I wanted to know your thoughts on this. I have been debating on building a new system for the past several days to replace my current one. An AMD Athlon XP 2000+ system, 6600gt video card, etc.. heheh... it still works well... heck I played Oblivion when it came out at 1280x1024 resolutions @ medium settings with this system fine hahah... but lately I've been daydreaming about building a new fresh system that'll last me like how this machine has...
My question to you all was that if I should do it now or wait a few months? things like windows vista and DX10 coming out soon and whatnot... I wonder if I should hold off or would it really matter much?
The system I was looking into was going to be around the Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 with an ATI X1950XT or some NVIDIA equivalent ....
I'd definately say wait. At the moment, there's only the 8800 Nvidia series of cards that are DX10 ready, and with that due out at the end of Vista, all future games are set to be DX10. You'd be far better off waiting to see how the DX10 hardware pans out, and also wait for ATI to get a DX10 card out so prices are driven down. I think spending £300+ on an 8800GTS is a waste of money for now, as DX10 isn't even out yet, so no one knows how the 8800 series of cards will truly perform.
I'm in your same boat and have spent countless hours researching this stuff since I basically started from scratch. (I haven't bought a system since 2001) I am leaning towards building a new system now and not waiting. My reasoning is:
1) the core components (dual core CPU and compatible mobo) won't be too out of date when Vista and DX10 become more mainstream towards the middle/end of 2007.
2) 8800's will still be on the expensive side when Vista comes out. When they become cheap, guess what, there's going to be some new uber expensive card that everyone wants. And the new DX 10 cards will still be compatible with the mobo you get right now if you get the right one.
3) From what I've read, true Quad core isn't going to be mainstream for home PC users for a while. Some mobo's claim quad core compatibility as is anyways. (Caveat: My understanding is current intel quad core is not "true" quad core and there is no guarantee the future "true" quad core chips will be compatible with current 775 chipsets which are compatible with the current "quad core" out now. Yes that is a little confusing but I don't know how else to put it.)
4) If you play the waiting game with PC's you can wait forever; there is always something around the corner to wait for. Right now you can build a system which will be upgradeable for a few years and should last. I'm going for it. Whatever you do have fun! I'm certainly looking forward to it.
With both Vista and the ATI R600 coming out in a month, I would wait. But it also depends on how soon you absolutely have to have a computer. I think that buying a non-DX10 video card at the moment is either a waste of money, or only something intended to tide you over until you get a DX10 card, in which case, the DX9 card should be about the cheapest thing you can get that runs the machine.
The quad cores from both Intel and AMD haven't done anything great. There are few enough programs that utilize dual cores, though that will change in the coming year. If, and only if, you use lots of business programs that do use multi cores are the quad cores useful, in my opinion.
If you can wait a little over a month, you can make a new build that will be very good, have the latest OS, get to pick whether the 8800 or R600 is best, and not go through the hastle of updating the OS and maybe loosing all the stuff you put on the hard disc. But like illram wrote, don't play the waiting game forever or you'll never build.
I think this is perhaps a time to wait due to the DX10 cards coming out soon (competitively priced ones), + vista and possible intel price cuts. Remember too that the 8800's are the first crack at DX10 so maybe waiting for revision B or 8850's or whatever would be a good idea.
Your system does seem old though and what I would do is buy the E6600, a good mobo (P5B-E or deluxe) and whatever else you need for a good system except a vid card. For video, get a lower-end pci express card for now (x1300/x1650/7300GT/7600GS) and then this summer pop out the card in favor of whatever the players' fav card at that point.
I'm currently running a P4 3.2GHz with GeForce 6800, so I should be able to wait a while. Normally I'd agree that you can wait forever and things will always get better, but DX10 is a big change, so I think it's worth waiting for more DX10 hardware offerings. I may consider getting a nice TFT now to replace my crappy 15" in the meantime though...
There are some things you can get now: hard drives, monitor, case. Those items are pretty universal.
But, Core 2 Duo is scheduled for a big price drop in Q2 2007. The E6600 you mentioned should drop around to $224. (Read more here!). I would wait until then. Aside from the cheaper processor, by then we should have seen the release of Vista, DX10, and more DX10 cards. Then you can make a more-educated purchase. Right now we're all just guessing.
You also have to ask yourself, do you really need to upgrade to DX10/ Vista right away? Sure, there are a few games like Crysis that hinge on DX10 eye-candy, but that's only a few (and besides, they will still run on DX9 just fine). How long do you think it will take before DX10 games become mainstream/common? It's not going to be an instant change. So unless you're a hardcore gamer that has to have the latest right now, you're not going to need to immediately get DX10/Vista. Maybe not even in a year from now. And by then, bugs will have been worked out, prices will have dropped, and better technology and selection will be available. Bottom line is, don't hold off your upgrade just for emerging technology.
Yes, DX10 is a huge step but maybe the non-hardcore gamers can wait for that second or third step before buying in.
I doubt I'll get Vista straight away, just because of the potential security problems all new OS's seem to have at first. But I'd like to get a DX10 card just for future proofing, so I'll wait till they're reasonable to buy (plus I'm waiting for that C2D price drop)
I'm in the same situation as the OP, and I've decided to wait till q3 2007. Theres just too much new stuff right about to launch for me to feel comfortable with upgrading now.
The 45nm parts intel is suppossed to ship by then will have stock speeds of 3-4ghz, 2x6mb l2 cache, 1333 fsb and support ddr3. If nothing else, the addition of these new 45 nm parts should drastically reduce the prices on the existing c2d.
PCIe 2.0 should be out by then as well, which isn't really a big deal atm, but could be a necessary feature for gpus in a short time.
The other thing I feel might be worth waiting for is a hybrid hard drive. Vistas readydrive and readyboost could be really nice features. I'd like to have the hardware to take advantage of them.
It's true what others have said. You have to jump in at some point. Theres always gonna be something bigger and better right around the corner, but to me, spending all that money right now would just piss me off in 6 months when I look at what I could have had.
awesome replies guys! Yeah definitely, I agree with all of you.... i apprecitate all the fantastic replies... and I am still debating hahaha!... im not all hardcore, I do play a lot of games but dont get all into detail about having the best things or best performance... as long as it runs super good for the hardware that I have, then everything is peachy! I'm sure Ill save a few hundred if I wait but then again like everybody said, maybe I'd want the next step with the few hundred i'd save and end up spending the same amount, just with newer hardware... hmm.. decisions decisions!
what i'd replace would be a lot of the core things, cpu, mobo, memory, gpu, psu, hard drives... i already got a decent case and 21 inch wide screen lcd.
its either I ponder about it each day until I bite the bullet and upgrade now or wait... regardless thanks again, its been interesting reads.. hope they keep comming! haha
Lots of good advice here. See also the "Rules of Thumb" Thread. btw, I multitask 6 ways to Sunday, and I cannot get my X2 4200 dual core (now a low end dual core) to stay maxed out more than 1 second while downloading a CD, background virus scan, 3 security programs, 8 active java windows with streaming stock charts and numbers, 15 windows, email, all at once, and it's no problem. That's just for perspective on the whole issue of cpu performance!
OP I feel your pain. About a month ago, I decided it was time to upgrade from my P4 3.2 system I bought about 5 years ago. By shear luck, I only bought parts that should still be pretty good even with the upcoming advances and price drops (case, motherboard, HD). I was planning on getting the whole system built before spring but with the C2D price drops and midrange DX10 cards around the corner, think I'm going to hold off on buying at least my processor (because of the new models and price drops) and an 8800. Im still toying around with buying my RAM, OS and PSU fairly soon since those are less subject to change. As many others have said, if you always wait for the next big thing you'll NEVER build but I think the above things warrant waiting a couple months. Besides, I'll still be able to play the WoW expansion on my current system.
Yeah, RAM is a safe bet at the moment. Not too sure on PSU though. I only bought my Hiper 580W a year go thinking it would last me for ages, but the DX10 cards use up a lot of power (that said, I doubt I'll ever have a SLi setup)
Once they go from 90 - 80 nm die size, to 70 - 60 nm die size for DRAM chips prices will drop by 'up to' 40% per MB.
(Ed: Try between 10% and 20%, to cover R&D costs, etc, since they'll be going from 80 to 70 nm in mass production, not 80 to 60 nm. 60 nm will be reserved for high capacity DIMMs and the like).
This is currently happening in Japan, - http://www.elpida.com -, and it is quite likely others will need to follow to remain competitive.
620 watt PSUs (minimum sustainable out) are set to become the next standard, with 880 watt PSUs in the high-end. Beyond 880 watts I suspect we'll get more efficient, not require 1250+ watt PSUs (as power outlets run multiple devices, and you can have just one PC + Monitor + Accessories, etc using all the juice on a single circuit).
8) Tabris arkPeace
The only safe bet is TFTs, larger ones will always cost more, today and tomorrow. Even when SED comes out TFT/LCD technology will still not drop significantly in price.