Is it a good time to upgrade or buy a gaming PC? [Introduction]
I will start by telling the story of how we got our first gaming pc. Seven years ago, my brother and I convinced our mom that we needed a new computer to help us with our schooling (hehe). She eventually agreed and gave us a budget, I’ll be honest, at that time, my knowledge of computer hardware was very limited. My brother did almost everything, from planning and researching, what to buy and where to buy. After weeks of planning and failed negotiation attempts to increase the budget. The time has finally come and we bought our first gaming PC and it was glorious.
Meet my gaming PC
We named our gaming PC “Black” because of obviously, the casing was black. It had a tinted window that makes everything inside looked darker. The components were also mostly black and while it’s not that aesthetically good by today’s standard of gaming rigs. It sported a really cool, dark and minimalistic style. We even had to buy a better looking Power Supply because the one we originally bought had the standard red/yellow/orange wires. (Okay, the original PSU actually broke down after a month, we had it RMA’d and we can’t wait for it to get replaced so we bought a new PSU)
Good ol’ days
Everything I played before was incredibly better looking and smoother. For the first time I was able to play games in max settings and in 60FPS. I finally had the chance to play new games, from the Warcraft 3 Mod, DotA to Heroes of Newerth(It’s 2011 and I had no beta access to Dota 2), from Diablo 2 to Dragon Age Origins, and from the original Counter Strike to Battlefield 3, and ultimately by the end of 2011, Skyrim. But of course, we did not forget that we bought this computer to help us boost our performance in school. We also installed Microsoft Office.
Black had some upgrades and part replacements over the years. It is still pretty decent for gaming but it’s no longer able to max out games in terms of graphics. It started when Fallout 4 came out, I thought I could just turn the graphic settings to low and I’ll be able to play smoothly. I was wrong, it was barely playable even after just recently replacing my GTX 560Ti with an AMD R9 270. Just like Dragon Age Inquisition, I had to postpone from playing most games until I upgrade. I was able to upgrade my GPU again to GTX 1060 6GB for BF1 but it’s no longer cutting it. My GPU is obviously being bottlenecked by my CPU, the i5-2400. At least I was able to finish Dragon Age Inquisition and Fallout 4 though.
A CPU bottleneck is when a CPU is incapable of keeping up with other hardware, generally the graphics card, in a certain task. You will experience subpar FPS, slowdowns, or in worst case scenarios a stuttery near unplayable gaming experience.
The transcendence begins… again
Fast forward to today, it’s 2018. I miss playing games on ultra settings and have decent frames. A new Battlefield game is inbound, surely it is the best time for me to upgrade my gaming PC. But it is really though? Unless I’m planning to just replace my processor with a better Sandy Bridge CPU. I will have to buy a new CPU, Motherboard and RAM.
“Is it a good time to upgrade or buy a gaming PC?”
Come and join me in this monthly blog series and let’s discuss these factors that would affect our answer to the question.
Average price for the last 18 months – source: PCPartPicker
The biggest factor for me here is price. So if you’re here and looking to buy a new gaming PC you’ll probably need a Graphics Card. As an example: I bought my Galax GTX 1060 EXOC 6GB for Php 12,950 ($246) last November 2016. Today, the same card costs Php 18,430 ($350). Paying a hundred dollars more than its SRP is something I, personally, cannot justify. The same goes for DDR4 RAMs, the price has nearly doubled from late 2016 up to present.
Why are GPU and RAM too expensive?
The short answer is supply and demand. RAMs are not exclusive to computers so what little is left to the PC market is being sold at higher price, while GPUs are being bought by bulk for cryptocurrency mining.
What are the other factors?
Information. Hardware releases and announcements could affect pricing in the near future or you’ll simply get a better deal if you waited a little bit more.
On our upcoming post for this series, we will roundup every significant piece of information that will help us decide when to upgrade or buy a gaming PC. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stopping anyone from spending their hard-earned money to buy whatever they want. In fact, I will also be providing build guides for anyone who can’t wait any longer.
For the build guides, all will be prioritizing gaming and will be divided into 5 price segments:
- Under 20K
- Not Over 100K
To be honest, I think that these price points are too expensive. But with the current prices, these are the price points that would have significant differences in performance and capability. Hopefully, over the next few months the prices will change for the better.
That’s all for the introduction, I hope to see you on the next one.