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Upgrading from a Core 2 Quad Q6600
It’s done. I’ve finally taken the leap and upgraded my wife’s Core 2 Quad Q6600 to a brand new multithreaded machine. In all honesty, I’m amazed that the Q6600 has lasted this long. Its longevity is in no small part due to Custom PC, as I was inspired and got all the information I needed for that very build when I was a subscriber back in 2008. Fast forward to now and I’m a subscriber again, as it’s your advice and honest reviews that I’ve come to trust.
The reason for the upgrade is because my wife, Selina, is an animation director and switches from Adobe Animate to After Effects on a regular basis.
Both pieces of software are demanding but have very different requirements from a CPU. Animate would be quite happy with a Kaby Lake CPU but After Effects needs the cores from Broadwell-E for rendering. Then Ryzen happened and the last issue showed a system costing less than half the price of an Intel multi-threaded system, which halted the purchase!
I took to Google and started doing comparisons. I was in my element comparing specs from AMD and Intel, and it took me straight back to building the Q6600 machine in 2008.
And, just as I did back then, I had the latest Custom PC issue by my side throughout.
It really helped me so much to make an informed decision, and I stuck with the Broadwell-E system, getting pretty much the machine you recommend, as it hits the sweet spot between 2D, 3D and rendering grunt.
I did make a few tweaks, though, based on my own research. I upped the RAM to 32GB and dropped the 1TB Samsung 850 Evo SSD, as we use Synology NAS boxes for project work. Also, one of the main reasons I decided to go for a Broadwell-E system is because the i7-6850K dropped in price to £400, and Asus is currently offering a cash-back promotion of up to £170! If any readers are thinking of taking the plunge, now is a great time, as competition is finally back in the market place.
For me, I’m typing this on my own Core 2 Quad Q6600 machine, which I’ll continue to use for a wee bit longer. After all, you never know is around the corner. Thanks to everyone at JASON WAGNER
Ben: Thank you for your kind words Jason; I’m glad we’re still hitting the spot. I finally upgraded my Core 2 Quad QX6700 machine in 2012, and I thought waited a long time between upgrades, but I have to bow down to you and Selina’s restraint in avoiding the temptation to upgrade. The Core 2 Quad Q6600 was an amazing CPU for the money in its time – I’m sure it still handles a fair bit of today’s software.
As you’ll see on p68, we’ve updated the Elite list this month to account for the massively changing CPU market you describe. We’re still recommending Broadwell-E gear, but we’re now showing a choice of motherboards at different price ranges, rather than listing a whole PC, so people can make their own decision on the rest of the bits and pieces. I suspect, like you, a lot of CPC readers were picking and choosing different components for their builds anyway, rather than sticking rigidly to our system recommendations.
Clogged up coolers?
If I buy an all-in-one water cooler for my CPU, do I need to worry about it clogging up with gunk like selfassembled water-cooling loop? ANDREW LEVICK Custom PC.
Ben: Not to the same degree, no, because the loop is completely closed and sealed, so there’s no chance of bacteria getting into the loop while you’re putting it together, changing components in it and so on. Most all-inone liquid coolers are only guaranteed for a certain number of years, but it will be longer than the lifespan of most custom loop coolant. Corsair’s H80, for example, has a five-year guarantee.
More spacing please
I would have a word with the journalist who did the graphics card settings article, which I enjoyed by the way. It takes a couple of seconds to figure out what’s written in some of the paragraphs, as the words are without spaces on some lines. LLOYD NORRIS
Ben: I’m glad you enjoyed our graphics settings article, and to be fair to Rick, he had nothing to do with the layout – he just supplied the words and pictures. I think this is a problem with the forced text justification we used in that feature (and use in quite a few features) – InDesign sometimes tries to cram too many words together on one line, and we don’t always spot it.
Sometimes you only need to correct one typo on a page, and it has the
The loop is closed and sealed, so there’s no chance of bacteria getting into it
Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q6600 offered great performance for the money back in 2008
Corsair’s all-in-one liquid coolers come with a five-year guarantee