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When will PC hardware get exciting again?

Jan 13, 2020
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I don't know.... Games aren't really aren't getting more demanding so you don't necessarily need super high end hardware. Resolution keeps creeping up but for guys like me on my trusty 240 Hz 1080 Predator, that's not really an issue. My 2070 keeps most games well over 144 fps.

I'm currently gaming on an AMD 1600X @ 4 GHz and am considering moving up to the 3600 as it offers around a 20% increase in gaming but honestly I'm having a hard time talking myself into it because like I said, my current rig is doing just fine.
 
Nov 24, 2019
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A burst in VR could certainly make hardware interesting again. Do you guys think there'll be a resurgence in interest for VR sets (and the hardware to run them) by the time Half Life Alyx rolls around?
 
Jan 13, 2020
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Games aren't really aren't getting more demanding
Someone needs to play Control at 4K with RTX on. Playing at 12-20fps on an RTX 2080, backed up by a 9900K & 32GB of RAM, installed on a 3500Mbs SSD, is a quick reminder that games on the PC are like a gas, they quickly expand to fill whatever space there is to fill, until bursting at the seems.

..and before you say, 'ah, 4K', even at 1440p & 1080p, a locked 60fps is nowhere within site on the above spec.
 

Sarafan

Community Contributor
Jan 14, 2020
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I think that in the upcoming few years we'll see a burst of games that support ray tracing. The nextgen Nvidia cards will be released this year and they should have enough power to support ray tracing even in the budget segment. Ray tracing will probably become a new standard in the upcoming years.

As for VR, I think that it'll still be niche. Half Life Alys won't change that.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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I think there's an argument to be made that PC hardware is currently more exciting than it's ever been. Consider the fact that there's finally been an upset in the status quo between Intel and AMD, and that AMD is also taking another proper stab at the graphics card market. How long has it been, if ever, that buying AMD over Intel or Nvidia was actually the smart buy in some/most cases?

What's even more interesting is how much all the high-end hardware has come down in price. Or rather, how much computer you are now getting for your money. For about $800-1000 you can easily build a system that will smoke any game at 1080p and should perform admirably at 1440p as well. You could even squeeze a monitor and peripherals into that budget, if need be. And that system will look good doing it, too.

For PC builders, there's never been a better time to be alive.
 
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Inspireless Llama

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Dec 20, 2019
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What's even more interesting is how much all the high-end hardware has come down in price. Or rather, how much computer you are now getting for your money. For about $800-1000 you can easily build a system that will smoke any game at 1080p and should perform admirably at 1440p as well. You could even squeeze a monitor and peripherals into that budget, if need be. And that system will look good doing it, too.

For PC builders, there's never been a better time to be alive.
The question is how long that stays good though. My previous PC had a 3gb 1060, which worked fine but the amount of RAM was getting a bit of an issue. I now have a PC with a ryzen 2600 and an RTX2060, I hope I can play games fine for another 3 years ish but I really wonder if I can.

Maybe the excitement is gone from all the new things that are going through pc gaming, but I don't feel like the development of new technologies is slowing down at all.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Are you kidding? It's slowed down A TON! In the 90's, I would get a new PC every 3 years and it would TRIPLE the speed. Over the decades, I'm now waiting more like 5 years and, when the new PC shows up, its only somewhat faster. The higher resolutions just don't look all that different. Framerate increases seem pointless.

Tessellation was the last graphics tech improvement that impressed me - though ray tracing shows some promise. The only thing that's actually got me excited is VR.
 

JR88

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Jan 19, 2020
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It already isss man...some cool **** agian in recent years and everyone got me back into it. And being the techy to and fixing hardware and systems...i am having a blasttt with it man.
 
Jan 14, 2020
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The question is how long that stays good though. My previous PC had a 3gb 1060, which worked fine but the amount of RAM was getting a bit of an issue. I now have a PC with a ryzen 2600 and an RTX2060, I hope I can play games fine for another 3 years ish but I really wonder if I can.
In my opinion it was Nvidia's bad, bordering on shady practice, that they came out with a 3GB version of that card at all. The 1060 6GB was actually a fantastic value card for its time, but you kind of got shafted with that 3GB version, which is was basically dead on arrival.

The setup you have now should provide much better longevity. The 2060 will last you at least partially into the next console generation, parcticularly if you are playing at a normal resolution (1080p/1440p). The Ryzen 5 2600 is going to be plenty fast for years to come, but the beauty of the AM4 platform is that you can simply replace the CPU and leave everything else as-is should the need arise. It won't bottleneck your GPU unless you venture into 144+ fps territory though, so you probably won't NEED to upgrade it for quite a while.

I am just happy we're moving away from the 'buy new every year' mentality that the industry used to champion. I find that more companies are now looking to support products for longer, and backwards compatibility is becoming more important as time goes on. Entry level hardware is so good now that triple-A gaming should be within everyone's budget, unless you are going for an absolute bargain bin build of around $350-400. At that point grabbing a gaming console is just a better deal.

CES and the products that were announced there probably won't set the world on fire, but the real excitement is to be found in the here and now.
 
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JR88

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Jan 19, 2020
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I did...i bought the 3gb pny 1060 and was a good card for awhile. But yeah its restricted awful and nerfed cudas and only 3gb. I bought used vega 56 reference and couldnt be happier very powerful card and handles everything i throw at it.
 

Inspireless Llama

Community Contributor
Dec 20, 2019
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When I bought my 1060 I was forced to buy a new one since my previous card died haha. The issue with that was that it managed to break during the prime time of GPU mining and with a limited budget the 6gb 1060 was outside my budget.

For games that was a negative excitement, but nonetheless it reached the news alot, that coin mining.
 

JR88

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Jan 19, 2020
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When I bought my 1060 I was forced to buy a new one since my previous card died haha. The issue with that was that it managed to break during the prime time of GPU mining and with a limited budget the 6gb 1060 was outside my budget.

For games that was a negative excitement, but nonetheless it reached the news alot, that coin mining.
I was the same wayyy off. The 6gb was out of my budget i was trying stick close to $200. The vega reference is awesome card, really needs aftermarket cooler tho...if it gets too hot it restarts or black screens.
 

JR88

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Jan 19, 2020
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It worked out the aresenal is plenty powerful still. The 2600x is no slouch by any means, and still got the 7700k/evga ftwk too. Came real close to getting a 1080 but glad i never did. Amd is set for good stuff coming Navi will drop later. They've already gotten vega into 1080 realm stuff. And the 5700 series runs pretty good too. But something like the 6gb 1660 is a good buy right now too tho.
 

spvtnik1

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Was it ever not exciting?

I envisioned mixed reality headsets for the classroom in 1995... by gosh, it took 25 years but we're nearly there.

I'm waiting for the RTX 3000 series to come out (or to see if AMD has any good tricks up their sleeve for GPUs), and I'm also waiting to see how 2000 series drops in price as well. Over the last several years I kept telling myself I'd move to an Intel in my next build, but AMD's offerings are so good I may well stay with them.

I've been running Socket AM3+ for the last 12 years. That AMD upgrade path has been very forgiving to me, allowing me to buy those upgrades when my budget allows and when things have come down in price.

If I learned anything from being so frugal, it's that buying better [binned] parts at a price under the MSRP will definitely save you more in the long run.

And even when I'm excited to have a 1080p 100+ fps experience to look forward to when I upgrade, there is the VR hardware gap that will be the next hurdle. And then I'm sure something else will come along that drops our jaws. And so on...
 

JR88

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Jan 19, 2020
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It isss AMD is pulling huge upsets right now...theyve attoned for horribad Bulldozer/piledriver Am3+ socket...we just still cant convince enough People. They have to build Ryzen for themselves to see it truly.
 

Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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Was it ever not exciting?
This. I think there is plenty to be excited about!

Sure, the speed of advancement of computing technology may have slowed since the 80s and 90s, but computers are a mature technology now. I think there are still huge advancements happening, they're just spread out in a much larger and more diverse industry. Think about smartphones - the performance capability of the computers we have in our pockets has absolutely skyrocketed in the last decade.

But we're talking about PC hardware specifically in this thread, so I'll get back on track.
A burst in VR could certainly make hardware interesting again. Do you guys think there'll be a resurgence in interest for VR sets (and the hardware to run them) by the time Half Life Alyx rolls around?
I do think VR could drive the next big leap in gaming hardware performance. However, I don't think it's happening as quickly as folks originally thought it might. VR is a luxury gaming peripheral at the moment - like a full chair/wheel/pedals setup for a racing game fan. We won't see a huge flood of VR-capable tech until VR becomes a part of the normal, everyday gaming experience.

Half Life Alyx will be the first big, triple-A VR game that people will talk about, but I predict that the Half Life Alyx VR experience is still going to be limited to just the very top end of the enthusiast market.
 
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Alm

Jan 17, 2020
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I probably am in the minority but I find the whole teleport-to-move mechanic really off-putting. I love VR when I can walk to places irl, but that is severely limiting to which games I will enjoy. I'm sure I'd love VR for racing too but don't have room for a racing setup currently.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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What's even more interesting is how much all the high-end hardware has come down in price. Or rather, how much computer you are now getting for your money. For about $800-1000 you can easily build a system that will smoke any game at 1080p and should perform admirably at 1440p as well. You could even squeeze a monitor and peripherals into that budget, if need be. And that system will look good doing it, too.
This is a great point. I think one of the most appealing parts of PC hardware nowadays is how good budget processors and gpus are getting. Also worth mentioning the used market is as expansive as ever if you want to get in even cheaper.
 
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JR88

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Jan 19, 2020
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This is a great point. I think one of the most appealing parts of PC hardware nowadays is how good budget processors and gpus are getting. Also worth mentioning the used market is as expansive as ever if you want to get in even cheaper.
Its getting exceptionally good. You can get a good processor for like $200ish now. And good gpus for $200-300ish...i think thats affordable at least.
 
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Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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This is a great point. I think one of the most appealing parts of PC hardware nowadays is how good budget processors and gpus are getting. Also worth mentioning the used market is as expansive as ever if you want to get in even cheaper.
Absolutely! It's easy to focus on only the best and most powerful PC hardware. That's the stuff that makes the flashiest headlines and is the most desirable, but there's so much cool stuff at the cheap end of the market! That's what's most exciting to me at the moment, not the next $800 GPU that I'll never buy anyway. Take the Ryzen 3 3200G - the amount of gaming performance you can get for under $100 USD is just awesome.
 
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Jan 13, 2020
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My two cents is that a combination of matured ray tracing (this means RT for all not just Nvidia, and hardware that can actually RT without it gutting performance) and VR, along with ever improving game engines will usher in a new wave of excitement.

More power is always a welcome thing, but I would imagine that the average Joe/Jane would prefer that power to be more economically obtainable. VR & RT are both nascent as consumer products, whether that's because they are not quite there yet technologically or because the economic threshold is too great. So overall I'd say the fusion of matured tech with "reasonable" consumer price points would be the ignition point on a reinvigorated PC experience. That, or straight up Half Life 3 announcement, its one of those... ;p
 
Jan 19, 2020
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I think there's an argument to be made that PC hardware is currently more exciting than it's ever been. Consider the fact that there's finally been an upset in the status quo between Intel and AMD, and that AMD is also taking another proper stab at the graphics card market. How long has it been, if ever, that buying AMD over Intel or Nvidia was actually the smart buy in some/most cases?

What's even more interesting is how much all the high-end hardware has come down in price. Or rather, how much computer you are now getting for your money. For about $800-1000 you can easily build a system that will smoke any game at 1080p and should perform admirably at 1440p as well. You could even squeeze a monitor and peripherals into that budget, if need be. And that system will look good doing it, too.

For PC builders, there's never been a better time to be alive.
Totally agree! Third time building a pc and I was stunned by the choice and complexity of 2019/20!The value/performance ratios have never been better.

I haven’t spent any more money this time round than I did 5 years ago on last build and I have a much better pc with more options for future upgrades.
 
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