We knew that there’s a shortage of at least higher-end Conroes. Now it appears there’s shortages of the Intel mobo chipsets that power them (reg. required).
This is likely to keep prices up for a while. Yes, nVidia chipsets will be showing up shortly, but they don’t appear to be exactly an overclocker’s dream board.
The ATI RD600 boards may well be better, but they’re not out yet, and some mobo makers may now not come out with boards at all due to the AMD/ATI merger, and ATI itself looks like it will stop developing future Intel-compatible boards.
We’ll see some, but they may end up being priced a bit higher than one would like.
Would You Like A Free Video Card?
These shortages mean that people clamoring to buy a Conroe system now are going to pay a lot more than those who wait until early next year for one.
For instance, to get an E6600 with a 9X multiplier now, you’re probably going to have to layout about $380. Getting an E6300 now will set you back about $200. Getting an E4300 with a 9X multiplier early next year will cost you about $130.
That means you save $70 over an E6300 (and probably overclock more) and a whopping $250 over an E6600 (at the cost of a few percentage points of performance).
A P965 mobo will cost you at least $140 now, and a 975 board at least $200, and people are happily laying about $250 for some mobos. I think it’s very safe to say that a perfectly suitable Conroe motherboard will cost $50-100 less by early next year.
While the prices of appropriate DDR2 memory have gotten better; it’s pretty easy to see how one could save at least $50 on 2Gb of RAM by waiting a while (and you’ll need less expensive RAM for a massive overclock of the E4300 as compared to the Conroes available today).
This may be enormously silly for some, but buy now and you’ll pay for a copy Windows XP today, and a copy of Vista later. That’s at least another $90 expense.
So, at an absolute minimum, somebody buying now is going to layout almost $200 more now than later. An average figure is probably more like $300, and the difference could be as much as $500 for some.
The savings is enough to pay for most, or all of a pretty good video card (which will be better than anything you could buy today). Tomorrow’s machine will run about as well as today’s, maybe even a little better overall (and maybe a good deal better on the video side).
Sometimes, it can pay to wait, and if you don’t want to wait, ask yourself, “What am I going to get for my extra two or three or five hundred dollars besides a momentary rush?”
Think about it.