Sorry if this has actually been answered but in all the many articles I have read, I simply have not seen the answer. And it seems to me, at least, to be the most obvious question to answer:
A. Gamers - We recommend that you get the Sandy Bridge mobo/processor along with one or two video cards.
B. Gamers - We recommend that you do not get the Sandy Bridge mobo/processor along with one or two video cards.
Everyone says that the GPU on the processor isn't good enough to play heavy duty games on. You will still need a discrete video card. But no one is saying "choose the Sandy Bridge architecture for gaming over the current architecture" (for hardcore gaming). Nor saying the opposite.
I am just about to build a completely new system and now am baffled as to whether I should go with Sandy Bridge or not. I would very appreciative if someone could be more definitive in this regard.
"The high-end desktop processor market is a one-horse race, with Intel’s LGA 1366-based Core i7-900-series CPUs pretty much tromping along uncontested. If you have the money and are building a performance-oriented machine, it’s hard to beat an overclocked Core i7-950. Power users who really need the punch of a six-core chip can go Core i7-970—just be ready to pay out the ears for the privilege of owning one.
It’s the mainstream where we see more interesting battles being waged. "
The "mainstream" being Sandy Bridge now. So in the long term, isn't it better to stick with 1366 as that will be where the high performance processors will be in the future too? I don't plan on forking out $1,000 for a CPU but the prices will come down. The links you provided compared the 950 with the Sandy Bridge stuff. But won't the future of the 1366 processors keep them at the top of the pile?
1366 is getting replaced by LGA 2011, later this year I assume, so there won't be much of a future for them. Also, Price/performance says Sandy Bridge is at the top. Better performance than the similarly priced 1366 socket CPUs. Sure there are better CPUs, but they cost at least 3 times more for only incrementally better performance.