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Worth it to wait for nehalem? really?

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  • Intel
  • Nehalem
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February 8, 2008 11:06:22 PM

Is it really worth it to wait for intel to release their next big thing before building another PC? I mean really, I hear all these people talking about waiting damn near(or more than) a year for a new build just because of an untested architecture! Why? Is there really going to be any hardcore performance gain from the current Core 2 architecture? Also, will Intel even price them competitively considering AMDs' dismal shape? All in all, is it really worth the wait for a different Socket pattern.

This is really a question for all the cpu bigwigs in the forum. Those who've Studied the cpu's inside and out.

More about : worth wait nehalem

February 8, 2008 11:47:43 PM

never build a new system until you need more processing power to do something and then only buy the technology where the price/performance curve maxes out.

So many people throw money away. I get my Processors free or at 1/2 price and I am still running a e6700 and won't need a new processor till nehalam in early 2009 most likely.

and yes Nehalem will be like the jump between P4 and C2D.
February 8, 2008 11:52:05 PM

Major_Spittle said:

So many people throw money away. I get my Processors free or at 1/2 price and I am still running a e6700 and won't need a new processor till nehalam in early 2009 most likely.



:o  how?
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February 8, 2008 11:54:10 PM

tipoo said:
:o  how?


Obviously from scamming, stealing! :non: 

Seriously, I would like to know how you do it.
a c 127 à CPUs
February 8, 2008 11:59:11 PM

What major_spit tle said is true. My first build was a starter build It was a P4 2.4GHz 400MHz FSB, Asus P4PE, 1GB PC2100, 1 Seagate 80GB SATA1 HDD and a GeForce MX440(which blew btw). I then slowly upgraded to my new build.

My next build was a Asus P4P800 Deluxe, *Northwood* P4 3.2GHz HT, 2GB dual channel Corsair PC3200, 2 120GB Seagate SATAII HDD in RAID0 and a ATI Radeon 9700Pro.

I had that machine for 5 years. Upgraded the video card twice(9700Pro>9800XT>X850XTX) and the CPU once(P4 3.2GHz>P4EE 3.4GHz got it for $150 :)  ).

I just built a new system in October since my old was was lagging in the game department. I don't plan on building a new one until the 32nm shrink of Nehalem.

Also the difference between C2D and Nehalem is said to be greater than the jump between Prescott and C2D. To me it will probably be worth it and if you look at the prices for the Penryn 45nm CPUs I am sure Intel will price them competatively. Of course the uber high end Extreme Edition will be the highest price and it will go down from there to the uber low end.
February 9, 2008 12:01:11 AM

joseph85 said:
Is it really worth it to wait for intel to release their next big thing before building another PC? I mean really, I hear all these people talking about waiting damn near(or more than) a year for a new build just because of an untested architecture! Why? Is there really going to be any hardcore performance gain from the current Core 2 architecture? Also, will Intel even price them competitively considering AMDs' dismal shape? All in all, is it really worth the wait for a different Socket pattern.

This is really a question for all the cpu bigwigs in the forum. Those who've Studied the cpu's inside and out.


Buy a new PC when you need a new PC to do what you need it to do.
Whether that is work or hobby.

You can always wait.
February 9, 2008 12:05:28 AM

nehalem is worth the wait
a c 127 à CPUs
February 9, 2008 12:11:03 AM

According to thundermans thinking, Nehalem will be made with part of the Devils soul so it should provide to be uber fast. [:xkm1948]
February 9, 2008 12:17:49 AM

Quote:
Also the difference between C2D and Nehalem is said to be greater than the jump between Prescott and C2D

What I want to know is who is saying these things? Intel or some news site?
February 9, 2008 12:48:34 AM

it doesnt matter who says them, it matters if they can deliver
February 9, 2008 3:02:00 AM

imrul said:
it doesnt matter who says them, it matters if they can deliver

Exactly, but what if they don't?
February 9, 2008 3:15:55 AM

There is no good reason to hold your breath. If you need an upgrade then do it, if you don't need one then don't. When Nehelem comes out it is only going to be on the high end chips, and it will be expensive. I'm sure it will be a pretty good leap, but how much performance do you need? A Q6600 is still underutilized unless you are doing video conversion etc. It's a good choice now because it is relatively cheap and you will grow into its capacity. But it wasn't when it first came out, unless you were in dire need of its abilities.
February 9, 2008 3:18:19 AM

If you look at the problems their having getting the rest of the Penryn's out (they were originally supposed to be out already) who really knows when Nehalem will be available. If you need a system now, buy it now. You can always build a new system down the road and Ebay your previous parts to recoup some of the cost.
February 9, 2008 3:26:46 AM

ausch30 said:
If you look at the problems their having getting the rest of the Penryn's out (they were originally supposed to be out already) who really knows when Nehalem will be available. If you need a system now, buy it now. You can always build a new system down the road and Ebay your previous parts to recoup some of the cost.


Ditto. Many people seem scared to buy NOW because they think it will become outdated too fast. But if you need one then buy one. The difference between Conroe and Penryn is not big. Nehalem might be another story though, but that's still a ways away. Upgrading a video card is easy as pie. PCI-E won't be changing in a while.

My advice to you is to buy one when a good bargain comes up.
a c 127 à CPUs
February 9, 2008 6:38:17 PM

joseph85 said:
Quote:
Also the difference between C2D and Nehalem is said to be greater than the jump between Prescott and C2D

What I want to know is who is saying these things? Intel or some news site?


Intel mainly but if you look at the specifications it makes sense. Especially since the enthusiast area will be able to get triple channel DDR3 which by 2009 will probably have faster speeds and better latencies(we are seeing them now but better then).

Last time Intel stated their CPUs were good and better than what was out was Core2. I myself am giving them the benefit of the doubt. I really want Nehalem to be a screamer and feel it will.
February 9, 2008 7:05:04 PM

badgtx1969 said:
Obviously from scamming, stealing! :non: 

Seriously, I would like to know how you do it.


Employee discounts and such. I do not steal or scam people, I am not white trash. :pfff: 
February 9, 2008 7:46:31 PM

bojangles34 said:
Nehalem might be another story though, but that's still a ways away.


The 'low end' Nehalem is 4 cores with improved IPC rates and hyperthreading, isn't it? So potentially able to run 8 threads with decent performance, or four threads faster than a current quad-core.

I'd say that's likely to be a big step up from a low end Core 2, which is why I'm intending to wait for it until I upgrade. Of course maybe it will suck or cost 2x as much as the Core 2, but right now I trust Intel to deliver more than I trust AMD.

February 9, 2008 8:38:07 PM

I would skip generations

Got Conroe, skip Penryn and upgrade with Nehalem.

Got a late generation Pentinum (Pent D), skip Conroe and do Penryn.


Oops, unless you need today, then do today.

Skipping generations lets you upgrade CPU every 2 to maybe 3 years to take advantage of Moore's law, while avoiding the small 10 or 20% improvement that just sucks $ from your wallet.
February 9, 2008 9:12:27 PM

MarkG said:
The 'low end' Nehalem is 4 cores with improved IPC rates and hyperthreading, isn't it? So potentially able to run 8 threads with decent performance, or four threads faster than a current quad-core.

Except for the small problem that most programs today cannot even use 4 threads, let alone 8..
So performance won't be that much faster unless their is something else besides HT to increase speed - e.g. increase in clock speed or better efficencies in the core...
February 9, 2008 9:38:33 PM

The fact is that P4 chips are still quite capable of running just about every program out there today. Sure they may be slow, but they can do it.

You won't see a jump in performance, I mean a real jump, until programs start taking advantage of the new architecture.

My plan is to wait until Nehalem comes out, then buy the QX9770 for cheap.

So, to answer the question. If you need a new rig, then build one now. If you don't need a new pc, then wait until you do.
February 9, 2008 9:54:44 PM

but you also need a new motherboard if your upgrading from a p4
a c 127 à CPUs
February 9, 2008 11:59:34 PM

imrul said:
but you also need a new motherboard if your upgrading from a p4


Not if it was a LGA775 P4 and a P965 BIOS. Just update the BIOS and there ya go. Support for Core2. Now Nehalem yea you do need a new mobo but thats the same thing that happened when AMD released their first IMC chipss.
February 10, 2008 1:07:23 AM

hassa said:
Except for the small problem that most programs today cannot even use 4 threads, let alone 8..


And, uh, how long do you think that will last when mass-market CPUs _can_ run 8 threads? Software adapts to available hardware.

Quote:
So performance won't be that much faster unless their is something else besides HT to increase speed - e.g. increase in clock speed or better efficencies in the core...


Which there is. So you get twice as many cores, hyperthreading, an integrated memory controller and more efficient cores; what's there not to like?
February 10, 2008 1:37:12 AM

Intel is holding back for good reason we are in a recession. Combine that with AMD's ability to get their act together and they can take it easy.
February 10, 2008 1:45:05 AM

I read somewhere that Nahalem will first have models without imc and the xeons will start off with imc, then the higher desktop models will get the imc.

February 10, 2008 1:49:11 AM

After reading through much of this post I am in agreeance with the majority. I see too many people throwing away there money for a "minor" upgrade. I saw someone upgrade or plans to upgrade from a Q6600 to a newer Q9450... now that is not going to do much better than 10-15% in performance if you ask me. I wouldnt know though due to it not being out yet.

I upgraded when I was ready to rebuild all new parts... well my mobo actually fried after overclocking it for two years... but you all get the point.

SAve your money for a new build if you can wait... in other words you are enjoying your build now and can enjoy the games that you play sill.
February 10, 2008 2:07:50 AM

MarkG said:
And, uh, how long do you think that will last when mass-market CPUs _can_ run 8 threads? Software adapts to available hardware.


Considering how most software hasn't even caught up with dual core...
February 10, 2008 2:27:38 AM

maverick7 said:
nehalem is worth the wait


I think you might very well be right. Only thing is... what do you "know" that I don't to be this darn sure about this?

For me, until proven by independant site, this is just... air. I still remember site "studying" the Phenom cpu months before it's release and saying it was gonne give Intel a run for it's money at lower frequency. See what we have now.
February 10, 2008 2:47:15 AM

To answer the original OP I will give some personal history then ask a few questions:

I remember when I moved from to my first 286/16Mhz. It was a great update from what I had at the time... my first computer was an ALtair 8800 and this was a GOD machine compared to that. WOW. I was in heaven. I probably had about 6 other machines between the Altair and the 286/16Mhz.

Then I sold that machine to a nice lady from work for about 60% what I paid for it, which included a lot of hand holding and personal teaching... NO WAY... NEVER AGAIN... then I bought a 386/25. I was a GOD at the time.

Later I moved from that to a 486/50. Butt kicking! Much better than those stupid 486/33!

Then I got a Cyrix 486/100. WOW... Kicked the heck out of Intel. Cyrix Rocks!

Then a PIII 450MHz. Wow. Nice. For a long time. I think that was the 33K modem time.....

Then a major upgrade. I put together a dual CPU PIII 1GHz machine. The dual CPU in this machine saved me from needing to upgrade for a LONG time. (I may have made a 750Mhz machine in between... it's been awhile.) Many people told me I was an idiot for spending extra to make the dual CPU machine... because nothing really used dual CPU. I enjoyed the "smoothness" provided by allowing a program to bogart a complete CPU while the system had another CPU to do any normal system stuff... I thumbed my nose at the unbelievers. They had NO idea why having dual CPU was much better. THat machine would run programs that required much faster machines... just because of the second CPU.

That worked until I made a AMD Athlon64 3500+. I hated going back to 1 CPU... but then I got an X2 4800+ for that socket. Nice. I still run on that CPU now. ALthough I've upgraded to 4Gig of memory. Because I can.

NOTE: About when I had the 3500+ at home I talked work into getting me a Pentium 4 with Hyperthreading. I had to go through loops to get that added Hyperthreadeding... it was all the rage at the time. It seemed like it would REALLY help out!

Sadly I ended up turning off that Hyperthreading... it actually made some things work slower. I still work that machine now at work. (Although they are getting me a nice new dual CPU laptop soon.)

=========================

Anyway... what I did NOT mention in my history above is WHY I upgraded any of my home machines each time. Generally I did it each time because some new really cool game came out that would NOT work on the old machine. Period. I did not just run out and get a new machine just because it seemed like a good idea.

I didn't just go out and buy an upgrade. (Well... except for the AMD 3500+ to the X2-4800+ upgrade... I did that because I wanted the dual CPU back... I missed the dual PIII machine I had before... once you go from single to dual you can't go back to single.) I had to have a program, usually a GAME, that made me WANT a new machine. I remember TWICE actually buying a new machine on the "spur of the moment" just for a new game that would not run on my current machine. (NOTE: That was before the current "rage" of putting together your own hardware.)

ANYWAY: Back to the original question posted by the OP:

POP QUIZ: Do you personally need to know you have the fastest and best? If yes...you might wait for the newest.

Otherwise... ANYTHING you make right now is going to work for you NOW and will probably be just fine for the next 1 or 2 years... it all depends on what happens. Right now the biggest "needs" are for better video cards... not the "best and greatest" CPU. (Or many times more memory will make a major difference.)

As to your last sentence... knowing CPU... "inside and out"... personally I have never liked Intel for any CPU. They have NEVER made the best CPU for multi-tasking. Please understand that I am NOT just talking about the current "AMD VERSUS C2d" debate. I am talking about CPU in general.

Years ago... Motorola chips were MUCH better at multi-tasking. This was before PowerPC... the 6800 and 6809 chips ROCKED at multi-tasking. Of course I have to use Intel or something like them for home or gaming... but I don't have to LIKE IT. I remember having an SGI O2 workstation for work... but oh well. Anyway... these experiences DO give me patience to see what AMD will produce for their chips... I am willing to sacrifice a few % of performance for smoother multi-tasking.
a c 127 à CPUs
February 10, 2008 3:20:30 AM

Problem is keithlm that if you give up that % in performance your multitasking will take a hit too. If you want to run WMP, DVDShrink, 3DSMax and a few other programs, the faster they get done means they will not start to get bogged down.

Personally I disagree with you. Intels chips multitask very well. My Q6600 can run 2Moons, Reppelz Epic, 3 sessions of Conquer Online, WMP and many IE7's all at once without getting bogged down or being "unsmooth". Between a Phenom and a Q6600 you wont be able to notice the difference while doing certain things but in certain apps and OC'ing you will.

And you must have a lot of patience. Its been nearly 2 years and AMD has yet to show a decent chip worthy of being chosen over a Q6600. Maybe when B3 shows up but that might not help enough.

As for Nehalem it will be worth the wait if you are willing to. I feel that Intel has really been trying to release good chips. And so far they have. But it really depends on you and what you want. I am waiting for the 32nm shrink for Nehalem aka Weshmire. I think Nehalem will be great but I want a nice 8 core CPU that will run even cooler.
February 10, 2008 3:45:36 AM

So what you guys are saying is that using Word and Firefox isn't really taxing my Q6600? What? Who told me to buy this? I want my money back!

Edit: keithlm: I did like the novel, actually I didn't read it, but nice work. What was your point?
February 10, 2008 3:54:31 AM

I have a Q6660 and running bf2142 and Teamfortress2 with vent and other apps open and seeing only 45% core usage. So waiting until next year to upgrade seems foolish to me, sure everyone wants bragging rights to having the biggest and baddest thing out there, but what is the use if you cant even use whats out there now? Just because the next generation might offer a huge performance diffrence, are you going to be able to make use of that? For most of us no. And there is no gurantee its going to delever the perfomance everyone expects. Right now its just specillation, that and a $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee.
February 10, 2008 4:23:16 AM

Just for those people out there that think the only multi-threaded programs are rendering and encoding there are several games that use 2or more cores. Battlefield 2142, Bioshock, Hellgate, FEAR, Quake4, Stalker, Oblivion, and WIC all use at least 2 cores and COD4, COH, Crysis, SupCom will use 4 cores. There are others that i don't so can't say if they do or don't. Games from now on should be able to use multiple cores (ie. brand new games like COD4 and Crysis).
a c 127 à CPUs
February 10, 2008 4:27:12 AM

Don't forget HL2 Episode 2 and TF2 and Portal. All of their physics are run through multi core CPUs.
February 10, 2008 4:35:00 AM

blacksci said:
I have a Q6660 and running bf2142 and Teamfortress2 with vent and other apps open and seeing only 45% core usage. So waiting until next year to upgrade seems foolish to me, sure everyone wants bragging rights to having the biggest and baddest thing out there, but what is the use if you cant even use whats out there now? Just because the next generation might offer a huge performance diffrence, are you going to be able to make use of that? For most of us no. And there is no gurantee its going to delever the perfomance everyone expects. Right now its just specillation, that and a $1.50 will buy you a cup of coffee.
Well apparently MS had better get to work pigging out the next iteration to give us the reason to upgrade.
February 10, 2008 4:37:18 AM

kingoftherings said:
Considering how most software hasn't even caught up with dual core...

Spot on - the complexity of coding multi-threaded code is such that alot of people won't do it.
Also, there has to be a way of breaking out a process into independant chunks for it to run on multiple cores, otherwise trying to run code as multi-threaded can actually be slower (due to the syncing overheads). For most applications, they spend most of their time waiting for human input.
With most client/server apps, the main benefit of multi-threading is from allowing the main thread (i.e. the GUI) to remain responsive while an intensive task is occuring.
Obviously games are a little different due to the fact that they are always performing work, but there still needs to be work that can be run in parallel...
February 10, 2008 5:30:03 AM

It's all good that you guys are on top of this. Now future programmers, make it so. Stop bytching and do something about it.
February 10, 2008 6:00:35 AM

I've written one program lately that was multi-threaded. And that was only because I was doing some database/Active Directory stuff that took a little bit of time and I wanted to have the screen refresh.
I had another program that processed some AD user data in a tight loop - all data exceptions in the data was logged to a file - i got around that issue by processing the message queue inside each loop (was a quick and dirty program to validate the user objects for work). Moral of the story - neither situation NEEDED multi-threaded to run quicker - only to allow screen refreshing, and you can get around that by processing the message queue. In this case, the only benefit from a second core would be to ensure that nothing else wanted to run on the core at the same time... Some things just cannot be speeded up, or if they can, the cost/benefit is just simply not there.
February 10, 2008 6:11:03 AM

Very true hassa, there is only so much benefit, then the idea is moot. And as for the muti threaded software, well see it sooner then most people think. Several games, and operating systems are already taking advantage or the added cores, and well see more people jump on the bandwagon, it will just take time.
February 10, 2008 6:18:14 AM

I agree that games will see more and more use of multi-threading - e.g. things like running each AI as a serpate thread, or running physics, graphics, sound, networking and other components as their own thread. Ditto for an OS, which may have multiple services running, which can then run in parallel.
But most applications that do not do heavy maths, heavy data access, or real time work will not be able to make use of the other core(s).
February 10, 2008 6:35:58 AM

While its true your idea of "most" applications not having heavy cpu usage, Its the ones that do that matter, if i just used apps that had a light load on the cpu id get the mac air. lol
February 10, 2008 6:39:13 AM

Very true. But apart from games and encoding, I am struggling to think of things that will tax a desktop system.
CAD etc... is technically workstation as opposed to desktop. Web server, Database server etc... are (surprise, surprise) server.
February 10, 2008 6:49:32 AM

Well then, when people respond as they have for a while with the two cores are better than four maybe you will respond.

I think I spoke to early, wait you will see.
February 10, 2008 6:55:03 AM

To be honest I cant think of anything else that would really push a home system, my GF has 1.1 TB of anime, and she manages to moves gigs of it at a time with a P4 that is my old system with no problem, but hey to be honest unless you are playing games or doing some serious encoding, there is no reason for you to be buying high end processors for home tasks, i.e. internet, managing picture, music, etc.

And I dont think it really is a case of duel core vs quad core. I think its an issue of, what can i afford for the best performance.
a c 127 à CPUs
February 10, 2008 7:18:24 AM

blacksci said:
To be honest I cant think of anything else that would really push a home system, my GF has 1.1 TB of anime, and she manages to moves gigs of it at a time with a P4 that is my old system with no problem, but hey to be honest unless you are playing games or doing some serious encoding, there is no reason for you to be buying high end processors for home tasks, i.e. internet, managing picture, music, etc.

And I dont think it really is a case of duel core vs quad core. I think its an issue of, what can i afford for the best performance.


Well that may not be fully associated with the CPU. On my old P4 system I can move 4GB from one area to the next in seconds. Much of that is the HDD interface such as SATAI or RAID0(which mine was a SATAI RAID0).

But if you look at itwith a dual core costing the same as a quad core, its almost the same. If you can get a quad core that clocks to the same as a higher priced dual core then you can save money and get the same performance I saw why not?

If you look at the current prices for 45nm CPUs Nehalem will be well priced from the low end to the high end. That is if AMD becomes a bit competative. I think it will still but if AMD does make a decent CPU to compete with then the prices could be lower for us.
February 10, 2008 7:24:36 AM

Lol, well im talking about moving groups of files, like 20 or 30 gigs worth, on ide drives, from one drive to another drive, but I personally dont think that is intensive, I just think its more then most of your average users would do with there system. And I agree, AMD needs to get on the ball and become competitive with INTEL so we can continue to enjoy these low processor prices.
February 10, 2008 7:33:01 AM

Here here... AMD needs to keep the pressure on (even if not in the extreme range) just to keep Intel honest - current prices are fantastic considering what you are getting.

At this stage I am more interested in GPU performance then CPU since I am going to be running a 24" monitor. Any CPU I buy is going to be good enough for just about anything I can think of (including running some VMs, Visual Studio etc...) - only some games may be CPU constained... I'm looking to get a Q6600 and OC it. Nothng else comes close in terms of price/perfomance :) 
a c 127 à CPUs
February 10, 2008 7:41:30 AM

hassa said:
Here here... AMD needs to keep the pressure on (even if not in the extreme range) just to keep Intel honest - current prices are fantastic considering what you are getting.

At this stage I am more interested in GPU performance then CPU since I am going to be running a 24" monitor. Any CPU I buy is going to be good enough for just about anything I can think of (including running some VMs, Visual Studio etc...) - only some games may be CPU constained... I'm looking to get a Q6600 and OC it. Nothng else comes close in terms of price/perfomance :) 


True but at the current rate AMD is not competative enough. Phenom doesn't pose as much of a threat as A64/X2 did. Intel is on easy street right now. Once AMD release something strong enough maybe that will change.

But yea a Q6600 for $260 and being able to OC to 3GHz+ is great.
February 10, 2008 7:46:44 AM

My big issue is I have to buy in Australia - some of the prices are very wrong compared to US.
Currently working on new build using Umart (www.umart.com.au)
Q6600, Asus Max Form, 2x (2x1GB Geil 800 (6400) 4-4-4-12), WD 500GB, Thermaltake Tough 850W with Cable Managerment PSU, Asus DRW-2014L1tT DVD, Anter P182, Vista Ultimate 64, G9 Mouse, G15 refresh KB and Big Typhoon VS cooler - however the only 3870X2 available is a Power Color one :(  WHEN WILL THE SAPHIRE ONES GET TO AUSTRALIA!!!!
February 10, 2008 7:52:54 AM

Lol looks like a medium gaming config with some media apps for you, one thing though, your power supply is waaaay overkill for that system.
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