Why now is a bad time to buy a high-end graphics card

    If you observe PCWorld’s The Full Nerd podcast, you would possibly know that my basic rule of thumb is that it’s best to improve your PC’s elements once they’re not performing in addition to you want. Waiting for brand new {hardware} tends to be a idiot’s recreation as a result of within the know-how world, sooner and higher issues come out at comparatively breakneck velocity.

    If you’re sniffing round for a brand new high-end graphics card, nevertheless, contemplate holding off on the acquisition for just a few months. It’s an terrible time to purchase one proper now.

    Don’t get me mistaken: Current enthusiast-class GPUs just like the GeForce RTX 2080 Super and 2080 Ti kick every kind of ass. But whereas AMD and Nvidia haven’t introduced any new client graphics playing cards simply but, there’s each motive to imagine we’ll see new high-end {hardware} from every over the subsequent few months. Splurging on a $500 graphics card now runs a excessive danger of leaving you with a extreme case of purchaser’s regret in mere weeks.

    AMD’s RDNA 2 and “Big Navi”

    Radeon graphics playing cards based mostly on AMD’s upgraded RDNA 2 structure can be out someday earlier than the top of the yr. “The discrete graphics market, especially at the high end, is very important to us,” CEO Lisa Su stated at a CES roundtable with choose journalists, together with PCWorld. “So you should expect that we will have a high-end Navi, although I don’t usually comment on unannounced products.”

    The RDNA 2 architecture brings real-time ray tracing into the AMD fold for the primary time. It additionally delivers an enormous 50-percent enchancment in efficiency per watt over first-gen “Navi” RDNA GPUs discovered contained in the Radeon RX 5700 series and RX 5500 XT. AMD doesn’t presently area any competitors to Nvidia’s 4K-capable GPUs, topping out with the $400 Radeon RX 5700 XT. It’s nice for 1440p gaming, however it requires visible compromises if you wish to step as much as increased resolutions.

    AMD CFO Devinder Kumar overrated Big Navi’s potential on the Bank of America Securities Global Technology Conference in early June, saying, “big Navi is a halo product,” and “enthusiasts love to buy the best, and we are certainly working on giving them the best.” Kumar additionally confirmed that Big Navi would be the first RDNA 2-based product for AMD. Because these next-gen consoles with AMD inside are coming this yr, with the Xbox Series X slated for a November launch, this mysterious high-end Radeon graphics card might want to launch earlier than then.

    Nvidia’s next-gen Ampere GPUs

    Nvidia, in the meantime, simply revealed its next-gen “Ampere” graphics architecture in knowledge middle kind. While some particulars stay murky, it appears to be like like a doozy of an improve.


    The Ampere GPU on the coronary heart of the A100 graphics playing cards for knowledge facilities known as GA100, a teaser video launched by Nvidia reveals.

    AMD’s present Navi GPUs are way more highly effective and environment friendly than their predecessors, and a part of the rationale was transferring to the smaller 7nm transistor course of. Nvidia’s Ampere does the identical. Current-gen Nvidia graphics playing cards with the “Turing” structure have been constructed on a 12nm course of, so count on a generational leap ahead in efficiency. Nvidia’s transition from the GeForce GTX 900-series’ 28nm course of to the GTX 10-series’ 16nm process resulted in huge performance gains.

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