This highlighted two things for me.
1: Holy crap is Adobe Lightroom beta3 awesome! I'm gonna need a copy once it goes gold!
2: Holy crap is my computer old and slow! I'm gonna need a new one really soon!
So my machine is an Opteron 170. It's a bit old: the chip was released about four years ago, and is really starting to show it's age. On top of that my computer has started crashing randomly a lot more often than it used to. Today (prior to photo editing) I began research the new hardware on the market with an eye to building a new machine.
Looks like Intel's blowing AMD out of the water these days on performance. Kind of sad, AMD was doing really well there for awhile. Therefore my next machine will be a Core i7 of some sort: therein lies my dilemma.
The i7-860 is the sweet-spot of price and performance, but it uses the 1156 socket which isn't going to get the next gen of latest greatest processors. That would be the 1366 socket, meaning the logical pick would be an i7-920 processor. It's a slightly less beefy processor, but leaves me in a better place in 1-2 years to pick up a much faster 1366 socket CPU, an option I wouldn't have if I went with the i7-860.
Current day performance vs. potential upgrades. Tough call.
I think I'm going to try to sit on it for a few months and see if things get clearer once the hex-core Intels drop into the market this spring. But if the crashing gets worse I'll have to put my money where my mouth is sooner rather than later.
For other components, I really want to do a SSD for the main OS/programs drive. Their prices are just a bit high at the moment unfortunately. I'd like to see them break $1/GB before I jump, but I don't expect that to happen in 2010. That said, with the right combination of sales and coupons I just might be able to find something at a decent price soon.
RAM's pricy for the 1366, need DDR3 triple-channel. Ugh.
And... Windows 7 is finally an XP replacement. Crazy.
I just might buy a retail copy of a MS OS for the first time since, oh, Windows 3.1. HAH!