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THE BIG QUESTION - Now or Later? - Buying New PC

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June 25, 2011 9:51:02 PM

This is a very common question, with a lot of answers, and some would say that there is no real way to respond. But I can be pretty specific and I'm hoping to get some good information.

I am preparing to buy a major computer gaming system, probably from Falcon Northwest. I am going to spend a large amount of money (of course).

My question is as follows -
Is there any next-generation leap or breakthrough technology on the immediate horizon that I should wait for? By this I mean, over the next four or five months is anything coming out that would add, say, 25% to the performance I'm likely to see from a top flight system built in the next month?

I know that there will always be an incremental improvement to whatever you purchase when it comes to the PC Gaming arms race. What I hope to avoid is ordering a new system that would have seen a serious increase in speed if I had waiting a few months.

I hope you can help me with this $5000+ decision. Thanks to all who offer assistance.

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June 25, 2011 11:09:42 PM

within the next 4-10 months we will see new generations of CPUs and GPUs (ivy bridge and 28nm GPUs) which will provide major upgrades in performance, easily 25% improvement in performance, probably more. Of course, that is the nature of the industry.

Let me advise you on the potential pitfalls of spending $5000 on a gaming computer. Beyond about $1500 you start getting rapidly diminishing returns, and you pay more and more for less and less. Furthermore, most games these days are not particularly demanding as they are made so that they can run on the dated home consoles. If you spend $5000 on a computer today it will be outdated in 2 years, and obsolete in about 3-4.

The only situation where spending nearly that much money makes sense is if you are interested in either an eyefinity or 3d vision surround setup. this is where you use multiple monitors to play your games. These setups are very demanding and you will probably need to spend $2000-$3000. Otherwise, if you are playing on a single monitor dont go waste all your money on something that is total overkill.

June 25, 2011 11:55:04 PM

Oh man. Ivy Bridge? See? This is why I come here. I've never even heard of Ivy Bridge. Sounds like a Beatles song.

Is there a release time frame here? I can do four months. Ten months Is not going to happen.

As for the expense, there is no way I can get what I want (or even close) for $1500. Next-gen graphics on a 30 inch monitor calls for more horses than you can afford for that amount of money. Also, this is really my only hobby, and I've already got the money.

I really appreciate the response though. If any else would care to elaborate I would enjoy more thoughts on the matter.
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June 26, 2011 2:14:33 AM

Ivy bridge is intel`s next generation cpu, to be released in q1 2012. Sandy-bridge Extreme is also being released late 2011, but I dont imagine it as being oriented towards gamers. My suggestion is not to wait unless you already have some adequate setup to tide you over, because there is always SOMETHING in the horizon.

If you are going for extreme resolutions like 2560x1600 then you probably will need all the horsepower you can get. But still $5000 is a bit on the overkill side. post the specs and the price before you make the purchase, and someone here will make sure if you are not being ripped off.

June 26, 2011 4:39:12 AM

Major thanks, that really helps.

I will post the build I was considering, I'd really appreciate the feedback.
June 26, 2011 4:24:05 PM

probably the most powerful gaming rig i have ever seen :)  Complete overkill, but not as overpiced as I feared ( you would still save quite a bit if you assembled it yourself) but here are a few ways to cut costs without sacrificing performance as well as other suggestions:

1) games will not benefit from more than 4 GB RAM. 16 GB wont benefit it you really, I think 8 GB is pretty reasonable. you can always add more RAM later though I doubt you will need to.

2) if gaming is your primary concern, go with windows 7 home edition

3) this thing is liquid cooled, make sure you know how to use/maintain that kinda setup (I dont really know how, just giving you a heads up)

4)also keep in mind this thing may disspiate alot of heat and noise.

5) the monitor will cost you about a $1000 as well

6)i have heard of some driver issues of going with quad SLI (you have two graphics cards with two GPUs each, for a total of 4 GPUs) you may be better off with a single gtx 590, or 2/3 gtx 580s

June 26, 2011 7:34:39 PM

Excellent! Thank you so much. That's what I was wondering.
June 27, 2011 1:00:50 PM

I agree with the previous postings - am in a similar position. I am following the release of Microsoft Flight, and the possible impact(s) vs. FSX. New display technologies (single wide, multiple, 3D, etc.) is also a large consideration. Systems technology 64bit processors (more memory), W7, DX11, are pushing potentially huge performance increases. Now is a good time for upgrade, and I would expect to see some 'settling of direction' within the industry in the next 12 months or so.
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