Up For Debate - Should gamers upgrade their PC in 2021?

Written by Chad Norton on Sat, Jan 9, 2021 5:00 PM

2020 was plagued by many issues and disruptions to the gaming industry, despite it being it’s most successful yet. However, one of the biggest sectors impacted was the PC hardware industry which saw an incredible amount of demand for such low stock. Now, after even more issues with scalpers, increased manufacturing costs and many more means 2021 will be the most expensive year for PC gaming hardware enthusiasts.

So unfortunately for those who decided to wait for stock and prices to stabilize, may end up having to pay more with even less stock available thanks to a boom in cryptocurrency and miners buying up lots of new cards.

Of course, crypto mining will only contribute a small amount towards stock shortages, but even still this year doesn’t seem to be getting any better for those interested in upgrading their PC. ASUS was the first company to announce the official increase in prices, but so far ASUS, Gigabyte, PNY, and Zotac have all been spotted to raise MSRP as well.

Here’s a quick list of some graphics cards and their increase in price recently that we could find:

GPU Price: Was Price: Now Increase
RTX 3090 Asus ROG Strix $1799 $1979 $180 (10%)
RX 6800 XT Asus ROG Strix LC $899.99 $1,079.99 $180 (20%)
RX 6800 XT Asus TUF Gaming OC $809.99 $969.99 $160 (19.8%)
RX 6800 Asus ROG Strix OC $579.99 $839.99 $260 (44.8%)

If you have any other examples of GPU price increases you could find yourself then do let us know in the discussion area below!

So looking at all the data and info, is 2021 really a good year to upgrade? Or should users just wait until 2022 when these issues begin to subside.

Because by 2022, the world should (hopefully) have access to the COVID-19 vaccine that has crippled so many markets. This should (again, should) not only ramp up production in factories, but also reduce costs in shipping and manufacturing. So prices should go down and available stock should increase.

What do you think? Should PC gamers avoid upgrading in 2021? When do you think prices and stock will properly stabilize? And when will be a good time to start upgrading again? Let us know your thoughts!

Should gamers upgrade their PC in 2021? Or wait?

How long do you think until prices normalize?

How long do you think until stock normalizes?

What do you think contributes the most to increased prices and decreased stock?

Our favourite comments:

Game streaming option are looking better and better...

Gankutsuou

I guess we will just have to wait and see, whether things will start to recover in 1/4 of 2021 after holiday craze or not. Obviously, I would recommend waiting if you can. Between scalpers, mining and hugely increased demand, plus shipping issues due to pandemic, where they can't buy cheap storage space on commercial flights for example and have to prioritize regions, things are going crazy.

Seth22087

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22:50 Jan-12-2021

Would if I could, parts are hard to get right now. Would need a psu, gpu and cpu. Would be about 1800 together. A ps5 is 500. I was looking for a 4 pro anyway to upgrade my slim and get a bit better frames, the 5 seems the more sensible option right now.

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07:53 Jan-11-2021

At this point I'd tell everyone to wait.In my country an rtx 3070 is $1100 at a reputable retailer,when its msrp is $500.Just wait people until this ****storm of low supply passes.At the same retailer I saw an rtx 2070 Super for around $670 (still a bit high for an older gen card but manageable and near msrp too) and it's a really tempting card for that budget vs the 3070(like max 20% more performance for almost double the price lol).

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21:32 Jan-10-2021

So I guess they do want us to grab a playstation or xbox and call it a day huh?
an increase of almost 50% on medium end hardware is insane. What used to be the sweetspot is now the worst spot. You either go all in for top of the line or go with nothing (and eat the leftovers aka used market).
Damn this is just horrible.

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junior admin badge
01:36 Jan-11-2021

I concur.
Personally, I'm looking at game streaming as a possible solution (provided I can get a decent internet connection)....

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09:46 Jan-11-2021

I mean, a streaming service is already much much cheaper than a gaming desktop setup, but this "ethical" thing of owning vs renting is what's holding me back.

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junior admin badge
02:21 Jan-12-2021

On that front, did you hear that GOG games will be playable on Geforce Now.
With that you would actually own your games....

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18:35 Jan-14-2021

Same with Stadia, but Stadia isn't available in the Netherlands afaik

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23:41 Jan-16-2021

Haven't checked Stadia, but Geforce Now is available in the Netherlands.

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15:00 Jan-11-2021

Bro, they don't care what you do. Nvidia is making their money and the cards are selling. Either to data miners, scalpers, or lucky individuals fast enough to buy them.

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02:17 Jan-12-2021

I'm aware that companies don't care to whom they sell, as long as they sell and make money.
My take was mainly focused on game streaming as a possible alternative.

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18:38 Jan-14-2021

Guess it's a win for all. Companies buy tons of top-tier GPUs for their gaming streaming service, the end-user pays half of what a decent mid-end pc costs over the span of 5 years to rent the hardware and Nvidia/AMD makes money because they sell in bulk.
This as long as there isn't a queue where you have to wait to get access to the hardware to play your games.

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14:27 Jan-10-2021

Even though i know i should wait, im forced to upgrade ( CPU, MOBO and RAM ) within the next couple of weeks. Reason being my brother is getting a brand new PC both for school and gaming so instead of buying him new parts i made a brilliant idea of handing him over my parts for the ones i wish to upgrade and the rest he is getting brand new. That way i wont have to spend double the money

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14:31 Jan-10-2021

I will be going to a 5600X ( still not sure if i should grab a 3800X for cheaper but a little worse performance ) and STRIX B550-F and 3600 MHz RAM while my brother will get my FX 8350 and the rest of the assamble while also getting RX 5500 XT, 500 GB SSD, 2TB HDD which kinda makes me sad due to him having newer components but oh well :D

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10:17 Jan-10-2021

jokes aside, I will most likely get some new ARM Apple Silicon based Apple MacMini or MacProMini in 2021, so I could get rid of my dualboot hackintosh (my GD rig) and leave it just for games

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09:26 Jan-10-2021

I still want a high end 3080 or 3080 super/ti

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08:07 Jan-10-2021

Whatever you buy is superseded rather soon by the new generation so there is no point in forever waiting for upgrades. Leaving the stock issues aside, if you wanted to upgrade for a while then yes, upgrade in 2021. Otherwise if you want to skip until the next generation what stops you from waiting for the one even after the next generation and so on.

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08:09 Jan-10-2021

The only thing I strongly suggest, and it's common advice, is if you've waited for three years to upgrade and you're in February/March or over that and the new gen launches in September/October, wait for that. That's, in my opinion, the only time when you should hold out that little while longer. I've done the mistake of being out of the loop for a few years and bought a GTX1080 in June 2018 when the RTX20 was launching in September lol...

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06:43 Jan-10-2021

Im personally going to to my next build january 2022. Just hope theres are next generation gpus from radeon/nvidia. Playing about 5 new games a year doesnt really make it critical for me.

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06:00 Jan-10-2021

The question should be "Could the gamers upgrade their pc in 2021?"

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05:09 Jan-10-2021

Guys will my GTX 1650 super be good enough to play games in 2021 on medium settings?

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18:29 Jan-10-2021

If you overclock your gpu and stay at 1080p medium , yes, but dont expect 60 fps, specially from AAA titles, i would say 30-40 fps on medium settings

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21:35 Jan-10-2021

I mean, if you don't switch games, you can play them at least for the upcoming 5 years (depending on if the game is actively updated like TF2, which pc requirements are outdated now).

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03:17 Jan-15-2021

Like others said medium settings at 1080p should be able to last. I plan on using my current GPU as long as I can and it's about the same performance wise.

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02:48 Jan-10-2021

Game streaming option are looking better and better...

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10:18 Jan-10-2021

I wonder if this is actually an intentional movement step

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01:32 Jan-11-2021

Wouldn't surprise me.
Also rip my grammar. (Game streaming options | not option)

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22:08 Jan-09-2021

I managed to upgrade last year,so I think I'll stick to this for a few years.

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21:33 Jan-09-2021

I guess we will just have to wait and see, whether things will start to recover in 1/4 of 2021 after holiday craze or not. Obviously, I would recommend waiting if you can. Between scalpers, mining and hugely increased demand, plus shipping issues due to pandemic, where they can't buy cheap storage space on commercial flights for example and have to prioritize regions, things are going crazy.

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21:35 Jan-09-2021

Don't forget trump tariffs if you live in the US.

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10:20 Jan-10-2021

speaking of tariffs, folks in Europe have to pay noticeably more for American products as well (basically no less than 1usd=1eur rate), so I guess those taxes and tolls won't disappear anytime soon anyway

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21:36 Jan-09-2021

Plus, if mining truly booms, we might be without graphic cards for at least 6 to 12 months. Though I guess it could create opportunity to buy cheaper components which miners won't buy and could be in abundance, due to drop in DIY market. So yeah 2021 is wasting no time. :-D

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21:43 Jan-09-2021

My friend and I built new computers a month ago. Only thing we need are GPUs and (beyond the fact they are nowhere to be found) they have all skyrocketed in price. I'm ok for now with my 1080ti (though I'm really itching to taste that ray-tracing.) He, on the other hand, is super bottle-necked with a 1050ti.

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21:54 Jan-09-2021

Yeah, bad times, especially for people with old lower end stuff, like your friend. I was planning to upgrade graphic card, but it seems like I might not be able to, still 1070 is still doing okk. I do hope things will improve, but yeah, even used market is crazy.

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21:33 Jan-09-2021

I really wish the scalpers and crypto miners would get doxed and robbed and Robin Hood would put the GPUs up for sale at a reasonable price.

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21:20 Jan-09-2021

Life is pain

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02:44 Jan-10-2021

Not all of it.

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19:23 Jan-09-2021

Dude, I wanted to upgrade my CPU because it's been a while but these prices put a stop to that. Hopefully I'll be able to upgrade to the newest ryzen later this year.

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20:20 Jan-09-2021

considering getting an intel cpu, honestly they are better options in terms of price/perf now. Maybe something like 10400f (I think socket 1200 mobos might support upcoming 11th gen so you could upgrade in the future)

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23:53 Jan-09-2021

That might be the better option. But honestly these days I go with whoever has the better sale

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18:15 Jan-09-2021

I wouldnt upgrade now, im fine with my pc, my gpu isnt a 1080p ultra settings anymore but it still does an ok job, my cpu will last me 5 years more, so no reason to upgrade and i dont think anyone with an rtx 20xx series gpu or amd equivalent should buy new hardware considering prices

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17:40 Jan-09-2021

it depends on the people. Some youtubers upg every year their gpu's or cpu just to check how it performs on various of games, programs. Others like us casual consumers upg it once or twice per year. If you're looking at the best possible experience, upg every 2-3 years is a must. Others like us who dont have high-end PC it doesn't matter when we will upg, since the new PC will be stronger than

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17:42 Jan-09-2021

the old one . If im upg my PC i would go with mid i7 and nvidia 3060-70ti and i will stick for it for as long as i can. But for now all games which i play are running on my PC and i'm not planning to change it anytime soon. Probably if i change it it'll be in a 1-3years from now or after DDR5 is out. Since i doubt ddr5 ram will be able to run on ddr4 and i will be stuck again with the PC for years

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17:09 Jan-09-2021

It is increasingly difficult to get excited about hard to obtain and overpriced hardware at this present time.

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02:45 Jan-10-2021

Same

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Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile 8GB
Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Radeon HD 6570 4GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 6G Edition 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming X 6G Edition 16GB
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce RTX 2060 MSI Ventus XS OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i7-2600 4-Core 3.40GHz Radeon R9 280X MSI Gaming 3GB Edition 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Gainward Ghost 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3750H 4-Core 2.3 GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600H 6-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Mobile 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
FX-6300 Radeon RX 550X 4GB 16GB
| Medium, 1080p
FX-6300 Radeon RX 550X 4GB 16GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
FX-6300 Radeon RX 550X 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i3-4170 3.7GHz GeForce GTX 750 EVGA 2GB Edition 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-10400T 6-Core 2.00GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
75% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS,
Ryzen 3 2300X 4-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 6500 XT 4GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 720p
Core i3-4170 3.7GHz GeForce GTX 750 EVGA 2GB Edition 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-10700K 8-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 3070 Colorful iGame Advanced OC 8GB 16GB