When and what to build can be two of the most important questions you ask yourself when time is closing in for a new pc. I know a lot of enthustists prefer the "build in the present" theology but I have found some careful research and some luck can get you far on keeping a system as bleeding edge for as long as possible. My last system build began about 4 years ago with reading. I quickly knew I wanted an sli rig and an amd 64 bit processor...then three christmases ago I began to order and build. I had an fx-53 processor, a8n-sli deluxe (and later a premuim upgrade as my board blew a cap...thank u newegg), 2 gigs corsair XMS, 2 sli'd geforce 6 cards, 2 raptor hard drives at 74gigs, x-fi fatality with 64 xram, liquid cooled cpu. At the day and time the thing was a beast. Three years later i have added a few processors maxing out at a fx-60, 2 more raptors (was in raid 0 with all four until my raid took a dump about 8 months ago), and one 8800 GTX (damn 8x lanes).
I am a hardware whore. I like my games to run smooth and my system to be responsive. I choose to no longer over-clock, i'd choose stablity and component longevity (ie I do alot of PC hand me downs, its my way of staying green) rather than 15-20% FPS increase. And finally i like a machine that I can upgrade for as long as possible. It gives me time when I know I am do for a new build to wait longer for new tech's to hit the market if need be. So thats where I am right now. I am really torn as I believe Intel hates upgraders. They make it near impossible to not purchase a new mother board every year if u want to upgrade your CPU to the latest and greatest. This usually leaves me with an AMD build. However it seems Intel recently wanted to address the gamer camp. I am very happy to see hear this, it be better if they would actually prove it as there crediblity is crap with me. Though I must admit skulltrail is a monster, score one for Intel. Which brings me to my dilema. As of right now, I would not buy and build a pc based on whats out, regardless of four or eight core builds...amd needs ht 3. ver 2 pci-e with phenom fx out before i would consider them and intel needs to pushout penryn with higher FSB, vers 2 pci-e. the gap between what i have and what is out is not great enough yet since most of the current hardware is at an end of its life cycle. I will mostly likely build an 8 core system, though i would consider a 4. What i was hoping to do was allow for a forum for enthustists like myself in the same boat to express there concerns, ideas, frustrations and what ever else you might think could be helpful...like me, i want to bitch at AMD. Ok we get it your true 4 core was a royal pain to build and good technology is worth a wait...but why in the hell didn't you launch the quad father with ht 3.0 and am2+ built in for future proofing (not half way were we lose core control and limit the bus, i would have bought one had you of, now i am left waiting for fasn8 to come tripping out the door...maybe or nvidia updating the quad father)...i am disappointed in you AMD... Intel please keep your processors backward compatible at least on enthustist boards. you want to screw the corprate sector, go for it...just leave us gamers out of it. and one for any mobo vendor out there...SLI crossfire needs two 16x lanes minimuim for graphix lanes using pci-e ver 1...stop sneaking 8x lanes in to bottle neck us now. so who else has something to say?
i understand there is talk of driver support with the X38 and sli...X38 is a noble effort but i worry it will fall short. be interesting to see if a year from now the CPU's fresh out work with it. i hope intel can pull it off and light a fire under AMD's collective @$$'s. Oh and more more AMD gripe. They should kept 939 socket updated with dual cores even though they launched AM2...idealy am2 and am2+ dilema shoulda never happend. It would have been huge for amd had they waited to launch the socket just ahead of the release of core 2 quads. If the 939 socket had cranked out 6400+ or clock equivalent at the very least they would have bought themselves more time in the eyes of the entustist market when they were late with the phenom.
"amd needs ht 3. ver 2 pci-e with phenom fx out before i would consider them and intel needs to pushout penryn with higher FSB"
I'm kind of in the same position of wanting to upgrade, but these are definitely not my concerns. I've seen no evidence of ht 2 holding back performance, so I wouldn't hold that against AMD. What I would hold against them is:
-there isn't an Agena to buy yet. There are no Agena Am2+ mobos to buy (and I don't know if you could put an existing part in an AM2+ mobo - you can do it the other way around, but I'm not sure about that way).
- recently, I have felt that that AMD have been far too cavalier about dropping one socket in favour of another. This hurts upgraders and AM2+ doesn't have much of a life before AM3 comes in. And I think your comment is right that AMD could have easily just let S939 continue a bit longer and even if they did introduce a new socket (don't see why), they could still have put out new S939 parts.
-with Intel, while S775 has had quite a long history (although not all S775s are equal), we are slowly coming to the end of that life. When QuickPath (?) comes in S775 will be at its end. Don't want the FB-DIMMS that a Xeon implies and I don't want the higher idle power consumption.