Originally Posted by Preacher
Yeah, that is one issue I am having. I went and reconfigured the system with the 9650, and found I could do it for about 300 less. Not sure if 300 is worth it over the next 3 years.
Do not sweat the $300, especially when it's about a fifth of the overall cost. Go for the i7. With computers, if $300 can get you over a barrier to the next generation of technology, you will always be glad you spent it. Not just 3 years from now, either.
Put it this way, if you do nothing else to your rig ever, you'll still be thanking yourself in 3 years for spending the extra money. But if you want to, say, add RAM, replace a component, or overclock it to make it even better, you can keep the i7 machine you're talking about as an above-average piece of equipment five years from now, and at decreasing cost as time goes on. As long as you're over that initial technological hurdle.
The Q9650 and LGA775 socket technology just passed their max-out point a couple months ago -- in three years, it'll be like a Pentium 4 is today. You will cap out at 3Ghz processor speed instead of about 4.5-5 GHz equivalent. Your motherboard will only support 8GB of RAM at 1333 Ghz instead of 24GB at 2000 Ghz. In the next 3 years, you'll probably see 10,000rpm hard drives replaced by 15,000 as the standard for gaming (writing on the wall here
) and maybe something like 22,000rpm by the end of the i7's lifecycle. The current SATA-2 controller technology will be replaced with something new, either Serial SCSI or some yet-to-be-invented SATA-3, which will probably require you to get a new motherboard at some point..
The i7 and DDR3 will still work with that technology. The Q9650 and DDR2 will not. So definitely go for the i7.
And if money IS an issue, you know what? If you wait maybe 2 months, the current top-ranked i7 chip will come down from about $600 to $300-$350. The second-ranked i7 chip will come down to $300 or so, not much more than a Q9650. Trust me on this. Y