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Is now a good time to make a new comp?

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August 28, 2007 8:32:41 PM

My current gaming comp is pretty old and busted. Socket A Athlon XP 1900+, 1 GB of ram, and a Geforce 6600 GT. Its pretty much ready to die. I've saved up about 1k for a new system over the year and I think its about time to finally upgrade. I'd like to be able to play all the new games like Crysis and UT3 with most of the bells and whistles.

My question: Is now a good time to buy parts for a new comp, or should I wait for some new and exciting technology in the coming year?

I have no idea about the current state of the technology generations and whats coming in and going out. I've heard things about native quad cores, AM2 switching to AM3, and Socket 775 switching to Socket H, etc, etc. I realize tech is always being evolved, but I don't want to dump 1k on a new system just as its being phased out. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want my new machine to be as future proof as possible and open to upgrades down the line.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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August 29, 2007 7:17:06 AM

Wait for the games and not the hardware. Hardware prices will always fall, there's no avoiding it.

Crysis comes out on November 16th (correct me if I'm wrong). So around november is when you should build your computer ;) 
August 29, 2007 9:12:14 AM

Now is a very bad time to buy, you will get a pc that is a lot slower than what you will be able to get pretty soon, wait until crysis is released, then check it's requirements then buy your pc.
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August 29, 2007 9:36:29 AM

Yeah, if you can even stretch yourself to hold on until Christmas then you can look forward to some good deals. Aside from the incoming 9800gtx, there's a new soundcard on the horizon called the auzentech prelude. It's the first third party soundcard to use creative X-fi technology. Should be pretty good.
August 29, 2007 6:39:16 PM

Thanks for the advice, guys.

One thing I was wondering about, too: how viable is the intel LGA 775 for the future?

If LGA 775 is still going to be supported for a few years, I was thinking of maybe getting a low end CPU like an E4400 to hold me out until the native quad cores come out.

August 29, 2007 7:03:38 PM

The LGA 775 will be the only socket for quite a while for Intel Chips.
The upcoming Penryn will use that socket, not sure about the chip after that.

The E4400 is as very nice chip for the Price.
You could even OC the 2140 or 2160 for a nice hold-over chip.
August 29, 2007 7:41:43 PM

Horrible time for a new system, really. You'd be very dissappointed as much better stuff for EVERYTHING is just around the corner. I'd totally hold off if I had your system. If it was a bit better you could do a minor upgrade, but that system is hopeless.
August 29, 2007 8:02:17 PM

New stuff may be around the corner but can you afford it when it is here?

My old system that I'm replacing is around the same era as yours...Athlon XP 2500+. I bit the bullet this week and am waiting on the shipments containing all my new parts. $1400 but includes an LCD monitor and 100 of MIR's to redeem.

The good time to get a new pc is when your existing one dies or no longer adequately serves your purposes. That can be different for everyone. I went for it now. 2 months down the line I may regret not having waiting but that is life.
August 29, 2007 8:38:48 PM

From the other side of the opinion fence.

Today (now) is a great time to build a computer. Dual Core and Quad Core chips are going to be at or near their lowest prices. The big price reduction was had back in July. Yes there will be market variations and some reduction in prices in the future on these chips, but the big reductions have been had. If Dual Core or Quad Core is your choice in chips, then today is the build time line.

The Intel Penryn chips are going to be better than the Conroes, but the margins of improvement may only 10% (extrapolating from per early benchmarks on test chips to final production chips) on basic functions, so waiting for Penryn is not a must. If the Penryn improvement turns out to be 25% or even 50% improvement, big whoop, as the intro Penryn prices would also be higher.... and you could drop a Penryn into your MB at a later date.

Yes there is an even never chip architecture coming from Intel in Q1 of 2008. And if you wait long enough there will be a new chip in the fall of 2008, and then in 2009 etc. There is always a new chip coming. The issue is not buying the newest chip, but buying the best chip for you at the best possible price. That price point is TODAY for the Conroe chips.

Card prices are currently falling. I have been watching 8800 GTS prices over the last 6 weeks or so. $1 here, $5 there, sometimes even $10. Card prices for high end cards will continue to drop as we get closer to the 9800 coming late this year. 7xxx series card prices continue to drop as well, but their big reductions occurred last year when the 8xxx cards were introduced.

Card prices is an issue where you could justify waiting. Or you could buy an entry level $80 card today and wait for the big price drop on 8800's later this year or even buy the 9800's if they are the cat's meow.

If you don't build, you will always be waiting for something. Just watch price changes over the long term and identify your needs and budget. When products that meet your needs also meet your budget it is then time to buy.
August 29, 2007 8:54:58 PM

If it's a gaming build you seek and you need to make your $1k last for a few years I'd advice trying to wait for DX10 to settle down a bit more. A lot of stuff is still up in the air surrounding DX10 and if anything in the near future will significantly benefit from quadcore.

Those e4400s and comperable AM2 CPUs are hella cheap though. With some recycling of drives, case, PSU and RAM you could maybe build a budget gaming system to tide you over if your old system really is dying and replace CPU or/and mobo and/or GFX again in 6-9months. You should be able to slap something together for <$650 that can at least play Crysis and UT3 and upgrade it more later. That'll put a bit of a crunch on your CPU and GFX budgets but workable. If you can recycle your current case and optical drive that might help a bit more also.

Wether you're trying to stay on the bleeding edge or just trying to find a good deal timing the market can be pretty difficult. digitimes.com has news reports relevant to this.
August 29, 2007 10:13:30 PM

i'm not a 100% sure that $1,000 is going to be enough?
i know i spent 1500 on a brand new system and i am starting to have trouble playing games like bioshock all the way up (8xs antialiasing, 16x anisotropic, superior quality, 1600X1200) note of course that all capabilites of video card are all the way up.
i think that i will have trouble with crysis and unreal tournament all the way up.
i'm not saying 1000 is not enough im just saying that i dont know if it will cut it.
and no this is not a good time to upgrade.
the new intel 45nm processors are coming out by the end of this year along with the new generation of geforce cards.
those releases will, of course, decrease most of the other items out for sale.
i would definately not upgrade to amd, but would go the intel route (assuming that intel will have a brand new microarchitecture and chipset every two years (tick-tock method))
to make $1000 work you would need to have to reuse your case, hard drives, optical drive, monitor, mouse, keyboard, and speakers or you definately won't make it.
just think 200 for good processor (probably a little bit more)
200-300 for better graphics card
150-200 for motherboard
150-200 for ram
my computer (core 2 duo e6600, 2x1gb ddr2 800 pc26400, geforce 7950gt superclocked, p5w dh deluxe, 2 segate cheetahs 15k.5 SAS 147gb in raid 0)
August 29, 2007 10:49:00 PM

Wait, Wait, Wait. If you have seen stats on dx10 with cards like the 8800gtx then you will wait. They also said something about dx10.1 so i could wait and have your 6600gt hold for another couple of months. Or you could spend some money on a new gpu for the time being. Like a 7600gt.
August 30, 2007 4:50:11 PM

StevieD said:

Today (now) is a great time to build a computer. Dual Core and Quad Core chips are going to be at or near their lowest prices.

umm... they will never stop getting cheaper untill they are worthless
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