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The Tick-Tock model and Nehalem... to buy or wait.

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November 11, 2008 11:23:52 PM

I need some help translating this model.

I've read numerous pages about this Tick-Tock model of Intel's, but I have yet to understand what it all means to me, the average gamer who's looking to build a new system.

I guess my big question is... is it better to buy on a "tick" or on a "tock"?
If I buy a Nehalem (core i7) processor at 45nm.... and next year on the "tick" they bust out the 32nm chips and boards, will that mean I've gone as far as I can as far as upgrading is concerned?

If I'm understanding it right, hitting on a "tick" (ie 2009) with the new silicon process (32nm) will allow me the benifits of the "tock" since it's also built on the 32nm process. Does this mean I have 2 years worth of upgrading capability as opposed to 1, or will each tick and tock require an essentially new setup?

I'm very confused on this, please feel free to set me straight.
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November 12, 2008 2:38:13 AM

The process has very little to do with compatibility. If anything, you're more likely to have an upgrade path by buying on the new architecture, as the socket is not likely to change with what is in essence a die shrink. This is shown by the fact that the 65nm and 45nm Core 2 CPUs are both compatible with the same socket and most of the same motherboards.
November 12, 2008 3:20:26 AM

Before the tick and tock.. .ask yourself what you want the system for. I find that it is not worth the i7 at all. DDR3 are expensive, plus you need to buy 3 of them. Like all intel processors, their first rev. are always buggy. I'd say wait. <- thats just me anyway
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November 12, 2008 6:06:56 AM

you dont need to buy 3 sticks but i would wait for the dust to settle before i bought nehalem I would buy the 32nm
November 12, 2008 6:19:43 AM

well if you're gaming what's the point. waste of money you could have spent on a 4870X2 or two :p 
November 12, 2008 6:48:06 AM

Homeboy2 said:
you dont need to buy 3 sticks but i would wait for the dust to settle before i bought nehalem I would buy the 32nm


ummm... its tripple channel? hence 3 sticks.... so you will invest in an i7.. and buy only 1 stick of ram? ermm.. the logic behind this is........???
November 12, 2008 6:57:47 AM

no, triple channel vs dual channel is almost no extra performance. maybe things will change with P55 or the 32nm's.
November 12, 2008 8:19:01 AM

like V said, its trip channel but shows practically no real world performance gains over dual. Having said that i will prolly buy 3x2 sticks.
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November 13, 2008 9:37:17 PM

I'g guess Intel will increase the L2 & L3 cache on the Westmere (32 nm shrink of Nehalem), so that would likely boost performance a small amount. But then Deneb should be out early next year and I would wait to compare it to Nehalem before shelling out $$$ for a completely new rig, unless you're so rich that you can afford tri-SLI GPUs :) 
November 13, 2008 9:47:34 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
I'g guess Intel will increase the L2 & L3 cache on the Westmere (32 nm shrink of Nehalem), so that would likely boost performance a small amount. But then Deneb should be out early next year and I would wait to compare it to Nehalem before shelling out $$$ for a completely new rig, unless you're so rich that you can afford tri-SLI GPUs :) 



lol... definitely not!
Trying to understand the model to see if each tick and each tock requires a completely new build, or if the tick-tock would be more compatible than catching a tock-tick... if that makes ANY sense at all...

Right now coming from an OLD rig... so anything would be an upgrade... not sure if I should go with the Q6600, the core i7, or wait for the 32nm.... lol... decisions....
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November 15, 2008 1:52:08 AM

32nm... its cooler.
November 15, 2008 2:19:01 AM

The x58 platform is impressive from a spec standpoint but I wouldnt want to be one of the first to grab one. You know there will be issues so if it were me, I would wait a good two months before I moved on it. Cost will also come down like it always does as well.
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November 15, 2008 4:40:44 AM

My guess is it depends on the motherboard manufacturer. Look for brands with regular BIOS updates and you shouldn't have too much problem buying now and upgrading the CPU on the tick provided the current chipsets support Westmere. If you upgrade your whole system for Westmere, it probably won't be compatible with Sandy Bridge.
!