CPU/Mobo CPU/Mobo (non-Sandybridge) + Gfx card Upgrade

cybermantas

Disciple
Current config:

Gigabyte G41 Combo M/B + E4300 processor + HD4870 Gfx card

Feel the need for an upgrade, the current considerations for the choice being the impending launch of the Bulldozer and Ivybridge lineup on the CPU side and HD7xxx on the gfx side...

So here is what I am thinking in terms of CPU upgrade…

My motherboard is still previous generation (Non- Sandybridge) and current Sandybridge wont support Ivybridge; and Ivybridge + Sandybridge supporting configs will come only in 2012 (no clue if Q1 or Q2) …

I3-2100 is a very nice Sandybridge CPU (Anandtech Benchmark score – 215) but will require new Mobo, Pentium G860 is the Sandybridge CPU in Pentium line (recently won the best sub $100 CPU in Tom’s Hardware’s September list) so will still require a new mobo (Anandtech Benchmark score – 203) (3 MB L3)

The option I prefer though is C2D E8600, (Anandtech BS – 210), wont require new mobo, still gives a decent score and is the best CPU in the old generation (6 MB L2, no L3)

My current CPU is C2D E4300 which scores less than 123 in the Benchmark Scores (2 MB L2)

So I get a very nice upgrade that can last 1.5 years at least, I guess, until Ivybridge becomes mainstream and I bypass the entire generation of Sandybridges, which is how CPU+Mobo upgrades should be… one should always be able to time things in a fashion so as to be able to skip a generation in CPU + Mobo terms (if you are a diehard fan of Value-for-money concept)…

Coupled with 4 GB Ram and a decent card (HD 6950 maybe or I could wait to see if 7xxx is close by) I should be able to get a decent performance on games…. Plus a nice Mouse + Keyboard which I seem to be desiring…

I considered the Phenom II X4 955 (Anandtech – 195) line of upgrades too, but figured the E8600 is a good performance still (despite having less cores which is ok, since I don’t do too many CPU intensive tasks anyway) … especially since the AMD would also require a new mobo… and then i3 is a better option…

P.S. - On the benchmarks, I realize they all give different results based on whether it is gaming or CPU or gfx rendering etc etc… but we can just consider this as one way of referencing of CPU performances (the test btw is SysMark 2007 Overall)

Say wot ? Oh, and I havent really specified a budget as such, because the whole idea is maximum value for money, but as an indicator 6k-10k range is for the current round of upgrade... and then the gfx card can come a little while later, say when Diablo3 releases...
 

ALPHA17

Cooler "Master"
Skilled
^^ If you want to game, then best upgrade path for 1 OR 1 and half years is this in my books --

Intel Core i3 2100 ~ 5500/-

Intel DH67-BL ~ 5200/-

Corsair XMS3 4GB x 1 module ~ 1550/-

Corsair TX V2 650W ~ 5400/- [as insurance for a good graphics card later]

Purchase a HD 6950 1GB / nVidia GTX 560 Ti later OR if you can wait till February next year gun for the AMD HD 7*** series.

If you are open to AMD Llano option --

AMD A8-3850 ~ 6800/-

GA-A75-D2H ~ 6500/-

[rest configuration same as Intel]

Be warned with AMD Llano configuration that the IGP is pretty good but as soon as a decent graphic card comes into the scene, the Core i3 pulls ahead with quite a margin. So choose wisely.

From my point of view the old Core 2 Duo's / Quad's are not worth investing at this stage. Although they are competitive with the Phenom II line-up the new Core i3 and Intel HD graphics with Quick-Sync makes the Core line-up much more value and performance efficient in my view. Also the older Core 2 Duo's will bottleneck current generation graphics card like the AMD HD 69** series, due to older instruction libraries.

AnandTech - Bench - CPU --> Sandy-bridge vs. AMD Llynx,

AnandTech - Bench - CPU --> Intel Core 2's vs. AD Llynx.

Hope this helps. Sire
 

cybermantas

Disciple
@Alpha17, thanks for the reply!

E8600 seems to be quite an expensive option (~10k) on the few links I checked... the i3 system does seem quite comparable in price and otherwise... but it requires that I sell my mobo as well... is there any worthwhile alternative which doesnt require disposing off the mobo ?

Since a discreet gfx card will always be required for gaming, I dont see Llano as a worthwhile alternative (unless you think a Llano system would be substantially better than any Intel system + 1 GB HD4870 gfx)

Can you explain the "C2Ds bottling up the current gen gfx card due to older instruction libs" point in more detail ?

Also, isnt C2D 8600 comparable to i3-2100 ? (Unfortunately, as i checked, the price of the 8600 proccesor seems to be comparable to the i3-2100 processor + mobo combo too!!!)

And lastly, if you are suggesting Sandybridge... then does it makes sense to wait a little while longer for Sandybridge + Ivybridge Mobo (maybe ~6 months?)

PSU is not needed, I think I have a 4 yr old Cooler Master Pro 500W, that should be sufficient for a decent time...
 

vivek.krishnan

If you cant see the green dot, I'm offline :P
Skilled
For AMD: Would suggest you just wait till Bulldozer. Many will be dumping their Phenoms for FX series proccy. Get a new mobo w/ BD support + old Phenom.

If you want to go for Llano build, take note that although the IGP is good, Llano has its own drawbacks, mainly that you cannot use your card in Xfire. Also its a dead platform as next Llano v2 is not compatible with current builds.

For Intel: Some of the Z68 boards are already Ivy Bridge compatible, however they cost around ~8K. So does not make sense to do it. Also wasting money on the 775 platform is stupidity. So either w8 for IB or go for the SB config already given.
 

cybermantas

Disciple
@Vivek, Thanks!

AMD, under current circumstances, I am not really a big fan... Llano (for reasons as you so rightly mentioned) and Phenom (Maybe, just maybe the Bulldozer series may hold some promise... so the new mobo + old Phenom may prove to be an option)...

Z68 with IvyBridge compatibility, didnt know that... now, why would you say at 8k it doesnt make sense if normal mobo cost is around 5.5k for Sandybridge anyways ?

Also, I hear you say C2D (775 socket) is not worth spending on, but can you elaborate on that ?
 

vivek.krishnan

If you cant see the green dot, I'm offline :P
Skilled
cybermantas said:
@Vivek, Thanks!

AMD, under current circumstances, I am not really a big fan... Llano (for reasons as you so rightly mentioned) and Phenom (Maybe, just maybe the Bulldozer series may hold some promise... so the new mobo + old Phenom may prove to be an option)...

Z68 with IvyBridge compatibility, didnt know that... now, why would you say at 8k it doesnt make sense if normal mobo cost is around 5.5k for Sandybridge anyways ?

Also, I hear you say C2D (775 socket) is not worth spending on, but can you elaborate on that ?

Actually, H61, H67, P67 and Z68 chipsets are supposedly IB compatible, but currently, in the market, only Z68 boards have the marketing of being IB compatible. Z68 is the premium chipset for the SB platform, so it retails on expensive boards only. The mobo that comes for 5.5k is a H67 mobo, which does not allow you to overclock the k-series CPU. For more info, please lookup in some of the other threads here on differences between the chipsets.

The reason i said that its not worth spending on a dead platform is because usually these products have no resale value in the market. Also if in the future, if you need to replace any component, the cost of a new one will be high as it would have become an EOL/legacy product.

Also the main differences between Intel 6 and 7 series chipsets will be PCIe 3.0, native USB 3.0 only, as of now.
 

cybermantas

Disciple
@Vivek, I searched around a bit and found that the Ivybridge compatibility is an unresolved question for now cos of the UEIF BIOS update thing... any idea on that ?

Though yes, I am sold on the idea that the C2D is a dead platform and hence not worth spending so much on when its resale value might be nothing... so as soon as I get a lil more clarity on Sandybridge mobos and Ivybridge CPU compatibility, I guess I can take the leap to the i3-2100 Cpu/mobo recommendation...
 
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