The i7-860 actually performs pretty much on par with the i7-920 and the P55 motherboards are cheaper than the X58, but the thing is, socket LGA 1366 is going to be supported for future i7/i9's, whereas socket LGA 1156 doesn't look as though it will be, so it allows for an easier future path of upgradeability. I'm kinda screwed right now, as my mobo (680i LT) doesn't even support the 45nm C2Q chisp, and, either due to a chip problem or a mobo problem, my Q6600 just won't overclock beyond 2.7 ghz, so I'm starting to run into some CPU bottleneck issues that can't really be solved short of getting a new board...
So I went ahead and nabbed an Intel X25-M2 80gb ssd on the cheap ($180 including the converter kit), then grabbed 64-bit Windows 7 + paired 2gb sticks of RAM. The machine is running like a breeze. For day to day use (which, really, is where most of your time is on your computer), it is incredible, and makes your machine feel soooo much faster. Recommended!
How is XP compatibility mode in Windows 7? Are you able to play XP games that use DX? How is the whole DX10 for Vista and DX9 for XP handled? Any problems with moving to 64bit from 32bit application and driver wise?
Is your SSD a multi-cell or single cell? Do they still degrade in performance over time (the whole writing to the unused portion of the drive, and not really deleting old files until you run out of unused space to offset the lower read/write lifespan)?
For your OC Q6600 are you using any special cooling or special RAM? I have a Q9450 or is it Q9550, and I've been thinking about OCing but my RAM is rather cheap (800mhz DDR2 I believe) so I'm concerned that even if my cpu cooler (which is a fairly impressive looking tower that almost touches the CPU vent on the case) can handle it, my RAM is going to get killed by any FSB bumps.
HK47: Now do you understand the travails of my existence master? Surely it does not compare to your existence but still...
You: I survive somehow
HK47: As do I. It is our lot in life I suppose master. Shall we find something to kill to cheer ourselves up?
1) I've heard XP compatibility is very good in Windows 7, but to be honest, I haven't used it much myself. Not too many problems with using 64-bit, although there is some occasional instability with (of all things) Firefox, which isn't optimized for Windows 7 yet.
2) MLC, and no; Windows 7 natively supports the TRIM command, which takes care of that issue. Most of the major SSD manufacturers have already updated their firmware to add TRIM functionality to their SSD's.
3) My overclock is very mild, just a 2.4>2.7 ghz overclock, so no, no real need for special RAM or heatsink. I either have a shitty board or a shitty processor; the Q6600's can overclock like crazy, and plenty of people can push them up to 3.6 ghz and higher on stock cooling (although of course, if you intend to do that sort of OC, you should always replace the stock heatsink). Unless you're going for a monster OC, RAM isn't as huge of an issue.
Ahhh, this thread brings back memories! I have since done some updating to my computer (rebuilt it from the monitor up, really), and here is how my machine current looks:
Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500k @ 4.20 ghz (overclocked from 3.30 ghz)
RAM: 4x2 GB 1600 mhz (not overclocked, stable, mix of HyperX and Ripjaws X).
Video card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 460 1 GB
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
HD: 1 x Intel 80 GB SSD, 1 x Western Digital 500 GB HDD (7200 RPM)
I've also replaced one of the DVD-ROM's with a BluRay Disc Drive (BDD), and also replaced my keyboard and mice with way better versions. Basically, the only parts in it that are unchanged are the case, the hard drives, a DVD-RW, and the hard drives; everything else, even the case fans, have been replaced.
I have to say that I highly recommend the i5-2500k processor; it hit an overclock of 4.2 ghz without even breaking a sweat on my motherboard, using motherboard pre-defined settings; I've heard plenty of stories of people pushing it much higher, to 4.6 or even 4.8 ghz, while maintaining rock hard stability.