TR Forum Tidings: Nehalem or Penryn?

This week's forum tidings post originates from the depths of our System Builders Anonymous forum, where forum gerbil Nitrodist has posted a poll thread asking his fellow forum dwellers whether waiting for Nehalem or Penryn is wisest. As we've seen in our review of Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX9650, Penryn can bring meaty clock-for-clock improvements over 65nm Core 2 chips, with lower power consumption to boot.

Nehalem, however, promises a whole slew of new enhancements, including a native eight-core design, an integrated memory controller, an integrated graphics core, simultaneous multi-threading, and improved single-threaded performance. Recent rumors suggest Nehalem won't hit stores until the fourth quarter of this year, and that the first chips to come out will "only" have four cores, but that's still nothing to scoff at.

Waiting a whole year for a new processor to come out is clearly a bad idea if you need an upgrade in the near future, but folks who responded to Nitrodist's poll suggest the question is less clear-cut for users who already own a reasonably fast Core 2 processor (or an AMD equivalent). Would it make sense to wait for Nehalem before upgrading from two to four cores, for instance, or is Penryn good enough? Feel free to share your thoughts on this question by hitting Nitrodist's thread.

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