I'm thinking about building a new system (my first build, yay). I'm torn between Q6600 or Q9300. I'll use this mostly for gaming and doing 3D CAD (and of course internet and e-mails). I don't know how much difference of the two are. I prefer something that last longer (since I don't plan on changing for 3 or so years). and I don't think I can afford anything higher than using Q9300. So, any comment? the other parts are listed below

COOLER MASTER Centurion 590 RC-590-KKN1-GP Black SECC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

XFX PVT98WYDFH GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner SATA Model GGC-H20L

For total of $927.92

Nice looking setup.

I'd certainly go for the Q9300 out of those 2. It performs a little better, but it also supports SSE 4.1 which the Q6600 does not. Not much uses that instruction set now, but you'd be kicking yourself if a new prog. comes out that uses it and you only have a Q6600.

Some guy (here) said this:

Compared to the Q6600, it's about 7% faster. Unfortunately, the 7.5x multiplier limits its overclocking potential, and 3.5GHz is about as far as you can go before hitting a FSB wall.

The low multiplier aside, it's not a bad CPU, considering it's the same price as a Q6600. It doesn't blow the Q6600 away, but it is slightly faster and lower power consumption is always welcome.

Here's a direct comparison for you: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/core2quad-q9300_4.html#sect0

Another review said this (here):

the Q9300 is easily an improvement over the Core 2 Quad Q6600 on all fronts.

With GPU, a GTX260 (216 version preferably) would cost you a bit more, but the extra on-card RAM (896 vs 512) would be nice if you want to use a large resolution monitor for your CAD. Just a thought; the 9800 GTX+ really is a great card.

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