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Gaming PC future proofing


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Interesting watch on what areas to look out for to keep your PC upto spec in keeping up with the upcoming consoles.

 

Essentially no need to change much now it's more of what you'll need to look at in a couple of years.

 

Personally I usually upgrade when the experience I'm getting isn't that good. Happy to stretch things out at times as long as everything runs smoothly so happy to drop detail levels or resolution.

 

Saying all that I will be reviewing my setup next winter time once everything settles down a bit. I expect it will be a slow transition over to the new consoles and nothing that taxing will be hitting the market over the next 18months or so.

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I think it was a sensible video if you're buying something today.  If you have a PC that runs current gen games it seems like an utterly daft time to buy.  Waiting the couple of years it'll take for proper next gen games to arrive will net you significantly better cost/performance.

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Indeed agree completely. However would it be advantageous for example to source a say 2080 Ti video card if they drop in price say mid next year? 

 

Personally think my system is good for at least another couple of years

 

1st gen Ryzen 5 1600, 16GB RAM with space for expansion SSDs all round and NVme motherboard mounted drive. How have a 980Ti GPU.

 

Things I will probably tweak at some point is a processor boost upto a 8 or 12 core unit. New GPU, probably source a 2080 Ti hopefully next year. Might add a couple of more memory modules and take it upto 32GB. Think that will be good for me for another 4 years perhaps!

 

Great thing about the PC not fixed in stone so things get cheaper and more powerful 

 

Think a large portion of my gaming will be in VR especially in 3D environments so as long as the experience there holds up I'll be all good.

 

 

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I’d agree an upgrade, even now, of a 2080 Ti, an octa-core AMD processor, 32gb RAM and storage solely being NVMe or SSD would give you a very serious PC that’ll be good to go for numerous years. It’ll also be a serious price but that’s the cost of cutting edge PC tech. 

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I put together something at Overclockers - 3700x, X570, 32gb 3000mhz RAM, MSI 2080 Ti, 500gb M.2, 1TB SSD, 850w Platinum PSU. Them to build and no Win 10. £2,562.77. Undoubtedly could be done for less than that but it’s probably fair to say you’re looking at 2K+ for something that could be called ‘future proof’. 
 

I’m actually ok with that, I’d just love to see some progress in the PC monitor space. I’m not hooking up my own PC to my LG OLED. The 55” screen is far too big and I want to play at a desk via mouse and keyboard. 

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I'll be interested to see what the PC equivalent of the PS5/XSX actually looks like once the dust has settled and the likes of DF have been able to do some proper console-PC comparisons. I've currently got a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and an after market RX 5700, which I'm hoping will be at least as good as the next gen of consoles, at least for the first year or so before developers start really pushing the hardware. So far I've been able to hit 60 FPS on high-ultra at 1440p with everything I've thrown at it. I know the console marketeers keep banging on about native 4K, but they're never going to hit that at 60FPS, at least not with triple A games. I'd prefer if they focused on 60 frames at 1440p.

 

Regardless, I'll be sticking to PC for the majority of my gaming going into this next gen but will be picking up a PS5 at some point (as well as Nintendo's next) purely for the exclusives. If I was going to upgrade my PC, like @MattyP, it'll be for one of the higher-grade Nvidia RTX cards, once they drop in price.

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My PC has been amazing, frankly, but I rarely use it for games these days. It's been chugging along with an i5 3570k for about eight years now, helped by a 980ti. It still runs anything I throw at it at the moment, in spite of the processor being an obvious bottleneck.

 

I keep mulling over a CPU/motherboard/RAM upgrade, but those alone would set me back as much as a next gen console so I'm hoping to wait a bit longer for those.

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The most disappointing thing I found when I got an XboneX is that the CPU in it is still so shit it can't manage a stable 60fps in something like Sekiro. My modest gaming laptop can manage it at 1080p with no issues, so to be honest the CPU upgrade will probably be what finally gets the consoles up to the level of PC hardware for a lot of situations. I can't imagine PS5 getting much more complex than what a 2070 Super or something can manage at the moment in the first few years.

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It does seem a bit bonkers. I'll be amazed if the highest-priced model doesn't come in at £599. And if it doesn't, and it's £500 or so, Sony are taking a bath on that for a good while.

 

My setup is a Ryzen 7 2700X rev2, coupled with an Ryzen X470 motherboard, NVMe drive for OS and apps, SSD for games, and an RTX 2060.

 

I actually think that might end up being comparable to the PS5 for a while, although it's moot as I'll be upgrading the graphics once the 30XX line comes out. If you want an upgrade path, an equivalent to that lot (CPU, Mobo, gfx & M.2) could be put together for about £700 new, maybe a bit less if you shop around. And that's assuming you have case, RAM, PSU etc. etc. etc.

 

So yeah, the PS5 is looking like a monster in the half-a-grand bracket.

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45 minutes ago, Opinionated Ham Scarecrow said:

These next gen consoles sound too good to be true. Ryzen 7 3700x plus RTX 2070 equivalent performance with some God tier SSD drive for £400 - 500?

 

Man... even if these specs are hyped a little, these things are gonna be nice bits of kit.

 

This is what I was thinking, but then keeping all of those components cool, without it getting very noisy, is going to take a lot of fans and space for airflow, which is why the PS5 is so massive, I suppose. 

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I upgraded my PC last week from a i5 4670k and 980ti to i7 10700k and RTX2070 super and am still playing Rocket League on my 1080p gsync monitor so I am clearly mental.  To be fair the 4670k was 8 years old and 980ti 5 years old so felt I was due an upgrade and am too impatient to wait another year or two*.  I think I'll be good for running any early next gen games for awhile and possibly upgrade again in a couple of years.  Also I needed more grunt for my wireless VR setup (original HTC Vive and Wireless adapter) which my previous setup was struggling with.  I also get to use supersampling, more expensive Aa, raytracing and other bells and whistles at 60+fps.

 

 

* Further self justification is that I've saved a fortune by not buying any current gen consoles over the last 8 years and have bought PC versions of games much cheaper than the console equivalents.

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I'd say the best strategy is just get the most future proof motherboard you can, and upgrade CPUs and GPUs as the fancy takes you. Buying the best of everything right now seems expensive, I think you can lag a few revisions and still be up for all the latest games.

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The idea of upgrading or comparing the cost of a new computer to a next generation console at this point of a console cycle always seems to be a fruitless endeavor, let alone with any potential supply disruptions due to Covid. I'd rather just wait for reasonable reviews to NVidia's Ampere cards to emerge along with the stock to match, and then pick it up if it's a vast improvement on cross-gen titles (or, uh, Cyberpunk). The mid-end Turing cards, ultimately, were not that great for either Ray-Tracing or providing a marked improvement for price/performance, so I'm weary of a video that would recommend these cards outside of a fire sale.

My current PC is definitely on the more generous end of the steam hardware survey spectrum (3700X and a 1070, driving little more than two 1080p screens), but to be perfectly honest the upgrades I did to the motherboard and processor were essentially for fringe purposes (namely, being able to play the PS3 and Wii U games I have without bothering to hook them back up to the telly) - If that wasn't the case, I'd probably still be on a Sandy Bridge i7 or whatever refurbished Office computers are going for these days on eBay.

I am looking forward to a new console generation that will take advantage of a decent processor die and SSD speeds, however - While I did love the X-Box One X for sheer form factor alone (small, solid, actually felt like a premium bit of kit and it still somehow stuffed an internal power supply into it!), it really felt hamstrung by framerates in some games even if it could shit everything out at 4K.

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It should be treated as more of an information video or exercise as is often the case with Digital Foundry who are just fun for considering certain angles (not to mention it is a sponsored video)

 

Here are the hard truths

 

1: Right now is a poor time to build a high end gaming PC - the current RTX line from inception is almost 2 years old and the replacements are months away - same with AMD who currently have zilch in the high end market for GPU's

 

2: Next gen consoles will have a far superior hardware price to value based on current knowledge at launch - particularly if they manage to come in under £500.00 which is excellent value for the hardware. If someone is looking for a high end experience without wanting to spend more than a few hundred this year - this is the way to go.

 

3: "Future proofing" pc's is a fools errand with two much money (2080ti owner here) - for most people you go with the option that presents the best value for your needs and resolution and pocket the rest for an earlier upgrade rather than spend all out and have hardware that is outdated as "the best" within 2 years 

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I have a Ryzen 5 2600 and just got a 2070 Super (with the money i had saved up for a PS5). My next upgrade would be the processor but to be honest, i reckon i'm fine for at least another year or even 2 with my current setup.

I had a Xbox One X which was great, i thought Forza 7 was especially good on it, until i tried it on PC. My PC with my old GTX 1080 ran it on Ultra at 1440p without breaking a sweat. As good as the consoles are now, they still really cant compete with a mid to higher tier PC when it comes to pure grunt. Consoles do have the social and convenience factor on their side though.

 

tldr: the pc you currently have is probably more capable than you think and probably doesnt need upgrading :)

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1 minute ago, Uzi said:

 

 

3: "Future proofing" pc's is a fools errand with two much money (2080ti owner here) - for most people you go with the option that presents the best value for your needs and resolution and pocket the rest for an earlier upgrade rather than spend all out and have hardware that is outdated as "the best" within 2 years 

I have fallen in to this trap numerous times before. I've only now realised that previously "top end" PC's will be capable gaming machines long after they are no longer considered top tier. I gave my old i7 960 setup (over 10 year old processor) with a GTX 1060 to my brother in law and he's still happily gaming on it, oblivious to the fact that it would be considered an out of date relic now. 

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14 minutes ago, sbrandon111 said:

Consoles do have the social and convenience factor on their side though.

 

Do they, though? Separate debate, but I own all the current gen consoles now (bog standard Switch, super-cheap PS4 slim, expensive Xbox One X) along with my gaming PC, and both Switch and PC are by some considerable margin the speediest to go from, "I want to play" to "I'm playing a game".

 

Both PS4 and Xbox have most of the drawbacks you only used to associate with PC gaming: OS updates that are slow to download and longer to unpack/install, game updates that are essentially just the full game redownloaded rather than a patch, etc.  that the PC circumvents by having far faster storage & retrieval, slow loading times.

 

I think MS and Sony have really focused on squishing this problem with the next gen, which would get consoles back on top in the 'I just want to play a game' stakes, but we'll see. 

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7 minutes ago, Siri said:

The mid-end Turing cards, ultimately, were not that great for either Ray-Tracing or providing a marked improvement for price/performance, so I'm weary of a video that would recommend these cards outside of a fire sale.

 

Like with so many things PC-related, the above very much depends on what you were coming from. I recently upgraded from an i4670K and a 970 to a 3600 and 2070 Super and it's been a massive jump and well worth the money (especially as I got the GPU for about £330 - which is also what I paid for my 970 back in 2015!)

 

There's not been any significant upgrade path for cards above a 970 though (in terms of price vs performance), I agree. And I certainly wouldn't buy my Super again right now, with the next set of cards at least due to be unveiled soon-ish (if not in stock). So I guess I actually agree with you, so this post has been worthless. Good job! :D

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3 minutes ago, Gabe said:

 

Like with so many things PC-related, the above very much depends on what you were coming from. I recently upgraded from an i4670K and a 970 to a 3600 and 2070 Super and it's been a massive jump and well worth the money (especially as I got the GPU for about £330 - which is also what I paid for my 970 back in 2015!)

 

There's not been any significant upgrade path for cards above a 970 though (in terms of price vs performance), I agree. And I certainly wouldn't buy my Super again right now, with the next set of cards at least due to be unveiled soon-ish (if not in stock). So I guess I actually agree with you, so this post has been worthless. Good job! :D

The 2070 super was the best value for higher end performance in the RTX line so you chose well there!

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3 minutes ago, Treble said:

 

Do they, though? Separate debate, but I own all the current gen consoles now (bog standard Switch, super-cheap PS4 slim, expensive Xbox One X) along with my gaming PC, and both Switch and PC are by some considerable margin the speediest to go from, "I want to play" to "I'm playing a game".

 

 

good point, the Xbox and PS4 are both plagued with constant game updates. Not the console's fault of course but it is a factor in the convenience argument. I guess some people will still have the perception that pc gaming is hard to get i to, and it does have a high initial monetary outlay. An interesting discussion for another day :)

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@Treble I was helped out with the purchase, rather than snagging a bargain. But it definitely means that even if I upgrade in a year or so, I'll have got good value from it.

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1 minute ago, sbrandon111 said:

good point, the Xbox and PS4 are both plagued with constant game updates. Not the console's fault of course but it is a factor in the convenience argument. I guess some people will still have the perception that pc gaming is hard to get i to, and it does have a high initial monetary outlay. An interesting discussion for another day :)

 

Yep. To tie a bow on it for now, I'd echo you and @Uzi that buying-in from the ground level at this point is a daft idea - go with the new console gen if you don't already own enough PC kit to make incremental upgrades worthwhile.

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1 minute ago, Uzi said:

The 2070 super was the best value for higher end performance in the RTX line so you chose well there!

 

Yeah, I had read *a lot* about upgrading and whilst the 5700 with a BIOS flash to XT levels would've been a cheaper and good outcome, there are still enough grumbles about driver support out there that I just wanted something to slot in and work. And it does, wonderfully!

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Built my current PC about a year ago - i7 8700, 32gb 3000 DDR4 RAM, overclocked 2070, 1TB SSD - and went with a target 1440p system. Cost me about £1,500 and frankly I'm glad I made the investment. I did skimp slightly on the mobo as it's a Z370 rather than a Z390 but it will take M.2 drives and all that good stuff. I battled on with my previous PC for about 7 or 8 years and whilst it wasn't running anything at Ultra it still did a good job, so I'm hoping to get a good 4 or 5 out of this with maybe a graphics card upgrade if something significantly more powerful comes along. 

 

Fair to say I won't be bothering with a next-gen console any time soon, partly because I'm enjoying PC gaming too much but also I'd rather spend that money on my PC which I use for music production, emulation and other bits and bobs, things a PS5 will never be able to do. 

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i5 6600K 

1070 GTX

16 Gb DDR5 RAM

NVMe 500Gb for the OS and 2x250Gb SSD in raid 0

 

It runs everything maxed at 1080p 60 FPS without much of a problem, I might switch my monitor to 1440 at some point and then I'll most likely get myself a 2070 GTX or a 3070 GTX if they're about.

 

Other than that I think I'm pretty much set.

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7 minutes ago, Treble said:

 

Yep. To tie a bow on it for now, I'd echo you and @Uzi that buying-in from the ground level at this point is a daft idea - go with the new console gen if you don't already own enough PC kit to make incremental upgrades worthwhile.


Looking at the availability of PC components right now it would be hard enough building something in the current climate. 

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The 4k target for the consoles is the crucial thing here. I get the impression most people here would be happier with a 1440p or even 1080p at 60+fps than a 4k at sub-60fps. There's this view with the hardware manufacturers that 4k is the be all and end all and the logical next step in fidelity, but frankly I'd much rather have a fast and smooth experience than a hi-res pretty one. And for anyone going PC this will probably be the biggest factor in keeping your current system worthwhile for a good while yet.  

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

The most disappointing thing I found when I got an XboneX is that the CPU in it is still so shit it can't manage a stable 60fps in something like Sekiro. My modest gaming laptop can manage it at 1080p with no issues, so to be honest the CPU upgrade will probably be what finally gets the consoles up to the level of PC hardware for a lot of situations. I can't imagine PS5 getting much more complex than what a 2070 Super or something can manage at the moment in the first few years.

Sekiro was a bit of a catalyst for me to jump back into PC games. I was really hoping for my X to at least give a 60fps mode but alas. No problem now though, I can get a rock solid maxed 60fps out of my modest laptop and god knows what frame rate I could get out of the PC plugged into my main TV if I messed with uncapped shit.

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