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Can't wait any longet for the Intel platform update..what to do?

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July 27, 2007 9:24:29 AM

Yet another frustrated newby's question:
I was gearing up to build my first home system for the past 2-3 months. Because I can't realy afford a major upgrade in the next 2 years I decided to wait for the X38/Penryn duo to come out. Seems I almost waited long enouh for the X38 but it was frustrating to discover that desktop Penryn will come out Q1 2008. Seems that for the next 6-8 months it will be a "hybrid" time for the Intel platform: not quite the old P965/DD2 but not quite the new X38/FSB1333/DDR3/Penryn. I just don't want to wait for 8 more months to finally get that home system. So what should I build right now?

Should I just send it all to hell and build a descent "old" platform?
Should I build some kind of hybrid: P35/DDR2/"Core G0 stepping"?
Should I wait for the X38 to build a more updradeable hybrid: X38/DDR2/"Core G0 stepping"?

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to get me through the murck :p 
July 27, 2007 11:33:51 AM

get a P35/DDR2 mobo and whatever flavour of Core2 takes your fancy

for me, my favourite at the moment is an E2140@3ghz

then in a years time you could look at a quadcore by which time they'll probly be dirt cheap
July 28, 2007 7:14:36 PM

Okay so which P35 mobo would you recommend?
I think I don't need DDR3 so a DDR2/3 mobo is not needed. Because P35 only supports 22 PCI express lanes I won't go with any dual graphics so a mobo with only one x16 slot will suffice. I plan to get an E6550 or something similar. Probably I won't have the time/guts to overclock to 3 ghz but still it would be a nice bonus to have that option open. Finally I will not spare money on the motherboard. So it seems a need good quality P35/DDR2 mobo with some overclocking potential, but without lots of the fancy stuff expensive P35 mobos offer. Any suggestions?
Related resources
July 28, 2007 7:33:46 PM

Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
July 30, 2007 8:07:00 AM

10x. Looks perfect :) 
July 30, 2007 9:24:47 AM

Penryn is great but I can't afford to buy a brand new rig today and upgrade of the CPU/memory in just 8 months. If that was the plan I would wait for X38 to come out in the first place. I wan't to buy a solid conroe/ddr2 platform now and upgrate in 1.5-2 years to nehelem/ddr3.
As much as it hurts my performance greedy mind I have to skip the penryn generation - I can't afford to upgrade and a don't want to wait :p 
July 30, 2007 10:27:23 AM

rinswind said:
Penryn is great but I can't afford to buy a brand new rig today and upgrade of the CPU/memory in just 8 months. If that was the plan I would wait for X38 to come out in the first place. I wan't to buy a solid conroe/ddr2 platform now and upgrate in 1.5-2 years to nehelem/ddr3.
As much as it hurts my performance greedy mind I have to skip the penryn generation - I can't afford to upgrade and a don't want to wait :p 


Then you should downgrade to something else for the same money, that makes sense!?! By the way the P35's are great mobo's for the Conroe processer, it just happens to support Penryn as that should be a bonus for some.
July 30, 2007 12:01:44 PM

Donwgrade? To what?

Right now I'm considering:
CPU: E6550/E6750
Mobo: Gigabyte P35-DS3R or just maybe P35-DS4
RAM: Some CAS4 DDR2 800 (a Corsair 2gb XMH kit?)

What I'm striving for is solid Conroe/DDR2 performance. When I assemble the rig I'll probably try to overclock to 3GHz or slighly higher. As for the Penryn - shure it is some kind of a bonus to be able to support it "just in case" however that isn't my top priority. I'm looking first for the best chipset for today's conroe.
So where in this arangement you think I can save money and achieve the best conroe performance?

And while I'm at it:
Memory choice is fast becoming a headache. Is it worth to try and run the RAM and the CPU on the maximal FSB the chipset can support? I.e. spend big bux on CAS5 DDR2/1066 or stick with the planned CAS4 DDR2/800 and run the CPU at FSB 800. Does any of this make sence?
August 10, 2007 12:49:24 PM

Hmmm, I'm pretty much in the same boat but I can afford a new rig. However, I still have the same choice to make over the P35 and the X38.

My difference to you is that I do want a dual graphic card solution but I wasn't impressed with current benchmarks comparing Crossfire on 975 and P35 due to the x8x8 and x16x4 respective PCIe setups.

ASUS though have stepped up to the mark with their Asus Blitz Formula Special Edition Intel P35 (Socket 775) PCI-Express DDR2 Motherboard with two X8 PCI express slots (utilising their "crosslinx").
And it comes in DDR2 or DDR3 flavours!

Only problem is that this motherboard costs about £170 for the DDR2 but it does come with a suite of overclocking features. Shame I'm not into overclocking! I'd rather play the games than worry about a few FPS of performance.

Anyway, I thought I'd let you know that there are some new options there on the P35 front. Also, in the benchmark I read, the 975 motherboard was tuned to run in x16x4 mode and it didn't make much difference as there was another bottleneck (removed in an update). I've also read a suggestion somewhere that the x16x16 offered by x38 isn't going to make much difference.

Hmmm. Decisions, decisions...

August 10, 2007 1:00:46 PM

16x4

8x8

16x16

There really isn't a lot of difference using them. 5% at most, according to tests run by various sites. Same applies with SLI.
August 10, 2007 1:31:05 PM

Yeah...selecting hardware is a bitch. I still havent purcahsed my system (2 weeks later). I'm down to selecting the last view components (the video card being one of them :) .
In fact it's sucha a headache that I plan to spend this afternoon to write a little piece of code that read sall the ecomponents desriptins from XML, generates all possible permutations and prints the one that's "medina in price". That's what it takes to finally make my mind ;) 

On another note: Can't you get some NVidia DDR2/Socket 775 mobo? They seem to support full 2x16 PCI. Or you want to use ATI's graphics?
August 11, 2007 12:56:45 AM

rinswind said:
Donwgrade? To what?

Right now I'm considering:
CPU: E6550/E6750
Mobo: Gigabyte P35-DS3R or just maybe P35-DS4
RAM: Some CAS4 DDR2 800 (a Corsair 2gb XMH kit?)

What I'm striving for is solid Conroe/DDR2 performance. When I assemble the rig I'll probably try to overclock to 3GHz or slighly higher. As for the Penryn - shure it is some kind of a bonus to be able to support it "just in case" however that isn't my top priority. I'm looking first for the best chipset for today's conroe.
So where in this arangement you think I can save money and achieve the best conroe performance?

And while I'm at it:
Memory choice is fast becoming a headache. Is it worth to try and run the RAM and the CPU on the maximal FSB the chipset can support? I.e. spend big bux on CAS5 DDR2/1066 or stick with the planned CAS4 DDR2/800 and run the CPU at FSB 800. Does any of this make sence?


I gave you a suggestion that the Asus P35 was a great mobo and happens to support Penryn as a bonus. Then you said, "Penryn is great but I can't afford to buy a brand new rig today and buy memory and a new CPU in 8 months." I never suggested buy a hole new rig down the line, did I?
August 13, 2007 3:38:30 PM

No you didn't suggest that at all. There seems to be some misunderstanding for, which I appologse. What I ment is:

1) Right now I will build a new rig (period! :) 

2) The question is should I pay a bit extra and plan to upgrade to Penryn/DDR3 down the line. If so bying a hybrid DDR2/DDR3 mobo that supports Penryn makes sence. And you kind of suggest I should get such a mobo to be prepared right?

3) My answer is that it is very unlikely that I will upgrade this machine to Penryn/DDR3 at all. For me it's too coastly to build a new rig now and upgrade it to a still-expensive technology in just 6-8 months.

4) It somehow didn't occur to me at the time that I may not hurt much to do the Penryn upgrade later still when the Penryn/DDR3 becomes cheap because of the impending Nehelem generation. I think it's because I hope my machine will remain adequate after the Penryn launch and instead of upgrading it down the line I would prefer to directly build a new rig based on DDR3/Nehelem when it becomes mainstream (in 1.5-2 years?) However who can plan 2 years in advance. I guess that's where your "bonus suggestion" would pay off wouldn't it?

Jee I though I had the mobo choice decided but just now your post gets me thinking again :) 

Cheers,
Todor
August 13, 2007 4:30:23 PM

Gigabyte is a lot better for mobos than ASUS in my opinion. If you're getting a mobo then get a Gigabyte one. ESPECIALLY the GA-P35-DS3R, no other mobo in its class beats it.
August 13, 2007 7:40:09 PM

Another vote for going with a P35 with DDR2 right now (either GA-P35-DS3R or Asus P5K). I just bought parts on Friday.
Even if the new tech somes out soon, I think you would want to wait for the reviews to come out, any revisions to be made, and for prices to come down. There will always be something around the corner you'll have your eye on. Just build now, and upgrade your vid and memory in 2 years to stay with it, then look at a new pc in 4 or 5.
DDR3 is a good example; it's too expensive now, it probably won't be reasonable for at least a year. By the time you'd want to upgrade, it will be better to double up on your DDR2 memory, so it really becomes a mute point.
!