Originally Posted by mdocod
Building a personal computer that focuses more on future upgrade-ability rather than current value, proves time and time again to be a waste. Don't worry yourself with upgrade paths for future CPUs and "dead socket" concerns unless you are investing into top tier server equipment and building a large server farm or something. If you spend $200 on a motherboard today, you will feel committed to the socket long term. If you buy a $100 motherboard instead, you will be more comfortable replacing it with a board of the future in a few years. Haswell will not make your Ivy Xeon slower. A quad core Ivy of today, will still be a very viable level of performance in 5-7 years. By the time there is actually a justification for a CPU upgrade, there will be all sorts of other reasons that you will not want to be on your current motherboard anyway. (new interface standards and speeds).
When haswell comes out, I would not personally be able to justify an upgrade from an Ivy quad anything. The Ivy quad will still be overqualified for most possible uses for many years after haswell, which is why, IMO, it makes more sense to just buy the Xeon, use the machine until it is justifiably obsolete, THEN replace the whole thing. If you jump on every CPU generation upgrade, you are wasting money on small performance changes that are not significant enough to justify. Don't sacrifice value and performance at the time a machine is built for a "could be" upgrade path. Furthermore, the idea that selling an i5 at that time will be easier than the 1230V2 is rather moot, since when haswell comes out, the used market will be flooded with i5s from people who chase every upgrade.
I notice you have edited in a statement to the OP that mentions something to the effect that buying things over time can be better... That approach can be dangerous because if the purchase of hardware is spread out over several weeks, you may not have enough time to build and diagnose any initial hardware problems in time to make the typical 30 day return policy at most vendors. You should have every piece of hardware picked out and purchased at very near the same time, ideally no more than a 1 week stretch to get it all ordered, otherwise you may create more hassle and complication for yourself, should there be a hardware problem. The point I was making as it pertains to the black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, is that, the coming and going of "deals" happens very fast in those days, and does not give you the time necessary to budget and price out other components that will "fit with" those deals. So what can wind up happening, is a series of placed orders, canceled orders, hair pulling, regrets, etc.
I agree. Upgradeability?
is my reaction? I tried to make my PC future proof back then. And guess what? 1400W PSU, ASUS motherboard, NZXT top case later, and this thing is not upgradable.
I would say a $140 or below motherboard is a sweet spot. Yep, the UD3H or 5H or the Asrock Extreme 4. Both are priced well. I have bought the Asrock Extreme 4 before and have gotten a person to get the UD3H. From benc and reviews it should be noted that the UD3H is more stable and better at overclocking with a good UEFI while the Asrock is thinner (watch out air coolers) has nice features, looks, but isn't as stable in OC'ing with spikes during OC and also its UEFI from my experience isn't very smooth. Feels like it is operating at 10-15FPS in terms of how many times it refreshes.
And honestly, quantitative measurements are really putting a damper on his brain. The stability of 8+4 or 4+4 phases and what not. Last I checked, he isn't overclocking, and won't be running many games nor is he a gamer. He mainly wants to play with it, test with it(without overclcoking or much at all) and running some nice programs. A 4+4 or whatever ont he Asrock handles that very well or else it wouldn't be a very popularly bought motherboard for gamers. Gaming class motherboard is all he needs, Enthusiast class ones (very subjective class ranksings yes) aren't needed unless he is doing other stuff. I don't know what he is doing honestly.
I won't get into CPU, there is so much out there right now. Its up to him, Xeon or ivy i5 or new Haswell.
Does he want to play with the RAM? What about heatsink. He really likes the low profile Samsung ones. The wonder RAM's which have a pretty lackluster CAS, speed, and what not but has mucho overclock potential. If he won't overclock them, why not get gaming RAM. He doesn't seem like he will get aftermarket fan cooler or AIO liquid either. I buy Gaming RAM for a few reasons. Subjectivley, I like the cool flashy looks, I like the designs on the heat spreaders which do a tiny bit of a job. I also don't play around with them much and keep it standard and is much much easier and very cheap when putting into other peoples computers. Yes, "Gaming" branded rAM isn't always the RAM an enthusiast should buy but one that has been tested by the community and shown to be the wonder RAM for things. I don't do those testings and build cheaply and for others. $35 8GB DDR3 Patriot or dominator ram fits just fine for my purposes.
Graphics Card? An $140 AMD or Nvidia will work fine. Looking at MIR's during deal times is pretty good. I talked with him about this but I wouldn't buy a 7850 from Diamond if it cost the same as a 7770 from ASUS or Saphire or XFX (all have their problems but Diamond has more). The $140-$150 price range for a gPU in my opinion is the sweet spot for upgradeability and performance. I am pushing high on most games @1080p native with my 5770. This includes textures and many fancy add ons on many games. I paid $170 for it when I bought it and its just a nice sweet spot that I can upgrade any time now and be happy or upgrade next year
Case? He and I talked about this but indeed there are two ways of looking at the cases which are very parallel to the RAM example. I choose the lazy way. Find the case that looks good, fits the features I need and price range I need and then look at reviews and benchmarks of how they performance against in each other in usabilty, features, materials, and cooling. He chooses to do the case mod that he describes. I forgot the name but it is by a famous member which says that moutning fans in said locations on any case that has the places that you can put extra fans in and layering and putting your parts in the right parts can you get you very good case cooling. There is indeed also that path. But I have learned that even having 4- 120mm fans i my computer is driving my crazy. How is he going to deal with 5-7?
I really only typed this all so that I can say:
Get back on the thread.