Good or bad time to build new pc?

#1 Posted by Carryboy (632 posts) -

Hey I was thinking about building a new PC was wondering what people thought of the timing, don't want to build it then new consoles come out next year PC hardware changes dramatically and I'm left in the cold.

#2 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

The thing you have to understand about the consoles coming out next year is that they will not be using current hardware when they come out, they will be running hardware that at the very best will be current now, the GTX 600 and ATI 7000 series. So going with a Kepler/Sandybridge (or Ivy Bridge) PC could land you with pretty much the same architectures being used for next gen consoles. I just built a high end PC with some of the faster hardware you can run in a PC today and it's awesome. And I don't expect that the next generation of consoles will really push things so far that current gen stuff won't run it relatively well. But it sorta depends on how well that stuff scales to higher resolutions and all of that. Hard to know for sure, but you could always build a good base computer, throw a 560ti in there, and then wait for the big video card purchase when the consoles launch to make sure you can run those games properly.

Personally, I think waiting more than a couple of months is usually pretty silly. Upgrading isn't as hard or expensive as most make it out to be. If I want to upgrade my PC and I can't run next gen games as well as I'd like to, I won't need to touch anything but my video card unless they come out with something to replace PCI Express.And I can either get a second 680 for much less than I originally paid for it, or sell it and buy the 780 or whatever it ends up being with a decent chunk of it paid for by what I make off of selling my 680. I have one of the faster quad core CPUs you can get and 16GB of RAM. I have a 10k RPM HDD with an SSD as my next purchase. I'll be good with pretty much all of that for a long ass time, so I'll just occasionally end up upgrading my GPU/GPUs. Not that difficult.

If you really wanna see if you should wait, you should at least give Crysis 3 a chance to come out and see what it takes to run that. Because I can't see anything from the next generation being too much harder to run than that. They put out a long gameplay sequence in 1080p and it looks unbelievably good.

Don't get scared away by demos being run by three GTX 680s at E3. The footage they showed of BF3 at E3 required some sort of x80 sli setup. I have one GTX 680 and I have NEVER seen the framerate drop at max settings. And that's running on a computer with fucked up drivers.

I believe that Star Wars 1313 demo stuff they showed at E3 was running SLI 680s, and I bet one will run that game when it comes out just fine. Not as well as BF3, but still looking and running better than consoles.

#3 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I'm still running a 2009 CPU + motherboard, maxing out games like it ain't no thang still, with a heavily overclocked GTX 470. (fab card, got the one with the insane cooler - it's 2 years old this month, Far Cry 3 performance surprised me, ultra /w Dx11 is NP)

Build away, no need to worry if Intel are preparing a new socket. Non-Sandy/Ivy Bridge i5s are still able to max out games just as well as the latest processors, because CPU architecture isn't playing much of a factor right now.

edit: and no I'm not saying you should buy a non-Sandy/Ivy i5/i7, just that even the older CPUs are still relevant. You'll have no issues for a long time with a decently clocked 2010/11 i5.

#4 Posted by Phyrlord (171 posts) -

I highly recommand a 660 GTX Ti. Love it.

#5 Posted by NeuralLink (20 posts) -

I would suggest waiting for Intel to release the Haswell chipset. http://gizmodo.com/5942285/intels-haswell-3d-transistor-chipset-will-have-2x-more-gpu-power-than-ivy-bridge

#6 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4602 posts) -

I'd honestly wait to see if the new consoles wind up kicking the shit out of current machines. Some people in the thread say that's inconceivable, but they seem to forget that a console doesn't have to run a bunch of applications and maintain other functions while playing a game. You know, like a PC.

That'd be my advice on the situation. Take it as you will.

#7 Edited by Ghost_Cat (1395 posts) -

I wouldn't worry about future consoles, just build one (plus it's a lot of fun).

#8 Posted by Carryboy (632 posts) -

Thank you all for your response, as you guys and girls clearly have far better knowledge about this then i do i have another question:

I currently have a HD 6870 was thinking of upgrading to a hd 7950 (if i don't build a machine from scratch) but would i see a dramatic difference as my processor is a Phenom II X4 955 and with my limited knowlege I dont think that processor is all that great (?) would it bottleneck so to speak?

#9 Posted by Icemo (642 posts) -

@NeuralLink said:

I would suggest waiting for Intel to release the Haswell chipset. http://gizmodo.com/5942285/intels-haswell-3d-transistor-chipset-will-have-2x-more-gpu-power-than-ivy-bridge

Don't know what you were after with that link, but they are talking about GPUs that are integrated to the motherboard. Any dedicated video card will have more power than what integrated gpu offers.

But yeah, if you have the patience to wait for Haswell to launch, you should wait.

#10 Posted by Alexander (1721 posts) -

To me it's a great time to do so, we're still a long way from new consoles, intel's new chips aren't out for another 6 months and there are a lot of games right now that look a lot better on PC than the consoles. You can be waiting forever for the next thing to come out.

I also think however, that a piecemeal upgrade isn't worth it if your CPU is going to hold things back. I don't really know about AMD myself so I can't comment but my intel Q6600 was released in 2007. Better to upgrade everything at that point, I'm building my new rig at the end of the week.

#11 Posted by crusader8463 (14414 posts) -

I just put together a new PC a few months back, so my answer is a resounding yes. Current gen consoles have looked like shit for some time and even if next gen comes out next year it will be another year or two before they really hit their stride and developers know what to do with them. That's 2-3 years. Get a PC.

#12 Posted by Kidavenger (3511 posts) -

I'm thinking it's a bad time right now, but that didn't stop me from building a new one on the weekend...

The best time to build a new PC is going to be a 1-2 years after new consoles come out, which is still 2-3 years from now, whatever you buy now will probably be ready to upgrade by then anyway.

The only reason I pulled the trigger now was to try out windows 8, and so far I'm disappointed...

#13 Posted by djou (860 posts) -

As you can see you're going to get a lot of contradictory advice on when it the best time to buy, but in the end you should really do it if you need a new computer. I just built a gaming PC myself because the Ivy Bridge chipsets are relatively new, I found a good deal on GTX570, and wanted to try Windows 8. I was also tired of the lesser quality of console games when you compare them to their PC ports and my iMac was aging to the point that Steam no longer ran well.

I'm not worried about next gen consoles outpacing my rig since I can always upgrade the CPU/GPU and put more RAM/memory in it. As it stands I have a near high-end machine that I can play for at least a year before new consoles are released and do all my work on. I didn't plan to buy PS4/Xbox 720 (?) day one since I generally wait until that first must have game comes out which usually is a year after release. If you can afford to drop ~$1000 on a new PC and need one, then you should do it. The alternative is to wait a year + for a speculative system with no games, price, or name announced.

#14 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2213 posts) -

It will be interesting actually to see how well the ports for next gen games will handle on current PC hardware but I'd be safe to assume that anybody with a 1-2 year old well performance card will be fine. The great thing about PC is it's ability swap out components for when you really need it.

#15 Posted by TheSlothKing (330 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos said:

The thing you have to understand about the consoles coming out next year is that they will not be using current hardware when they come out, they will be running hardware that at the very best will be current now, the GTX 600 and ATI 7000 series. So going with a Kepler/Sandybridge (or Ivy Bridge) PC could land you with pretty much the same architectures being used for next gen consoles. I just built a high end PC with some of the faster hardware you can run in a PC today and it's awesome. And I don't expect that the next generation of consoles will really push things so far that current gen stuff won't run it relatively well. But it sorta depends on how well that stuff scales to higher resolutions and all of that. Hard to know for sure, but you could always build a good base computer, throw a 560ti in there, and then wait for the big video card purchase when the consoles launch to make sure you can run those games properly.

Personally, I think waiting more than a couple of months is usually pretty silly. Upgrading isn't as hard or expensive as most make it out to be. If I want to upgrade my PC and I can't run next gen games as well as I'd like to, I won't need to touch anything but my video card unless they come out with something to replace PCI Express.And I can either get a second 680 for much less than I originally paid for it, or sell it and buy the 780 or whatever it ends up being with a decent chunk of it paid for by what I make off of selling my 680. I have one of the faster quad core CPUs you can get and 16GB of RAM. I have a 10k RPM HDD with an SSD as my next purchase. I'll be good with pretty much all of that for a long ass time, so I'll just occasionally end up upgrading my GPU/GPUs. Not that difficult.

If you really wanna see if you should wait, you should at least give Crysis 3 a chance to come out and see what it takes to run that. Because I can't see anything from the next generation being too much harder to run than that. They put out a long gameplay sequence in 1080p and it looks unbelievably good.

Don't get scared away by demos being run by three GTX 680s at E3. The footage they showed of BF3 at E3 required some sort of x80 sli setup. I have one GTX 680 and I have NEVER seen the framerate drop at max settings. And that's running on a computer with fucked up drivers.

I believe that Star Wars 1313 demo stuff they showed at E3 was running SLI 680s, and I bet one will run that game when it comes out just fine. Not as well as BF3, but still looking and running better than consoles.

The nextbox and Ps4 will not have a 600 or 7000series card in them (unless they are really low end and super cheaply made versions of those cards) .

Also to OP, the next gen ports to PC won't be as poorly optimized or as shitty as the start of this generation. Plus the next gen twins will most likely not blow most modern gaming PC's out of the water like people expect.

#16 Posted by zenmastah (879 posts) -

Its in the nature of a console to cut corners in hardware compared to PC so i wouldnt worry about building now or ever really. Be more worried about lazy devs porting shit, but id say thats not aissue so much anymore. Of course therers always new gpus and cpus coming out around thecorner but youll be well of with current stuff.

#17 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@TheSlothKing: It's more the architecture that matters. I never said "they will have GTX 680s!" just that I wouldn't be surprised to see kepler GPUs in the next Xbox.

Also, you have no idea how shitty the ports will be, that is an assumption. You don't get to call me out for making a prediction and being happy to admit it's just that, and then make a definitive statement that you have no idea about because no one really does. Also, we know what next gen games will be like. Look at Crysis 3, look at Star Wars 1313, look at UE4, etc. We've had looks at next generation games and next generation engines.

And whatever you do OP, do not wait for any generation of CPU. If you care about having a high end CPU for non-gaming reasons, get a really nice Ivy Bridge. I have a 3770k and it's plenty for games, well beyond plenty. At the most, you can wait for 2011 chips but only because the 2011 motherboards will have some new stuff and I believe that'll only be a couple months of waiting for the 2011 chips from Intel. But you can get stuff like PCI Express 3.0 without going to 2011 so I'm not really going to recommend even that wait unless something like quad channel memory is something you "need." Which ya don't.

@Icemo said:

@NeuralLink said:

I would suggest waiting for Intel to release the Haswell chipset. http://gizmodo.com/5942285/intels-haswell-3d-transistor-chipset-will-have-2x-more-gpu-power-than-ivy-bridge

Don't know what you were after with that link, but they are talking about GPUs that are integrated to the motherboard. Any dedicated video card will have more power than what integrated gpu offers.

But yeah, if you have the patience to wait for Haswell to launch, you should wait.

Do not wait for Haswell. It's a CPU. A high end CPU will kick ass for a decade when it comes to games. A decent one will do just fine for just as long. Waiting for a new CPU architecture is silly. Waiting for a new GPU architecture makes a little bit of sense if you want a price drop on old cards or there's something particularly interesting about that new architecture. But the truth of the matter is you'll be fine. A 580 today isn't a 680, but it's damned good none the less. You can still run games with AA at max with out hardly ever having issues, and chances are if you can't run it perfectly on a 580, it'll only run better on a 680, not perfectly on a 680. Metro 2033 being a great example.

#18 Posted by Mirado (992 posts) -

@Carryboy: The best time to build/upgrade a PC is when your current PC isn't doing it anymore. Old parts aren't made worthless just because newer, better ones are released into the market, so only you can decide when it's the right time.

If you buy something and a part comes out a month later that's 10% or 20% better, resist the urge to put the gun to your head. It'll be ok, trust me. You'll make it through.

#19 Posted by quinistheman (150 posts) -

I was looking for the answer to this same question. Thanks OP and everyone who answered. Now I just need to figure out what would be a reasonable low end machine. It seems like I'd be $700 for an adequate starter gaming PC. Is that a good enough level to play current games at current-gen console levels and still be upgradable in the future?

#20 Posted by mellotronrules (1172 posts) -

upgrade whenever you need to. pc upgrades are so incremental by their very nature that it really doesn't matter when you choose to build one- waiting for specific technologies (unless you have specific use case for that specific technology) will enable you to put off building forever. and price fluctuations are a bummer, but you'll never get entirely hosed (natural disasters notwithstanding). but that's life, i suppose.

tl;dr- if you have the money, and the desire- just pull the trigger and start pc gaming!

#21 Posted by Snail (8584 posts) -

@quinistheman said:

I was looking for the answer to this same question. Thanks OP and everyone who answered. Now I just need to figure out what would be a reasonable low end machine. It seems like I'd be $700 for an adequate starter gaming PC. Is that a good enough level to play current games at current-gen console levels and still be upgradable in the future?

At current gen console levels? Sure. Easily. Like, yes, absolutely. People have already posted very decent builds on these forums that are about 100$-200$ more than that. Seriously, you can have a computer that can run everything out there on PC just fine by less than 1000$. At 700$ won't be all that awesome, but it'll be a major upgrade from consoles.

#22 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

Just do it, current hardware isn't going to be weak anytime soon and prices aren't going to come down anytime soon. You'll be able to get better hardware at the same price by waiting of course, but you'd have to wait many months for that to occur, and games probably won't look any better, you'd just be more future-proof.

#23 Posted by djou (860 posts) -

If you want some help getting a sub $700 PC check out this GAF forum.

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=455869

I found it very helpful in bring my specs to within budget. They outline a range of options from a ~$435 rig to over ~$1200. If your budget conscious be prepared to bargain hunt over time. It may take many months to find a deal on a specific piece of hardware. From my experience assembling parts, the prices for GPUs, SSD, HDD seem fluctuate up to $50 with some bundles offering games with purchase.

#24 Posted by quinistheman (150 posts) -

@Snail That's really good to hear. Judging by all of the "Help, I'm build my first PC" threads on the site it's obvious that I'm not the only one intimidated by jumping into the PC gaming pool. It's hard to judge how PC gamers expectations differ from console gamers. I just want to support the Steam business model a lot more than the Sony or Microsoft models. That, and starting now gives me a huge backlog of games to play that I've always wanted to (a Civilization that's not Rev would be awesome!).

#25 Posted by quinistheman (150 posts) -

Thanks djou. This gives me a lot more confidence that I'm not wasting my money and I can halfway know what to look for.

#26 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Oldirtybearon said:

I'd honestly wait to see if the new consoles wind up kicking the shit out of current machines. Some people in the thread say that's inconceivable, but they seem to forget that a console doesn't have to run a bunch of applications and maintain other functions while playing a game. You know, like a PC.

That'd be my advice on the situation. Take it as you will.

They won't. I'll be back in a year to say I told you so. Mark my words.

#27 Posted by CatsAkimbo (601 posts) -

I've been thinking the same thing as the OP. I'm on a core2duo and a radeon 5800, so I'm running pretty old stuff. I spent a good amount of time tweaking my PC, so I've never really had problems playing games... until PlanetSide 2. Whatever PS2 is doing is just wrecking my system, even at lowest graphic settings, so I'm thinking it's time for an upgrade. All I really need is a mobo/cpu/RAM/gpu and I'm good to go, though I'm thinking of getting a new case and trying to make a quiet PC this time.

#28 Posted by Chrjz (321 posts) -

The Radeon 8000 series graphics cards should be out within the next month or two. They will probably be overpriced until Nvidia launches their 700 series but the older stuff should drop in price.

I don't think waiting for Haswell is very important.

#29 Edited by beeftothetaco (420 posts) -

It's always a good time. That's the beauty of using PCs for gaming: you can always upgrade. I built a top of the line PC last summer, and I've never looked back. Haven't touched the ol' 360 in 6 months. $2k well spent.

#30 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

@Carryboy said:

Thank you all for your response, as you guys and girls clearly have far better knowledge about this then i do i have another question:

I currently have a HD 6870 was thinking of upgrading to a hd 7950 (if i don't build a machine from scratch) but would i see a dramatic difference as my processor is a Phenom II X4 955 and with my limited knowlege I dont think that processor is all that great (?) would it bottleneck so to speak?

List your specs.

Being only one generation removed GPU-wise is absolutely no reason to upgrade, if you're looking for "a good time" to do so.

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