Is now a good time to look at a PC build?

#1 Posted by SpudBug (633 posts) -

My laptop is basically obsolete for gaming. The last game i played on it was Starcraft 2 and it struggled at low settings.

I've been wanting to build a legit tower pc for a while now - is this the right time to jump in? I'm getting kind of unhappy with the performance on the modern consoles. I know that there were landmark times in PC specs like when the 8800 card came out and the GTX whatever (I am very unfamiliar with PC hardware) where everything that came after was really just incremental upgrades on that base performance level.

Do you think that an $800 PC build right now would be able to last through part of the coming console generation? Similar to how building a PC in 2005-2006 might have lasted you through most of the current console generation? I figure if I get a good 4-5 years of use out of a system it's a good value. Is it pretty easy to upgrade and stay relatively current as well?

I know nobody has any way of predicting this but console games really do dictate the pace of the performance/graphics of modern games and I just want to build a PC that will be able to keep up with the coming generation the way the 8800 was pretty much able to keep up with Xbox 360/PS3 level development.

Guess I'm just wondering with things like DirectX 11 becoming more common I want a card that will be able to push games taking advantage of those higher spec features, but it sounds like maybe support/hardware power isn't quite there for DirectX 11 yet? Thanks for the input, duders.

#2 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1832 posts) -

if youve been able to hold out this long i think it would be better to wait for the next console generation instead of getting a new computer.

#3 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

See my thread on the subject for more info: http://www.giantbomb.com/forums/general-discussion/30/pc-upgrade-yay-or-nay/544929/#11
 
I've got a PC that I've had for 4 years now and I'm thinking about doing a complete overhaul later this year if I can afford it.

#4 Posted by Management (596 posts) -

This is the perfect time to build a gaming PC. Now that consoles are starting to fall behind you really get something from playing you games on a PC.

I built myself a nice PC last year and i expect it to last for quite some time.

#5 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

This is a perfect time. Earliest new consoles would be out will be next holiday season, and good computer hardware is cheaper now than it has ever been. I highly recommend it, preferably before the midsummer steam sale. I got something like 85 games last summer steam sale for about $160.

#6 Posted by AndrewB (7613 posts) -

There's been a recent release of new Intel processors and motherboards and new graphics cards from both noteworthy producers of graphics hardware.

Now is about as good of a time as it gets.

#7 Posted by Butano (1738 posts) -

The only thing that's gonna be a little more pricey than it usually is is the hard drive, due to the floodings last year. But I say go for it!

#8 Posted by Korwin (2864 posts) -

It's the best time right now. Intel's latest CPU lineup just launched and both major GPU vendors are early in their product cycle.

#9 Posted by A_Deep_Mushroom (88 posts) -

I'm gonna echo all of the previous posters saying that now is a good time to be interested in building a PC. Harddrive prices are starting to go down, and those next gen Gpu's are driving down the prices of the previous gen's hardware. If you're struggling to find out what you need hardware wise, Tom's Hardware has a good monthly feature for the best Cpu's and Gpu's for your money. PC gamer has a great article on upgrading their keyboard, but what you should be looking at are the PC specs below it. In my opinion, I think they spent too much on their Cpu, Psu and could have spent more on their Gpu. I honestly don't know if your $800 dollar build will last through the next console gen's lifecycle though. It might last a little bit into it. PC World speculated back in September that there will be a four fold increase in Cpu power and a a eight fold increase in Gpu power. If that really is the case, then gaming will see a drastic boost in quality both upfront and on the back end. But, I'd take their speculation with a grain of salt until the consoles are actually revealed. Seeing is believing.

#10 Posted by GeekDown (1170 posts) -

Yes, do it. Now is the perfect time to jump into the wonderful world of pc gaming. I built one late last year and I have almost given up on console games.

#11 Edited by emem (1967 posts) -
@Management said:

Now that consoles are starting to fall behind...

Reading that sentence really cracks me up. :)
#12 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -

@emem said:

@Management said:

Now that consoles are starting to fall behind...

Reading that sentence really cracks me up. :)

True dat. PC was out of sight 5 years ago.

#13 Posted by mosespippy (4180 posts) -

I need to replace my laptop too but I think I'll try and hold off for a few months till Window's 8 comes out before deciding if I want Win7 or Win8.

#14 Edited by Eurobum (245 posts) -

@SpudBug:

It's the best time ever, AMD and NVidia just released new graphics 28nm tech and new architecture (which happens every 5 years), Intel couple of days ago released IVY Bridge the new 22nm CPU iteration, happens every 1 to 2 years. First time in a decade graphics cards don't actually sound like a jet-turbine, because of heatpipe cooling and efficient tech.

It would be even better timing if windows 8 was just released as well, but this may take till end of the year, and has little to offer for gaming - directX 11.1(?), which will likely take years to find its way into a game engine?

#15 Edited by rambostyrer (34 posts) -

I'll say go for it, for 800$ you'll get a gaming PC vastly superior to the current consoles, whom will not be replaced until Christmas next year at the earliest. If 800$ is enough to keep up with the next gen of consoles is unknown(as specs are only rumours) , but if you pick the right parts for your PC, upgrading it will be both cheap and very easy.

#16 Posted by ShadowSkill11 (1783 posts) -

Dude it is always a good time to buy or build a pc. You just need to accept the fact there will always be something better right after you buy one. Think of a graph. A console would look like a digital signal. It would jump straight up with a new console generation and then stay level for a long time. A pc would just be a steady analog line always going up forever over time because there will always be faster CPUs, ram, chipsets, and video cards released on a consistent basis. The trick is just to build one powerful enough to last for about 3 to 5 years or use tech new enough not to require ram and motherboard replacements to take advantage of upgrades.

#17 Posted by Judgement (15 posts) -

$800 will get you a PC that will blow the next generation of consoles out of the water, so I wouldn't worry about that. As far as releases go, you aren't going to be getting top-tier components with your budget so there isn't any reason to wait around for a 690 or anything like that.

@Management said:

This is the perfect time to build a gaming PC. Now that consoles are starting to fall behind you really get something from playing you games on a PC.

I built myself a nice PC last year and i expect it to last for quite some time.

Lol.

#18 Posted by Subjugation (4720 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

@emem said:

@Management said:

Now that consoles are starting to fall behind...

Reading that sentence really cracks me up. :)

True dat. PC was out of sight 5 years ago.

Consoles weren't ever ahead. Bro-fist.

#19 Posted by envane (1163 posts) -

dx11 is here , just people are using it stupidly like overused tessellation on everything , games that use dx11 properly now are showing the imrpovements in image quality and performance over dx9 and 10 that they originally claimed etc .. and with current top of the line graphics cards at least you have no issues in realistic gameplay settings etc .. but even the current mid range cards perform pretty well in games such as bf3

processors are just amazingly good now and keep getting better the only benefit from waiting on upgrading processor now is next year things will likely be 10x more hot-shit

ssd :/ i have 2 ssds , and i love them .. theyre also nto as fast as the new ssds , and now im bitter .. but still cant go back to a non ssd system drive etc .. and probably would notice the performance drop in games but really .. external hds suck i hate storing shit .. cant have a zilling games installed :/

overall pc upgrading / new pc building is quite good at the moment.

#20 Posted by SpudBug (633 posts) -

Well, now i'm thinking closer to $1000-$1200 or so. I'd like to get a GTX 670, and i'm willing to bump the price to support having a truly next gen and cutting edge card.

Is an i7 processor overkill? Would it be better to just stick with i5 for cost? Going for i7 and GTX670 i'll be closer to $1400, i think. That's not that much more and it should be future proofed for a long time. At least 5-7 years, I hope.

#21 Posted by shinboy630 (1139 posts) -

@SpudBug: If you are strictly gaming, an i5 should be more than enough. It is only if you are doing stuff like recording/rendering video of you playing games (that's only one obvious example) that you would want an i7.

#22 Posted by spazmaster666 (1967 posts) -

@SpudBug said:

Well, now i'm thinking closer to $1000-$1200 or so. I'd like to get a GTX 670, and i'm willing to bump the price to support having a truly next gen and cutting edge card.

Is an i7 processor overkill? Would it be better to just stick with i5 for cost? Going for i7 and GTX670 i'll be closer to $1400, i think. That's not that much more and it should be future proofed for a long time. At least 5-7 years, I hope.

Just make sure you get a motherboard with PCI-E 3.0. At this point I would rather get LGA 2011 than LGA 1155 especially if you are thinking of SLI or crossfire in the future. Though a nice Z68 board with PCI-E wouldn't be too bad either since they support Ivy Bridge.

#23 Posted by VACkillers (1063 posts) -

I7 isn't overkill in my opinion, you most likely dont NEED the new 3rd gen i7 chipset, the ivy bridge, the sandy bridges are just fine, if your thinking of going with an i5, its a great cpu but not really next gen, and dunno if that will bottle neck a very powerful graphics card like a GTX670. When going with a whole new build, its best to just buy the best you possibly can at the time, so if u can go with an i7, then GO with an i7 definitely, especially if you want it to last more then 2 yrs. I havne't done any checking to see when intel are due out their new 8 core cpus but that might be quite a bit away. I personally think now is a very decent time to buy a new machine, especially with the games that are coming out right now. Just get a motherboard that supports 2 PCI Express 3.0 slots, for upgradeability later on, so you can just pop in another 670 later if and when you need it.

#24 Posted by TheHBK (5485 posts) -

It being a good time depends on how much you will spend and I dont think 800 bucks is gonna do it for a gaming system that keeps up with the next gen consoles. I would say you have to invest at least $350 on a graphics card now to do that, and the Ivy Bridge chips are still getting out there so I would wait until later this summer at the least.

#25 Posted by VACkillers (1063 posts) -

a lot of it comes down to a personal preference as well....

#26 Posted by Raven10 (1789 posts) -

@SpudBug said:

Well, now i'm thinking closer to $1000-$1200 or so. I'd like to get a GTX 670, and i'm willing to bump the price to support having a truly next gen and cutting edge card.

Is an i7 processor overkill? Would it be better to just stick with i5 for cost? Going for i7 and GTX670 i'll be closer to $1400, i think. That's not that much more and it should be future proofed for a long time. At least 5-7 years, I hope.

If you can afford an i7 then go with an i7. You won't need it for current games, but if you want to last through most of the next gen console cycle then having a top end CPU certainly wouldn't hurt. I'd also definitely recommend at least a GTX 670 if you want to play on high settings for a couple years. I spent about $1700 on my PC a couple years back and all of the parts have held up just fine for two and a half years. I would say I still have another year or two to go before I would start needing to look into any major upgrades. I did replace the GPU recently, but that was because Radeon drivers weren't playing nice with some software I needed to run so I switched over to an Nvidia.

#27 Posted by SpudBug (633 posts) -

sounds like the motherboard requirements, i7, and GTX670 are the main things to be concerned about. I think I can still afford an SSD as the main drive.. maybe.

#28 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Wait till E3, and see what the next consoles look liike.

#29 Posted by SpudBug (633 posts) -

@Bourbon_Warrior: The WiiU will be the only "next gen" console appearing at E3 and it will be a marginal increase over what we have now from the 360/PS3.

The next console from Sony and Microsoft are probably not going to really show up until holiday 2013 at the latest, and whatever PC I build today with a budget around $1300 will easily match or exceed what they're planning to put into those boxes, I think. They have a budget around $400, but can plan custom parts to reduce costs, but they still have to make those plans a year or 18 months in advance, meaning around now. Good quality PC parts in spring 2012 will be equivalent to performance on 2013 next gen consoles, I think.

#30 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@SpudBug said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: The WiiU will be the only "next gen" console appearing at E3 and it will be a marginal increase over what we have now from the 360/PS3.

The next console from Sony and Microsoft are probably not going to really show up until holiday 2013 at the latest, and whatever PC I build today with a budget around $1300 will easily match or exceed what they're planning to put into those boxes, I think. They have a budget around $400, but can plan custom parts to reduce costs, but they still have to make those plans a year or 18 months in advance, meaning around now. Good quality PC parts in spring 2012 will be equivalent to performance on 2013 next gen consoles, I think.

OK sure....Just wait to the end of the Xbox conference, Mirrors Edge 2, Burnout Planet, Halo 4 all on next gen hardware

#31 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

@SpudBug said:

@Bourbon_Warrior: The WiiU will be the only "next gen" console appearing at E3 and it will be a marginal increase over what we have now from the 360/PS3.

The next console from Sony and Microsoft are probably not going to really show up until holiday 2013 at the latest, and whatever PC I build today with a budget around $1300 will easily match or exceed what they're planning to put into those boxes, I think. They have a budget around $400, but can plan custom parts to reduce costs, but they still have to make those plans a year or 18 months in advance, meaning around now. Good quality PC parts in spring 2012 will be equivalent to performance on 2013 next gen consoles, I think.

Good quality 2011 parts should outperform nex gen consoles at 720p if the rumors are to be trusted.

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