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Upgrade Paths

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April 25, 2007 3:27:07 PM

While it's clear that the coming new AMD chips in late 07 and 2008 are to work in current AM2 motherboards, I couldn't say for sure about whether the coming new Intel next generation (Nehalem) will work in current for-sale Intel motherboards (but indications I've seen so far are that the answer is no).

This matters to some people since they have limited funds to spend, and Microsoft requires a new OEM Windows licence for each new motherboard. So that cost gets into the neighborhood of $200 if you can re-use the Ram and everything else even.

For this reason, for everyone needing good value and the prospect of great upgrades later, I'm recommending AMD.

But if anyone has good info on the Intel upgrade paths, we'd all love to see it.

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April 25, 2007 5:51:48 PM

It's a definite no on Nehelam working on a present LGA775 socket. Nehelam is supposed to have on die memory controller codenamed CSI. This will negate the need for a memory controller in the chipset. By this time DDR3 will be the standard so that also makes it incompatible with present 775 boards.
April 25, 2007 6:15:58 PM

Quote:
While it's clear that the coming new AMD chips in late 07 and 2008 are to work in current AM2 motherboards, I couldn't say for sure about whether the coming new Intel next generation (Nehalem) will work in current for-sale Intel motherboards (but indications I've seen so far are that the answer is no).

This matters to some people since they have limited funds to spend, and Microsoft requires a new OEM Windows licence for each new motherboard. So that cost gets into the neighborhood of $200 if you can re-use the Ram and everything else even.

For this reason, for everyone needing good value and the prospect of great upgrades later, I'm recommending AMD.

But if anyone has good info on the Intel upgrade paths, we'd all love to see it.


I would be very careful about making blanket statements about upgrade paths. There are probably some old AM2 boards out there that won't work with K10. It also is not a sure thing that K10 chips will present a strong upgrade path. It also wouldn't make much sense for Intel to make Penryn(The next chips from Intel) incompatible with current motherboard designs in light of the fact that Nehalem follows a year later and will be incompatible with Penryn. I also wouldn't make a platform recommendation based only on the upgrade path available. There is value in having the older computer as a backup. It may also be that we will be using flash HDD's for the OS in a couple years and there won't be much worth keeping in that old system anyway.
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April 25, 2007 6:57:26 PM

Quote:
It's a definite no on Nehelam working on a present LGA775 socket. Nehelam is supposed to have on die memory controller codenamed CSI. This will negate the need for a memory controller in the chipset. By this time DDR3 will be the standard so that also makes it incompatible with present 775 boards.


Thanks. Interesting about DDR3 as the standard. What is the time frame for that in your opinion?
April 25, 2007 7:00:45 PM

While I understand Vista is designed to use the flash, XP users can still benefit via hybrid drives and such (once their performance and price improve). Someone still running XP will can just put in a higher performing HD including flash at that time, no big deal. On the other hand I would not be as happy to build so that I'd have to buy 2 copies of Vista over 2 years.
April 25, 2007 8:57:34 PM

Quote:
While I understand Vista is designed to use the flash, XP users can still benefit via hybrid drives and such (once their performance and price improve). Someone still running XP will can just put in a higher performing HD including flash at that time, no big deal. On the other hand I would not be as happy to build so that I'd have to buy 2 copies of Vista over 2 years.


My point is that you aren't doing people any good by making recommendations based upon what you want for yourself. And as I explained, the risk with AM2 is just as high. A new board with a *965 northbridge and an ICH8* southbridge is probably going to be compatible with Intel's Penryn/Wolfdale, which are a sure-fire upgrade from Core2 due to increased clock rate. With K10, there is the risk of it not providing an affordable quad core solution, and there is a chance that performance isn't all that great. Why do you think the massive change in architecture between K8 and K10 is a lower risk than the lesser change between Conroe and Penryn/Wolfdale? The big risk with Penryn/Wolfdale is that they require high performance RAM. With K10, the whole architecture is changing. Do you really think it will go off without a hitch for just any old motherboard? The point is that both are risky, not just one.

As for flash HDD, they can be used with XP. They function just like any other SATA drive. I think you are confusing a flash HDD with the new feature of using a flash thumb drive to boot your computer and the feature of using on board flash to boot the computer.
April 25, 2007 9:15:17 PM

Well, I can agree only that the penryn upgrade is a safe thing. But I prefer the K10 adventure, since I am adventuresome. Not all people are adventuresome.

Re the xp-vista, flash, hybrids. No confusion here. Vista has specific strengths with it's fetch, flash use, etc., which are not enough yet for me at this point. I expect hybrid drives at some point with utilities from the drive vendors to allow fast boots in XP, along with better general performance, since it's an easy advantage to gain. It's like making video cards for APG perhaps -- it's profitable enough that new cards continue to come out.
April 25, 2007 9:20:51 PM

According to Intel themselves, Nehelm is really meant for server platforms, so we might just see 775 live on for a bit longer.
April 25, 2007 10:53:33 PM

Quote:
hes right , especially if AMD makes am3 compatible with socket am2 thats 3 gens of upgrade.

every fsb hike you need a new mobo with intel just about.(sarcasm) one of the bennies of IMC.


I would take AMD's promise to make them compatible with a grain of salt.
April 25, 2007 11:00:06 PM

We know the Agenas etc are drop-in compatible, according to recent confirmations.
April 26, 2007 8:19:23 AM

Quote:
According to Intel themselves, Nehelm is really meant for server platforms, so we might just see 775 live on for a bit longer.


Rumor has it that there will be two versions of Nehalem - one with the traditional FSB and one with an IMC.

While I doubt current P965/680i/650i chipsets will be able to run Nehalem, there is the chance that the upcoming Bearlake based chipsets may, if the rumor is true that there will be FSB based Nehalems that is...
April 26, 2007 10:06:04 AM

Quote:
On the other hand I would not be as happy to build so that I'd have to buy 2 copies of Vista over 2 years.


No you wouldn't, MS have relaxed the requirements, it's the same as XP, if you replace the mobo you'd have to call them to re-register your Vista key and assure them that you're not trying to install your licence on 2 PC's concurrently, so making that argument moot in this context
April 26, 2007 2:03:47 PM

Quote:
Well, I can agree only that the penryn upgrade is a safe thing. But I prefer the K10 adventure, since I am adventuresome. Not all people are adventuresome.


:lol:  If that's adventuresome I'd better sell my spelunking gear.

I wouldn't say either is a sure upgrade. I think Penryn/Wolfdale will run on a 680i or P965 but since there's no official word, who knows. If not, the $266 Q6600 sounds like a fantastic upgrade in Q3. AMD claims K10 will be drop in compatible, which is nice, if K10 is half decent. That's not looking especially likely though but at least it'll probably be better than K8. Since neither have a guaranteed upgrade path for future CPUs I'd personally recommend Intel because at least their current CPUs are good and you don't have to plan on an upgrade.
April 26, 2007 5:53:57 PM

Quote:
On the other hand I would not be as happy to build so that I'd have to buy 2 copies of Vista over 2 years.


No you wouldn't, MS have relaxed the requirements, it's the same as XP, if you replace the mobo you'd have to call them to re-register your Vista key and assure them that you're not trying to install your licence on 2 PC's concurrently, so making that argument moot in this context

Interesting. I had mentioned that since I'd seen articles about 2 months back saying MS had changed it's requirements. I haven't tried to do a old copy on a new MB myself. Have you?
April 26, 2007 5:55:24 PM

Quote:
Well, I can agree only that the penryn upgrade is a safe thing. But I prefer the K10 adventure, since I am adventuresome. Not all people are adventuresome.


:lol:  If that's adventuresome I'd better sell my spelunking gear.

I wouldn't say either is a sure upgrade. I think Penryn/Wolfdale will run on a 680i or P965 but since there's no official word, who knows. If not, the $266 Q6600 sounds like a fantastic upgrade in Q3. AMD claims K10 will be drop in compatible, which is nice, if K10 is half decent. That's not looking especially likely though but at least it'll probably be better than K8. Since neither have a guaranteed upgrade path for future CPUs I'd personally recommend Intel because at least their current CPUs are good and you don't have to plan on an upgrade.

Your opinion is certainly interesting to me. It helps to represent why expectations for AMD are so very low.
April 26, 2007 6:05:38 PM

Well I'm not saying I think for sure K10 will disappoint. It just seems that if it really was a big time slugger like AMD has been proclaiming, they'd show proof. Maybe it'd slow down the C2D purchases if there was a proven superior choice coming soon.

They've made big claims but never include real data, and the rare occasions when numbers are released, they haven't been very legit. It seems illogical to me to make claims backed up by shady numbers if you're quite capable of providing legit numbers. I'm really want to see how well it performs when it's released, but I'm not staking anything on it.
April 26, 2007 6:13:58 PM

Quote:
We know the Agenas etc are drop-in compatible, according to recent confirmations.


As far as I understand, Agena will not be AM3. I am very sceptical of AM3 processors working in current AM2 motherboards. I can accept that Agena will be highly compatible with current AM2 motherboards.
April 26, 2007 6:21:31 PM

Quote:
Well, I can agree only that the penryn upgrade is a safe thing. But I prefer the K10 adventure, since I am adventuresome. Not all people are adventuresome.


This is a fair statement.

Quote:

Re the xp-vista, flash, hybrids. No confusion here. Vista has specific strengths with it's fetch, flash use, etc., which are not enough yet for me at this point. I expect hybrid drives at some point with utilities from the drive vendors to allow fast boots in XP, along with better general performance, since it's an easy advantage to gain. It's like making video cards for APG perhaps -- it's profitable enough that new cards continue to come out.


OK. I just think non-hybrid flash HDD's are going to be adopted rather quickly for OS and software while traditional HDD's are used for bulk storage. I'm not so sure that the hybrid drives will be viable for very long and will settle in as low-end PC hardware.
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