I know everyone says an i7 is more than enough power, but I am looking at an upgrade to my primary computer, and I am unsure of what I should upgrade. Right now it handles the load pretty well, however it chokes up particularly when running multiple VMs. Primary uses of the PC are

-Web Browsing
-School (Coding,Word processing,Database,Virtualization)
-Gaming, both heavy and light
-Experimental Networking and Server setup (Mostly VM stuff)

Hardware specs are
-i7 920 CPU D0 OCed to 3.8 GHz
-6GB DDR3 1333 RAM OCed to 1500 MHz
-ATI Radeon 4890 1GB
-2x30 GB OCZ Vertex SSDs in RAID0
-1 TB WD Caviar Black 7200 RPM (for storage)
-Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit

System scores 7.6 out of a possible 7.9 on the WEI
Usually, VMs are the most taxing thing, they usually eat up about 80-95% of my RAM and
about 50-80% of my CPU. I'm thinking 12 or 24 GB of RAM will fix this problem, but I am also aware that buying a 6 core i7 CPU will help as well. My graphics card will run pretty much all the games I throw at it on 1680x1050, so I don't think I need an upgrade there.

I'm pretty knowledgeable about Hardware in general, but I just want to get a second opinion before I break out the cash for the upgrade as it will be expensive (especially for the 6 core i7 CPU). I am thinking 12GB of DDR3 1600/2000 (3x4 GB) with the option to upgrade to 24 GB in the future, simply because the i7 970 is too darned expensive.

but post away, if many of you think the i7 CPU is the way to go, I will consider biting the bullet...

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What PSU are you using? Does it have enough amps on the 12 volt rail(s) to power that lot?

if you're planning to add more virtual machines on your system and will be playing more games then RAM upgrade will be a good choice. However I'm also thinking that your system is good enough with your computing needs.

I have a similar setup, running VM's as well (except I didn't OC it).

I have 12Gb ram installed, and think it is sufficient to run 3-5 server's/client's simultaneously, depending of cause of the work load.

If you need more VM's than that, I think you should go for the 24 GB ram, before upgrading the cpu.
Remember that insufficient ram will become a serious bottleneck as soon as Windows starts to use swap-file on the hdd (even with the 2 SSD's you have).

12 Gb is good if you have a server or something if you only for simple use 4gb is enough

Why not have another computer for networking and server to ease up the load.

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