I am doing as much reading as I can understand about components before my first build. I have read most of the stickies about picking parts, and read all kinds of user posts. I think I'm going build around an i7 860/LGA 1156/ Asus P7P55D-E Pro. At first I dismissed the idea of upgrading processors for the life of the PC (at least 5 years) and maybe just an OC/new GPU when things started to feel slow. Now, in reading about the new Westmere CPUs, I started wondering. I have no intention of running the on-board graphics, but some of the other "features" sounded intersting. My questions are:
1. Best guess on will there be a Westmere quad core 32nm i7 8XX in the next few months?
2. If so, I assume that it will work with a current P55 socket board (as long as I use a graphics card)?
3. Are the extra features like support for Remote Assistance, high end Audio like Dolby TrueHD, AES encryption and decryption for file and whole-disk security, and lower power consumption worth waiting for, over what an i7 860 has?
4. Better to build arount an 860 now as prices for new processors will take a while to come down, not to mention to work all the bugs out?
Can't really answer any of your questions but I have an 860 and I love it. What kind of things do you plan on using the PC for?
Plans are for usual Internet, and
> Non-pro photo editing/video encoding and editing
> Business software like Quick Books,
> Corel Draw and vector tracing/drawing
> Ripping semi-large CD collection
> Movie/TV watching
> Some gaming (not sure yet, but most taxing I can think of would be some kind of flight simulator and car driving...I have a 5 1/2 yr old)
> Possible emulation via Windows XP mode in Win 7 Pro
Mostly, like everyone, I just want something that's fast now because in 5 years software has a way of evolving into something that will make my PC feel s l o w.
Plus I'm the impatient type
1. There are no plans on offering 6 core processors on Socket 1156 this year. MAYBE next year when Sandy Bridge is introduced. If you want Gulftown you need 1366
2. See above
3. Not sure
4. X3440 > Core I7 860
EDIT : Alittle opinion on Gulftown. This chip is pretty crazy and overclocks better then any Bloomfield i have ever owned BUT..... It's totally unnecessary unless you're going to be doing some heavy duty video editing.
Is gulftown worth every penny? YES
Does it blow away everything Amd is going to offer in the next year? YES
Did i need it? Absolutley Not
Wasn't aware that Gulftown was available yet...not looking at it (no "heavy" video editing, only occasional once I do a shoebox full of Mini DV tapes), just the Lynfield followup. The features other that onboard video looked interesting and wondered about them. I think anything beyond a fast Quad is overkill for me, and out of my budget. If the new features look worth it (beyond an OC of current CPU), what I'll most likely do is upgrade processors at the very end of it's cycle (guessing in a couple years), but wanted to make sure the 32nm Westmere with 4 cores will be 1156 before I buy a MB.