Up For Debate - New Hardware And Tech Price Drops

Written by Jon Sutton on Sun, Jan 24, 2016 4:00 PM

Whenever anything new, shiny and tech related we want comes along, our first instinct is to buy. Myself, I get a pretty strong urge when something is announced. The feeling subsides, before coming back with a vengeance for the few days preceding its launch, when the decision to foolishly spend obscene amounts of cash really takes hold. The rational part of my brain attempts to convince the rest of it that this amazing new thing will be available far, far cheaper in just a matter of months, but resistance is futile. 

But waiting, inevitably, pays. There’s few worse feelings than laying down a chunk of cash on a graphics card and then seeing it get hit with a triple digit price drop just a matter of weeks later. That sinking feeling of ‘I just should have waited.’ One of the best recent examples of this is DDR4 memory. In the 18 months since the first DDR4 memory modules launched, the prices have absolutely plummeted.

Take 16GB (4x4GB) of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 2800MHz memory. It launched in November 2014 for $374.99. That same memory can now be yours for $118.75. That’s a 68% drop in price, equivalent to a saving of $256. That’s enough to buy a Radeon R9 380 and have $40 to spare, just to get DDR4 early. Consider it offers only very slight performance improvements and you’ve got to admit that’s a raw deal.

Likewise with SSDs, although this is a more predictable scenario. Solid state storage is steadily dropping in price. When you buy it you’re no doubt fully aware it’s going to be cheaper soon, but perhaps not by a great deal, unless you’re looking at picking up the larger drives.

The issue is, it’s not always a surefire bet. You could be waiting years for an Oculus Rift price drop that just doesn’t come, or it could happen in a matter of weeks. If you sit waiting 12 months for a $20 discount, that’s 12 months that could have been spent using that product, isn’t that surely worth the cash alone? Anytime someone asks whether to upgrade to a current-gen GPU or wait for the next, you’ll always have somebody pipe up that’s there’s always something just around the corner. At some point, if you want to get something, you’re going to have to pull the trigger.

There’s also two sides to this coin - gaming hardware you need, and gaming hardware you want. If your graphics card burns out and you want to keep playing, you’ve got to suck up the cost and just buy one. If you’re rocking an Intel Core i5-4670K and you’ve got your eye on a Skylake upgrade, that’s just something you want, whatever the impulsive part of your brain tries to tell you.

If you are on the lookout for new hardware, it's also definitely worth checking out GD's new Hardware Search tools. Now you can find specific hardware easier than ever, check out out-a-glance gaming performance, compare it other hardware, and even see what upgrades are available. 

How are you with brand new hardware and tech? Do you like to get in there early and pick it up as soon as possible? Or are you happy to sit it out until a cheaper deal comes along? Let us know below!

When do you buy new hardware?

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02:42 Jan-26-2016

Anything about NVIDIA Pascal GPUs?

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09:25 Jan-26-2016

there is picture it will be second gen maxwell next year maybe pascal...wait and see,you have good pc mate dont worry

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01:46 Jan-26-2016

Oh dam X3 thought it sounded familiar. Went over to my stack of hardware boxes, and yep. It's the exact kit I got for my brothers rig not so long ago. Am holding the box in my hand now.

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18:00 Jan-25-2016

I'm always waiting when it comes to hardware for PC. I'm not that kind of a user that wants everything shiny right as it leaves the factory. Technology is always improving, what is $500 today, could be half that price next year, if not more

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10:06 Jan-25-2016

One thing for sure is technology will constantly improve and get cheaper

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09:22 Jan-25-2016

When will Pascal be out?


I have the money to buy GTX 980..
I don't know if I should buy it now or wait for Pascal

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09:39 Jan-25-2016

because you have gtx 970 wait for better gpu and save money,or sell your gpu and buy gtx 980,better wait my opinion :)

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10:37 Jan-25-2016

Just overclock that 970 and wait. It's the right thing to do.

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08:42 Jan-25-2016

In my case it depends a lot on a few different factors:
1) Do I have money to spend?
2) How is my computer performing right now?
3) Are there any parts that need to be replaced soon?
4) Is there anything broken?
5) Am I running out of disk space?


But I usually wait at least a few weeks or months for a small price drop.

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09:15 Jan-25-2016

you read my mind but its usually number !) that has the major Role in this

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08:38 Jan-25-2016

I agree with what Joffy said about counting your blessings like a i5-4670k cpu. At the same time, I am really wanting to get an i5-4590 even though my i3-4160 hasn't failed on me yet lol. (I like to stay with non-OC cpu's for the simplicity. Please don't hate me.)

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08:12 Jan-25-2016

Will we ever get to the moment where we build a machine smart enough to murder us in our sleep!? "sigh" someday people, someday:(

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06:31 Jan-25-2016

no option for when i can afford it?

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18:40 Jan-25-2016

was thinking that to, also it says when next gen releases but was thinking of an option (when my current hardware becomes unsuitable) something like that anyway, just dont usually upgrade till my pc struggles or i have free cash

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03:28 Jan-25-2016

I always wait for price drops unless its a GPU, usually they are priced the same as their older counter parts, so I sell the old one and spend maybe $150 to upgrade to the newest one!

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11:08 Jan-25-2016

Yeah that is true, at least here in Canada. They barely cut prices at all for the older gen. I mean, I would look at buying previous gen to save money but I saw some stores trying to get away with selling gtx660s for the same or even more than what they were selling the gtx960s for!

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02:04 Jan-25-2016

so far I have been buying high end hardware when it goes on clearance (my HD7870 ghz for instance was $100) outside of what fits my budget, however right now I am fighting with myself not to buy a Fury Nano because I will be buying whatever CAD card spawned from the Fury line when 14nm silicon

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23:46 Jan-24-2016

On a related note, when do you guys buy games? I would almost always wait for at least a 50% discount before buying. Most of the time, wait until it's at or below $20.
That's why as appealing as having top end hardware is for me, it doesnt make sense to have them if I wait that long before buying games.

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00:50 Jan-25-2016

If ive been looking forward to the game usually i pre-order but if i think the game is going to be good but im not exactly looking forward to it, ill wait and see what its like and watch some videos on youtube

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01:59 Jan-25-2016

YouTube is great for that. But this is where it used to be handy when studios released playable demos for PC. I think consoles sometimes get this but it's been some time since I've seen such for PC.

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00:57 Jan-25-2016

I try and wait for all the dlc/content & get it as a bundle but it takes some of the fun out. For example I like telltales games, but by the time a whole seasons out my hype trains moved on.

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02:02 Jan-25-2016

Yes. As annoying as it is to pay full price and then not get dlc, there's definitely value in playing games while the hype is still going on.

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02:06 Jan-25-2016

so far most of my games have been in bundles, except for the Star Wars game bundle, that was steeply discounted as well

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10:40 Jan-25-2016

Some games I buy straight away (GTA 5, Witcher 3/DLC, etc), but usually I wait for a discount because I have enough work and games to keep me busy.

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23:41 Jan-24-2016

I buy what I want and try to get the best price at the time I do it. Simple. Because if you wait too long - the hardware gets old. Sure, you can get it cheap, but by then new stuff is out and you're just playing catch-up. If it happens to be cheap - good. If it don't - ah well...

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22:04 Jan-24-2016

bought my card 280euros half a year after its launch when the price was -350. No regrets :P. But I am against waiting too much since the new products are going to be too close at launch and then you are either going to decide to wait further and further or you are going to see your hardware called "previous gen" sooner than you would like :P. My next upgrade (GPU) will be a couple of months after the new releases at most, just to make sure that enough info and benchmarks are out so that I know exactly what I am getting.

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22:02 Jan-24-2016

I think the survey is a little to the side of the question we find ourselves asking while reading the article -- which is when should you upgrade. Most of the time, the line between need and want is blurry. Buying new hardware w/o waiting for a price drop could make sense if you knew you are in need of an upgrade

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20:48 Jan-24-2016

one word: s h i n y a n d e x p e n s i v e . Ok whatever, 3 words...

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20:03 Jan-24-2016

Last I looked at my current rig, locally, the overall cost had actually gone up slightly since I bought it. Though it's good to see ddr4 still falling.

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19:16 Jan-24-2016

I just upgrade when I get the urge, buying tech is dead money anyway. If I've got the cash for a new toy I buy the best I can afford.

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20:49 Jan-24-2016

i dont think you need anything better than what you have already. Would be nice if i could say that about my PC :D ._.

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18:47 Jan-24-2016

I always buy what I need, what's best for the price, simple as that.
my current cpu - cheapest which offers more than 16 PCIex lanes, best price performance for multi-threaded applications
my current gpu - best price/performance for 2560x1440
my current ram - most reasonable pick considering 8GB stick and quad-channel ram
my current audio interface - cheapest PCIex which offers balanced XLR stereo and ADAT IO
I could go on with rest....

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20:49 Jan-24-2016

And i`m here, with my laptop. ^^ ;-;

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23:36 Jan-24-2016

Wow, nice rig! I do the same. I just upgraded from a 1080p 144 Hz monitor to a 1440p 144 Hz monitor. I was using a 980 but I had to upgrade to a 980 Ti to meet that 60 fps limit, I can't play games without it :).

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23:43 Jan-24-2016

I'm just on 110Hz here. But wish I had 144 :)


Speaking of which, since my screen is an overclock from 60Hz, I wonder how far one can push a 144Hz screen!

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06:01 Jan-25-2016

Well, i don't think any human being can feel the difference between 144 FPS and higher. That difference is a lot smaller than 30 FPS to 60 FPS or 60 FPS to 120 FPS.

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18:41 Jan-24-2016

I don't plan to upgrade my rig for another 2 years, what do you think? When should I upgrade, 2 years or more?

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20:28 Jan-24-2016

Upgrade when you can't play the games you want to play at a setting good enough for your taste. That'll probably be 1 year.

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23:19 Jan-24-2016

I'd try and hold out at least that long if it were me. Probably look at a new graphics card as my next purchase down the line, and then look at new cpu/mobo/ram when it starts underperforming. My rule of thumb for now is wait -3 gens from what you have, unless you want to bump up to a higher tier (i7/x90amd/x80nvidea).

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II 2GB OC Edition 16GB
33.3333% Yes [3 votes]
Pentium Dual Core B960 2.2GHz Radeon HD 6950M 4GB
33.3333% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Athlon II X2 245 GeForce GTS 250 4GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i5-2400S 2.5GHz Radeon R5 340 (OEM) 4GB
| High, 720p
Core i5-2400S 2.5GHz Radeon R5 340 (OEM) 4GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 10GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i3-8100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB
100% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-10700F 8-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 970 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]