Ahoy there, and a very good 2018 to you all! I hope your hangovers are swift and your New Year’s Day triumphantly lazy. Just in case you missed all the hubbub, it’s the first day of a brand spanking new year. 364 days of treats stretch out before us, not least in the world of PC gaming hardware.
Are you glancing down at your PC and wondering just how it’s going to handle Anthem, Cyberpunk 2077 and Battlefield 5 though? Are you increasingly worried that 8GB DDR3 memory just isn’t going to cut it anymore? Well, it’s probably time to consider your next upgrade.
During the next 12 months, we’re anticipating some major action. Nvidia’s been holding its cards very close to its chest recently, milking Pascal for almost two years. Its next generation of graphics cards is surely almost upon us, whether that be Volta, Ampere, or whatever the hell they choose to call it. A Q1 2018 launch is rumoured. Which is, well, right about now really.
AMD’s not one to rest on its laurels though. After playing catch up with Vega, AMD is looking to fight Nvidia on equal terms when Navi launches. HBM3, GDDR6, 7nm fabrication process. It’s got all the buzzwords, but is it going to deliver? There’s also the second generation of Ryzen to consider, which could benefit hugely from AMD’s refinements and optimisations. The first-gen of Ryzen was raw thanks to a new process and a die shrink, but there’s clearly plenty more gas left in the tank where that’s concerned.
With no new consoles on the horizon just yet we don’t expect to see a major jump in system requirements during the next 12 months, so we expect it to be a year in which 4K becomes an increasingly popular screen resolution. With any luck the mid-tier of the next crop of graphics cards may even be capable of 4K, making 2017 the perfect time to go for that new GPU + 4K monitor combo.
I suspect it’s also going to be a great year for virtual reality. The price of VR headsets has been plummeting, while we can’t be all that far from a new generation of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. VR needs to be cheaper and simpler, and over the coming year, it may well do so.
For me personally, my next PC component I’ll be upgrading is, well, everything. I’m hoping to get a completely new build whenever Navi / Volta arrives, whichever launches first really. My current setup with a GTX 970, 8GB RAM and an i5-4670K is okay, but it’s beginning to show its age a bit and there are some curious performance issues. A brand spanking new PC in time for Jurassic World Evolution should do the trick.
Which upgrade is top of your list this year? Any particular component that’s really holding your PC’s performance back right now? Let us know!