Up For Debate - How long do you reasonably expect a new GPU to meet your gaming needs?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Oct 24, 2020 5:00 PM

With the dawn of the next generation of consoles, games, and PC hardware on our doorstep, there has never been a better time to upgrade our PCs in order to future proof performance. However, with the rising cost of PC hardware and the significantly higher requirements for next-gen games (partly because of ray tracing), how long do you reasonably expect a new GPU to meet your gaming needs?

Is it 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? We want to hear from you how much of an investment buying a new graphics card is worth to you. Is it dependent on price/performance? Should a brand new $1200 graphics card last you longer than a $500 one? Do you judge a GPU’s lifespan by how many games you can play at the highest graphics settings? Or how long you can reasonably use it before it no longer shows up in the minimum system requirements for big AAA titles?

Or maybe it simply doesn’t matter anymore, as the rise of streaming services like GeForce Now or the upcoming Amazon Luna only requires a bare minimum requirement to display an image on your PC, or even with the introduction of AI supersampling techniques like DLSS making high-end GPUs not as worthwhile anymore.

Whatever it is, we want to hear your thoughts on the matter since Nvidia recently revealed the RTX 30 series of cards that no one seems to be able to get their hands on, and the upcoming Radeon RX 6000 GPUs from AMD are under a week away from being officially announced.

So what do you think? What GPU do you have now and are you thinking of upgrading? How long do you reasonably expect a new GPU to meet your gaming needs? Is it 1 year, or 10? And is it based on price or performance? Let’s debate!

How long do you reasonably expect a new GPU to last?

What kind of GPU do you normally upgrade to?

Our favourite comments:

I mostly play old games so I don't think I need anything better that this

Marshalll

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
28
Offline
21:31 Oct-26-2020

in 2020 5-7 years though had you asked me this in 1995 I would say 2 years as computer advancements have stalled massively. If I paid $3000 in 1995 for a PC in 3 years I slung it in the skip and paid $3000 for a new one I did this from 1985

0
Rep
4
Offline
19:00 Oct-25-2020

i got a 960 and i want a 3080 - wished they didnt cancel the 20 gig 3080 though .. have to make due with the original 3080 then

0
Rep
8
Offline
10:57 Oct-25-2020

proud of u bois

1
Rep
4
Offline
admin approved badge
09:13 Oct-25-2020

I EXPECT A GPU TO WORK FOR 10YRS, but i hardly game and used them for rendering at 4k and the performance varies. but if brought highend I'll expect highend performance (4k60) but usually every year theres a game that no single gpu can maxed at the ideal res. soooo what do you do go to 1080p then 72

0
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
12:12 Oct-25-2020

interesting, my old good GTX 770 died after roughly 6 years,
I replaced it by 980 Ti and then by 1080 Ti (2 computers in total though)

0
Rep
1
Offline
09:05 Oct-25-2020

i want a 2060 or maybe ill wait for a 3060 maybe the rdna 2060 equivalent since i just play at 1080p and im going to play at 4k anytime soon

0
Rep
14
Offline
11:53 Oct-25-2020

No point in going from a 1080 to a 2060, performance is nearly identical.

1
Rep
58
Offline
admin approved badge
14:44 Oct-25-2020

I think he wants RTX...

0
Rep
45
Offline
07:07 Oct-25-2020

Mostly 4 years


Before 2009 : Some 32 MB GPU with a Pentium 4
2009 - 2013 : Nvidia 8400 GS v2 with an Intel Core 2 Duo
2013 - 2017 : GTX 650 Ti Boost with an Intel i5 3570
2017 - current : GTX 1050 Ti with the same CPU (i5 3570)
Probably
2021 - RTX 3070 with an AMD CPU (something of the likes of ryzen 3600)

0
Rep
45
Offline
07:08 Oct-25-2020

A jump from an x50 to an x70 is quite a leap in performance

0
Rep
45
Offline
admin approved badge
03:27 Oct-25-2020

Depends on what you mean by "last". I've been rocking my Rx580 now for about 2 years and and I feel no urge to replace it just yet. Maybe in another year or so I will replace it but it feels more like a want rather than a need.

2
Rep
15
Offline
02:44 Oct-25-2020

My gtx 1050 Ti last 4 years now and i still play new games on it just fine , i play games at 1080p and i'll probably stick to it if i upgrade so i expect my new GPU to last more than 4 years.

1
Rep
45
Offline
07:03 Oct-25-2020

We have an almost common rig setup

1
Rep
15
Offline
15:12 Oct-25-2020

Yes but looks like we need to upgrade soon ):

0
Rep
23
Offline
00:49 Oct-25-2020

I'll say, with the graphical improvements seen in Unreal Engine 5, I expect great things this generation and hope to get a rtx 3070 next year, perhaps this year. However, meeting my gaming needs is an entirely different matter. It will take 10 years as cpus and gpus will be able to render entire Massive Online Role Playing games with the graphics of Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm & Legacy of The Void CGI in 4k. I doubt I'll need anything beyond this level of both graphical detail and player count. Anything else would show diminutive returns. Platformers don't need it. Cartoon like games don't need it.

1
Rep
23
Offline
01:11 Oct-25-2020

My meaningless 20-30 teraflop GPU guess was almost right, but it didn't hit consoles. Still, if computer hardware continues on its path, we could have expensive consumer-grade GPUs with 120 Teraflops in around ten years.

0
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
00:27 Oct-25-2020

If Geforce Now ends up being a decent service it might convince me to hold off on buying gaming hardware indefinitely (mainly cause I have other expenses ATM). The one exception that might change that would be VR.

0
Rep
11
Offline
22:44 Oct-24-2020

I prefer to skip a generation before upgrading and it looks like the gtx 3080 is one i'll upgrade too in the near future


(my system on Game-debate is not updated, I have an i7-6700k + GTX 1080.)

0
Rep
58
Offline
admin approved badge
22:35 Oct-24-2020

Well for me personally 3 years on average give or take I guess...

0
Rep
15
Offline
admin approved badge
22:01 Oct-24-2020

Regarding the newest games:
For low? 6 to 8 years.
For Medium? 4 to 6 years.
For High? 2 to 4 years.
For Ultra? 1 to 2 years.


All at a resolution of 1920x1080.

1
Rep
212
Offline
admin approved badge
20:21 Oct-24-2020

My old GTX 660Ti lasted me for 8 years until I upgraded to a GTX 1660 SUPER. The last 2 years were a struggle only because of the limited VRAM.

2
Rep
30
Offline
22:20 Oct-24-2020

Loved that card. Probably the most value I've ever gotten from any card I've owned.

0
Rep
41
Offline
20:19 Oct-24-2020

I upgrade when I feel the need to upgrade. The shortest I have ever had a gpu was a 2nd hand 770 because it was 2gb and that just wasnt enough anymore. Now I no longer have Vram issues but im having issues with loud fans and it heats up the room a fair amount aswell.

0
Rep
76
Offline
admin approved badge
20:03 Oct-24-2020

This is hard to say, because how long it will last really depends on games or expectations like resolution, FPS and settings. If you are willing to drop settings and live with lower FPS, like 60FPS is fine, it will last longer. But in general, low end I would say up to 3 years, midrange around 3 years and high end can be 4 years. For me, it was mostly midrange and expectation of 3 years.

4
Rep
37
Offline
20:24 Oct-24-2020

This ^^ Plus I have no intention of going beyond 1080p so I suspect my 2070 Super performance will suffice for at least 3 more years. Even though this card can handle ultra settings on pretty much every single game I currently own, I still drop things a notch like shadow quality, AA etc. coz in most games the higher settings doesn't make a big visual difference. Not to me at least

2
Rep
76
Offline
admin approved badge
20:52 Oct-24-2020

I would be shocked if it didn't make make it through next 3 years at 1080p without problems. So yeah, no worries. Sure Ampere is nice jump forward, but 2070 Super is good performenr and 1080p will really help to make it last, likely without major compromises. And I usually say, ultra is for screenshots, high is for gaming, so yeah, I also don't do full ultra.

1
Rep
50
Offline
19:11 Oct-24-2020

I usually go until the performance isn't what I want anymore.
Like, I went from a 1080p UW at 75hz, to a 1440p UW at 144hz, and while my Vega 64 is still fully capable of running games at that resolution, I need something for 144fps.

1
Rep
50
Offline
19:12 Oct-24-2020

Of course, the ray tracing in the new generation of AMD GPUs helps a lot with my decision to upgrade as well

0
Rep
28
Offline
18:56 Oct-24-2020

my last gpu was a gtx 970 when i got a new 1440p 144hz monitor it was clear that my gpu needed an upgrade so before the rtx 20 series launch i grabbed a used 1080ti which was a doubling of performance. So the answer is very subjective you upgrade when you feel your GPU is no longer up to snuff.

2
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
20:14 Oct-24-2020

hah I also grabbed a used 1080 Ti, after I upgraded to 3440x1440 100Hz screen :D my 980 Ti was not really cutting through anymore

0
Rep
57
Offline
18:48 Oct-24-2020

4-5 years is the time when gpu starts to show its age, when i upgrade depends on many things but i never upgrade because gpu is "old" but when it no longer reaches my desired performance.

1
Rep
179
Offline
admin approved badge
18:36 Oct-24-2020

My RX 480 was still pulling high, even ultra settings at 1080P with 60+ FPS in most games 4 years later...... and I'm pretty sure I'd still be happy with its performance for another year or two atleast...... the only reason I upgraded was because I built an entirely new PC, the old Haswell I5 was honestly holding it back..... but I figured since I'm building new, might as well just go full out...... I hope this RX 5700 serves me as well as my RX 480 did.

1

Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i5-4200H 2.8GHz GeForce GTX 860M 2GB 16GB
Core i7-5500U 2-Core 2.4GHz GeForce 940M 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600XT 6-Core 3.8GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Gigabyte AORUS Xtreme Edition 11GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| Low,
Core i5-8300H 4-Core 2.3GHz GeForce GTX 1050 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Gigabyte Eagle OC 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon HD 5450 1024MB 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI OC 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3090 32GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
935
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3090 32GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
935
Core i5-11600K 6-Core 3.9GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Zotac Gaming Twin Edge OC 8GB 32GB
Core i7-4790 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Palit StormX 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i5-4590 3.3GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Asus Pheonix 4GB 10GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI OC 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 4k
Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 2080 MSI Gaming Trio 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 MSI Armor 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3750H 4-Core 2.3 GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]