I am in the market for a new motherboard, seeing as my previous P5N32-E SLI doesnt support 45nm Core 2 Duo. I really want to get a Evga 780i board, but am worried about the upcoming release of 790i. Is ddr3 something that I am going to need soon?? Should I wait and get a 790i with ddr3?
Now that ASUS has prepared an X48 with DDR2 ram, as reviewed at Anandtech, I see no reason to think about DDR3 ram until next year, maybe longer. Though I think DDR3 is where the future lies, it is just too expensive at the moment to bother with.
ddr3=worth it when the timings get down out of the triple digits! :-p no seriously... low cas ddr 3 prices are stupid right now... but i'm going to encourage everyone but me to buy them so it'll bring prices down faster. haha.
There are several things that need to change before DDR3 becomes interesting at all.
It's expensive beyond reason right now.
Right now most DDR3 doesn't stick to the specifications and needs more voltage than the standard 1.5 volt. Theres almost no difference between DDR3 at 1.8 and DDR2 at 1.8 regarding the power consumption. Add the higher frequency that might add more heat. So until the production matures a little, this is a turnoff for all those laptops sold. In addition the "sweet spot" (defined by manufacturing limitations like heat, maximum amount of chips per stick as well as the different computers memory controllers and memory slots) memory sizes aren't really available yet. If i recall it they were like 512 MB for DDR, 1024 MB for DDR2 and will be 2 GB for DDR3.
There are or were rumors about intel considering triple channel for their next new CPU architecture. If the performance boost is similar to the one seen switching from single to dual channel, then people might be willing to pay a little more for DDR 3 than they are paying for DDR2.
I am willing to bet that intel will be the first to really switch to DDR3. Right now their chipsets support it but most mainboard manufacturers have seen the signs and offer DDR3 only mainboards in a very limited quantity due to very limited demand. There is almost no market for ECC DDR3 or DDR3 SO-Dimms which makes the DDR3 market even smaller. I suppose most memory manufacturers need to get their fabs adjusted to a smaller process to be able to produce within the DDR3 specifications at reasonable cost. Until that changes, DDR3 is just a waste of money.
Enthusiast DDR2 is currently about a third to a quarter the cost of early versions of DDR3 which arent anywhere near as good as they can be.
My current system still has DDR1, thats 'enthuiast' DDR1 - 500 Mhz with 2.5-2-3-5 timings. It gets a vista score of 5.7 which is around the same as normal DDR2 I believe. It will be the same scenario with DDR2 vs DDR3 at the moment, Enthusiast DDR2 is the same as, or even better and way cheaper then DDR3.
it is not posible for any mobo to run both DDR2 and DDR3, if you get a stick of DDR2 and hold it next to a stick of DDR3 you can see that the notches are in differant places. this is ensure you cant intall the wrong memory. thers a good video of it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZAQ4Y0tjts (and fast forward to 7:50!)