For those who were looking for a component-laden Christmas, things aren’t looking too hot.
On the Intel side, it’s coal for Christmas, but given that it’s been The Year of Coal over there, that’s hardly surprising.
That leaves AMD, and frankly, its partners are letting it down, directly or indirectly.
PCI Express mobos are behind schedule, and while some will probably become available before Santa starts making the rounds, the first ones will probably be half-baked, which could lead to a not-so-merry Christmas.
SLI mobos are behind even that schedule.
Not that people are on fire yet to shift from socket A. If the OC-Forum is any indicator, while interest is perking up a bit, much of the reaction is negative due to relative lack of increased performance.
People are still hopeful that future 90nm steppings will do better, but that’s not at all likely to come until early next year at earliest.
We’ve said a few times in the past that we think most reading this will end up with the Sempron option, but until prices on those dip below $100; that’s not going to take off.
On the video side, SLI is proving to be a delay-causer, and one certainly has reason to be nervous about being the first on your block to buy a video card from a company with “now you see it, now you don’t” advertised features on $400+ video cards.
DVD-recorders? Affordable recorders capable of 16X/4X DL are available today, and while the X factor for DL will slowly creep up to 6X, 8X and 10X during 2005, the real problem is the cost of DL media, which is just cracking the $10 level.
One can always buy RAM, but there’s no great bargains there. Big 7200rpm hard drives can be bought for less than a half dollar a gigabyte (by the way, when was the last time you did some serious deleting?)
A Christmas Tradition
None of this is terribly surprising. For at least the last few years, Christmas season could best be described as “ring out the old [to] ring in the new.” Christmas time is time to get rid of the old stuff at better prices than can be had the rest of the year.
It’s sort of like how serious drinkers view New Year’s Eve: amateur night, except this amateur night lasts a couple months.
Yes, there are Black Friday sales and the like, but on the whole, if you’re looking for new equipment, rather than “new until next week or month,” on the whole, the post-Santa period is a better time to buy.
This year, perhaps more than usual, patience will prove to be a good idea. We project that the first half of 2005 will be a better time to buy equipment than we’ve seen since early 2003, perhaps starting around March, with lower prices and perhaps a bit better performance than we’re seeing today.
It’s up to you. You can help to ring out the old stuff, or you can wait a bit to ring in the new.