bit-tech.net

Is LGA1366 the most future-proof choice?

Posted on 16th Jul 2009 at 10:29 by Clive Webster with 46 comments

Clive Webster
I was chatting to Rich yesterday about P55 and socket LGA1156, and how its imminent arrival makes it pretty tricky to pick a CPU type with decent upgrade potential. LGA775 isn't going to see anything new, so a Q9650 is pretty much the pinnacle of Core 2; meanwhile on the AMD side, it really doesn't seem that Socket AM3 has much further to go. However, we know Intel plans future LGA1366 releases, so this seems like the best option if you desperately need an upgrade now.

Let me just expand on a few of those points before inviting your feedback. As far as upgrade potential goes, LGA755 isn't going to take you that far, unless you originally boarded the train at Pentiumville or Core 2 Street. The jump from one of these cheap CPUs to a Q9650 is a huge one, but the jump from even a Q6600 to the Q9650 isn't so significant.Only if you're strapped for cash at the moment is LGA775 a sound long-term investment, and only then as long as Intel keeps making Q9650s for the next few years.

Then there's Socket AM3 - again, it's true that if you get on the AM3 bus at the low-end you can ride it all the way to a fast Phenom II X4 in a year or two's time (This metaphor has now been stretched too far, so I'll give up on it). However, cheap dual-core AMD processors aren't as overclockable as Intel's, and AMD's top-end CPUs cease at a level of performance far in the shadow of Intel's Q9650.

Socket AM3 CPUs are unlikely to push the Q9650 for performance either, as AMD is already up to 3.2GHz with its Phenom II X4 955 BE. There are rumours of a 3.4GHz CPU coming soon, but that will likely be as fast as AM3 Phenom II goes.

This is because a Phenom II X4 is essentially four slightly modified Athlon 64 cores bolted together, and AMD has always struggled to get this architecture much above 3.2GHz without having silly consequences such as a 140W TDP (much to the annoyance of motherboard manufacturers). AMD should be loathe to do the same thing again, and will likely try to ensure all future Phenom II CPUs require the same power and produce the same heat as the current range.

It's likely that AMD will release a sextuple-core Phenom for AM3 (as with Istanbul core Opertons) but if this is to fit within AM3's power and heat budget, the frequency probably won't be that high. This is the Achilles heel of the six-core Opteron range. It'll be interesting to see whether the trade-off in clock speed to accommodate two more execution cores will actually constitute an upgrade at all over a Phenom II X4 955 BE, especially as games and consumer apps aren't particularly multi-threaded.

Then there's Bulldozer (the first Fusion CPU, that will have an integrated GPU), but it's highly likely that the extra power requirements and the need for extra communication channels to let the GPU output a screen will mean that this CPU will need a new socket..

Is LGA1366 the most future-proof choice? Is LGA1366 the most future-proof choice at the moment?

So, at the moment, the only option if you're really concerned about an long upgrade path is LGA1366. Intel has already confirmed that it will release new (6-core) CPUs for this socket and that LGA1156 won't kill it. So there you are - anyone who hopped onto LGA1366 early can feel pretty smug as it's the only current socket that seems to have any future.

Of course, with LGA1156 and Lynnfield on the way, anyone who isn't in desperate need of a new PC should wait the couple of months until it's released - just to see what it offers if nothing else. However, it's a pretty odd state of affairs that there's only one choice of socket and CPU for anyone needing to upgrade now.

Of course, the objection that could undermine my point is that you consider the length of an upgrade path to be based on price on not on longevity - in this case LGA775 is still a great choice as you can get a cheap yet fast dual core CPU now and know that there is a Q6600 or Q9650 waiting for you when you finally save enough cash. So, how do you define an upgrade path, and how happy are you with your choice of CPU socket?

46 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
yakyb 16th July 2009, 11:41 Quote
intel have F*d up the transition here
especially with the P H and Q varients of the 55 chipset
which support on Cpu IGP's which do not.

however to be honest my building style is not to upgrade i merely buy a new system when i need / want one therefore whether a platform has a future or not is irrelevant to me so long as it can do on day one what i want it to do then i'm happy.

what i'm saying is i do not understand those that transitioned from q6600 to q9550 or 8800gt to 9800gt when your basically paying £250 for what maybe 5-10% at most

my theory is that the £250 would be better off in savings ready for when you have amounted that to £750 - £1000 giving you a brand new system.

(of course this does not take into account those that sell parts on second hand)
wuyanxu 16th July 2009, 12:01 Quote
the article didn't mention about pricing of future LGA1366 chips.i understand that if you buy 1366 i7 now, you'd probably have to pay for future CPU with your limbs.

so, waiting for LGA1156 now is the best solution. since future CPU probably won't cost you a limb.
GFC 16th July 2009, 12:29 Quote
My old PC (Pentium4) died a month ago, so I had to buy a new PC - I had this longevity dilemma.. The only option was either to go with AM3, which didn't seem like it's going to get it's CPU performance as high as I might like it to be, or to go with S1366 (Which I'm using for half a month).
It really is a strange thing.. only 1 platform that can appeal to me at this point in time.
Icy EyeG 16th July 2009, 12:36 Quote
When people think Core i7 LGA1366, they opt for the 920 due to its affordable price.
IMAO future LGA1366 CPUs will never have 920's price point to avoid competition with LGA1156 CPUs.
Therefore, I won't buy a LGA1366 system, because I will never afford to upgrade it.
mjm25 16th July 2009, 13:07 Quote
I got my QX6850 almost 2 years ago now (and i managed to get it for £299! :D) and its still going strong, in fact i've only ever seen it hit 100% load for 3 seconds last summer some time... altho my mate rendering his final year project offered to burn it for me haha

the point here is that unless you are really doing CPU intensive stuff then core 2 is really gonna last you a few more years anyway and so your upgrade path with this socket won't make much difference in a couple of years.

eveyone is different but i'll be waiting for the DX11 cards or cheap performance SSDs for a next upgrade. My CPU is still spot on for me. (unless it explodes and i'll eat my words)
yakyb 16th July 2009, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
When people think Core i7 LGA1366, they opt for the 920 due to its affordable price.
IMAO future LGA1366 CPUs will never have 920's price point to avoid competition with LGA1156 CPUs.
Therefore, I won't buy a LGA1366 system, because I will never afford to upgrade it.
interesting point

if you have a 920 the only upgrade option for you may be a £500 CPU in a few months which renders the point moot anyway
Paradigm Shifter 16th July 2009, 13:46 Quote
I don't think I've done a drop-in processor upgrade since the Super Socket 7 days... no, no, I tell a lie; I did a drop in upgrade on my Socket A Athlon rig when the processor died. Since then, however, if I've upgraded, one thing or another has meant I've needed a whole platform shift. SDRAM -> DDR RAM meant a platform shift (Socket A to... Socket A). Single core to dual core meant a platform shift (Socket A to Socket 939). DDR to DDR2 and dual core to quad core meant a platform shift (Socket 939 to LGA775). DDR2 to DDR3 meant a platform shift (LGA775 to LGA1366).

The chance of Intel still using DDR3 by the time I really need to upgrade this Core i7 920 system is slim to nil, so it'd involve a whole platform shift again... so that negates the difficulties or expense of drop-in upgrades. But introduces the expense of a platform shift. So it's swings and roundabouts, really.
alecamused 16th July 2009, 14:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
I don't think I've done a drop-in processor upgrade since the Super Socket 7 days... no, no, I tell a lie; I did a drop in upgrade on my Socket A Athlon rig when the processor died. Since then, however, if I've upgraded, one thing or another has meant I've needed a whole platform shift. SDRAM -> DDR RAM meant a platform shift (Socket A to... Socket A). Single core to dual core meant a platform shift (Socket A to Socket 939). DDR to DDR2 and dual core to quad core meant a platform shift (Socket 939 to LGA775). DDR2 to DDR3 meant a platform shift (LGA775 to LGA1366).

The chance of Intel still using DDR3 by the time I really need to upgrade this Core i7 920 system is slim to nil, so it'd involve a whole platform shift again... so that negates the difficulties or expense of drop-in upgrades. But introduces the expense of a platform shift. So it's swings and roundabouts, really.

same here. the only drop-in-upgrade i did the last years were gfx-cards. i'm pretty sure i will be happy quite a while with my current i7 configuration.
Icy EyeG 16th July 2009, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecamused
same here. the only drop-in-upgrade i did the last years were gfx-cards. i'm pretty sure i will be happy quite a while with my current i7 configuration.

My upgrade approach is the opposite: I do incremental upgrades, which in the case of LGA 775 was easy to do:
I had a Pentium D -> replaced motherboard with one compatible with Core 2 (with DDR and DDR2 support) -> replaced CPU -> replaced memory.
All this in a two or three year time-frame IIRC. More expensive if you sum everything, I know, but it's impossible for me to make the investment of a full PC each time. So the idea is to split the investment in phases that will also allow an improvement in terms of performance in each phase.

So, IMAO, I don't think LGA1366 will allow me to do this... But a LGA1156 system probably will... Only time will tell :o
Xtrafresh 16th July 2009, 17:18 Quote
I'm another incremental upgrader, i came all the way from P4 to E4300 to E8400 to Q6600 to Qx6850 to QX9770. I realised i've reached a dead-end now on s775, but that's fine.
At the moment, i'm counting om the QX9770 i got on the cheap to last me until Intel or AMD's next architecture.
AM3 is useless to me, as it would actually be a step back, not forward, and i really do not like the socket-split in Intel's lineup at the moment. The devide between s1156 and s1366 is preventing me to buy into either platform at all, since i simply do not know which path to take.

This means i'll just spend my cash on SSDs, GPUs and some watercooling kit for now, and ride it out to whatever comes next.
Claave 16th July 2009, 17:27 Quote
Some excellent discussion here - I probably agree that if future Core i7 CPUs are priced at £400+ then even LGA1366 isn't particularly attractive as a long-term bet, but more interesting is people's attitude to upgradability in terms of longevity of a CPU socket.

Many of you are saying that it's really not important whether there'll be new CPUs for your socket of choice a year of two down the line - you buy the best you can afford now and will likely junk it all in favour of the best you can afford whenever that becomes too slow.

Perhaps more surprising is that no-one has complained that I've practically dismissed Socket AM3 as a long-term option despite it being the newest of the three sockets I've discussed - I'd expected a few complaints at least!

Again, this probably goes back to the attitude outlined above - AM3 is a decent choice for now, and you're prepared that you might just have to chuck it in a year or two's time for whatever seems like a good option at that time. Very interesting stuff for us to know when forming our opinions of CPUs and motherboards - please keep posting!
AuDioFreaK39 16th July 2009, 17:31 Quote
The article also didn't mention that Intel's upcoming 32nm 6-core chip called Gulftown will only be an Extreme Edition chip. Sure, socket LGA 1366 will live on but will only find itself appealing to the enthusiast market niche.
Combinho 16th July 2009, 17:37 Quote
The thing about AM3 is that it cannot offer performance close to that of LGA 1366 at the moment, so cannot compete on that front. It's more likely competitor will be LGA 1156, which sounds like it will blow it out the water from the early buzz. I'd wait for that if I was planning for a new PC, or go LGA 1366 for the performance you get now.
Turbotab 16th July 2009, 17:40 Quote
What is CCL's Bit-Tech's fascination with the Q9650? An i7 920 and X58 UD3R can be had for the same price as the aforementioned CPU and single PCI-E P45 UD3R, oh the ddr3 ram is £30 more than its dd2 cousin, but for that you get 2 GB more. It is like somebody has a warehouse full of expensive Core 2 Quads, that no sane person wants, the link or was that a shotgun wedding with CCL has damaging Bit-Tech's impartiality IMO.

Oh, isn't the upcoming 1366 socket sexa-core, an extreme edition only part, so unless you have a cool 900 ish pounds to blow on upgrading your 920, what other options would there be?
thehippoz 16th July 2009, 17:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
I'm another incremental upgrader, i came all the way from P4 to E4300 to E8400 to Q6600 to Qx6850 to QX9770. I realised i've reached a dead-end now on s775, but that's fine.
At the moment, i'm counting om the QX9770 i got on the cheap to last me until Intel or AMD's next architecture.
AM3 is useless to me, as it would actually be a step back, not forward, and i really do not like the socket-split in Intel's lineup at the moment. The devide between s1156 and s1366 is preventing me to buy into either platform at all, since i simply do not know which path to take.

This means i'll just spend my cash on SSDs, GPUs and some watercooling kit for now, and ride it out to whatever comes next.

feel the same way xtrafresh.. I just buy stuff like more storage- heck if you can play every game maxed out with aa except crysis.. encode with it if you want- ssd's might be a good investment over a new socket
FeRaL 16th July 2009, 17:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
Quote:
Originally Posted by alecamused
same here. the only drop-in-upgrade i did the last years were gfx-cards. i'm pretty sure i will be happy quite a while with my current i7 configuration.

My upgrade approach is the opposite: I do incremental upgrades, which in the case of LGA 775 was easy to do:
I had a Pentium D -> replaced motherboard with one compatible with Core 2 (with DDR and DDR2 support) -> replaced CPU -> replaced memory.
All this in a two or three year time-frame IIRC. More expensive if you sum everything, I know, but it's impossible for me to make the investment of a full PC each time. So the idea is to split the investment in phases that will also allow an improvement in terms of performance in each phase.

So, IMAO, I don't think LGA1366 will allow me to do this... But a LGA1156 system probably will... Only time will tell :o

Well, I'm sure if one is an overclocker, there is no real need for a drop-in upgrade as we/they tend to buy the CPU with the most potential to OC (generally the least expensive) and end up getting it to where it competes with the higher end CPU's... The only thing to upgrade for the long haul is the GPU.
BLC 16th July 2009, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
Many of you are saying that it's really not important whether there'll be new CPUs for your socket of choice a year of two down the line - you buy the best you can afford now and will likely junk it all in favour of the best you can afford whenever that becomes too slow.

This.

This is the advice I've ever given anyone who's ever asked what computer/components they should buy or upgrade to - even when I worked in systems & components retailing (I was a nice guy in a computer shop, who wouldn't fleece you with an overpriced heap of tat, or flog the latest and greatest at you - suffice it to say that I didn't work for any company that has TV adverts!).

The chances are that when the time comes that you want something faster, you'll need to replace pretty much everything. As far as CPUs & motherboards go, I tend to stick with the same thing for a while and get every last penny of value from it. I will sometimes buy incremental upgrades to the RAM or graphics cards, but by the time it comes to getting a new CPU, the chances are that the platform or socket I'm using is out of date and I'll need a new board too. Often, this also means new RAM as well.

Of course the average bit-tech reader is probably a little more enthusiastic than most, and far more prepared to spend money on upgrades.

What this rambling means is that, longevity in a CPU socket for me means what value for money I get and what overclocking performance I can obtain. Hence why I went for the LGA775-based E5200, based on bit-tech's advice in the buyer's guides. I'm only using the stock Intel cooler, averagely-priced RAM and a modest motherboard, yet I've already got it running at 3GHz - this is before I've bought the planned watercooling setup and higher spec'ed RAM.
SNiiPE_DoGG 16th July 2009, 18:07 Quote
those talking about moving away from ddr3 - I have my doubts that we will see this soon. currently the i7 platform is so far in excess of bandwidth with tri-channel that a move to ddr4 will be unwarranted for quite some time.
Turbotab 16th July 2009, 18:19 Quote
Sandy Bridge is Intel's next major architectural upgrade, so in 2011 the 1156 will become old-hat, ironically Intel may even switch back to 1366 sockets, as triple channel memory may be necessary by then (Statement based on pure hot air!)

Given that Lynnfield doesn't increase clock for clock performance over the i7, and that talk of 5 GHz overclocks seem unlikely, especially as D0 stepping i7s can go over 4 GHz on air, then an I7 would be my choice.

The rationale behind my decision is one, the triple PCI-E x16 slots on the slightly more expensive i7 boards will allow gamers greater freedom to choose GPU set-ups. Two, the cheapest Lynnfield is supposed to retail at $284 and the motherboards, as mentioned by Bindi will not be cheap. Therefore, the total cost of an i5 vs a 1366 i7 build should be very close, as the i7 has been in the market long enough, so that discounting has started to have a noticeable effect. Three, 1366 i7s will mark you out as the hardcore, too cool for school, my momma no fool main man:)
dicobalt 16th July 2009, 18:43 Quote
So what 1366 will be the socket? Who is to say that the new 6core CPU will even work in an old 1366 board? Just because it is the same socket doesn't instantly guarantee proper compatibility. Not to mention those new 6 core CPU's will be extravagantly expensive I'm sure which really make them a non option, they might as well not even exist. So why bother with a 1366 becomes the real question.
Turbotab 16th July 2009, 18:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
So what 1366 will be the socket? Who is to say that the new 6core CPU will even work in an old 1366 board? Just because it is the same socket doesn't instantly guarantee proper compatibility. Not to mention those new 6 core CPU's will be extravagantly expensive I'm sure which really make them a non option, they might as well not even exist. So why bother with a 1366 becomes the real question.

But you're unlikely to see a six-core socket 1156 either, that will be Gulftown or Sandy Bridge in 2010/11.
dicobalt 16th July 2009, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbotab

But you're unlikely to see a six-core socket 1156 either, that will be Gulftown or Sandy Bridge in 2010/11.

Why would I even want a 6 core cpu? I don't run an enterprise database server in my house. LOL This whole core game is a joke. Games don't even make use of quad core cpu's properly. I still use a c2d and have zero slowness with it. 6 core is a waste of money and power for anything less then a workstation or server. People need to look for more IPC instead of more stupid cores...
Paradigm Shifter 16th July 2009, 20:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claave
Some excellent discussion here - I probably agree that if future Core i7 CPUs are priced at £400+ then even LGA1366 isn't particularly attractive as a long-term bet, but more interesting is people's attitude to upgradability in terms of longevity of a CPU socket.

Many of you are saying that it's really not important whether there'll be new CPUs for your socket of choice a year of two down the line - you buy the best you can afford now and will likely junk it all in favour of the best you can afford whenever that becomes too slow.

Perhaps more surprising is that no-one has complained that I've practically dismissed Socket AM3 as a long-term option despite it being the newest of the three sockets I've discussed - I'd expected a few complaints at least!

Again, this probably goes back to the attitude outlined above - AM3 is a decent choice for now, and you're prepared that you might just have to chuck it in a year or two's time for whatever seems like a good option at that time. Very interesting stuff for us to know when forming our opinions of CPUs and motherboards - please keep posting!
I wouldn't say 'junk it'... I've never yet just trashed a system because it got old - whatever new kit I buy builds a new top end rig, and the old top end rig gets pushed down a level to 'backup rig' or whatever. Occasionally stuff gets sold (although not all that often as I can guarantee that as soon as I've sold it, I'll decide I need to use it!) or gets given to friends, family or local charities that have need of hardware. Frequently it's far above the sort of specs they need, but as it's below what I demand of my systems and it got a lot of use during its 'life'... the old stuff goes to good homes. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNiiPE_DoGG
those talking about moving away from ddr3 - I have my doubts that we will see this soon. currently the i7 platform is so far in excess of bandwidth with tri-channel that a move to ddr4 will be unwarranted for quite some time.
I dunno. The same argument could be levelled at the DDR->DDR2 transition, where DDR2 was initially inferior to DDR due to the sloppy timings and minimal increases in bandwidth that left it lagging the lower bandwidth but lower latency DDR. And the same with the DDR2->DDR3 transition... Intel have always loved moving to new expensive tech early in the cycle (RDRAM, anyone?) while AMD are more circumspect and tend to move to the newer standards more sedately.

It also depends if quad-channel memory controllers come out any time soon; if AMD skips triple channel and moves straight to quad channel, Intel might follow, or might jump to (what I presume would be) faster DDR4 then move to quad channel later.

It all depends which jumps on the quad channel bandwagon first. ;)
wuyanxu 16th July 2009, 21:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
Why would I even want a 6 core cpu? I don't run an enterprise database server in my house. LOL This whole core game is a joke. Games don't even make use of quad core cpu's properly. I still use a c2d and have zero slowness with it. 6 core is a waste of money and power for anything less then a workstation or server. People need to look for more IPC instead of more stupid cores...
that's just ignorance. the more cores the better, just because programmers is in the progress of learning multi-threaded programming, doesn't mean 6 cores (or quad cores) is a waste. look at those i7 owners, their CPU produces more PPD than a high-end graphics card (gtx260-216)

AM3, i am totally confused by AMD's AM sockets, that i gave up. also had stuck on the socket before 754 for a while without upgrade options. not a fan of AMD unless they pull another Athlon.
dicobalt 16th July 2009, 21:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu

that's just ignorance. the more cores the better, just because programmers is in the progress of learning multi-threaded programming, doesn't mean 6 cores (or quad cores) is a waste. look at those i7 owners, their CPU produces more PPD than a high-end graphics card (gtx260-216)

AM3, i am totally confused by AMD's AM sockets, that i gave up. also had stuck on the socket before 754 for a while without upgrade options. not a fan of AMD unless they pull another Athlon.

It sure is taking programmers a long time to learn how to use those extra cores. Some tasks cannot be divided across cores nomatter how fancy your spaghetti code is. That brings me to another problem, hard to understand software is going to be more problem prone and take longer to fix. I mean damn if it takes this long to simply learn how to program for multiple cores then how long will it take them to fix an obscure anomaly of logic? Using crazy amounts of cores definitely does have it place but it is not in the home or even many work tasks for that matter.
francois 16th July 2009, 22:29 Quote
Toying with whether I should upgrade my heavily overclocked E6420 to a Q9650 some time in the next 6 months or so now I've got a P45 board or whether I should move straight to LGA1156 but wait a bit longer to do that.

Agree with the premise of the article about 1366 being possibly being the most futureproof socket but I think the platform costs are still too high (good motherboards costing £200) to be too keen on that , and the early noises about the 1156 CPUs suggest they won't be too far behind in terms of performance.
Elton 16th July 2009, 22:57 Quote
I'll wait for LGA1156 or AM3 to mature, then I'll go. Seeing as my E8400 is still kicking.

I was considering a Q9550, but that's not a sound investment.
naokaji 16th July 2009, 23:21 Quote
AM3? If you want a budget pc, might as well get some cheap AM2 board.
775? was nice while it lasted, but it is getting old with no new cpus and chipsets.
1366? the big unknown one, once intel reveals pricing of the 6 core chips we will know if its worth it.
1156 won't be the golden thing either, not so much because of the socket, but because of the rather high price and the complete mess with too many chipsets (that will only have tiny differences from each other and as a consequence 500 skus with almost no difference).

To be honest, to me it looks like we are pretty much screwed.
wuyanxu 16th July 2009, 23:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
It sure is taking programmers a long time to learn how to use those extra cores. Some tasks cannot be divided across cores nomatter how fancy your spaghetti code is. That brings me to another problem, hard to understand software is going to be more problem prone and take longer to fix. I mean damn if it takes this long to simply learn how to program for multiple cores then how long will it take them to fix an obscure anomaly of logic? Using crazy amounts of cores definitely does have it place but it is not in the home or even many work tasks for that matter.
it's not "spaghetti code". the normal procedure programming now longer works on multicore. but real-time signal processor programmers is able to make most of multithreaded nature of their DSP using message passing or other sneaky methods.

i think those computer scientists are just lazy. look at hardware engineers/developers, how they are able to make use of even the tiniest percentage improvement from one FPGA model to another.

a change is needed. be it towards multi-core for easy way out, or reconfigurable hardware for the future.



seriously, graphics card need real innovation. they should stop with these larger and larger GPUs. make something like a FPGA: primary processor for handling main work thread of dispatching tasks. the rest of silicon are FPGA, totally reprogrammable for different games.
same thing can be done with CPU, a few processor for handling system and background tasks. and rest are reprogrammable co-processors for faster specific tasks. eg. floating point calculation for faster folding, or special logic for super fast word processing.
(but then, Intel would have to do a LOT more work, and employ about 50% different type of engineers, so financially speaking, without a WW3, it's not going to happen)
chumbucket843 17th July 2009, 00:17 Quote
intels roadmap got leaked. they will continue to support 1366 and launch westmere in Q2 2010 and lga1155 in 2011 for sandy bridge
Pookeyhead 17th July 2009, 00:43 Quote
I've never concerned myself with upgrade paths to be honest. I tend to replace the entire thing every 2 to 3 years. I think the level of performance I have now will last a LONG time. I can always upgrade the GPU if DX11 offerings appeal. That's the only partial upgrade I've ever done.... GPU. Upgrading to a new CPU in the same socket range is only ever a small increase, and lets be honest, who does it? Lets say you have a 3.1GHz Phenom II.. will you really pay for a 3.4GHz one if it's released? Realistically, what will you gain? A few points in a benchmark perhaps, but in real life, you'll never notice any practical difference.

Useful performance steps come with radical platform changes: The original A64 (Socket 754), that first Conroe, and lately, 1366 - things that made us go Wow! I can't see 1156 offering any real, tangible advantages. Who knows.. in a short while, the whole 8x PCI-E thing may be an issue in SLI... I appreciate that it's not now... but once DX11 rolls in? Who knows. Fact is... I doubt 1165 will outperform 1366. I know there are peeps at Bit Tech who KNOW the answer to this but can't reveal it on pain of death... but I'm prepared to stick my neck out and say that it will offer nothing in way of performance over i7.

It will take something radical to make me want to change from 1366 and i7 for a few years.

I think not only has 1366 got a future (albeit an expensive one I should imagine), but I think it will retain the performance crown for a while.....

......so watch me dead wrong when 1156 is officially launched LOL
TurtlePerson2 17th July 2009, 06:28 Quote
I just switched from AMD to Intel. I got a Q9450 and I can't imagine needing to upgrade any time soon. Games have pretty much peaked because of next gen consoles, so anything that is top of the line now will probably stay that way for a while.
Aragon Speed 17th July 2009, 09:02 Quote
I just had my motherboard go on me (about 2 weeks ago), and I had to replace it. I do not have the money for a completely new system, so it was just the mobo I changed.

I am still using an old 3800+ X2 over clocked to 2.5 GHz, and I am only just (last 6 months) starting to notice any major performance limitations due to the speed of it. As I cannot afford a completely new system, I have had to shop wisely so that I can upgrade my CPU in the future, but still keep using the old one until I have the cash for the new one. So I bought an AM2+ mobo, and in a week or so I shall be upgrading the CPU to a 7850 BE.

Now at 2.8 GHz stock speeds, plus the core architecture improvements over the 3800+ x2's, I will see a huge performance jump in my system. And that is before I even over clock the thing.

The point of my post? Well when I bought my PC I had no idea what the future would hold. I could not have known about AM2+ at that time, so how could I plan my socket choice effectively for the future? I couldn't, all I could do was go for what I could afford at the time. In this case it worked out that I will get a much better CPU for minimal amounts of replacement hardware, but that was just luck of the draw really, and the next time I have to upgrade for whatever reason, I will then have to go for a completely new socket type, and again it will be the luck of the draw whether I will have picked the one that will allow me the most cost effective upgrade in the future.

I will pick up what I can afford at the time, and hope it lasts long enough for me to upgrade again at a later date. I cannot do any more than that.

So a discussion on which current socket will be the best choice for the future seems a little futile, because what ever your decision is, in two years when your hardware is old enough to need replacing, unless pure luck is in your favour (as it was this time around for me) it probably won't matter what socket you have chosen right now.
Icy EyeG 17th July 2009, 09:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
I can't see 1156 offering any real, tangible advantages. Who knows..
IMAO it allows the motherboard layout to be much simpler than the LGA1366 or even LGA775 (single chipset that seems to run cool). So, in theory, motherboard should be cheaper and can be made for smaller form-factors (I say in theory because most motherboars that surfaced at this point have many extras which will make them expensive).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead

in a short while, the whole 8x PCI-E thing may be an issue in SLI...

Well I do hope intel manages to keep the same socket when PCIe 3.0 arrives (probalby not, unfortunately). If a PCIe bridge is used (like NF200) you can get 16x SLI (wasn't this the case of the nforce 780a chipset for AMD?).
Xtrafresh 17th July 2009, 11:40 Quote
There's one issue that nobody touches on in this thread, and that is the _other_ advantages that a socket (or platform) may have over other sockets.

I think that Sandy Bridge and AMD's rival (if they decide to produce one) are going to be the last generation of the conventional ATX and mATX PCs. We've reached a level of computing where it is hard for reviewers to find those "killer apps" and at the same time explain that the benches they take in these apps mean anything real to us consumers. New form factors is where the future lies. We recently saw Bit-Tech review the exciting Zoatc 9300 M-ITX board that sports Core2 Duo, PCIex16, 2x SATA, and dual channel DDR2. More then enough power for a gaming machine.

1156 has the advantage of being a very simple platform, with only one extra chip needed. I fully expect Zotac and Jetway and maybe some others to be working on ITX-boards for 1156. If that happens, i might even step away from my mATX 775 machine, and build an even smaller rig.

Another development i'm eagerly anticipating is the various SoC architectures. If Intel, AMD or nVidia (Tegra anyone?) succeed in upscaling their concepts to a suitably high-end level, it will be the end of all out decked-out watercooled rigs alltogether. Especially THIS PAGE about nVidia's Tegra really gave me goosebumps.

Sandy Bridge will, IMHO be the last great platform not to lay under serious fire from these alternatives. I'm waiting for that, and build a rig aound it fit to stand in any museum it will undoubtedly end up in as one of the last dinosaurs. Cheers.
Fazed 17th July 2009, 11:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dicobalt
So what 1366 will be the socket? Who is to say that the new 6core CPU will even work in an old 1366 board? Just because it is the same socket doesn't instantly guarantee proper compatibility. Not to mention those new 6 core CPU's will be extravagantly expensive I'm sure which really make them a non option, they might as well not even exist. So why bother with a 1366 becomes the real question.

Can't for the life of me find the article, but IIRC Intel claim 6 core LGA1366 Processors will be supported in most current X58 Pro MB's. Compatibilty is already there, may need a BIOS flash tho.

Will keep looking for the article.
BLC 17th July 2009, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh

Another development i'm eagerly anticipating is the various SoC architectures. If Intel, AMD or nVidia (Tegra anyone?) succeed in upscaling their concepts to a suitably high-end level, it will be the end of all out decked-out watercooled rigs alltogether. Especially THIS PAGE about nVidia's Tegra really gave me goosebumps.

Good call - I missed this article first time round... Tegra does indeed sound very promising, as well as the whole SoC architecture.

I'm already impressed with some of the Geode solutions on the market - products like ALIX system boards. Although the CPU power & RAM is relatively low at the moment (500MHz & 256Mb in the linked example), everything you need is all on a board that measures 100mm x 160mm - all you need is a CF card for a hard drive and a PSU. That's an incredible achievement, considering it wasn't *that* many years ago when that sort of power constituted a whole PC. Plus the speeds will only get better as time goes by.
Icy EyeG 17th July 2009, 14:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icy EyeG
IMAO it allows the motherboard layout to be much simpler than the LGA1366 or even LGA775 (single chipset that seems to run cool). So, in theory, motherboard should be cheaper and can be made for smaller form-factors (I say in theory because most motherboards that surfaced at this point have many extras which will make them expensive).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh

1156 has the advantage of being a very simple platform, with only one extra chip needed. I fully expect Zotac and Jetway and maybe some others to be working on ITX-boards for 1156. If that happens, i might even step away from my mATX 775 machine, and build an even smaller rig.

Glad I'm not alone in this boat. :o
Pookeyhead 18th July 2009, 11:53 Quote
With regard to form factor change.... I'll wait and see. Who remembers BTX form factor? Once heralded as the form factor of the future, and pundits said that ATX was dead.... well it's still here :)

I'm not saying a form factor change is a bad thing... just that I've heard it before, so I won't hold my breath.


Besides... cheaper mobos.... we're talking about 1366 here... anyone already on the 1366 bandwagon probably doesn't shy away from having to spend a few extra quid on a mobo. 1156 will be cheaper, yes, and it's layout will be simpler.. also yes: Is that what this thread is about though? As to whether 1366 has a future as a high end platform, I say it does.

I also remember reading about X58 forward compatibility for 6 core etc with a BIOS flash, but also can't find the article now.

Tegra does look exciting, but I wonder if it's just a technical exercise to show off. I mean, how realistic is it to expect a one chip system that consumes 1watt to ever get close to a high end gaming rig in the near future. I think that's a long way off yet (although it will happen). Maybe in a netbook or something.. but it's too far away to get excited about IMO, and when it does becomes a realistic prospect, your 1366 board will be as obsolete as a socket 7 board is now.


All good stuff though... I look forward to a future where you accused of being an excessive planet killer because your rig consumes 10 watts :)
InSanCen 19th July 2009, 13:19 Quote
I am an Incremental Upgrader for the most part... I have the luxury of it costing me practically nothing though.

As for "futureproof"? I hate the word... in this industry, you have marginally more chance of nailing that one than me telling your fortune from the coffee grounds in the bottom of your cup...

Stuff changes... roll with it, or get a new hobby.
Elton 20th July 2009, 04:57 Quote
Futureproof is pretty pointless to factor in.

As long as something can run games decently 2-3 years from now it's a good card.

I remember my friends X1950XTX(the awesome GDDR4 one) still being able to run games pretty good today.
Xtrafresh 20th July 2009, 08:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookeyhead
With regard to form factor change.... I'll wait and see. Who remembers BTX form factor? Once heralded as the form factor of the future, and pundits said that ATX was dead.... well it's still here :)

I'm not saying a form factor change is a bad thing... just that I've heard it before, so I won't hold my breath.
True, true. People dont like change, that's a fact. But there's no need to hold your breath either, as i'm already working with mATX and there's an almost-worthy ITX candidate already in the shelves. Soon my padawan, soon! :)
Quote:
Tegra does look exciting, but I wonder if it's just a technical exercise to show off. I mean, how realistic is it to expect a one chip system that consumes 1watt to ever get close to a high end gaming rig in the near future. I think that's a long way off yet (although it will happen). Maybe in a netbook or something.. but it's too far away to get excited about IMO, and when it does becomes a realistic prospect, your 1366 board will be as obsolete as a socket 7 board is now.
I agree with you there... that's why i listed Sandy Bridge as the last of the big ones. I think after Sandy Bridge we'll see the rise of Tegra-like platforms on foldable cellphone-like devices. Coupled with foldable screens, the technology is there to put the gaming rig in your pocket within 6 years.
Ross1 20th July 2009, 12:01 Quote
A few points

1) As others have mentioned, stop using the word future-proof. This shouldnt need explaining.

2) I find it kind of hilarious you posted stuff like "bit-tech has exclusively seen roadmaps and been given multiple confirmations that every-single-one of the X58 motherboard manufacturers is expecting: 920, 940, 950 and 965 will be end-of-life by early next year.

Only the 975 Extreme Edition and the future 6-core LGA1366 CPUs will exist on this socket, with Lynnfield engulfing the entire middle field (we're hesitant to use the word "mainstream")."

That was just last month. http://www.bit-tech.net/news/hardware/2009/06/05/confirmed-core-i7-920-940-950-to-go-soon/1

Might not be the same author, but you are offering very contradictory opinions.

3) Lets assume most people have bought a 920, which I think is pretty fair. From the tone of the article you make it sound as though there will be an affordable upgrade option for those people in a year or so. There might be, but do we know how much the six core cpu(s?) will cost? Will there be any point in adding two cores? Will those two extra cores mean a lower overall clock speed?

4) AM3 has been dismissed very quickly. Given backwards compatibility of am3 chips to 2+, and 2+ to 2..... it would be going against history to predict there arent going to be upgrade options for AM3 users in a year, or possibly even two. Does a die shrink of 32nm not make sense?
FeRaL 23rd July 2009, 18:24 Quote
Given this price on an i7 920, http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0302727, as well as the following office pricing of the Lynnfields, http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1469068/meet-lynnfields, I would have to be a fool to pidgeon hole myself with the 1156 socket. Even if the 1366 mobo’s cost more the total cost of relative systems would be fairly close (within $100 probably) and I would be able to have multiple PCIe x16 slots that work at x16 speeds, and I would have HT and the possibility to go to 6-cores if I end up getting some extra money. Hell at these prices I could even buy a spare i7 920 for a little extra security for when Intel stops making the “cheap” i7 1366 CPUs.

Given that from all indications, the Lynnfields will perform similar clock-per-clock, the 1366 platform looks like the way to go for me.
Tyinsar 28th July 2009, 10:01 Quote
As many have stated: the theory of future-proofing seldom works in practice.

Additionally, keeping the same socket doesn't mean keeping chipsets and CPUs compatible (especially with Intel). Remember socket 478? Even the socket 775 motherboard I have at work won't support a chip with an FSB above 800.
Kharrn 4th August 2009, 12:31 Quote
Bought my I7 with upgrading in mind ideal it would be nice for it to last 5-7 years (not always as main PC)

and with that in mind its clocked up to 3.8 atm but the socket may well take 8 core processors later on for future proof once multi threading actually takes off

and it can have up to 4 GPU's (pcie docent look like its changing soon)

expandable to a lot of Ram

And the obvious wait for SSD's no USB3 at the time was a shame but expansion cards can be bought

Downside it was fairly expensive to buy at the time (dropped in price since then though) and i can see the argument of last years tech now then just do the same again in 3-4 years rather then 5-7
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums