Originally Posted by NarcissistZero
That makes sense.
I have the weekend or longer to think about it, we'll see what happens. Thanks for all the advice.
I know you said before overclocking was out of the question. But let me ask why? I've had a few Q9550s, they are easy to overclock and if you could even only bump it to 3.4 or 3.6 you'd remove a lot of the bottleneck. The Q9550 isn't bottlenecking because of the technology, its because of the clock speed. The problem I have with all these reviews that tell you - for gaming you don't need to upgrade your CPU is because they are running them all stock and the clock speed is limiting the performance. So a 2.8 Ghz Q9550 vs a i7 @ 2.8ghz won't be a huge difference. But start overclocking and you will see both give great performance boosts that will affect your gaming. You will see a much bigger performance gain from overclocking your current CPU vs upgrading to a stock i7. My Q9550s ran 4.0 and the other 4.1 ghz and they weren't a bottleneck at all. When I upgraded to my i7 there was a slight gain but not huge and this was because my Q9550s were so overclocked.
I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you don't need to upgrade to an i7 (in fact after doing it myself I'd say it wasn't really worth it - but I sold my 775 setup for about the same price as the upgrade to i7 however I went from 8GB ddr2 to only 4GB dd3) to get the performance you are looking for. Pickup a $50 aftermarket cooler and overclock the Q9550 a bit and you will be better off. Then give the HD5870 another shot.