I am very close to the $2,000 mark in my savings to build a gaming PC. Initially I was going to wait until Haswell was released in April, but learned that Intel has delayed its release until either late May or early June. The only major difference that I saw in the specs is that Haswell uses slightly more electricity than Ivy Bridge. I originally bought my HP Pavilion laptop, powered by an Intel i7-2670QM, as an 18-month interim solution until I had decided to continue gaming either on a video game console or PC. However, I have had to send in my my laptop twice in the 12 months since I purchased it to have the cooling fan repaired (thankfully the repairs were free due to the warranty). I am reconsidering my plan to continue using the laptop for the remaining six months of my interim plan, before transitioning to a desktop. I understand that I should be more concerned about the video card than the CPU when building a gaming PC but I am unwilling to make a sudden decision that will cost a lot of money. Will the Ivy Bridge meet my gaming needs for the next three years or should I wait for Haswell? I would appreciate some advice on this subject. Thanks.
Haswell will be expensive when it's released.
The Ivy bridge CPU's are just fantastic. They will still last for a while, definitely 3 years.
Not really... Intel does a good job of being consistent on their pricing. Even Ivy bridge when it dropped was only about $20 more then Sandy.
That being said.
I would say it depends on your needs NOW. If you can wait for Haswell then wait. It offers a few bonus's in my opinion. Less electricity (still 22nm) so expect it to run just as hot as Ivy. It will be about 10% more efficient then Ivy (expected) as no one can predict the future and lastly it's the beginning of a new socket. Allowing you to upgrade to Broadwell in the future.
BOTH procs will meet any and all gaming needs as of TODAY. So that shouldn't be a factor. Basically all comes down to what you need now.
The performance for Haswell is so far unknown. I expect less than a 10% increases in performance assuming the same clockspeed (my guess is 5% - 8%). I think Intel is focusing more on lowering power consumption than it is increasing performance. After all, tablets and smartphones is the new growth market for CPUs. Desktop sales are on the decline and laptops are no longer hot growth market segment they once were.
It probably will not be until Broadwell is released (2014) when you will see a double digit increase in performance over the previous generation CPU (assuming same clockspeed). That's when Intel will be shrinking down the die process from 22nm to 14nm in order to further lower power consumption.
To get a rough estimate of the increase in gaming performance when going from Ivy Bridge to Haswell, simply look at game benchmarks of the i5-2500k vs the i5-3570k. There should be only a small difference. Of course we will probably need to wait until around May to see what Haswell's performance will actually be.