One of the most frequently asked questions would-be builders ask is whether to buy parts now or wait for what's just around the corner. Generally speaking, you're usually better off building something new when your current gear is no longer able to get the job done, but it never hurts to at least take a peek at what products are in the pipeline. To help you do that, a leaked Intel roadmap is making the rounds. Let's have a look.

The roadmap reveals Intel's high-end Sandy Bridge-E platform will launch in the fourth quarter of 2011, with the 22nm Ivy Bridge scheduled for release sometime in the first half of 2012. There aren't any specific prices listed in the roadmap, but given that Sandy Bridge-E is listed in the 'Extreme' and 'Premium Performance' categories, don't expect a bargain priced chip. Ivy Bridge, on the other hand, will mostly reside in the mainstream sector.

Coming out a little sooner is a vanilla Core i7 980. Don't confuse this with the 980X Extreme Edition, which comes with an unlocked multiplier. The non-Extreme Edition 980 is set to debut in the second quarter of 2011.