yourself with a completely new setup. May save a few bucks or even have better options.

That's my plans at the moment. I want a 580, and I want to upgrade my Q6600. I've decided to wait until Ivy Bridge is released to see if it's cost vs performance will be worth it, and if not I'll have enough money for SB, board, ram and whatever card nV replaces the 580 with. I'll get a much bigger wow factor in that setup than I will with just a partial setup.
 

Vengance_01

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I think the better option would be a 2500K and wait till next year for GPU's. The Sandy Bridge CPU should breath new life into the video card. Do you run a 30inch monitor now? If not I would wait as that combo is still very good compared to today standards.
 

Jalidi

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I really think the 6970 is the best upgrade for you right now, mostly because you play at a very high resolution (2560x). The 2gb of vram would especially be noticeable coming up from the 4870x2's 1gb per gpu (which is what I assume you have, though there's a 4gb version floating around out there).

I considered Sandy Bridge but the Phenom II (which is about on par with the C2D) is good enough for now, and so is your Q6600, provided you have your cpu at 3.5 ghz+ or so. Ivy Bridge would be a much more cost effective upgrade when the time comes.
 
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6950 plus q9550 (sell your q6600), by far the best option, or if you hate Ati go with a 560

Feel free to show me a benchmark with a q9550 clocked @ 3.6ghz that gets beat by a 2500k (overclocked or not) with a single video card by a large enough margin that justifies the cost difference.
 

stockwiz

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get a video card and solid state drive... use the solid state drive for windows, install the games to the other drive. You won't be getting a sandy bridge for awhile anyways.
 

CompMage

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I just made the move from 2x 4870s to a single HD6970 and the jump is NOT minor. Running it at 2560 res made it so much easier witht he better card. This orginally was on a Q9550 @ 3.2.

I then made the jump to a 2500k and then 2600k, while I've not noticed any diffrence from the 2500k to the 2600k (both running at 4.8 GHz) Over the Q9550 the leap was a lot.

But to be honest I think Intel made your choice for you.... Since 1155 Mobo are almost impossable to find right now because of the chipset flaw.

Hope that helped.
 
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going from 775 era to the SB builds is a huge leap. totally surpasses it.

i wouldn't say the SB and the i7 era are even but i dont have anything to support it.

so its really up to you if you want to go the 6XXX series for some reason. if you want more performance and wait for video cards upgrade to SB get a better monitor then GPU
 

That's_Corporate

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I think the better option would be a 2500K and wait till next year for GPU's. The Sandy Bridge CPU should breath new life into the video card. Do you run a 30inch monitor now? If not I would wait as that combo is still very good compared to today standards.

Yep, I run a 30". I didn't think a Sandy Bridge chip would help since I figured ALL games would be GPU bottlenecked at that resolution, but from some benchmarks it looks like the SB setup helps even at 2560.

I really think the 6970 is the best upgrade for you right now, mostly because you play at a very high resolution (2560x). The 2gb of vram would especially be noticeable coming up from the 4870x2's 1gb per gpu (which is what I assume you have, though there's a 4gb version floating around out there).

I considered Sandy Bridge but the Phenom II (which is about on par with the C2D) is good enough for now, and so is your Q6600, provided you have your cpu at 3.5 ghz+ or so. Ivy Bridge would be a much more cost effective upgrade when the time comes.

Does the vram really make that big of a difference?

I just made the move from 2x 4870s to a single HD6970 and the jump is NOT minor. Running it at 2560 res made it so much easier witht he better card. This orginally was on a Q9550 @ 3.2.

I then made the jump to a 2500k and then 2600k, while I've not noticed any diffrence from the 2500k to the 2600k (both running at 4.8 GHz) Over the Q9550 the leap was a lot.

But to be honest I think Intel made your choice for you.... Since 1155 Mobo are almost impossable to find right now because of the chipset flaw.

Hope that helped.

WOW! Interesting!
So can you tell me about what changed with the 6970? I really don't care about AA levels, so all that really matters is "smoothness" for me, and the ability to max the details.
 

Furystrike

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2500K now, GPU upgrade down the line when you can afford it. HT won't help in games, and the $100 can go into the GPU fund.

In the scenario where you buy the GPU now, you have no future upgrade path. Judging by history, the 1155 platform, and more specifically a K series chip overclocked to 4.5+, won't be significantly toppled for at least two years. On the flip side, the GPU realm will likely see 3-4 major revisions in that same interval
 
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