Upgrading your current system to a 6-core could be a great idea, but then again it may not be worth the cost and trouble at this point. Too, if you don't end up replacing your CPU now, you should definitely still add a good CPU cooler and overclock your current 950 system; getting to 4.0 GHz should not be too hard at all. When I ran a i7-950 it was clocked to 4.5GHz and was completely stable.
Premiere Pro has a way (it is good actually) of using your whole computer at the same time. Therefore it is important to have a balanced system at any price point - a balance of cpu, RAM, gpu, and drives/arrays.
So, if you have enough RAM, a decent video card, and plenty of drives, the 6-core upgrade could be nice. If however your current aging i7-950 system however is so-so in all areas, then saving for a comprehensive system upgrade would likely make the most sense.
I actually upgraded my rig from i7-950 (4-core) to i7-970 (6-core) a long time ago and it was a noticeable, but I would not say massive upgrade at the time. The rest of the system was pretty strong too: 24GB 1600MHz RAM, 12 HDs, GTX 480 GPU, and full-loop water cooling.
Finally, please tell the forum what is "too slow" for you now (i.e. my renders to xyz format are slow, my timeline is too sluggish, 4k is bringing my system to its knees, etc.). For example, if renders to DVD are too slow, a GPU upgrade might help more. Or, if exports to H.264 are too slow, that is indicative of a CPU bottleneck.
Also, please tell us too about your media, workflow, mention any 3rd party add-ins used, # layers, and version of Adobe too. These are all important to know to size up what resources are the weakest link with your current system.
Finally, do you use After Effects? If so, definitely wait for a new system. After Effects loves RAM and x79 systems pretty much limit one to 24GB.
My system currently is:
Intel Extreme DX58S02 LGA 1366
16GB of ram at 533mhz
System drive is dual 256 SSD Raid 0 (occasionally imaged for restore if ever a failure)
3TB Work Drive 7200
3TB Render Drive 7200
1 90 GB cache/previews
Drobo S for photography only
When I was editing video from XH-A1 the 1080i was pretty taxing. I shoot with a XF100 now and most of the time I shoot 720p 60 and that edits way easier. The system has been running hot I just found recently when making mpeg files and I've had a few renders fail possibly to overheating. I just ordered a new cooler to help with that. Most of the work I do is Lightroom/Photoshop, but I have a lot of video to edit from all the dance recitals I've shot this spring. I mainly do a fast color corrector and not much else, but still like to dabble with personal projects with my D800 DSLR.
So maybe a 980, max ram with 1600Mhz, and a RAID-5 upgrade? I don't know if I'd gain much more at this point with spending more money on a Haswell when everything else is working pretty good...
Your system is pretty nice, so I would expect a fast 6-core x79 i7 cpu would be a nice boost.
Do you have 16GB RAM for sure? With the x79 3-channel memory configuration one would normally have 12GB or 24GB.
Finally, I would suggest that you move your scratch/cache/previews to a folder on your 2x boot RAID 0 array. I suspect that would be much faster than the smaller 90GB (assume it too is a SSD). Many are offended by RAID 0 boot arrays, but I am not one of them. I too have a SSD RAID 0 array for my OS/Programs drive (also do image backups regularly). And, putting Photoshop and Bridge cache files on this array really helps with culling large batches of new photos. I don't use Lightroom, but suspect that your gains would be similar.
I almost forgot, one more thing...
You do not want an unlocked 6-core cpu (like my i7-970) for your motherboard. While Asus, Gigabyte, and some other enthusiast boards are pretty easy to overclock for locked cpus, I've heard that the Intel boards are not. So, best to stick with your original plan of one of the unlocked ("x") cpu models.
I would suggest waiting for the Haswell E release since your system is still functional for your workflow. A couple more months is worth the wait if your going to replace the CPU, board and ram. The 980X would not be worth the price point for an upgrade at that cost right now.
Yeah, 16GB of ram. I don't think they are all populated and I could max out at 24. I'd just need to fill them in. The 533Mhz surprised me and not sure how much gain there would be to get 24 of 1600Mhz that the MB is capable of. I put cache on the 90GB SSD to reduce the re-writes on the system drive and hopefully make it last longer. I had my first SSD die about a year ago. Not sure if it's really an issue. I'd like to get another large SSD for my Lightroom catalogs so speed up that part of my workflow. They are on my Renders drive.
I wondered about OC'ing a non-extreme cpu on the extreme MB. I thought it wasn't possible but have never really looked into it.
8 cores! :-) That would be a nice upgrade. Any word on CPU pricing?
1000$ 1000$ atleast for the 8 core considering it is Intels first 8 core. It willnuse that massive socket 2011-3 , chipset x99, and that chipset could possibly be the only motherboard chipset to support ddr4, which releases as soon as the motherboards do in September 2014, other expected chipset probably wont hit til summer 2015. amd late is to the party this particular time around , so intel will push but not as fast. AmD will b back with straight up CPUs for enthusiasts, not sure when
Btw here is the i7 980x with Waterblock and rad, used but that warerblock is sick, and semi custom considering it came out of an older alienware area 51ALX . So ur heat worries would be solved. Id take 375$ for the i7 980x, and for the i7 980x and waterblock/radiator 415$ , I do have an accompanying motherboard, so for all 3 maybe 430$. Let me know.. pics above
Thanks Ajay. Looks like I'll be doing a new build later this summer. I'll keep this machine going. I just installed a new Hyper 212 EVE cooler and while I had the MB out, I saw I had a leaking capacitor. It might run that way for a long time, but that's all I needed for a good excuse to start buying some new parts.