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Versatile mini-ITX: is 1155 (Sanby Bridge) waiting for?

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September 20, 2010 7:13:07 PM

I'm planning to replace my old C2D system and being tired of all the cables and big tower taking space I'm sure I'll go for a mini-ITX. I was almost ready to buy, but after some digging it turned out new Intels are just around the corner. I don't feel any pressure, so I can postpone buying until January or February. If the new architecture is worth the wait.

What I expect: reliable performance across graphic design/photo editing software, rather low noise, running some test environments in VM, some gaming (smooth on 1920x1200).

What I have in mind:
Silverstone SG05 + 450W PSU
Zotac H55 MB (with WiFi and USB3)
i7-860 or i5-750 (no overclocking)
4GB low voltage 1333 RAM
~100GB Sandforce SSD + 1GB 5900 rpm HDD
GTX 460 768 MB
some low profile CPU cooler (Scythe Big Shuriken?)
DVD RW

How much a new i7/i5 CPU could improve it? I expect there might be a price premium for Sandy Bridge at first, do you think current generation Core CPUs might become cheaper?

More about : versatile mini itx 1155 sanby bridge waiting

September 21, 2010 3:28:08 AM

baldusdeubaldis said:
How much a new i7/i5 CPU could improve it? I expect there might be a price premium for Sandy Bridge at first, do you think current generation Core CPUs might become cheaper?

Sandy Bridge processors should be priced competitively with processor prices today. Performance improves ~20% clock for clock compared current generation quad core Intel processors. The equal improvement in efficiency (die shrink from 45nm to 32nm plus enhancements) and enhanced turbo modes will likely be more significant in your case (pun intended :p ). I don't think the current generation processors will get cheaper than Micro Center prices immediately.
September 21, 2010 3:31:15 AM

If you are willing to wait for sandy bridge, for all hell... wait for it.
September 21, 2010 4:10:23 AM

I think sandy bridge will be a blockbuster. If you can wait, do so, or suffer buyer's remorse.

The 2500 quad cpu will clock at 3.3 with turbo up to 3.7. The compute power per clock will improve, in a range if 10-30% on top of that. The price is expected to be comparable to the i5-750(@2.66) About $200. It's integrated graphics may be comparable to a $50 discrete graphics card.
Here is an early review:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3922/intels-sandy-bridge-...

Similarly, I would wait on the SSD. Gen3 ssd's are due to launch by fall. They will be built on a 25nm technology which will be cheaper. The marketplace is very competitive. You should be able to get a bigger, faster, and cheaper ssd then.

If history is any guide, previous generation Intel cpu's do not become cheaper, at least not new. Retailers may cut margins to get rid of old stock, and used processors will be reduced in price. Once a new generation is launched, the market for the old generation is for repair replacement, a relatively price insensitive market.
September 21, 2010 4:20:02 PM

Thanks for all the answers, they pretty much reassure my feelings, but I haven't followed the hardware for years now and it's suddenly hard to assess things. My current build is so full of compromises, that I'd like to make a better-considered decision for the future. So, I'm waiting.
!