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Wait for Nehalem or Build a computer now?

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August 11, 2008 7:50:46 PM

Ive been planning to build a computer for some time, at the moment im looking at a q6600, Asus P5K EPU Intel P35 MoBo, 4gb ram, and a 4850. For me this is quite a lot of money (550ish for just computer, no screen, no keyboard, no headphones) for me, i seriously do need a new computer for gaming and schoolwork that i cant currently do on my current laptop (1.8ghz single amd sempron, and intergrated graphics)

So all this Nehalem stuff is coming out around october or something like that, i cant wait that long to buy a computer because i have a 3d animation to render for a school project, my laptop takes about an hour and a half (average) to render one frame, of what will be thousands.

Is Nehalem going to be a lot better then core 2, or is it still worth getting core 2 for now.
Basically is it worth buying a good computer now, or shall i buy a slightly worse one, for now.

If anyone knows any good system builds i can get for now which is cheapish, and will keep me going until the prices of Nehalem have gone down by quite a lot and is affordable, it would be great.

Thanks
August 11, 2008 8:06:31 PM

I would wait for nehalem considering it is just around the corner. I don't know how the pricing will be, but it should be well worth it, unless core 2 starts dropping price as soon as nehalem launches.
August 11, 2008 8:08:00 PM

You might as well build a good one now. I doubt you will be able to afford nehalem when it comes out, because only the high end ones will be out initially. Nehalem is supposed to be faster than core 2 by about 30%, clock for clock. Thats a nice speed boost, but it will be too costly and not worth the wait since it looks like you have a lot of rendering to do.
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August 11, 2008 8:28:00 PM

doomturkey said:
You might as well build a good one now. I doubt you will be able to afford nehalem when it comes out, because only the high end ones will be out initially. Nehalem is supposed to be faster than core 2 by about 30%, clock for clock. Thats a nice speed boost, but it will be too costly and not worth the wait since it looks like you have a lot of rendering to do.


i think 30% is a little high.

the 2.66GHz Nehalem Quad is going to be $284 at launch
August 11, 2008 8:30:20 PM

doomturkey said:
You might as well build a good one now. I doubt you will be able to afford nehalem when it comes out, because only the high end ones will be out initially.


Not true.

Intel will bring our 3 models of Nehalem initially. The 2.66GHz one is only $284.

http://www.digitimes.com/mobos/a20080717PD222.html

If the OP needs a computer mainly for rendering, it makes sense to wait for Nehalem.

Rendering software is highly multithreaded. And Nehalem has hyperthreading, which means a $284 CPU will give him 8 logical cores at 2.66GHz. Compare that to 4 cores at 2.4GHz for Q6600. Also add in the 30% or so clock for clock improvement per thread.

If rendering performance scales linearly with number of logical threads (which they probably don't), we are talking about a 2.8X performance improvement here (8% frequency increase, 30% clock-for-clock increase, 2X core counts).

Realistically you can probably get 2 - 2.5X performance improvement. To me that's worth waiting for another 2 months.
August 11, 2008 8:40:39 PM

Yes but you will have to pay through the nose for ddr3 memory and the new x58 chipset. It won't run on any other motherboard.
August 11, 2008 8:42:57 PM

bah, take the E8500 and the 4870, it should last you long enough till the prices of Nehalem goes down...
August 11, 2008 8:45:25 PM

Only you can decide if it is worth the wait.
30% clock-for-clock is the most often quoted estimate of improvement - but I'm not sure anyone knows for sure as they are still working it. And that is just basic tests - have not heard anything for specific apps. May for something that can be as multi-threaded as animation it might be larger. What software do you use? (I have no knowledge about animation at all)

Relative to price - you will also need a new mobo - which will be pricey - and DDR3 memory - also pricey. Given your tight budget - if you can wait a year for prices to come down it might be workable. I recently did a "cheap" build to last me for about ayear then I will build a new system. However I am not sure if that is the best option for you if you have immediate needs.

You can expect a huge jump from 1.8GHz Sempron to Q6600. I don't know how much your software uses the graphics engine - but that could be another huge increase.
August 11, 2008 8:52:13 PM

jonpaul37 said:
bah, take the E8500 and the 4870, it should last you long enough till the prices of Nehalem goes down...


Why e8500 over Q6600. Won't he benefit considerably with quad cores for animation? And the price difference is not great? (I have E8400 and am as please as punch with it - but I don't do animation.

Why 4870 over 4850? He said the basic system he spec'ed with 4850 was quite a lot of money for him and he was interested in ways to cut cost. Why pay the $100 premium for the 4870? Will it really help him that much in animation? The 4850 will already be a huge increase over his old system for animation and gaming.

I believe he was asking if he should get a cheaper system than what he spec'd to hold him over if he plans to go for Nahelem - not a more expensive one.
August 11, 2008 8:57:18 PM

rockyjohn said:
Why e8500 over Q6600. Won't he benefit considerably with quad cores for animation? And the price difference is not great? (I have E8400 and am as please as punch with it - but I don't do animation.

Why 4870 over 4850? He said the basic system he spec'ed with 4850 was quite a lot of money for him and he was interested in ways to cut cost. Why pay the $100 premium for the 4870? Will it really help him that much in animation? The 4850 will already be a huge increase over his old system for animation and gaming.

I believe he was asking if he should get a cheaper system than what he spec'd to hold him over if he plans to go for Nahelem - not a more expensive one.



For Gaming, The E8500 will work just as good, if not better than the Q6600. I just have seen alot of benchies and read alot of threads and i have come to the conclusion that not many apps take full advantage of Quad processors. As for the 4870, it's got GDDR5 memory and may still be a great option to use in the future...
August 11, 2008 8:59:07 PM

jonpaul37 said:
bah, take the E8500 and the 4870, it should last you long enough till the prices of Nehalem goes down...


+1 for that.

Or even an E7200 to save money and still have high clock speeds. If you need rendering, the Q6600 will be fine.

Eithway build now.

By the time that system is out of date, nehalem will be half the price it will be at launch. Never buy the newest tech. One generation back will never hurt. Most software is just catching up by that time.
August 11, 2008 9:07:10 PM

Well Nahelem supposedly might not OC well on the lowend chips. If this rumor becomes truth a Core 2 overclocked to 30%+ faster speeds will keepup/ beat Nehalem for alot less $$$.

Say your new Nehalem cost $284
DDR3 Ram 4G $170 minimum
And my quess is atleast $200 for a motherboard.

A good core 2 system can cost alot less.
August 11, 2008 9:07:34 PM

Well, ive worked out, that if i build a worse computer to get me by for about 200-400pounds.

Im guessing its only the MoBo, Ram, and CPU that you need to upgrade to use Nehalm, so, if i buy good computer now, and next year, when the prices have gone down, keep the components that i dont need to upgrade to run Nehalem, buy a Nehalem CPU, and MoBo, ddr3 ram, and it should cost about the same as building 2 computers. Dont know what you will think on this.

Also, saying that its just around the corner, its not really for me, as i would have to wait for it to drop in price, which might take a few months, maybee into 2009. I might as well upgrade my ram, cpu and mobo then.

Also, if i overclock my q6600 to 3.0ghz with a better cpu cooler, it might even run the same as a nehalem for the same price, or less
August 12, 2008 4:51:54 AM

I am not sure you could overclock a Q6600 to get it as fast as a Nahelem - and we are talking performance here not just GHz because Nahelem should have new architecture and features that up performance on a clock for clock basis. In addition, if you want to compare the two - you should compare an OC Nahalem to the OC Q6600 to be fair.

But you are correct - you should only have to upgrade the mobo-CPU-memory combo and keep everything else - such as PSU, case, DVD, O/S, and video card. I would not expect prices on the new components to really drop until mid to late next year. I am targeting 2009 after Thanksgiving sales. They are big here - do they have any comparable huge just before Christmas discount days there?

But also keep in mind that you don't need to necessarily move to it that quickly. It sounds like you need to get a decent system now and then upgrade to Nahelem when you can afford to. Even two years from now a Q6600 should still be a servicable system. I would not expect a student to have a top of the line system - although the better he has the more work he can do.

Besides, won't there be systems at school that you might use for the "heavy stuff" anyway? Or friends that will let you use their faster systems - assuming they have them - on occassion for heavy work? Or to really get a lot done - try to get room or housemates with the same or better system and use theirs and yours at night and get two or three times the work done. I am assuming that a good part of the time the computer is chugging away without direct operator intervention.
August 12, 2008 7:52:19 PM

Heh - Christmas sales start at Thanksgiving here in the US. Yes, that's nearly 10% of the entire year we're subjected to YET ANOTHER chorus of "Jingle Bells".


By the time the new year rolls around, I think half the population would gleefully strangle an elf were one available. The other half of the population prefers burning, I believe.

I'm not saying which camp I personally belong to, but...





/sings like Bing Crosby ...Jack Frost Roasting on an open fire....


Oh yeah - check the new prices on the Q9550's and thereabouts. They're around US$300 with the new pricing, and are clock for clock better than a Q66...
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