My computer is out of date and with the release of some games at the end of this year it is time for me to upgrade. The main question I have is should I go with the future proof 790i and DDR3 or just get a 780i and stick with DDR2.
The price difference is really just $150 dollars between the 4gb ram and mobo. The most important aspect to me is being 'future proof.' Is it a better plan to upgrade to DDR3 now, so I will not be behind in 6 months?
New setup will be:
Core 2 Duo E8500
WD3000 Raptor - OS/Program files
300G 7200 RPM - Everything else
I have been doing quite a bit of reading and it seems most people suggest to stick with DDR2 because it actually out performs most DDR3.
I think a major consideration is how often you upgrade. ...and it doesn't sound like you upgrade several times over a couple of years so I'd go with the highest end that my target budget allows. In your case I'd lean more towards the 790i with the DDR3.
Yes DDR2 is cheaper nowadays but were I doing a fresh build right now and not looking to upgrade again until, say, Fall of 2010, I'd definitely be looking more towards, again, the 790i & DDR3 (highest end DDR3 my budget would allow).
Right now, theres no point in DDR3, theres very little performance due to the FSB.
Secondly, the 790i is far from "future proof", as the X58/Nehalem (i7) processers are comming out later this year. If you are going for a 790i series mobo, but 4GB DDR2 RAM in, a mid-high quad (9550+), and you should be good for 2-3 years (assuming you keep the GFX card up to date). There is no way to replace the CPU after this generation though, although I doubt a decent Quad will need an update for at least 5-6 years anyway...
I've never had an issue with the 790i so far. OC's really well, runs cool, onboard sound is great.
As for the type of DDR3 (if you decide to go that route), i'd go with DDR3 1600. While 1333 is OK, you'll see major improvements using 1600.
BTW, quick memory question: On a 1333 MHz FSB (333.25), would a 2:1 link with 1333 DDR3 be faster than using DDR3 1600? I know 1:1 tends to be faster, but do other timings give any significant increase in speed?