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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

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