Okay, I'm brand new to this community, but I trust your opinions!
I have several questions...
1. When is AMD planning on releasing their socket 939 chipset, and which architectures are going to be released at that time?
2. Do you know of any planned motherboards to be released along with that, which will be the socket 939 equivalent of the Asus SK8V or plain K8v?
3. I'm going to be doing a TON of hardcore gaming on it, high res, surround sound, etc etc etc.... But, my major in college is 3d animation. What type of system would you recommend for me? It's more important that my computer will render quickly and efficiently, not chop up when editing video, and allow Photoshop to function smoothly. I'll be using Cinema 4D, Brazil, 3ds Max, Photoshop, Flash Mx 2004 pro, Maya, Adobe Premier, and other programs of this sort. It is ESSENTIAL that I can run these programs flawlessly, at the highest speeds possible. BUT, I want to be able to game at the highest res, and have the smoothest frame rate in game that I can. What type of motherboard, processor, and ram would you recommend? Of course, take into account that I'm not going to be buying anything until socket 939 comes out (that's when I will have saved enough money.)
Hard to say really. there is not one platform that is head and shoulders above the other in all the apps you are naming there. some will run better on the A64, others on the P4. Anyway, lets see what we can find, comparing a A64 3200+ with a P4 3.2 (I assume you're not in the market for a Athlon FX or P4EE).
1) Realy Soon Now (TM) =) Somewhere in may or june. Not sure what you mean by "which architectures", but AMD will give the A64 two memory controllers just like the Opteron/Athlon FX now, instead of the single controller it has now, but will cut the L2 cache in half from 1Mb to 512Kb. In generall, you can expect a modest speed increase from this over current A64's at the same clock, though depending on the app, YMMV.
2) there will be plenty of MB's, based on the nForce 250 and K8T800 (pro). Both seem like very decent chipsets, no reason to assume they would be worse on socket 939 boards. Not much use in getting excited over a specific one today though, just wait for the boards and reviews to arrive, and choose then.
= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
I'm a College student in Technical Architecture, I too do a lot of CAD and 3D rendering.
If you are as much of an hardcore user as I am, someone that expect top performance from his system, be it for gaming or doing rendering/CAD work, you may be interested to know that most of the innexpensive nVidia GeForce and ATI Radeon gaming video cards can be "softmodded" into powerfull and expensive Quadro4 or FireGL CAD workstation video cards.
That's right, a 300$ Radeon 9700 can be turned into a 900$ FireGL X1 !
The best part is that you won't even need to physically modify your video card !
<A HREF="http://www.nvworld.ru/docs/rt_e.html" target="_new">RivaTuner</A> alter ATI's detection of a small resistor found on Radeons that is supposed to prevent gaming card owners from taking advantage of FireGLs CAD optimised driver goodies without having to shell out the hefty sum that is required for Workstation hardware.
<A HREF="http://www.nvworld.ru/docs/sfgl_e.html" target="_new">Here</A> is the article explaining how such a thing is possible and some benchmarks demonstrating the dramatic improvement you can expect.
I'm also interested in purchasing a Socket 939 system but I can't help you there, there is next to no solid facts about Socket 939 CPU and motherboards, only rumors floatng around, I guess we'll have to wait until some real information is leaked.
Thank you all for your help. I think I have decided what I'm going to go with. Since the A64 socket 939 will have a slight speed increase, I think I'm going to go with that. I don't know if there will be a huge noticeable difference between a p4 and a64, but I know the AMD will be cheaper, and I can always overclock it. That, or build a different p4 system
Anyways, thanks again! You guys have been a big help.