Time has come to upgrade my system and even though I really want to get the i7 920 I'm thinking maybe it is burning money.
I'm doing software development and overall just running a lot of programs at once, some of which are CPU and HDD intensive (some access fairly big development databases, for example). Therefore I've settled on Quad-core CPUs and the ones above seem to make the most sense.
I'll probably be running Windows XP Pro x64 and eventually moving to Windows 7 skipping Vista altogether.
I'm thinking I should get the GA-EX58-UD5 with 3x2 GB of RAM for the i7 920 setup, but I'm not sure what an equivalent motherboard would be for the Q6700.
I'll get decent air cooling (like Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme) and only do overclocking if I can keep the noise down - might even underclock if that's what's needed to build a silent system.
I have the money for either setups but don't want to overpay too badly just to get the latest and greatest. Would I be doing that if I get the i7 920? Is it and the components going to go down significantly in, say, the next 6 months?
While it's likely prices will drop over time, no one ever knows for certain if they will, nor can they speculate how much they might drop if they do. We all just wait and see for the most part. You also have to be aware that there have been cases in the past where a few products have actually risen in price over time due to their demand.
Despite their incredible processing power, my personal opinion of i7's is they're just too expensive for even the above average user or consumer presently. You can still build excellent performing C2D/C2DQ systems, as well as excellent AMD systems, all at far less cost. And while it may incite an argument, which I hope it doesn't, pricing on a high-end Phenom II based system just begs for a bit of "bang for you buck" recognition. The worst part is, with so many of these CPUs overclocking so well and so easily while paired with a quality motherboard, it just complicates things further because you never know if one you purchase will perform as well as expected in an OC'd configuration.
Sometimes I wish THG did a monthly "Best CPU for your money" comparison like the GPU one, but that would be nigh impossible considering the incredible range of options and configurations.
I do like your selections in the proposed i7 system. I suppose it boils down to just how much processing power you truly need, or how much processing headroom you may want for future considerations.
I'm actually thankful I've never had a huge budget for my previous builds because it always forces me to find the greatest per-dollar value.