I have to decide between 4 set-ups for my next workstation. The real problem is that I recently read Intel is going to be retiring its 1156 and 1366 sockets meaning that I have no upgrade path save from buying a new mobo. I'd really like one more CPU upgrade sometime in the future. Apparently AMD is going to to release its Bulldozer CPU's which won't need a new socket. I'm just wondering if the 1055T or 1090T will offer the same performance as the Intel i7's.
BUDGET RANGE: About $1700 or thereabouts. (non-US tho) The cheaper the better of course. The parts I listed cost about as much as I'm willing to spend on that particular kind of part (CPU, mobo, ...)
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within next few days. No more waiting.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: 3D and HD graphics workstation. Rendering machine. Photoshop. Also simulations which are often single threaded.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, mouse and screen.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I’m stuck with a local builder. They have a pretty wide choice of parts so most of your suggestions are acceptable.
PARTS PREFERENCES: None.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes, stability is most important but I will to hopefully 4GHZ. SLI: Unknown since I'm not sure where GPU computing is going. Probably.
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050, probably second screen in near future.
Samsung 1000GB SATA-300 7200RPM 32MB HD103SJ Spinpoint F3
CoolerMaster HAF 922 (High Air Flow)
Corsair TX650 Watt PSU
EVGA GTX 460 1024MB 675/3600 EE (External Exhaust)
LG H22LS30 DVD
3D workstation will gain much advantage on better and multiple proc, then I would recommend i7 930, if you can still afford it. i7 930 has 4 physical cores and 4 virtual cores, in total 8 cores.
Second best choice would be X6 1055T if you have difficulties on the budget. 1090 is too expensive, and not worth it.
i7 860 is also not worth it, I like i7 820, but I still prefer either i7 930 or 1055T.
3D workstation will also gain benefit from RAM capacity, i7 can use 6GB effectively(3 channels), 6GB should be enough. That is another reason choosing i7 930.
If you use X6 than get 8GB.
the only problem with i7 930...the upgradability is definitely closed...not a chance on upgrading if you are going Intel.
Recap (quick) :
X6 1055T +8GB RAM (4 GB is also not a problem , but 8 is recommended by me) = Budget
i7 930 + 6 GB RAM = Performance
This would be my purely CPU/Memory intensive config with either zero GPU acceleration gain and/or peeps awaiting some mainstream desktop GPUs to get official certification for the apps that *do* take advantage of GPU acceleration (and have a working rig still on IGP)