Good News, Bad News . . .

The good news is E4300s are now available in a number of places.

The bad news is they cost about $190, which is somewhat more than its $163 benchmark price, and a lot more than the $113 they’ll cost sometime in the second quarter.

The good news is that the $190 will probably look more like $160-170 in a couple weeks.

The bad news is that this still looks expensive compared to $113, and while we know they’ll be $113 in the second quarter, we don’t know when in the second quarter they’ll be $113.

The good news is that the first few people using these chips are managing to get 3.6-3.7GHz with just high-end air.

The bad news is that it’s taking about a 20% overvolt to do so, which may leave some feeling a bit queasy.

The good news is that E4300 systems will allow for the use of cheaper memory running 1:1 than with the E6000 series.

The bad news is that it’s still going to be relatively expensive. At least some of you will still end up with some sticker shock configuring even a non-gamer system. Looks like it will be hard to put together a complete box without monitor but with OS and 2Gb of decent RAM for less than around $1,000 any time soon.

More bad news is that not all the pieces are quite there yet, if you’re the type who upgrades rarely. While it’s pretty silly not to get a “buy XP now, get Vista later” deal if you’re buying an OS now, you might not want to install it until you need it/SP1 comes out. Prices will probably stay high with Vista introduction for at least a while, especially on memory. Those who want to go whole hog for the MS VistaHog and buy a 4GB kit to take advantage of that 64-bitness, well, they’re scarce and expensive now. They’ll probably stay that way for a few more months until bigger memory modules become commonly available (and you have to wonder about how many and how good 64-bit drivers are going to be for more than a little while).
Cheapish DX10 cards won’t be available for a while, either.

One piece of nonnews is how Intel is going to release its 45nm chips. Can they work with current mobos? They should start coming out in 3Q, will they be released just at the high end, or will Intel introduce a bunch at once? Knowing those little nuggets would be helpful to at least some.

What’s someone to think?

The good news is that a lot of awfully good, if not perfect systems are going to be built the next six months, and it’s a good time to upgrade.

The bad news is that maybe I’m just getting too damn picky. 🙂


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