So the question you have to ask yourself, “Was the upgrade worth it?” Well, from my personal standpoint, ABSOLUTELY! I use my computer for video encoding, photo editing, and gaming, and I was getting quite frustrated with my old system. The video card could keep up no problem in games, but the CPU was starting to lack and things took longer to do than I wanted. Not only was this bottleneck frustrating, but the SATA 2 interface is old and I wanted to take advantage of the Samsung 840 Pro’s SATA 3 speeds.
When I finally got to upgrade my system, having the GIGABYTE Z87X-UD4H to back up my components felt like a winner from the get-go. I knew GIGABYTE products were great from past experiences, and I had no doubts that this board could deliver. With this board running $197.99 shipped on Amazon, and it has a 3 year warranty, I couldn’t go wrong. It had everything that I was looking for: SATA 3, USB 3.0 ports, and some good overclocking options for future use. Right now I need to find a way to tame my 4770k, as running Prime95 made the CPU max out in temperature with the stock HSF, and I was not fond of that.
Having 8 SATA 3 6Gb/s ports is a huge win for me, since I will eventually bring some local redundant storage and general storage to this system. I do also plan on picking up another Samsung 840 Pro in the future, to see how well they perform in RAID 0.
So for the serious gamer, photographer, videographer who is looking to speed things up: Was it worth it? Absolutely!!! I can say without a doubt, this is one huge upgrade over the old Q6600 system, even when utilizing a bunch of the same components. I opted to grab the i7 4770k (priced at $334.53 shipped on Amazon) over the i5 4670k (priced at $219.00 shipped on Amazon) just because of hyperthreading and the work that I do on my system. Either processor should be a great choice!
Now for the average Joe, was this upgrade worth it? In all honesty, if you aren’t doing any serious gaming, photo editing, video encoding, or something quite demanding, you might have to sit back and think about it for a bit. The power savings are definitely nice with the new 22nm architecture with Haswell (84 watt TDP with 4770k), over the 65nm with Kentsfield (105 watt TDP with Q6600), plus all of the new power saving features. Now another kicker, for your Average Joe, is if you got rid of the discrete video card and just used the IGP, I know you’ll save a ton of juice. This is also where you could step down to something like the i5 instead of the i7, too. Is it still worth it with all of this in mind? I would say you could absolutely lean towards YES on this one. Don’t forget, you gain a lot of huge performance increases with USB 3.0 and SATA 3 support, too!
So what am I saying? Was it worth it to go from a Q6600 to an i7 4770k?
Enthusiast: Absolutely!! Get out and build your Haswell system as soon as possible!!
Average Joe: I would have to lean towards YES, due to power savings and overall speed enhancements.