Up For Debate - Are You Always Waiting for the Next Big Thing in Gaming Hardware?

Written by Jon Sutton on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 4:00 PM

We’re all guilty of it. Some shiny new hardware comes out that would dramatically improve our gaming performance, but then there’s a niggling part at the back of our brains that reminds us - something better will be along at this same price point soon, why not just wait? Before you know it you’re locked in an endless cycle of waiting, playing games on a pocket calculator while you tick off the days until the GeForce GTX 2580 Ti is finally out.

I guess the biggest question here always is - how do I know when it’s time to upgrade my PC? Ultimately, it’s going to come down to the level of performance you expect. If you always want 60 FPS at Ultra settings, you’re going to need fairly regular upgrades. If you’re happy to drop a few settings, you can sit out on that new GPU for a while. When you do finally decide it’s time though, there are obviously better times to do it.

The usual counterpoint to any of this is to buy what you want when you want, as you could always wait for the next best thing and never actually buy anything. Live in the now. Carpe diem. Just don’t blame anyone else when DDR5 RAM is announced days after your 64GB DDR4 upgrade.

From my perspective, I think upgrading the graphics card, in particular, is only worth it if I do it within 3-4 months of the graphics card launching. Any longer than that and my eye is already on the horizon. Getting a graphics card on or near launch guarantees the longest use life out of it. As for CPUs, the ideal time for an overhaul is a socket change. This means a new motherboard, but it does now also mean you’re set for the next 3 to 4 cycles of processors.

What’s your take on this? Do you get what you want, when you want? Or are you always waiting for something just around the corner?

Are you always waiting to upgrade?

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08:45 Jul-01-2017

lol ... skeleton still waiting for Next Nex-Gen ... :P ;P

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13:03 Jun-27-2017

Seems like I have spent the last couple years trying to catch up to my monitors resolution. Finally these new GPU'S have enough memory to get the frames above 60 on ultra with high res monitors.Think I am gonna be good for almost 2 years.

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14:50 Jun-27-2017

I can feel the struggle,
when I first pushed Witcher 3 to 2560x1440, I realized my GTX770 wasn't good enough for the job, months later I replaced it with GTX980Ti :D

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14:54 Jun-27-2017

Can you tell the difference when playing at 1440p vs 1080p? I haven't had the pleasure, so just asking.

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20:30 Jun-27-2017

Noticeable, just try the hop from 720p to 1080p yourself

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08:07 Jun-28-2017

My laptop has a 720p display, and fyi that is my main gaming medium. XD
My friend however has a 1080p monitor & I can't say I see the difference. Could be my eyesight isn't what it used to be. :)

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14:02 Jun-28-2017

hmm to be honest, I went from tripple surround (1280x1024 x3 so 3840x1024) primary because I needed consistent image quality for graphics work,
advantage of higher resolution (as I obviously tested from 1280x720 all the way to 5120x2880 using nVidia DSR) is in my opinion only in games which can effectively make use of high resolutions (strategy games, some RPGs), while for ex. racing games I didn't really mind playing at lower than 2560x1440 res.,
what matters more is the actual size of displayed pixels, for ex. playing games on my 15.6" 1080p laptop I didn't ever need to turn on Anti-Aliasing, but setting 27" monitor to 1080p makes pixels significantly bigger and therefore more visible, so Anti-Aliasing becomes more important spec to turn on

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15:46 Jul-01-2017

You hit the jackpot with that post. The problem is as far as I can tell, that when you're basically buying a monitor, or a TV for that matter, most people are not informed about the pros and cons of the hardware. They just buy the known branded stuff even tho it may have very poor features considering the price tag.

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16:43 Jul-01-2017

you may not notice much of a difference between 720p and 1080p because of screen size almost it may be hard to tell the difference for example 720p on a 15 inch monitor or laptop screen will look comparable to a 1080p monitor that's 27 inches for example using your own pc set it to 720 desktop resolution and in all games 720p play for a few days browse game debate then throw it to 1080 youll notice the difference the difference is night and day even in comparison to 1080p on my 27 inch monitor and the 1080p my laptop has on its 17 inch screen

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17:03 Jul-01-2017

You are absolutely right. Pixels per square inch is the name of the game.

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13:12 Jul-02-2017

Bigger screen size and better PPI (pixel per inch) are usually better for gaming experience. Bigger screen size allow your eyes to experience more angle of view and movement of dynamic objects so it looks and feel more natural.

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13:16 Jul-02-2017

True, but when you're confined to a space of less than 3 square meters for you gaming passion it's kind of problematic. :)

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13:21 Jul-02-2017

Yeah, that's why I'm keeping my 22 inch monitor coz of limited space on my desk.

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14:57 Jul-07-2017

on the other hand bigger screen is more stressing on eyes and neck, and more details on screen are more tiring on brain as well

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09:42 Jul-09-2017

I'll just have to wait until I win a lottery, then I'll just buy every hardware ever made and than create my own stuff. ;)

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13:07 Jul-17-2017

And then there is the shooters at high res disadvantage.The higher the resolution the smaller the target.Thats why most competitive gamers play shooters on low res for that bigger target and high frame rate.

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10:06 Jun-27-2017

NOPE, just wait until I can get 80-120% better hardware for the same money that my current hardware costed at the time of purchase .


People should stop waiting and buy, there will always be a better one next year, but as long as the hardware does the job, you shouldn't care, even if the next big thing comes out a couple months after you bought your hardware, your hardware will still do the job perfectly fine for about 2 more years when you will be the then next big thing.

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08:24 Jun-27-2017

I know a friend of mine who was super hyped for fermi and said he would get it but waited for a discount and then came maxwell and now we are at pascal. He told me in 2018 he is definitely buying a volta GPU. He reminds me of the skeleton.

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08:49 Jun-27-2017

So what is his current rig like?

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14:19 Jun-28-2017

Oh good ol' Fermi. GTX 480. Enough said :) If I were you, I'd tell him that he really should get the new Volta. If he has saved money for 7 years, I think he could afford buying a GV102 SLI.... and then show him that skeleton pic and ask if he wants to end up like him :P

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09:45 Jul-09-2017

I'll show you the pic of my friend rig if he approves. The hardware is acceptable for what we had planed & I dare say very good, but I'll allow you to be the judge of that.

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07:23 Jun-27-2017

No, not really. Last year I bought my current PC, upgraded the GPU few months ago, but now I'm going to stick with this build for at least 3 years :)

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07:12 Jun-27-2017

only looking for pc upgrade when next gen console come out :)

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06:27 Jun-27-2017

I use my rig for more than just gaming. While I just built my current rig last year, and a 6700K is no slouch, the future is multi-core and currently I could benefit from more than just 4 physical cores and quad channel ram. I compile code, render scenes & architectures, run multiple virtual machines etc.
Intel**

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06:33 Jun-27-2017

**has graced me with the X299 platform being affordable(or rather, thank you Ryzen for making Intel lower their pricing!). I will be upgrading to a 7800X and fast quadchannel RAM this week on a new ASUS TUF X299 board. My 6700k will become a media server system/backup as I have an extra case, PSU etc.

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05:25 Jun-27-2017

I repeat this many times but.


I'm poor.


I barely got what i have now.


To clarify, my family's money has been spent on bills and renovations for the past 2 years.

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08:27 Jun-27-2017

I feel you man it took me till my 25 before I could have a gaming pc even though I wanted one from the moment I went into high school. Some people aren't just fortunate enough.

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08:55 Jun-27-2017

Fortunes can change. If you have a strong will much is possible. Will has the potential to carry you much further than any money ever could. I speak from experience.
I wish you all a pleasant day.

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10:48 Jun-27-2017

Who wouldn't want to meet that Will of yours :D
Maybe he can spare a new gpu ;P

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14:40 Jun-27-2017

As a matter of fact I did gift my oldest friend a RX 480 8GB gpu. We know each other since high-school & he really needed a new gpu for his new build.

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02:28 Jun-27-2017

I have been buying bleeding edge day one since Polaris was released last year, and I am waiting how things work out for now. I want at least 1 HDR monitor and I want a Vega graphics card to go along with it but the pricing isn't there yet, the current crop of actual HDR monitors (ignoring Dell's kind of HDR monitors) are pretty expensive and Vega, well the Frontier edition I cannot justify the cost for what I do (80% gaming, 20% professional)

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02:09 Jun-27-2017

I came for the thumbnail picture, stay for the votes

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05:27 Jun-27-2017

This ain't Youtube son (I call u son unironically assuming u are a kid for real)

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17:19 Jun-27-2017

maybe I am a kid, gotta enjoy it while it last

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02:04 Jun-27-2017

For the gpu yes.

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06:52 Jun-27-2017

I got a GTX 970 in April 2016. I actually regret it. It was nearing the end of the 900 series Maxwell cards reign because of Pascal. Now I'm really kicking myself because I have a 4k monitor and the 970 is just too weak for 4k.
It's going to be replaced by a Volta GPU when they come out.

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21:42 Jun-26-2017

Almost never buy anything beyond the basic needs of a gamer. For PC that is keyboard and mouse (and a gamepad for certain games) and for consoles, I almost never buy accessories. I'm happy with the basics and that is all that matters.


That said, I am very interested in VR but that is it.

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21:14 Jun-26-2017

I use to upgrade as often as possible when opportunity arose and I was throwing money at my pc like no tomorrow so I went and bought a laptop yes I could of bought a nice rig for the price of it but I couldn't afford to throw money at my pc all the time and I did anyways so now with this laptop I'm stuck with it until I have enough money to buy a rig or new laptop so yes I spent a lot of money on this but in the long run I cant upgrade it (besides upgrading ram) but not going to bother but eh regardless of what people picked I respect them for there decision I wish I could buy new parts right away but its not possible financially :P

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19:28 Jun-26-2017

I just buy stuff I want when I think I should buy them. For example, I already have quite powerful rig (6800k @4.1GHz, 64GB DDR4 and a 1080 @2050MHz) but after Skylake-X gets released, I'll wait a few months and buy the 10 core and another 1080. This could get me downvotes but imo it's pointless to buy mid range stuff when u can get enthusiast stuff which will last far longer without upgrades. Longevity is good. The only reason I'm upgrading to a 7900X is because the 6800k was a mistake. Doesn't OC well and it's rendering power is meh. And 1080 SLI was my plan all along. And remember that I do other stuff than play games so I do need powerful hardware anyways...

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19:46 Jun-26-2017

If you can afford it do it. I'm not going to downvote you.

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22:15 Jun-26-2017

That must be one HELL of a workstation...

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15:11 Jun-27-2017

Yeah it's gonna be awesome. And not only for ws use, but for gaming. I have high hopes for the overclockability of the 7900X. I think 4.3GHz across all 10 cores will be a walk in the park.

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08:41 Jun-28-2017

Yeah good luck with trying to OC that 7900X. You're going to need some insane cooling system

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12:04 Jun-28-2017

That's why I'm getting a watercooling system. Like i have on my 6800k. If that's not enough, I'll get an cascade cooler

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06:41 Jun-27-2017

I'm also upgrading to X299 man. The mainstream platform no longer fits my needs. X299 grants me quad channel RAM(up to 128GB!)and up to 44 PCI-E lanes. X plats are also usually more robust for server use. I just got the 7800X today. Can't afford to get the 8 or 10 core. I'm just a poor engineering student... lol

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15:12 Jun-27-2017

Yeah exactly. The versatility and upgradabilty of the X299 platform is far better than on regular consumer platforms.

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19:20 Jun-26-2017

Best pic ever. Whoever made the thing deserves to be a comedian.

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18:52 Jun-26-2017

I usually wait ages,not because I always wait for the next big thing,but because I'm a 17 year old Serbian student who is poor as f***.

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19:14 Jun-26-2017

Well u have a rly nice rig for a poor Serbian f...er.

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19:22 Jun-26-2017

so you think a person who has a 15000$ pc is poor?

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19:23 Jun-26-2017

There are several scenarios that come to mind as to how you made/bought that rig.
No. 1 you saved your ass off for god knows how many months/years to be able to afford that and now your friend & family think you wasted the money.

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19:27 Jun-26-2017

No. 2 you got the money from your family as a gift for some achievement (probably school).
No. 3 you won the lottery
No. 4 you robbed a bank/store, etc...


If I would have to guess I would say number 1. Hope I'm right. ;)

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19:30 Jun-26-2017

Oh, and if by some chance your family is saying that you wasted the money remind them how much they usually spend on bs like cosmetics, bear, etc...

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22:47 Jun-26-2017

They used to tell me that so I reminded them that they once spent 300$ on some stupid wall decoration,so they don't mention it anymore :D

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22:43 Jun-26-2017

No. 1 :D

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22:42 Jun-26-2017

I guessed these comments will be coming
I was actually saving up money for 10 months in order to buy this PC. Not just saving up,but also working on weekends sometimes when I don't have the school. I earned it

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18:05 Jun-26-2017

I guess it may sound too boring, but I usually upgrade only WHEN I find a good reason to do so (funds are not of a problem, because it's always possible to sell previous components, so the actual price difference doesn't stress my wallet too much),
for ex. I got RME HDSPe AIO (PCIex audio interface) so I needed more PCIex slots, and only 2011-V3 from Intel offered more than 16 PCIex lanes, so upgraded from i7-3770K to i7-5820K,
or for ex. when Witcher 3 came out, proved to be really epic game, I upgraded from GTX770 to GTX980Ti so I could play at 2560x1440 comfortably,
or for ex. my patience with Microsoft and Windows 10 reached a point where I just installed OSX on my rig, and now half year later I have no reason to boot back into Windows (although I still can, it's on second 500GB 850EVO SSD :))

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19:36 Jun-26-2017

Smart move. Always play the odds myself (regarding the OS), & also a sensible financial choice for selling your old hardware.

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17:47 Jun-26-2017

I will jump ship on 7nm stuff .both processor and gpu ;) . I got hit hard by the maxwell. Not the worst but could have got double performance at same price if i would have waited 3 months. i feel bad for gtx 970 users. first 3.5Gigs and then 1060. feels bad man

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17:22 Jun-26-2017

I usually wait until I can't play games at decent settings with playable FPS until I upgrade. My i7 2600, and GTX 970 are still going strong :)

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19:40 Jun-26-2017

I played Deus Ex Mankind Divided, on my laptop with everything on low. The graphics sucked, but it was that or either wait a few more Year's until I buy something better. As you can see I'm not patient when it comes to Deus EX. :)

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21:51 Jun-26-2017

nice vga choice :)

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17:14 Jun-26-2017

I personally see no point in waiting for an upgrade (unless the latest product was released half a year ago). What's new today is old tomorrow.
... I meant just buy the product that came out... Not stay without an upgrade at all ffs...

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19:23 Jun-26-2017

every thing become old tommorrow even us

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19:42 Jun-26-2017

Do not agree with the us part. I would say we age pretty well compared to hardware.

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Can They Run... |

| Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon R7 250X Sapphire 1GB Edition 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
APU A10-9700E 4-Core 3.0GHz Radeon R5 M320 2GB 12GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Asus TUF Gaming 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-6500 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1060 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Asus Phoenix OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Gigabyte Windforce 2X OC 3GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-12700K 16-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X Radeon RX 550X 4GB 24GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-10600KF 6-Core 4.10GHz Radeon RX 580 Asus Dual 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-11400F 6-Core 2.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 6G Edition 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 580 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Radeon HD 7970 OC Sapphire Edition 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-8086K 6-Core 4.0GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
| Low, 1080p
Core i5-7400 3.0GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Palit StormX 2GB 12GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gigabyte Aorus Master 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gigabyte Aorus Master 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ultra 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i9-10900KF 10-Core 3.70GHz GeForce RTX 2080 Super MSI Ventus XS OC 8GB 64GB