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Bad time to build?

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September 14, 2010 1:53:53 PM

i have been parsing and pricing out a new system build and was just curious to hear from the pros here about building on the eve of intel's sandy bridge processors or amd's zacate cpus.

is it better to wait a few months before building a new system? do any of you have predictions on what changes will take place in the market that might make waiting on building the more practical thing to do or is this change as usual?

maybe i should have put this out as a poll but i'd love to hear the subjective, anecdotal insights from you all.

thanks!
george

More about : bad time build

a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 1:59:40 PM

the question is can you wait? and what compromises you will be making if you wait, if you can its worth it.... thats the straight answer
September 14, 2010 2:38:19 PM

i know for me, personally, i can wait. i've already waited too long!

care to elaborate on how you see things changing in, say, the next 4 to 6 months, gordon?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 2:48:44 PM

The latest, more powerful and efficient chips, but more importantly, with new technology comes price drops for the old
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 2:51:08 PM

Zacate is actually the name for AMD's upcoming notebook CPU's, but that's beyond the point. Waiting is actually a good idea if you're looking at a high end system, 'coz then it'd let you buy the new stuff at same/slightly higher prices, or the present generation stuff at cheaper rates.

But for people looking at i3 systems, or AMD dual/triple core systems say for instance, the savings won't be any more than 50-100 bucks max. But the thing is, that will happen with tech all the time. As tech gets old, prices will fall dramatically. 2 years back, a mainstream G31/41 chipset Mobo used to cost $150. Today it's $50. An E5200 would cost you a further $150. Today an E5400 costs barely $70 odd. But is it as desirable as it was back in the day?

So my take is - wait if you're looking at a high end system but buy if you're looking at a regular, mainstream system for general/office usage. You still won't be able to afford the new stuff with the lowish budget & the reduced prices of the now-available stuff (AM3, 775, 1156, 1366) will be regarded as routine depreciation anyways. That's my take at any rate. YMMV

P.S. - I will wait for the i5/i7 prices to come down though, along with the exorbitant x58 chipset pricing.
September 14, 2010 4:11:48 PM

thanks, asteldian and calguy. i realize that getting hung up on what's to come for consumer tech goods can have a paralyzing effect on the would be consumer. there's always something better on the horizon but this development seems to be big enough to warrant waiting and perhaps even doing a really super, super cheap system build in the meantime. virtually anything is a bump up from my current desktop.

i was personally looking at doing an i7 build, calguy. i find the 930s to be nicely priced and the 950s aren't so bad either. it would be great to see the top line i7s come down.

a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 4:21:41 PM

Yeah, it would be, wouldn't it? Btw, the Core i7-950 is just $15 more than the Core i7-930 on Newegg. And to think that I got a 920 for almost 400. :cry: 
September 14, 2010 5:38:47 PM

calguyhunk said:
Yeah, it would be, wouldn't it? Btw, the Core i7-950 is just $15 more than the Core i7-930 on Newegg. And to think that I got a 920 for almost 400. :cry: 


yikes, calguy. i still think with some perspective and considering what stuff used to run, it's pretty remarkable what can be made on a budget compared to 5 or 6 years ago.

i've been looking at both through microcenter - $220 (after tax) for the i7 930 and $275 (after tax) for the i7 950. it's hard for me to see these coming down a lot more than that in the short term regardless of the introduction of the sandy. is this a wrong assumption?

thanks in advance!
george
a b B Homebuilt system
September 14, 2010 9:15:37 PM

Dunno 'bout Intel's marketing guys, but if the price differential between the 950+x58 and the Sandy Bridge top line CPU + x68 is any less than $100-150 at least, I can't see this current 1366 platform staying relevant for too long, provided the new platform delivers what it promises.

Personally, I think we'll see a much higher price difference, brought about by A - An inordinately high priced new line-up & B - A steep & significant cut in the prices of the current 1366 processors, not to mention the 1156 ones.
September 15, 2010 5:37:55 PM

sounds right, calguy.

i'm just amazed by the lifecycles nowadays though i suspect packing graphics capabilities into the tiny guts of the processor has got to appeal to the thrust of things to go consolidated & physically scaled down. ultimately, that's sure to have great application with the portables market.

I imagine it'll have some resonance with their shareholders as well! Intel was just downgraded by UBS about a week or so ago due to generally poor sales and users desire to see their prices come down (yes!) and the stock took a little tumble (but so did WD, HP, for what that's worth).
a b B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2010 3:17:59 AM

If all goes well for Intel (& AMD will be hoping not), it's only a matter of time before the analysts start upgrading it to at least 'neutral' if not 'positive'. Depends on the reviews their new line gets, I suppose.
September 16, 2010 3:57:13 AM

i own some intel and plan on holding it for a stretch. i can say that it's probably a pretty good time to buy on that front.

btw, i've caved.i'm going ahead with an i7 930 build. i'm sure it'll come down a bit but i can live with that.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2010 3:58:40 AM

Try the 950 then. It's just $15 more expensive on Newegg.
September 16, 2010 4:37:59 AM

microcenter's prices widen that gap a bit. comes out to about a $55 difference taxed between the two. still reckon 950 is worth it?
a c 122 B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2010 9:42:28 AM

If you don't need a new computer right now, it's a good time to wait. OTOH, there is always something new coming.

calguyhunk said:

But for people looking at i3 systems, or AMD dual/triple core systems say for instance, the savings won't be any more than 50-100 bucks max. But the thing is, that will happen with tech all the time. As tech gets old, prices will fall dramatically. 2 years back, a mainstream G31/41 chipset Mobo used to cost $150. Today it's $50. An E5200 would cost you a further $150. Today an E5400 costs barely $70 odd. But is it as desirable as it was back in the day?

You have the right ideas about pricing - just with incorrect examples. The G31/G41 chipsets were always economy chipsets. Two years ago, I bought a Gigabyte G41M-ES2L for about $60 for sis-in-law's computer. The E5200 was always an economy chip. It's basically a crippled E8200 series Wolfdale. I paid about $60 for it also.

And I wouldn't wait for X58 motherboard prices to drop. When Sandy Bridge gets going, the reduction in supply of the X58's will match the reduction in demand. So there will be little pressure for the retailers to reduce prices.
a b B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2010 12:21:29 PM

jsc said:
You have the right ideas about pricing - just with incorrect examples. The G31/G41 chipsets were always economy chipsets. Two years ago, I bought a Gigabyte G41M-ES2L for about $60 for sis-in-law's computer. The E5200 was always an economy chip. It's basically a crippled E8200 series Wolfdale. I paid about $60 for it also.
Maybe I got the timing wrong. Maybe it was more than 2 years, maybe the prices were in Australian dollars, but still, prices down under have fallen 50%. Those things did cost $150+. Today, those things cost 50 bucks. American prices are always the lowest, so you guys prolly don't feel the pinch as much as the rest of us do. I know the price 'coz I had to pay for it. My mom actually uses this particular Mobo with an E5300 @ 3.01 Ghz - $135 for an Asus G31 Mobo - pcpronto.com - just scroll down a bit & you'll find the prices in AUS$. Today that same one costs AUS$48 - pricespy.com

Also I didn't talk 'bout the retailers dropping the 'Mobo' prices. I talked 'bout reduction in the 'X58 chipset' pricing itself, which costs 'round US$70 odd (I think)
September 16, 2010 1:49:36 PM

jsc said:


And I wouldn't wait for X58 motherboard prices to drop. When Sandy Bridge gets going, the reduction in supply of the X58's will match the reduction in demand. So there will be little pressure for the retailers to reduce prices.


this is what i was thinking with regards to the i7s. while i find the combined cost of the mobos and processors still steeper than they should be i can't see a reason why the mobos would drop for the very reasons you mention. previous generations seem to back this up. i do think the processors will drop but my hunch is perhaps we'd see the microcenter pricing as a sort of standard elsewhere. out of curiosity, what do you see as the fate of the highest end 17? at roughly 1k, it's got a long way to come down to meet a price point for most buyers. am i right that that probably won't really come down until q3 of next year?

anyway, i'm not completely dead without a new pc (i have a laptop which is really good but, for an old school guy, still hard for me to get used to running the adobe suite or quark on). in truth, i also just have a hankering to build! this is why in one post i was knocking around the idea of just making a very, very budget machine for shi*s and giggles and then picking up an i7 in december / january.
!