Computers & Electronics

Is it a bad time to build a gaming PC? (aka pricing of graphics cards?)

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  • Aug 11th, 2017 9:58 pm
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Aug 28, 2005
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Is it a bad time to build a gaming PC? (aka pricing of graphics cards?)

I haven't really followed the PC parts market for a long, long time, and was recently tossing around the idea of building a budget gaming desktop (e.g. Ryzen 3; for 1080p).

Then when looking into graphics cards it seemed that the chatter around the internet suggests that the supply-demand curve is way out to the left due to crypto currency mining... I was originally hoping to get a GTX 1060 or whatever the AMD-equivalent was, but if the prices are really as inflated over MSRP as some of the internet chatter makes it sound to be, then it seems that a budget build isn't really possible anymore without stepping back to previous generation hardware?

Is this still the case? I don't have a good sense of how much hardware is worth these days (the last video card I bought was a GeForce 6600 GT, and I think that was around $300-400 CAD back then). Is ~$300 for a GTX 1060 3GB and ~$400 for a GTX 1060 6GB a "good" price these days, or is that still inflated by the crypto currency mining demand?

What are your thoughts on the GPU market right now - better to just wait (I suppose either for NVIDIA/AMD to increase supply or miners to move onto new hardware), or perhaps consider a GTX 1050 TI as apparently the 1050 TI and lower cards were not affected by the crypto currency surge?
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Feb 29, 2008
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The 300$ GTX 1060s are the 3gb version. The 6 gigers are 360-390$. For comparison, the GTX 970 which was nvidias 2nd best card could be had for under 400$ 2 years ago, and the gtx 960 was under 300$. Now the 1070 is pushing 600$, it should be below 400$.

Yes the exchange rate is not favorable, but lack of competition in the mid range, combined with coin miners and slow technological advances have made for a crappy GPU market place. I'm holding on to my 970 for dear life as it can handle most games at 1080p with ease even today. Plus AMD really needs to pull it's head out it's colon, as they haven't produced a GPU worth owning since the 7800/7900 series. COnsidering what a value Ryzen is, I'm guessing their GPU divison needs a swift kick in the behind.
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Saint John
It's not a terrible time to build a gaming PC. Considering how long they've been out and the fact that competition does exist in the range you're looking at (1080p cards), the prices of GPUs (1060, 570, 580) are currently inflated by $50-$100 depending on the model you're looking at. But if the GPU demand adds $50 to the price of a $1000 gaming rig, it's not a huge overall % increase in the cost of the PC. However, RAM prices remain stubbornly high, as do SSD prices, especially for the 250GB models.

Overall, I'd say you're looking at about $100 more to build an equivalent gaming PC compared to early last winter (Nov-Dec 2016). However, that's not taking Ryzen 3 into account, which when OCed can give you similar performance to an i5 for $100 less. So if you're going Ryzen 3, you should be able to get a machine with similar price/performance compared to recent times when GPU, SSD, RAM prices were a bit better.
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Here's my suggestion for a sub-$1000 1080p gaming machine:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 1200 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($139.25 @ shopRBC)
Motherboard: MSI - B350M GAMING PRO Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($101.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: ADATA - Ultimate SU800 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($185.13 @ Amazon Canada)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB GAMING Video Card ($356.90 @ Newegg Canada Marketplace)
Case: Corsair - Carbide Series 88R MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Power Supply: Corsair - CXM 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.98 @ NCIX)
Total: $968.23
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-08-08 12:09 EDT-0400
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Wait for the AMD Vega release next Monday and you're set.
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Consider the 1300x instead of teh 1200. the extra clock speed helps

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mr_raider wrote: Consider the 1300x instead of teh 1200. the extra clock speed helps
Helps with decoding video maybe but for most people it wont change a thing.
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Actually, is it not way more important for gaming PC to have good graphics card and it can use slow or even dated CPU/mobo as long as it has the 16 bit PCI-E slot?
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I would also recommend for OP to check local kijiji or craiglist. There is always good deals to do there on graphics card. People are changing there graphic card so soon you can get the last generation for nothing.

I got my self a 970 for 160$ cad on ebay.ca

That was a pretty good deal I jumped on it.

You must be fast tough because those deal are not staying long on the site. Use a RSS reader.
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Sep 16, 2006
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The previous gen equivalent to a 1060 is a 980. Get a 4GB 980 they are not expensive. You can probably find one on RFD used.
[OP]
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Thanks for all the input guys, very helpful. I've checked my local Kijiji, but it seems it would only save me $20-$50 compared to buying a new GTX 1060 3GB/6GB where I live. I'll definitely keep an eye out though..

For the comment about RX Vega, do you think its release would draw the coin miners' attention away from the NVIDIA 1000 series cards, making them more affordable?

Also, thanks for the tip about previous gen cards. How much would you be willing to pay for a GTX 970 or GTX 980 these days? I had heard that the Pascal generation of GPUs was so much better than Kepler (or at least that's what the internet hype led me to believe) - but for 1080p gaming, would I not see much difference?
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Im waiting too. This inflated price is not going to last long. Either the supply catches up or the mining craze dips. One of them is bound to happen. Face With Tears Of Joy

What do you guys think of EVGA 1060 6gb for $350(shipping included)?. Still too high?.
Last edited by kevindurant1 on Aug 8th, 2017 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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In the past, I always used Toms Hardware GPU hierarchy when upgrading GPU. Rule of thumb is to upgrade to a chipset that is at least 3 levels above what you are upgrading from to see a difference in performance.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu ... ,4388.html

Also useful is the updated best GPU for gaming information. As per that site, anything higher than GTX 1060 is overkill for 1080p, at this time. There is not much difference between GTX 1060 and 1070 if your monitor cannot display at resolution higher than FullHD, unless you want VR, which runs best at GTX 1080 level.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gpus,4380.html
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kevindurant1 wrote: Im waiting too. This inflated price is not going to last long. Either the supply catches up or the mining craze dips. One of them is bound to happen. Face With Tears Of Joy

What do you guys think of EVGA 1060 6gb for $350(shipping included)?. Still too high?.
3gb version?pass. 6gb version is a good deal. What you running now?
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rcxAsh wrote: Thanks for all the input guys, very helpful. I've checked my local Kijiji, but it seems it would only save me $20-$50 compared to buying a new GTX 1060 3GB/6GB where I live. I'll definitely keep an eye out though..

For the comment about RX Vega, do you think its release would draw the coin miners' attention away from the NVIDIA 1000 series cards, making them more affordable?

Also, thanks for the tip about previous gen cards. How much would you be willing to pay for a GTX 970 or GTX 980 these days? I had heard that the Pascal generation of GPUs was so much better than Kepler (or at least that's what the internet hype led me to believe) - but for 1080p gaming, would I not see much difference?
Personally I wouldn't buy a 970. That card has seemed suspect to me ever since the 3.5/0.5GB fiasco, which is basically that the last 0.5GB of VRAM can only be accessed exceptionally slowly. Thus you're dependent on nVidia drivers to ensure your system isn't trying to use the gimped RAM. Nvidia has a very poor record of supporting EoL devices.

When a 6GB 1060 can be had new for around $350, $300 is the most I'd pay for a 980. I'd rather have a 3GB 1060 than a 970. It's slightly faster and doesn't have the weird VRAM problem.

RX Vega, even if you can get one at MSRP, will likely cost $500 minimum in Canada. Probably market prices will be $600 or higher. It's not really something you'd consider for 1080p gaming on a sub $1500 budget.

Re: R3 1200 vs 1300X, the 1300X is better in gaming *if* you have no inclination to overclock. If you're willing to do a tiny bit of extra work, OCing to 3.8 or even 3.9Ghz should be trivial. Why pay more for AMD to do the OC for you?
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kevindurant1 wrote: Im waiting too. This inflated price is not going to last long. Either the supply catches up or the mining craze dips. One of them is bound to happen. Face With Tears Of Joy

What do you guys think of EVGA 1060 6gb for $350(shipping included)?. Still too high?.
Good price. That's basically what they cost before the mining boom - $320-375.
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mr_raider wrote: 3gb version?pass. 6gb version is a good deal. What you running now?
I have a 760.
birthdaymonkey wrote: Good price. That's basically what they cost before the mining boom - $320-375.
Cool. What do you think of Ryzen 5 1600 for 1080p gaming?. Overkill?. I have a i7 4790 but I plan to have a separate gaming system.
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kevindurant1 wrote: I have a 760.



Cool. What do you think of Ryzen 5 1600 for 1080p gaming?. Overkill?. I have a i7 4790 but I plan to have a separate gaming system.
It's not bad, but I wouldn't be surprised if the 4790 is a faster CPU in most games.
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mr_raider wrote: The 300$ GTX 1060s are the 3gb version. The 6 gigers are 360-390$. For comparison, the GTX 970 which was nvidias 2nd best card could be had for under 400$ 2 years ago, and the gtx 960 was under 300$. Now the 1070 is pushing 600$, it should be below 400$.


good comparison...wrong stats though. Maybe in 2014 the 970 was 2nd in line...by 2015 it was mid-range like the current 1070.
greatauroro28 wrote: Wait for the AMD Vega release next Monday and you're set.
yeah no one's getting any Vegas anytime soon..the intrepid miners already have bots set to order boatloads of them.
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kevindurant1 wrote: I have a 760.



Cool. What do you think of Ryzen 5 1600 for 1080p gaming?. Overkill?. I have a i7 4790 but I plan to have a separate gaming system.
You keeping the 4790? For what useage? The best "pure" gaming CPU is probably the 7700k. The 4790k is still an excellent gaming CPU. No rush to upgrade.

For Ryzen gaming, the R5 series (6core/12t) are excellent values. If you OC, get the 1600. If you don't get the fastest clock speed youc an afford.

Yeah the gtx 1060 is a good upgrade from the 700 series. Try to get the 3gb version for as close to 300$ as possible. I could suggest an rx580, but they have pretty much disappeared because crypto miners are stroking them in their parents' basement crouched while mumbling something about their precious.

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