My current machine:
CPU - Intel core 2 quad 9550
Mobo - Gigabyte EP45-UD3R
RAM - 4GB DDR2
Hello, need some advice, this is my situation - needing a hefty RAM upgrade as I'm doing a lot of demanding imaging work and my current machine is constantly running out of RAM.
I would buy more RAM for my current machine but the cost of DDR2 ram is ridiculous, not to mention the limit for my motherboard is 8GB, looking at prices you can easily get more than twice the amount of DDR3 memory for the same money.
My friend has a spare motherboard if I want it, it's a Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3, no processor or RAM but it supports DDR3, so my question is would it be worth upgrading processor now or is Intel or AMD planning on releasing the next greatest thing real soon?
Yes, the great debate; To do an incremental upgrade, or to do a core upgrade.
I have been having similar issues of running out of memory, as well as cpu and gpu bottlenecks running adobe premiere (c2d 6550, 4GB ram, 9800GT). For SD editing it was all well and good, but now that I have an HD camera things are rather frustrating. I had debated about getting one of these boards: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=P...
They all support PCIe2, and DDR3, which would then let me keep my 9800GT, and the processor. But after some careful observation of what was choking in my system I finally decided to do a core update with new mobo, proc, ram, and gpu (i7 2600, 16GB DDR1333, 570gtx, all on an ASRock extreme3 gen3 mobo).
Depending on what software you are using, and your budget constraints you may be able to get away with an incremental upgrade, but if you are doing something more demanding you may come to the same conclusion I did; C2D's are just not made for production work. You could upgrade to a C2Q, and a faster mobo and ram, but then you are a stone's throw from an i5/7 upgrade anyways, so why not get something you know you will be happy with for a few years? That was my reasoning anyways, cant wait for the parts to get here later this week!
AMD just released their new FX series CPU's and they are fairly useless with the exception of production work. Find the titles you are using and see how they benchmark. The FX series will also supposedly get a major performance boost when win8 comes out, but there is no guarantee. Great architecture idea, just poorly implemented. Perhaps in a gen or 2 it will do better, but as a general rule of thumb Intel is the way to go at the moment.
There is an Intel release being done this month for the Sandy Bridge E series. These will be the extreme/high end $1000 procs which are basically server chips for home use. The boards look BEAUTIFUL, but this is way out of my budget personally.
Intel will be doing a CPU release towards the end of Q1 or beginning of Q2 with their Ivy Bridge processors. I was originally waiting for these. There will be very little performance difference between current chips and IB chips, but there will be a drastic improvement in feature sets; Native USB3, more or all sata3, PCIe3 (same amount of lanes, but much faster lanes), vastly improved quicksink and on-chip gpu, and possible support for lightpeak/thunderbolt (may be chipset dependent). So if you can wait, then wait as it will be superior in connectivity, but if you are just looking for performance we are only talking ~10% difference.
About the same time as Intel releases their new chips we should be seeing nVidia's new 600 series. This is a new architecture promising ~20% performance increase, PCIe3, and with a smaller power requirement than current gen cards.
If you are not going to wait 'till Q2 of 2012 be aware that nVidia will be refreshing their 560ti series before Christmas which will supposedly make them almost as powerful as the 570's for gaming. Not sure if this will help with CUDA performance to give production work a boost though.
AMD will be coming out with their next gen cards 'before Christmas', and will support PCIe3, but I don't know much as far as expected performance of these new chips.
I think if you can survive for the moment, I would wait...I too am waiting for Ivy Bridge...
A few corrections to CaedenV's statement...
Ivy bridge will be a little bit more powerful as Sandy Bridge but the only catch is that Ivy Bridge will be running 77 TDP and not 95 TDP(so much more green). Intel estimates ~20% more powerful if running same TDP. I am pretty sure that the SATA will be roughly the same(2 ports @ 6GB/s and 4 ports @ 3GB/s) setup as Sandy Bridge. The real big change is supposedly much better integrated graphics.
AMD is coming out with new HD 7000 series in Q1 2012, and they are estimating 50% increase...which seems a bit high, but we will see at the beginning of the new year.