Thanks for your reply. I have found a Xeon Ivy Bridge Quad Core 3.5GH just a little more than the i7 - £2 ($3.19) for the i7 retail, or, £6 ($9.56) for the OEM, or Xeon 3.4GH for £50 ($79.71) less.
It is not so much the money it is compatibility with the motherboard. On the Asus site for the motherboard I want P7Z77 it states that Intel? Xeon? Processor Family is designed for servers. Some features may not support when installed on Z77 chipsets. For more details, refer to ASUS support site at http://support.asus.com.
This is also mentioned by individuals commenting in different forums. However I have been unable to find anything on "support.asus.com" nor have I seen any reports of anyone trying it and failing. I have seen a few reports of people having success with this combination one of which is on
I have looked at their workstation motherboards and only one is within the price range of the P8Z77, all the others are way above it. In addition the specs are not as good i.e. they have lots of USB 2 slots but minimal USB 3, so am not considering these motherboards.
Unfortunately I have not seen enough good reports to make me feel confident of the match I am proposing at this moment in time. If I had the confidence I would certainly go down this route and forget the i7 / Haswall route, but I do not want to end up with a miss match, have a processor I can not use wasting £255 ($406.50) then having to buy an i7 and regretting it in 5 months time, when Haswall arrives and is worth the wait and money.
Don't get me wrong I am not dogmatic about getting the Haswall, if it was just a step up in the "i" series I would not bother. It is because it is from what I can ascertain, a completely new architecture which Intel are going down leaving the "i" series to fade away over time. However if it is more than what I am prepared to pay, (or if the combination of the processor and new motherboard that it will require is more than I am prepared to pay) I will go with the i7, but at least I would have the knowledge that I did consider it and it was not for me. After all I have waited a year now to build up my finances and another 5 months will not hurt.