Opinion: You don’t have to wait for Lovelace, to be honest. The general advice about building a gaming PC right now is that you should pause for a few months because a lot of new generation component releases are on the horizon. In theory, that makes sense – there’s no point in buying GPUs or processors right now if they’re about to be replaced, right?
Oh no. At the very least, I don’t agree with that, especially if you’re late to revisit what happened during the release of the current generation of graphics cards. A poor combination of chip shortages (itself caused by manufacturing problems and rising demand from other tech sectors), combined with the explosion of Ethereum, a cryptocurrency likely to be mined on consumer-grade GPUs.
Demand soared overnight while a sharp drop in output and inventories sent prices soaring. Only in recent weeks, a large number of PC gamers and PC enthusiasts have been bold to own an Nvidia Ampere or AMD RDNA2 video card at a reasonable price. It’s good to say people keep it until the Lovelace and RDNA 3 cards are released, but looking around Amazon Prime Day deals, it’s really refreshing to see a healthy supply of components in stock and at a reasonable price.
I feel that telling people to wait is also a disadvantage for those who are still using older hardware, especially those who have made the leap and bought the current generation card recently. While this isn’t the only way to test the state of the gaming market, the Steam Hardware survey (open in the new tab) still puts tags from the GeForce GTX 16 series at the top of the list, and developers at least know that they can’t market games to audiences using hardware that isn’t capable of running them.
The Nvidia RTX 30 series and Big Navi cards will be greatly suited for years to come, as will the recently released processors, motherboards and more. There’s a lot of pressure to upgrade your entire system to a full next-generation setup using DDR5 RAM and the latest components, but you’ll find that a budget-friendly build equipped with older versions will still be a system that’s likely several years.
Thank God for PC Part Picker
Pc gaming is like a car. Some people prefer to buy a luxury engine, and some prefer to change their trip from top to bottom with upgrades, but it’s okay to just drive a reasonably priced economy car.
If all you need is it to play your favorite games like Fortnite or Valorant, then it really doesn’t make sense to spend too much on something more powerful. If you don’t use all that power then it’s a waste and eventually it becomes irrelevant.
I mentioned the discount program on The Official Day earlier because I really encourage you to watch some trades if you want to take advantage of this period of relative price stability and production.
I’ve outlined a few of my favorites below, but I can’t stress that not all of them will be compatible. An easy way to make sure that the components will work well in your current build or indeed in a brand new system that you’re planning is to enter the parts into the PC Part Picker website (open in the new tab).
This will tell you with relative accuracy if there are any reasons why certain devices are incompatible – such as trying to buy an Intel processor for the AMD socket motherboard. It’s best used by novice builders as it offers a pretty good guide, but there are plenty of community forums that can help you with more specific buying tips.