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Thread: New PC - Looking for thoughts

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    Question New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Morning all, interested in your thoughts.

    Currently I own a Scan 3XS overclocked Q10 (quiet) system (my 2nd Scan PC) which is 3 years old and based around an overclocked i5, overclocked GTX680 card, 500Gb Samsung SSD, Windows 10, all hooked up to a QHD monitor. It's mostly used for work & gaming. It's a superb PC and I've been (am) very happy with it.

    A few months ago I started to read about the new PASCAL based video cards and thought when they were released it would be the right time for a PC upgrade. The performance upgrade from current cards to the PASCAL ones looks to be a step change (the first for a while). However this still looks to be 6 months away, a new architecture may mean flakey drivers for many months and it appears that in the next 6 months I'll have an oppertunity to use the PC more than usual.

    So my question is, do I wait for the new cards or is it worth buying now and potentially upgrade the card in a years time ? Will I get a big enough upgrade over my current rig to make it worthwhile ? When I look at some GPU comparison sites the 980Ti doesn't seem massively better than my current card.

    I'd be looking to purchase another Scan 3XS system, but they have just made it harder for me by discontinuing my Q10 I love and replacing it with something quite different. It would once again need to be overclocked, extremely quiet, based around M.2 SSD, 980Ti, hooked up to potentially an UWQHD monitor like the Acer X34 (which the GPU will need to be able to drive with ease).

    Thoughts appreciated.

    PS Are Scan and Hexus linked somehow ? I see there are Scan forums hosted here.

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Scan advertise on Hexus, just as they do on other PC enthusiast sites, and there are some reciprocal benefits as a result.

    My first thought is do you need to replace the whole thing? PCs are great for incremental upgrades, so a quick GPU upgrade either now or when Polaris comes out might be all you need for a better feeling system.

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Hi Kalniel. There are several reasons why upgrading the whole PC is a better idea for me. These are financial and technical.

    I read into your answer "not enough has changed in 3 years to make a subtantial difference - wait". That's what my common sense is telling me too. Common sense doesn't always win though when tech is involved. ;-)

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    When I look at some GPU comparison sites the 980Ti doesn't seem massively better than my current card.
    How big a performance boost is big enough to be worth an upgrade is somewhat subjective. I would ignore comparison sites based on anything other than actual game results though, from those I'd put the GTX 980ti at about twice the speed of the GTX 680.

    If you're unsure whether that's fast enough you generally don't want to be touching the rest of your system as upgrading anything else will bring you no effective benefit in games.

    In terms of future cards while it's true we'll be seeing the new Polaris (and Pascal) chip designs in a few months I wouldn't expect a large top end performance jump from them. The top of the range chips are fairly new, around nine months old, so they're only about half way through their lifetime.

    We'll see 390X/980 replacements and they'll probably slightly exceed the performance of the Fury X/980ti. However, if you want a large 50% jump over current top end chips you'll have to wait for the next top end chips which I wouldn't expect until next Winter. They could easily come out in March 2017 - particularly if you're unwilling to pay Titan pricing and want the Geforce version.

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    ... if you want a large 50% jump over current top end chips you'll have to wait for the next top end chips which I wouldn't expect until next Winter. ...
    Or if you're willing to put the money in and don't mind the vagueries of crossfire the Fury X2 should be coming out in the next few months, and will (theoretically) be about 70% faster than a Fury X. I suspect it will cost a pretty penny though, given a single Nano (the card it's based on) will currently set you back around £400....

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    Or if you're willing to put the money in and don't mind the vagueries of crossfire the Fury X2 should be coming out in the next few months, and will (theoretically) be about 70% faster than a Fury X. I suspect it will cost a pretty penny though, given a single Nano (the card it's based on) will currently set you back around £400....
    Thanks Jim, however I'm not interested in any Crossfire or SLI based solutions. My experience with these over the years is that they very rarely add close to the multiple you are paying for and certainly do manage to multiply the cost, power and noise. Just not my thing.

    EW - I guess 100% is the magic number that starts to get me interested. Spending close to £3k for a boost less than that seems hard to justify. Of course the PC would bring with it faster boot, faster disc, better monitor, etc. So it's not all about the graphics.

    My understanding of PASCAL based products is that there may be a substantial jump in performance immediately. This is a new architecture combined with a reduced nm sizing and substantially faster memory. To me the current 9 series cards feel stretched now to fill the gap, just keep everything going a bit longer until the good stuff is here. ;-)

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    Of course the PC would bring with it faster boot, faster disc, better monitor, etc. So it's not all about the graphics.
    The monitor is entirely separate, the boot time increase would be nearly non-existent (it could easily be longer, motherboards vary in startup times more than SSDs do) and a faster disc is only important if you're using stuff that's still disc limited - which isn't many things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    My understanding of PASCAL based products is that there may be a substantial jump in performance immediately.
    I would be surprised personally. The competition these days is for power efficiency. Laptops and Mini PCs are gaining ground, and many people game on Tablets. Huge desktop graphics cards that consume three times as much as the rest of the system combined are dinosaurs.

    When AMD demonstrated Polaris 10 they didn't show a GTX 950 equivalent with much more performance. They showed GTX 950 performance with much lower power consumption.

    My bet would be that we'll see a GTX 980 replacement that runs at lower power and only delivers GTX 980ti performance (or slightly more), rather than the same power and much more performance.

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    Hi Kalniel. There are several reasons why upgrading the whole PC is a better idea for me. These are financial and technical.

    I read into your answer "not enough has changed in 3 years to make a subtantial difference - wait". That's what my common sense is telling me too. Common sense doesn't always win though when tech is involved. ;-)
    Likewise Andy. I would say that it could be good to upgrade. Personally, its also one of the best recommendations. I'm a budget savvy too.

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy14 View Post
    ... I read into your answer "not enough has changed in 3 years to make a subtantial difference - wait". ...
    As far as CPU performance affecting game performance goes, that's spot on.

    For GPUs, however, it's a completely different matter. A ~ £250 investment now, on a GTX 970 or an R9 390 (links to anandtech bench performance comparisons), will net you around a 50% performance increase across a range of games; and of course you can recoup some of the costs by selling your old card on so the real terms cost is even less than that. And you can get the cost down even further by keeping your eyes open for good deals, like this GTX 970 at ebuyer for £230.

    I know you've said you don't want to upgrade in pieces, but to be brutally honest it is the ONLY sensible option based on the kit you've already got. Spend £250 on a GPU upgrade now, be wowed by the additional performance you're getting, then look at a full upgrade in a year's time or more, when not only Polaris and Pascal, but also Zen and Kaby Lake have been released. Zen is likely to change the CPU landscape as it should, hopefully, everything crossed, make AMD competitive in the enthusiast market again. So now could be the worst time for quite a long time to be thinking about buying into a new platform: the next year should be very interesting.

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    Re: New PC - Looking for thoughts

    Indeed, the days of processor upgrades making a blind bit of difference to a gaming rig are long gone, I don't even think about the CPU anymore when looking at a PC, nor do I expect anything will change in the next few years. Unless you are concerned about a small price / power saving the gloss has firmly worn off processer purchases (which we used to drool over).

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