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Speculation on buying Core 2 Duo vs. Quadro

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October 8, 2006 8:24:38 PM

I basically have this fairly good system right now with 2GB of DDR2-667, a Geforce 7900GT, et al. One slight problem however: I have a 3.2 Ghz 1MB Prescott for a CPU. Despite the fact that winter is coming and I have one of the best space heaters on the market here, I think I'm ready to upgrade. My CPU budget right now is around $300-$350 plus maybe an extra $100 or so for a new motherboard. My budget is fairly tight, so I need to keep the whole MB/CPU price under about $450.

I've been intending to get an e6600 core 2 since they came out, and now that I have the funds to acquire one -- without resorting to shoplifting or trying to make my own out of pocketlint and non-toxic paste -- Intel has foiled my scheme by anouncing that the Quad cores will likely be out within a month. I figure even if I don't buy a Quadro, the Duo's will drop in price some and I might be able to buy some groceries during the month, to go along with my shiny new CPU.

I do quite a bit of gaming, and I know that most games don't thread for multiple cores right now. But assuming I decide to wait another 2+ years to upgrade again, is that still going to be the case? In addition, I use Photoshop a fair amount, and I like to play around with 3dsmax and some other 3d programs on occasion. I estimate I spend less than 5 hours a week doing any graphics/video/3d rendering kind of stuff, so I'm just not sure if it's vital enough to worry about. I don't really know what to expect with Kentsfield prices or change in Duo prices when they come out. However there is the pressing factor of "I want a new toy, and I want it right now!" to consider as well. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do or any estimates for quad-core prices?


P.S. If anyone knows of a good $100-120 motherboard, I would appreciate a suggestion.
October 10, 2006 10:41:46 PM

Ok, this is halfway down the third page now with no replies, so I'm bumping it up.
October 10, 2006 11:33:10 PM

I would stick with Core 2 Duo, it will put you in good stead for a good time to come. Core 2 is so fast that I don't think you would feel you had made a bad choice coming from a Prescott 3.2Ghz. Quadros are not out til early next year (apart from the top-end Quadro which would be outpriced for you, me and most other people).

For a cheap build, I find the Asrock ConRoe945G-DVI is a great board. It's cheap and stable. I paid £50 for mine which equates to about $90.

I have a Core 2 Duo E6400 and it's far and away the best CPU I've owned. I didn't think I could get much faster than any dual-core but it made my 805D look rubbish (unsurprisingly).
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October 10, 2006 11:35:33 PM

Quote:
I basically have this fairly good system right now with 2GB of DDR2-667, a Geforce 7900GT, et al. One slight problem however: I have a 3.2 Ghz 1MB Prescott for a CPU. Despite the fact that winter is coming and I have one of the best space heaters on the market here, I think I'm ready to upgrade. My CPU budget right now is around $300-$350 plus maybe an extra $100 or so for a new motherboard. My budget is fairly tight, so I need to keep the whole MB/CPU price under about $450.

I've been intending to get an e6600 core 2 since they came out, and now that I have the funds to acquire one -- without resorting to shoplifting or trying to make my own out of pocketlint and non-toxic paste -- Intel has foiled my scheme by anouncing that the Quad cores will likely be out within a month. I figure even if I don't buy a Quadro, the Duo's will drop in price some and I might be able to buy some groceries during the month, to go along with my shiny new CPU.

I do quite a bit of gaming, and I know that most games don't thread for multiple cores right now. But assuming I decide to wait another 2+ years to upgrade again, is that still going to be the case? In addition, I use Photoshop a fair amount, and I like to play around with 3dsmax and some other 3d programs on occasion. I estimate I spend less than 5 hours a week doing any graphics/video/3d rendering kind of stuff, so I'm just not sure if it's vital enough to worry about. I don't really know what to expect with Kentsfield prices or change in Duo prices when they come out. However there is the pressing factor of "I want a new toy, and I want it right now!" to consider as well. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do or any estimates for quad-core prices?


P.S. If anyone knows of a good $100-120 motherboard, I would appreciate a suggestion.


Prescott. Socket 478.. bummer.

E6600 prices are under $320 now, but you might also consider the E6400 or E6300. While they lack the extra cache of the E6600s and up, they still overclock quite well.

As for expecting Kentsfield to force Core 2 Duo prices down, it doesnt look like its going to happen. Early pricing (unreliable) looks to be in the $1200(US) range, well above the EE6800. Sorry man, looks like you may be SOL on that front.
October 11, 2006 5:15:01 AM

Thanks for the responses. Based on what you told me, I did a little reading, and apparently the only Kentsfield coming out next month is the "Extreme" version. I don't really think I want to wait until the first of the year for a quad-core, as I was already kind of borderline as to whether it was worth it. Newegg has the 6600 for $319, and I really did have my heart set on the 4MB cache, so I think I'm going to go ahead and order it.

The Asrock board you mentioned is available for a little under $80 from a couple of sites. I'll probably look around a little more before I decide, but does anyone have any specific chipsets they like? I know very little about recent Intel chipsets, and I'm not certain how good Nvidia's are for Intel.
October 11, 2006 8:33:33 AM

Given that you are leaning towards the Kentsfield anyway, I'm going to presume you would also like that option in the future when the price falls. Seems your chipset of choice is either the P965 or 975X (probably the former due to your budget). I'd point you here first then:

http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2848

I don't know if the Asrock boards support it. But it seems like your ideal chipset in terms of price, features and flexibility is the P965.
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October 11, 2006 1:49:00 PM

Quote:
Given that you are leaning towards the Kentsfield anyway, I'm going to presume you would also like that option in the future when the price falls. Seems your chipset of choice is either the P965 or 975X (probably the former due to your budget).


It will be some time before programs really take advantage of quad cores. For the average consumer dual core is more than enough especially since most "home" programs and games do not take full advantage of multi-threading yet. Quad core sound nice, but is it really necessary?

I would say that by the time programs are written to use all available cores a new and better chipset will be out for the Core 2 Quad. If money is tight then the Asrock will do in a pinch. The P965 and 975X are better, but costs more.
October 11, 2006 2:03:16 PM

The Asus P5B seems to be a good bet, in the UK, I can get it for £86 and it's based on the P965 chipset. It's also slated to have a BIOS update released so it can support Kentsfield/Core 2 Quad.
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