A Motherboard to cross the Ivy Bridge

I’m nearly finished building my new system but I’ve held off on the motherboard/cpu decision to see how the Bulldozer launch would play out (ouch). So now it’s a choice between the i5-2500K and the i7-2600k, but I’m stumped on the motherboard choice when I factor in next years Ivy Bridge launch.

Neither Asus or MSI will confirm their boards are Ivy Bridge ready. They both claim to have boards that support PCIe 3.0, but not the CPU required to actually use it. So I’m left with a dilemma:

  1. Buy a Z68 board knowing there’s a good chance that a future CPU upgrade will need a motherboard upgrade as well.

  2. Wait for the March/April launch of Ivy Bridge and guaranteed compatible motherboards and finish my new PC then.

My current PC isn’t tortuously slow or anything, but I’m still looking forward to the performance jump over my current Q6600. I just don’t want to buy into a platform 3 months away from its dead end.

Then wait the 3 months. It seems to me that these days 95% of people when they upgrade the MB gets replaced anyway. If you look at the length of time you managed to hang onto your q6600 then your next upgrade will likely be the same.

It’s quite possible existing Z68, P67 and H67 boards will support Ivy Bridge, with a BIOS update, since the mainstream Ivy Bridge CPUs will be socket 1155. But it’s always possible that Intel may change the power requirements enough that new motherboards will be required. But then ask yourself: why do you want to wait?

Architecturally, Ivy Bridge will offer only modest enhancements to the x86 side over Sandy Bridge. Going to 22nm will deliver some power advantages, but I don’t think we’ll see big clock rate improvements.

The most significant update to Ivy Bridge is on the GPU side. While the GPU is likely to be much better, it will probably only match the performance of the IGP built into AMD’s Fusion GPUs – in other words, great for desktop and video, but not the best gaming solution. So if you’re a gamer, you’ll end up with a discrete graphics card anyway.

Yea, it’s a die shrink as opposed to a whole new architecture, you WON’T seen a massive improvement.

If they make it out before June I’ll be surprised.