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Buy now or wait?

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November 24, 2010 9:09:12 AM

Does it make sense to build new systems now or is it better to wait for the new year?

Reasons to buy now:

-The Ati 6850 series has just been released. This offers great price, performance and TDP for mid-range gaming systems, and the GPU is the most important component there.
-Prices for 2nd gen SSD have been coming down rapidly and new deals are available every week. They may already be in your desired performance/price/capacity range
-PSUs, cases etc won't be changing much, so while the change in a single component might be drastic, the total system is only affected to a degree
-There's still time to order and get your parts delivered before the Christmas rush :) 
-Maybe you need a new PC and don't want to wait?

Reasons to wait:

Rumoured price cuts around 30th Nov. Although Intel&AMD might have some need to cut prices to motivate fence-sitters waiting for Sandy Bridge launch, 30% off sounds a bit much to hope for - and rumours are just rumours.

Sandy Bridge which is going for launch 5th Jan... starting to be just around the corner. Some reports say there would be a big performance increase for a given price range. This quote from Wikipedia sounds like good news too: "Thermal Design Power (TDP) of products are rated between 35–95W for desktop variants, and 35–55W for mobile variants." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge_(microarchitecture) I would expect new CPUs and mobos be available generally in late Jan - prices a bit higher but performance much better than currently. There was some price data leaked from a Swedish retailer, i5 2400 would be just over 200 euros: http://yfrog.com/n6sblapstore3j

Ati's high-end 6900 series is going live in mid-december: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Islands_(GPU_family) (Not sure if Wikipedia is up to date there, I'm sure you guys know better :)  )

3rd gen of SSDs is just around the corner with increased speeds and capacities. We have some information of Intel's upcoming models as well as the SandForce 2000. Would expect them to be generally available in Feb, but priced higher than the current offering, and prices will slide down during 2011. If you are going to wait until late Mar when prices should be somewhat affordable, you are going to wait for 4 more months!

More about : buy wait

a b à CPUs
November 24, 2010 10:27:53 AM

What's your current system?
a c 159 à CPUs
November 24, 2010 11:09:29 AM

^+1
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November 24, 2010 11:26:24 AM

Mine is effectively a laptop :p 
November 24, 2010 11:32:23 AM

First time I heard about the November 30th price cuts... since I am definitely a fence-sitter.... that may help me decide.

Thanks for the info varis! +1
a c 159 à CPUs
November 24, 2010 11:38:04 AM

The same, with Bulldozer comes Bobcat and drop price on i7 mobile series.
November 24, 2010 1:50:30 PM

Its only 5 weeks to SandyBridge - why wouldn't you wait to see what it offers and what the price point is? I DOUBT that prices of current i5 and i7 will be INCREASING once SB comes out. If your heart is set on a current model chip for some reason, there should still be a period of overlap where you can get them.
a b à CPUs
November 24, 2010 2:54:18 PM

And i doubt that they will push the socket 1156 and socket 1366 down..
November 24, 2010 9:31:41 PM

Anandtech has some discussion on the issues in the intro to this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4025/holiday-2010-system-...

About Sandy Bridge:

Quote:
Anand measured 121W for the entire system under load with an i5 2400 (3.1GHz), and that's 8% less power while being 23% faster than the i5-760 it replaces.


Latest hot price on 760 is 175e, while 2400 is supposed to debut at 208e. Sandy Bridge is certainly good news for system builders, but you are also paying for the performance and TDP benefit. (TDP is still better in the 650, though I'll have to see if there's a better replacement for that in Sandy Bridge.) All mobos won't be available at launch; it'll take weeks before you get a good selection of models which have been reviewed and tried out by a few builders. And waiting for the extra 2 months increases opportunity costs and reduces marginal utility because you'll have to do additional research.

All for a system component that isn't critical - even with the 650 the CPU typically won't be a bottleneck for me. Then there's highly personal factors like you mention - October through January is the best gaming season for me so building new systems makes sense then ;)  So it looks like waiting for SB doesn't make sense for me, but it's always good to have more information and views from others. I guess expertise starts where you have enough information to make all the decisions but are still looking for more :pt1cable: 

Processor pricing is a funny thing though. It seems Intel doesn't really cut prices nowadays, but you have to wait for new models to be introduced if you want good&cheap. And now may be a silly time to buy an Intel CPU as current i5 models may be near their commercial end-of-life - the 760 is down to 175e, but the 650 costs the same! There is a TDP difference though so they fit different systems.
November 24, 2010 10:59:19 PM

SB is going to increase our options, for example the S and T variants offer better TDP. In particular the i5 2500T sounds interesting: base clock speed is just 2.3GHz, but max turbo is 3.3GHz. Four cores, TDP is 45W. I suppose performance could nearly match the regular 2400, as long as you are talking single core - max turbo is about the same; for multi core performance it probably loses out badly due to limited clock speed.

November 24, 2010 11:19:30 PM

varis said:
Anandtech has some discussion on the issues in the intro to this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4025/holiday-2010-system-...

About Sandy Bridge:

Quote:
Anand measured 121W for the entire system under load with an i5 2400 (3.1GHz), and that's 8% less power while being 23% faster than the i5-760 it replaces.


Latest hot price on 760 is 175e, while 2400 is supposed to debut at 208e. Sandy Bridge is certainly good news for system builders, but you are also paying for the performance and TDP benefit. (TDP is still better in the 650, though I'll have to see if there's a better replacement for that in Sandy Bridge.) All mobos won't be available at launch; it'll take weeks before you get a good selection of models which have been reviewed and tried out by a few builders. And waiting for the extra 2 months increases opportunity costs and reduces marginal utility because you'll have to do additional research.

All for a system component that isn't critical - even with the 650 the CPU typically won't be a bottleneck for me. Then there's highly personal factors like you mention - October through January is the best gaming season for me so building new systems makes sense then ;)  So it looks like waiting for SB doesn't make sense for me, but it's always good to have more information and views from others. I guess expertise starts where you have enough information to make all the decisions but are still looking for more :pt1cable: 

Processor pricing is a funny thing though. It seems Intel doesn't really cut prices nowadays, but you have to wait for new models to be introduced if you want good&cheap. And now may be a silly time to buy an Intel CPU as current i5 models may be near their commercial end-of-life - the 760 is down to 175e, but the 650 costs the same! There is a TDP difference though so they fit different systems.


Summed up my argument for purchase of a non-Sandy build. Good stuff man.
November 26, 2010 11:22:10 PM

Interestingly enough, one of our local shops is listing the new core i5 parts, availability: in 7 days! I guess it goes to show that their availability data is rather general in nature, but they are taking preorders :D 
November 30, 2010 4:53:26 PM

30th is here and I don't see much news about an Intel price cut yet. Also, looking at the July (19th or so) cut from Intel, just a handful of models were adjusted, max was about 48% but the few mid-range models affected were just 12% or so, or were newly introduced models.

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/processor-price-cut-dr...
November 30, 2010 8:44:22 PM

i hope there is a price cut for i3/G6950 as my mum wants a computer lol
!