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I'm currently running a 9800 GT (EVGA) and want to upgrade to a GTX 460. But I'm hesitant because I'm using a fairly old quad-core Q6600 at stock 2.4 GHz and am thinking this may bottleneck the GTX 460 performance.

I hear that OC'ing the Q6600 to 3.2 GHz is a breeze, so I may do that (I'm an OC noob).

Anyone have experience with or have ideas about this? I'm willing to buy the GTX 460 if it gives a significant performance boost over my 9800 GT, but I'm not going to bother if it's just a small improvement.

I am eyeing this right now: EVGA 01G-P3-1373-AR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) Superclocked EE 1GB

My specs (everything in stock conditions):
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz
EVGA nForce 780i SLI Motherboard
EVGA 9800 GT 512 MB
8GB RAM Corsair XMS2
Corsair H50 Liquid CPU Cooler
 

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There is not much of a CPU bottleneck on your Q6600 if overclocked to 3.6GHz, if at all. There might be some, but not much. Just sayin' cause I have the same proc and I have a GTX 470, soon to be SLI
 

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Well, look at it this way ... in the very worst case scenario, if you were 100% cpu bottlenecked (which would be a super rare occasion), with this upgrade you'd enjoy the same FPS you get now ... only you could still get them even running significantly higher image quality settings than what you can currently run.

A large majority of the time though you'll get considerable better FPS with a 460 vs a 9800GT, even if you left your CPU at stock.

And yes, pulling out an OC to 3.2GHz on a q6600 is relatively trivial to accomplish, esp. since you already have the h5o cooler going ... as long as your system ram can handle an FSB of 355MHz (which, running a 1:1 multi will put your RAM at 710MHz in 'DDR-speak') hitting 3.2 should be cake.

Experienced OC'ers can typically coax 3.5-3.8 out of those chips, depending on the individual chip, the cooling, the board, and the RAM. But honestly a q6600 at 3.2GHz is a fine chip for any single GPU setup, aside from perhaps the 580.
 
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