the best upgrade path?

Hi there,

I am wanting to buy a work horse computer for 3danimation and photoshop illustration. I am on a tight budget so I have decided to go for a system that I can upgrade throughout the next year by adding in 2gig ram sticks to the machine, getting a quadcore cpu, and extra hard drives.

I first thought of getting a cheap intel 2160 cpu and then upgrading to a q6600 in the future but I have heard that amd is continuing its chipset well into the future so if I got a 4000x2 now I could upgrade to a quad amd that could surpass the q6600 down the line?

Do you think that going down the amd path could actually turn out to be beneficial? If intel is going to change its chipset in the near future and amd isn’t than surely a decent quad core cpu from the green team will come out that will perform well for sometime?

Also I have been trying to decide between getting ddr2 or ddr3 ram. If get a intel 2160 or an amd 4000x2 will they run ddr3? And is there a definite difference when running a quad core with ddr3?

Cheerz to anyone that helps =)
7 answers Last reply
More about upgrade path
  1. get the quad core and good video card
    as far as dd2 goes you said tight buget - so rule out ddr3
  2. Right now there is no difference between DDR2 and DDR3 except the fact that DDR3 can surpass the speed of DDR2 much like DDR2 did with DDR1(i.e. DDR2's true top spec is 1066 while DDR3 is set for 1600 or 1800 I believe).

    The Pentium Dual-Core E2160 can run DDR3, due to the chipset being on the mobo and a P35 has DDR3 support, but the AMD wont as AMD does not have support for DDR3 yet, well not on the mobo yet anyways. My suggestion is as well to go with either DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066 with either processor.

    Most people don't believe that Phenom (aka 10) will not outperform Intels current offering. If you are lucky AMD might have their next processor on AM2+ but they still plan to move to AM3 which to me would mean their jump to DDR3 and might be soon.

    I personally think that the Intel way would be the better choice for now and you can probably skip the Q6600 and get a Q9450(due out Feb/March 08) that will have SSE4 instructions that will help in a lot of encoding/decoding work, especially DivX.
  3. What is your budget?

    DDR3 is currently only for early adopters with big pockets.
  4. "DDR3 prices expected to go down fast soon"
  5. Thanks for all of your replies =)

    Well as far as budget I don’t really have one. I just wanted to get a new system from my xp3200+ as its finding vector work and 3d modelling quite straining as you can imagine lol. That’s why I was just going to add in the extra parts as I saved more during the year. The part about the tight budget was that I wanted to get a comp that will be a smart upgrade path for a good price. I can always throw extra money here and there it just means I have to save longer =p

    The Q9450 sounds like a very nice cpu. I think this is the one that I will set my sights to for upgrading. I did some google’n on it and couldn’t find if its going to use the current intel chipset?

    Looks like ddr2 is the way to go I guess since im not keen on waiting till the second half of the year for my build. I also had another question about ram; I have used mac computers that had 10gigs of ram in them, i haven’t ripped the machines open to have a look but it got me thinking on if I could get a motherboard with more ram slots than usual. I was planning on getting 4x 2gig sticks (8gig total) but I would be kewl if I could put more than that in to tide me over until the next build I do.

    Thanks again for all of your help!
  6. I just built an e2160 based system (OCed to 3.0GHz on stock voltage) and am planning to get a Q9450 after they come out and the prices drop. Most motherboards don't officially support the Penryn processors yet, but most will be compatible after a BIOS flash. More P35 based boards that officially support the Penryn's may be coming soon but I'm not sure.
  7. All the Gigabyte and ASUS P35 and X38 are all fully 45nm compatible. You could either get a cheap dual core then get a Yorkfield later, or you could just get the Q6600 now. You can't really go wrong either way. :)
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