Upgrading PC....Is it worth it? Best Choice?

I currently have a Dell Ispirion with an Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q6600@ GHz and 4GB of memory running Windows 7 Pro 64bit and Cubase 5.5. I’m not really experiencing any real performance issues but then again I’m using outboard effects processing (GMajor and 11 Rack) and use mainly the Cubase reverb and delay plugins. If I start to add layers of Virtual Instruments or plugins then things start going south. So, I’m looking at upgrading the PC to help with this issue along with being able to use native plugins (specifically Paz Analyer and other Waves plugins)without performance issues or ASIO drop outs. I have found a pretty decent Dell XPS with an i5 2300 with 6GB of memory and wanted advice on if this would be a good choice for an upgrade or should I go bigger? As it is now, I could continue using the computer I have and restrict myself to using limited plugins or just bus the audio to outboard procs and route that into a separate audio track but it just seems so much easier to use plugins and manipulate the sound on the computer. Plus as much as I work on different projects, having the plugin in the project itself is so much easier than having to dial back in outboard gear. One thing that takes a lot of my time is getting an idea, dialing in a good sound with the outboard gear than having to save it as a preset and setting everything up next time I want to work on that project. Make sense?

Any advice?

It all depends on your personal needs. My guideline has always been: as long as it works, stay with it. If needed to upgrade, be sure to invest in the computer which is one step below the best you can get (the best one is always just freaking too expensive).

Q6600 Quad isn’t too bad a processor while not top-notch either. Are you sure, your problem is not the memory instead of the processing power? 4GB for Win7/64 doesn’t sound enough to me.

I don’t think it is either however the MB is limited to 4GB…this is probably the main reason for the upgrade. My other option is looking at a UAD2 card to handle the plugins. Anyone have experience with these?

Then you really may need to upgrade. But don’t upgrade to 6G system. Always upgrade to system which has at least 2 to 4 times of evetrything (CPU power, memory, …) your previous system had. I bet you don’t want to upgrade again in the next 1 to 2 years.

This is true. Because of budget issues and also the purchase of the UAD 2 card, I might go with the 6GB system because it is outfitted to support up to 16GB so I can add memory at a later date. Thanks for the advice.