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!