I need a new PC in 2007 - What am I waiting for?

When I can buy a Mac Pro with the specs of what I just bought for - ooohhh, let’s say a “modest” $500 markup - then I’ll consider one. Otherwise, it’s PC for me. :-)

Yikes, I’m in the same situation, I just need to scrap my machine and start all over this year I think. Not sure if I should go dual core or quad core - think maybe I’ll hold out for dual quads, then we can race for pink slips!

‘She’s my four speed, dual quad, positraction 409 …’

If I can remember correctly, the “cheap” quad core from Intel (Q6600) should be coming out in the late third or fourth quarter of 2007. Initial price should be $450, dropping to $250 two quarters later.

The quadcore 2.4Ghz Q6600 comes out january 7th 2007 (in 5 days) for $851. It will drop to $530 in Q2 2007 with the rest of intel’s huge pricedrop then. At $530, it’s a pretty good deal. At $851, not so much.

I don’t expect any games to really make use of quadcore until the middle of 2008. Hell, no games really use dualcore right now. Quad is a waste unless you do heavy workstation stuff like compiling code, rendering graphics, etc.

DX10 adds a bunch of incremental features over DX9, like unified shaders (one shader “language” for pixel shaders, vertex shaders, and geometry shaders), geometry shaders that act on more than one vertex at a time, the ability to write out from almost any part of the pipeline and read that data into different shaders, and so on.

As for standardization, it’s a really big step up from earlier Direct3D versions. There is ONE DirectX 10 spec, and you have to meet all of it or you’re simply not DX10 compliant. All the formats, precisions, functions, everything has to be there. You can supercede the spec, of course, but that won’t help you because the API limits ya. There are two major optional parts to DX10: the number of samples your card can do in multisample AA, and whether it can filter 32-bit per component floating point textures. Neither are a big deal because they don’t really impact game designers (nobody’s going to use 128-bit floating point textures for quite a long time. 16 bits per component floating point is more than enough and half the memory/bandwidth).

There will eventually be a DirectX 10.1 or whatever they end up calling it, but that will be a separate spec, again with the stipulation that you adhere to the whole thing or you’re non-compliant. No more of this business with multiple shader versions in the same DirectX, with some cards filtering floating point textures and others not, some providing multisample AA with HDR and some not, different precision for different texture formats, some texture or framebuffer formats supported and some not.

Also, don’t lynch me, but what the hell is a quad core CPU? We’re not talking about some dual processor setup shit, are we?

Nope, quad core is what it sounds like. One CPU, with four cores. Intel is shipping one now (The Core 2 QX6700). They’ll ship less expensive quad core CPUs as the year goes on. AMD will start shipping quad core desktop CPUs probably in the 2nd half of the year.

I disagree with stusser’s assessment of quad-core and game support. The thing is, once you get certain systems multithreaded to take advantage of dual-core, they scale quite nicely to more cores. Physics is a great example - threading work being done now (and actually already available in Havok and Ageia middleware) scales linearly to multiple cores. Pathfinding is the same way. Valve says their work on threading (high and low level, on many game systems) sees more than double the performance from quad core over dual core, and that code will ship in HL2: Ep 2 (and Team Fortress 2 and Portal). Alan Wake is optimized for quad core and scales up the amount of debris and stuff in the physics interactions.

I think Quad will be valuable for games right about the same time Dual Core is really valuable. It’s definitely not worth spending buying that $1,000 CPU right now, but when they get to be half that price they’ll probably be worth it.

You’re right, quad will be valuable about when dualcore is, which will be early 2008. The q6600 won’t be a viable gaming choice when it hits $500 in 3 months. It’ll be a good choice for overall use, and not a bad deal, but not for games.

I figued I’d resurrect this thread since I got some pretty awesome advice here previously.

Do those of you who keep up on hardware foresee any significant price cuts happening in the next 3-4 months?

I’ve got the money earmarked, and my experience running the SupCom demo (“Frames per second? That’s plural?”) has convinced me that it’s time. But as I’m hellishly busy right now, I can hold out just a bit longer…

We’re getting a quadcore QX6700-based machine at work for testing. Our customers have had quad CPU/core AMDs for game development for a while. These quadcores compile and link game code with thousands of files really quick fast. Almost seems limited to the file system. Now if only we had an enormous RAM disk…

Should knock high end prices a bit when its released. Can’t think of anything else in the next four months.

Man that sucks, but I hope they’re using that time to knock down those awful power & heat issues. NVidia have anything new in the pipeline (Q2)?

Nvidia has a refresh part for the 8800GTX (probably will be the 8900) that will coincide with ATIs flagship landing, and an 8600 line that will be coming out pretty soon (probably before the ATI part).

Affordable quad-core Intel chips (Core 2 Quadro) should be around middle of this year, when they get knocked down to about $500. Expect heavy slashing of prices on the Core 2 Duo parts at that point. This may also coincide with the (optionally DDR3/HT3) AM2+ refresh redesign from AMD, which will also have an Opteron and FX quad-core counterpart.

Before the end of this year I also expect the 3 x PCIe 16x CrossFire boards to be out, which let you use two same-type ATI cards in CrossFire (aka SLI) and a third (possibly older) ATI CrossFire card for handling GPGPU tasks like physics processing with PhysX SDK.

you put 2 10K RPM drives together and it really will make a significant (i.e. noticeable) difference.

Unlikely, at least according to storagereview.com. Except for some really unusual edge conditions.


And the downside of RAID 0 is one hell of a lot more severe than mindlessly slapping an octa-core CPU in a machine-- you DOUBLE your chance of losing all your data.

I really try to discourage people from RAID configs. Way too much risk. Negligible benefit.

10k drives, however, are fucking awesome and you should all go out and buy one immediately. Just don’t build a RAID array with them unless it’s going in an honest-to-god server.

I heard somewhere (thought it was on the Dell site, although I can’t find the reference anymore) that 10k drives are a lot noisier than the standard 7.5k drives. True? How much noisier?

False, as far as my SCSI drives by IBM/Fujitsu are concerned. Don’t know about the SATA Raptor.

Is there any tangible benefit to having a 10k rpm drive for gaming? Aside from faster load times?

My Aluminum case rattled a fair bit with a Raptor. I installed butyl matting to add weight to the case and suspended the hard drive on elastic cables. The second resolved the noise issues.

They mention the desire to launch the entire range of R6xx parts (from entry level to high end) at once for the delay.

That’s a good point, my drive is suspend on rubber cables, too, so I wouldn’t notice. It’s quite possible that a 10k drive produces worse vibrations than a 7.2k model.

I dunno, the Raptors are too low capacity for me, and too noisy. I’m currently running a pair of Seagate 7200.10 500GB drives in RAID 1 mode. Read speed is pretty damned good, due to the higher areal density, and write speed seems “good enough.”

I put 4GB in the system recently (running Vista on an Asus P5B Deluxe. Of course, 32-bit Vista only “sees” 3GB due to memory mapped I/O, but it seems to help a bit.

So here’s the system I’m planning on putting together. I’m going to canabilize my current systems DVD-RW, Soundcard, and one of it’s two hard drives.

(All prices in Canuckistani monopoly money)
Antec 900 series case: $129
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600: $400
Asus P5N32-E SLI nForce 680i: $309
2 gigs PC6400 RAM: $248
XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB: $410
Thermaltake Toughpower 700W PSU: $184

Total: $1680
If I were to SLI it right away, that would bring the cost up to $2090

Yay or nay? My absolute ceiling for a budget is $2000, but $1700 is about what I’d like to spend. I am eventually going to go SLI, which is why the 700w PSU and the SLI mobo. But it might not be all at once. (like a month or so after the fact).

Edit: I could also get Vista 64-bit Ultimate edition for the OEM price of $248 bringing the total up to $1928 or $2338. Edit edit: I just read that the OEM versions of Vista only support phone activation. Is this actually true?

I’m surprised to hear these semi-inaccuate criticisms from one of my hardware heroes, Loyd Case. These storagereview.com benchmarks tell the story:

If you’re not using a Raptor, you’re essentially saying “I want 15% slower disk access every time the OS touches the disk.” And your OS won’t fit in 150gb? Geez. I have a Raptor + the 750gb perp drive as a data/storage/gaming drive, and I have more space than I really know what to do with.

It’s sort of a myth that the Raptors are loud, because they’re not. I was surprised too.

You certainly can get quieter drives, but they’re in the ballpark with their peers. I sorbothane damp all my drives, and I also put foam on every surface near them. Once I do this, the Raptor is essentially inaudible, like all the other hard drives I’ve done this with.

Nor do they run hot. Operating power dissipation, according to the same page, is 11.8 peak / 8 idle watts, which is lower than every other SATA drive tested except the Samsung Spinpoint P120.