I think we'll be seeing AM3 in the 2008-2009 time frame. Honestly though, I tend to agree. Don't bother going to AM2 now. At most, see if AM2+ and Phenom pay off in January. Otherwise, the only worthwhile upgrade is a Core 2 Duo, even for not overclocking. All you're doing is an incremental upgrade if you go to AM2.
Sure, it's a 33% speed increase, and you'll get better overall memory bandwidth. Or spend the same kind of money and find yourself a cheaper Core 2 Duo, and a DDR2 motherboard.
Good luck with your search though!
I am not a Intel fanboi by any means. If your choice to go AMD is corporate philosophy, I won't argue :-) I just wouldn't suggest going with a merely incremental speed bump myself.
Yeah, as to the Intel thing, speedwise it would make sense to move to an Intel system because that would be worth the money.
If you're interested in staying with an AMD architecture, I would suggest waiting a little while and going with the 790FX motherboards. They look truly badass. Lower heat dissipation and great features. The 790FX looks to really compete with the Intel X38 and the nForce 780i (except for AMD).
Wait a while, and you'll be able to pick up a Phenom X4 (regardless of AMD's stupid name changes) or X3. Be on the lookout for a 2.8GHz tri or quad core. And wait around for AMD's AM2+ socket which is what the 790FX motherboards will be all about. They'll also still be DDR2 based, which will give plenty of bandwidth and performance at a good price point. I suspect DDR2 will still put DDR3 to shame for another 6-12 months.
Also, as to your thoughts on purchases now, which I'm hoping you'll hold off on for your own sake:
The 690G was not designed as a performance part, to my knowledge. It was designed as a competitor to the likes of Intel's i945G chipset. It's a feature-rich micro chipset. As opposed to a nForce4 SLI being pushed to mATX. nForce4 was designed as a performance, feature-packed, overclockable part which could be put on mATX, though mATX was not its focus.
"best bang for the buck"? Come on rodney_ws! And at what price range? If you're looking for the best bang for your buck in the 400-1000 range, AMD offers nothing. At the low end, AMD does indeed beat Intel on price to performance. But they're bleeding because of it.
My point is, if you can pick up a Pentium 3 700MHz now for 10 bucks, and you can pick up an AMD K6-2 500MHz for 3 bucks, then yeah, the K6-2 is a better deal, even though it doesn't perform nearly as well as the Pentium 3 and never will have the clock-speed headroom that the Pentium 3 would have comparitively. But if you're looking for a true high end part, then the Pentium 3 still offers a better deal as it runs faster performancewise (not just clockspeed), and can OC even higher.
I'm not advising him on some forsaken quest of claiming that the underdog offers the better value. I'll understand perfectly well if he simply prefers AMD's business practices.
I'm not in this to stop him from "paying for the best bang for your buck lololololol!2!1!!!1!!!" I'd personally buy an Intel system flat-out because it performs better and has more headroom. On the other hand, even I'm tempted to go with a Phenom eventually just because the 790FX is so tempting. Even if I didn't run Crossfire it's a tempting board from all I've read. The Phenom looks set to not outperform the Core 2. I'm not biased here. That's just what I see.
We'll see how my own purchases come out. But people come here to hear what other people would do. What would I do? I'm still not sure. I'm leaning towards Core 2. But I see a compelling offer in the upcoming 790FX and AM2+. For me, the motherboard is incredibly important. If the OP is set on AMD, then there's no way I would recommend the current AM2 gear. I would most certainly wait for AM2+.
See? That's not bias. That's not me avoiding paying "the best bang for the buck lololololol!1!1111!!!!!!!!!!!one!!!oneoneone!!!1121!" That's me saying, if my platform choice was restricted to AMD, that's what I'd do. Too bad the OP won't spring for the currently better-performing Intel systems, but maybe he has a legitimate performance benefit in mind from access to the internal crossbar and built-in memory controller. Maybe AMD's better platform design provides a clear benefit to him. Or maybe he just got burned by Intel. Or maybe he doesn't agree with Intel's monopolistic business practices that restricted AMD's marketshare to the point it is at today. The fact that Intel squeezed AMD out of Dell boxes back in 2001 when they released their Pentium 4. You think I don't know all this? I don't care. I'll just give him my thoughts regardless.
I still can't wait for 790FX, see what it does with dual Phenoms and quad RV670s.
I also can't wait for Nehelam and Skulltrail, see if Intel has a better take on that.
I can't wait for nForce 8 series, Radeon 4000 series, Geforce 9 series, Octocore CPUs, 16GB of ram, all of it!