Where is my Bottleneck ???


Junior Member
Dec 15, 2009
Okay, so a little background on my system and what I use it for.

Intel Core 2 6600 running at stock speed (sample)
Intel D975XBX2 Motherboard (also a sample )
4GB Corsair XMS2 6400 DDR2
EVGA 7950 GX2
750W PSU
Creative X-fi Fatality Platinum
WD Raptor 10k RPM 150GB (OS and Applications)
Windows XP Pro
22 inch monitor at 1680x1050

I use my machine mainly for graphics intensive games and Photoshop... and my wife’s Farmville of course.

Eventually I am going to upgrade my entire system, but it is going to be a long drawn out painful process of seeking approval from my lovely spouse who just doesn't understand my need for a high end gaming machine. So I am stuck moving forward a little bit at a time.

My thoughts are to start with the video card as I previously had an 8800GTX and it offered a decent improvement to most of my games. Seeing as though all my hardware is dated I'm really not sure where to start.

I would like to end up with a mid range system that will work well with large Photoshop documents (500mb +) and be able to play most games well at 1680x1050 with AA and all the bells and whistles.

So where do I start? Video Card? I would like a 5850 and I am willing to wait until next year when Fermi launches and hopefully prices drop. I am also looking at AMD for a new CPU but I have been out of the game so long I have no idea what is even good anymore. i7 is way out of my price range FYI

My power supply, hard drive, optical drive, and maybe memory will be recycled into the new system. Total budget will be somewhere around 600 USD if I can manage to stretch it out. All feedback is welcome and appreciated.


Diamond Member
Jun 11, 2007
I'd say the only thing you need is a better video card and upgrade to Win 7. Other then that your PC is good to go for a while. In a couple of years another video card upgrade and a couple more gigs of RAM is all you'll need.


Platinum Member
Jan 29, 2000
Your system actually looks fine, I would suggest getting a new HSF and overclocking your CPU and upgrading the video card to something modern like an ATI 4850/70/90 or Geforce Gtx 260/75/85


Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
I'd say the only thing you need is a better video card and upgrade to Win 7.

With your specs, you'll have slightly better performance in both Photoshop and games by sticking with XP. But I agree the video card could be upgraded.

I would suggest getting a new HSF and overclocking your CPU

I assume that by "sample" you mean ES. Some ES procs are hard-locked, they have a ceiling...for example, my Galatin ES cannot be overclocked beyond 3.6, although retail procs have been clocked considerably higher.

I'm not sure about ES boards...I think those are usually called "beta", and some are close to the shipping product, some aren't. The Bad Axe series is one of the (extremely) few Intel boards that can overclock, and I cannot get my C2D EE above 3.4 on a Bad Axe II with a Tuniq Tower 120...it won't even post, while everybody else gets that same proc stable at 3.73 on air using other mobos.

In other words, you may not be able to overclock all that much, if at all.


Senior member
Oct 8, 2007
Upgrade the video card and possibly get a 2nd HD for your data files. The 2nd HD will be your scratch (working) drive. This will allow for a better photoshop experience, but getting the video card is all that you really need for now.


Junior Member
Dec 15, 2009
Thanks for all the feedback.

The Processor is an ES but all the ones we received were unlocked. I did try to over clock the CPU when I first set up my computer, but any increase in the multiplier or voltage made the system stop posting. The other people at my work who were testing these same samples were able to cap them out at ludicrous speeds with just the stock cooler. In fact the early samples we had were better for over clocking then some of the retail products when they launched. We eventually chalked my problems up to that individual motherboard, but with the price tag I can't complain.

I do have a second hard drive (Seagate Barracuda) that I use as my scratch and storage drive and it seems to manage okay.

I'm also not quite sold on Windows 7 yet. I know it is supposed to be very stable and the best thing since sliced bread, but Vista left a bad taste in my mouth. More memory and DX10/11 are really the only things that make me want to upgrade.

I'll start by trying to get my hands on a 5850 sometime next year when they are more available. Maybe my lack of buying other hardware could justify the purchase of some nice audiophile level headphones :)