I can't remember if it was PCMag or PCWorld, but one of them had a "preview" of the next generation of Intel chips a day or two ago... Ivy Bridge ???
The first Ivy Bridge 1155 pin CPU the i7-3770K was formally announced April 23rd and theoretically should be available April 29th (Sunday??). I have not seen what "available" means yet but from the engineering sample testing it might have a few percent gain over the i7-2700K, not enough to warrant an upgrade and then there are always the possible new problems like the memory compatibility problem with its big brother 2011 pin predecessor.
Nothing spectacular in the near future. Ivy Bridge is a Tick+ for 1155 platforms only and does not improve much on the Sandy Bridge, around 5% performance gain, but is still hampered by the lack of PCI lanes.
If you have several months, maybe the Ivy Bridge-E (same 22 nm architecture) will come out with 8 cores and 20 MB L3 cache, since it appears that this CPU may meet the TDP requirements of Intel at 130 W. Possibly, but this is pure guessing on my part, it may be called the i7-3980X.
Around the end of Q2 or early Q3 new raid controllers with PCIe-3.0 are expected and the GTX 680 with 4 GB and possibly a high-end GTX 685/690 may be introduced, but this is all speculating.
I'm in the same situation you are, planning a new system but not in a real hurry: Planning and Building a new system
>>...there are always the possible new problems like the memory compatibility problem with its big brother 2011 pin predecessor.
Good point. Sometimes I think it best to be one edge back from the cutting/bleeding edge with respect to some new technology for just this reason.
Read through your "Planning and building a new system" page. Fascinating...
>>...but realistically it may boil down to 2 x (7 R3 + 1 HS) plus 4 x R0, for a total of 20 HDD's.
Wow-- I expect the HD pricing situation sure put a crimp in the best laid plans of many. Sounds like you're targeting a pretty amazing system. I'll be following along to see how your plans play out.
Do you have even a ballpark budget for what you're thinking you'll invest?
A related question... I've been going around/around with the building vs. buying scenarios. I know it must vary wildly, but are there any casual estimates out there that compares the difference in cost between the two routes? For example, if one purchased a pre-built system from a vendor for $5,000 US, how much could be saved by buying the parts and building that same system yourself?
I think the new 3770K is a worthy upgrade, depending on what you're coming from.
For example, it'd definitely be an improvement over my i7 920. And given it's improved TDP and overclocking abilities (compared to the 2600K), you can get pretty close in performance (sometimes even better) to the $1000 3960X.
That's not bad for $300.
This is unless you are planning to add both a hardware RAID card and a video I/O card in that same system. Under this circumstance, the Ivy Bridge platform will still fall short on available PCI-e lanes. As such, the now-ancient X58 (LGA 1366) platform still holds this advantage - the abundance of available PCI-e lanes. As a CPU, however, the i7-920 will lose to even a Sandy Bridge i5-2400 unless the 920 is overclocked by more than just a few hundred MHz.
Worse, IB platforms, when equipped with two PCI-e 2.0 cards in the PCI-e 3.0 slots, will not run at PCI-e 3.0 x8/x8 at all - but only PCI-e 2.0 x8/x8 instead.
All good info for consideration.