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Old December 17, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Default Platform Advice/Suggestions/Thoughts

Hi there, im looking to finally upgrade from my Socket A slug but having trouble deciding what platform to inject my money into. Ive made a little list of pro's and con's to try & help me decide, do u guys have any thoughts or suggestions?

Core i7 New Immature Platform

Core i7 Pro's
-New architecture produces better peformance
-Offers some kind of upgrade path?
-Latest tech, should last me for some time (dont upgrade often)

Core i7 Con's
-Offers no upgrade path with current X58 motherboards not supporting Westmere
(Westmere being released 2009, die shrink of i7 with 6 cores)
-Expensive platform, (new socket motherboards, supporting Crossfire, SLI and DDR3)
-Bugs still to be discovered and fixed, BIOS updates etc
-Nehalem i7 not offering a great deal of performance over current tech as most applications
and games do not demand 4 cores, therefore is expensive hardware not being used
-Still a quad core

Core2Quad Dead End Mature Platform

Core2Quad Pro's
-Motherboards are plentiful and fairly cheap with many features
-Cheaper, value platform (DDR2 + motherboards) as opposed to i7
-Bugs, BIOS updates all fixed and achieved

Core2Quad Con's
-Offers no real upgrade path for demanding applications or games in the future
-Struggles to keep up with Core i7 performance by some margin when tested against demanding applications
-A more value orientated socket LGA1156 is being released soonish, supporting i7 (but can i wait?)

I could overclock my CPU in the future if i notice my Core2Quad start to struggle to extend its life?

Another thing to keep in mind, theres not a MASSIVE difference in price between these platforms, but its
the benefit of LGA775 being so mature that is the priceless factor i suppose? Therefore wouldnt have to
deal with all the bugs, problems and BIOS updates that come with being an early adopter.

Its the fact that LGA1366 X58 motherboards are aimed at enthusiasts and i dont really mess with my tech a great deal, so not really much point for a little player like me to buy this tech?

The reason ive created this thread is to try and understand if theres much point spending $1,500 for a powerful LGA775 system when LGA1366 is $500 more, but could let me reap the benefits long term?

Cheers.
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Old December 17, 2008, 08:21 AM
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What's your time frame?

Waiting for "the next big deal" is normally a no-win situation when it comes to computer hardware, but I'm thinking that the first quarter of next year is going to be quite interesting. Not only should we see some drops in i7 pricing once the initial rush and Christmas season is over, but AMD/ATI is also making some noises which could possibly change the current platform dynamic for enthusiasts.
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Old December 17, 2008, 08:29 AM
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whats ATi up to? and im looking to jump in around mid Jan, when prices come down a little.
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Old December 17, 2008, 08:35 AM
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They're making some noises with their latest batch of quads, but apparently the NDA isn't up until the 20'th Dec. Might not match i7 performance wise, but if they bring something to the table that can compete with high end S775 it'd be worth looking at.
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Old December 17, 2008, 08:42 AM
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oh thats right i heard about their new CPU coming out but tbh i dnt think it will compete with Intel, which is why im going into detail with my Intel research lol
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Old December 17, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ev0styLe View Post
Offers no upgrade path with current X58 motherboards not supporting Westmere (Westmere being released 2009, die shrink of i7 with 6 cores)
The last time I checked Westmere was going to be an LGA1366 chip, so I would be very surprised if current X58 motherboards did not support it. Since everything is effectively built into the core with this new generation, there is very little that would explain incompatibility.

Aside from perhaps inadequate power delivery designs on the motherboard, but then mobo manufacturers would get seriously lambasted.

Last edited by MAC; December 17, 2008 at 10:40 AM.
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Old December 17, 2008, 10:50 AM
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yes they will be using the same socket but not all LGA775 motherboards support Penryn for example. if u think about it, its a good way for motherboard companys to make money, becuz they are going to be releasing many more i7 LGA1366 motherboards in the near future and if they introduce Westmere support at a later stage, people may be tempted to switch. got this off another forum, not sure if its valid:

"Westmere requires 2 x QPI todays boards can only do 1 x QPI.

Maths bit:

1 x QPI = 6.4Mbits/s bandwidth
2 x QPI = 6.4 x 2 = 12.8Mbits/s bandwith

Theory:
By having more bandwidth, the memory can be faster and PCI-E 16x speeds will be greater than today."
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Old December 17, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
They're making some noises with their latest batch of quads, but apparently the NDA isn't up until the 20'th Dec. Might not match i7 performance wise, but if they bring something to the table that can compete with high end S775 it'd be worth looking at.
Agreeable, I hope AMD's Phenom II has something to bring.. Sorry to say, despite few Phenom processors were descent, I think Phenom was a complete waste of time, so hoping Phenom II will be better.

evostyle I would suggest waiting until mid Jan at least before making any serious decision, as steve said price cuts are hopefully coming.
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Old December 17, 2008, 11:23 AM
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The X58 has two QuickPath Interconnects, one is simply unused with current Core i7 processors.

Given that Sandy Bridge will require a brand new socket in 2 years, I am about 95% sure that Westmere will work on current X58 motherboards.

There are no issues similar to the LGA775/Penryn 45nm fiasco that I can foresee.

Last edited by MAC; December 17, 2008 at 11:49 AM.
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Old December 17, 2008, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
whats ATi up to? and im looking to jump in around mid Jan, when prices come down a little.
As far as prices "coming down"....hhhmmm, I haven't noticed the prices of the current Quad Core or Duo Core, such as an E84xx series come down at all in the last year....I think you'll be battling a loosing cause waiting for an I7 CPU or MOBO to "come down", perhaps the Memory will,,,but I doubt you'll see any big drops on the other Hardware in the next quarter. let alone the next year.
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