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I'm a .Net developer who also loves playing the latest computer games. My current rig has lasted me well but it's time to upgrade the old girl to something faster. As I see it, my two options for upgrading are:

  1. Upgrading my CPU and keeping my MoBo + RAM; or
  2. Upgrading to an i5/i7 and getting a new Mobo + RAM as well.

I'm leaning towards option 1 just to get full usage over my current infrastructure, but I'm unsure what the limits of my MoBo are? I've got 3 Gigs of RAM and I'm OK with that. My current specs are (from CPU-Z):

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 @ 2.13Ghz (Conroe 65nm) (Socket 775 LGA)
  • MotherBoard: Foxconn 965X7AA
  • Chipset: [Northbridge] Intel P965/G965 rev. C2 [Southbridge] Intel 82801HB/HR (ICH8/R) rev. B0

So, please help me work out what's the fastest/most powerful CPU I can put in this? Can I go Quad? I've just got no idea.

As an example of what I'm looking for.. could I upgrade to either of these?

thanks in advance!

PS I'm sorry if I missed out a stat you needed to work this out.. if asked I can provide any CPU-Z stat.

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I'm afraid your 965-based motherboard's FSB might be your limiting factor -- it tops out at 1066MHz, which I don't think the two CPUs you linked are capable of operating at 1066MHz FSB, versus the native 1333Mhz FSB.

Back in Pentium 4 days, you couldn't use 800Mhz FSB P4s on a board that only did 400,533MHz FSB -- I'm not sure if that still holds true in today's processors.

Here's a link to 1066/800Mhz FSB CPUs if it turns out the 1333MHz FSB processor won't work on 1066Mhz boards.

AnandTech Bench compares CPUs (pick a benchmark at the top) -- to give you an idea how much of a boost you get in apps that are single-threaded and multi-threaded.

I use Photoshop frequently, so going from a P4 to a Core 2 Duo was a huge jump. But say if I had a Core 2 Quad Q9650 right now -- an i7-920 doesn't quite seem like a upgrade I'd go for. ymmv.

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Thanks for your opinions as well! Your response was exactly the help I needed! – Evildonald Dec 18 '09 at 18:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It turns out that the newegg search above wasn't the answer. I bought an E7600 Duo 3.06 GHz, but my motherboard couldn't handle it and wouldn't boot.

I later found out that the 965-based "Northbridge" was limited in what CPUs it could use.. the complete list of compatible CPUs that can be used are listed here:

Intel Specs on P965

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