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Is there a best time to purchase a GPU?

post #1 of 12
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Hi there, I'm pretty new to the whole PC architecture so correct me if my comparisons or thoughts are off.

My question is, is there a best time to purchase a GPU? Is there a time when a GPU becomes the best bang-for-your buck? For example, with gaming consoles, it is generally accepted you should buy them at least 2 years after release. Reasons being the lower price, usually improved reliability, better games and optimization. I don't know if you've noticed but games that are released early in a generation tend to look like utter garbage to those released 2-3 years after them.

With that said, is it the same for a GPU? I bought my 670 1 month after its release so it was still fairly new at the time. All the reviews were praising it as the best value high-end GPU available. Fast forward a few months later. From what I've seen, the 7950 is now considered the better GPU or at least on par, not to mention it is a good bit cheaper as well. Looking back, it seems it is the smarter purchase but nobody predicted AMD would release such terrific drivers.

With the 700 series around the corner, I was wondering, is it best to buy a GPU from a new line as soon as said line is released? Or is it better to wait a 2-3 months for drivers and other tweaks that improve them? Of course we haven't got the definite specs of the 700's yet, but going by previous experience, what is the best? I speak from the perspective of a patient buyer who wants the best value and doesn't mind waiting and extra time. I know some enthusiasts want the absolute best product on the market but not all of us are rich enough to throw 500+$ on a new GPU every 6 months.

Edit: I posted this on the Nvidia forum because I'm mostly looking at Nvidia GPU's but it can also apply to AMD ones.
Edited by Juub - 5/17/13 at 3:52am
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post #2 of 12
consoles are way different from GPU. although the Games now are not that demanding like 5 years ago when DirectX was evolving fast and OpenGL too. but now it's been a time since they got an update and all the power now is moved towards serving multi monitor gaming.

and i've to say right now. it's not the best time. When the Nvidia cards come out. wait and see how they perform. power wise and fps wise. and in general GPUs have 70% of their potential released when they are on the shelves. so that would give you a clue on your purchase.

Right Now the best Bang for the Buck for high end rigs is the 7970 or 7950. but that will change when the new Line of Nvidia 700 Series comes out. so just wait couple of days and see smile.gif
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post #3 of 12
The best time to buy a GPU is when you can't play the games you want as well as you want thumb.gif

In terms of buying as soon as a line releases, vs later, it depends on if your desire to upgrade outweighs the possible hassle of dealing with a new set of cards. But since the 700 series is a refresh, I wouldn't expect drivers to be much of a problem (I could be wrong here though).

The other thing to consider about is waiting for non-reference cards. Although it seems the 700 series might have the beefy cooling of the TITAN which makes this less of an issue.

Just my 2 cents biggrin.gif
post #4 of 12
Its really hard to say. You never know what happens. For example the Never settle bundle from AMD. It was such a great move which makes the 7950 the best deal.

But you should always wait 1-3 months after a new Gpu release. Non - reference cards should be your goal. The stock Gpus are most of the time bad. And upgrade only if its worth it or you have to. Dont upgrade when you cant play 1-2 games on ultra. I think the Gtx X70 and Amd X950 are always a good deal.

Anyways your Gtx 670 is fine, too. In my experience the nvidia drivers are slightly better. II never had problems with my Gtx 570 untill it died tongue.gif
Edited by Pandora51 - 5/17/13 at 4:32am
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post #5 of 12
If you are talking general scenario then I would say there often is no "best" time. As we saw this generation when the 680 and 670 dropped they were the thing but forward a few months and drivers and price drops had put AMD ahead. Things like this can happen any generation you can't really allow for wildcard events so the best thing is to buy what's best at the time you need it and is within your budget.

If you are talking more your specific scenario in that you currently own a 670, well that should be good enough for a while to come though when the 7xx first drop if you look on ebay there will likely be a short time around the 780/770 release where you find people dumping their 670's and 680's and them selling below market rate as people scurry to get the "new" thing. For you that could be time to grab a bargain 670 and SLi.

If you absolutely positively have to have a 7xx series card then wait a month or so for any kinks to get ironed out and for people to figure out whats good/bad in terms of specific cards. In your shoes though (which I am I have a 670) I wouldn't bother with 7xx either SLi what you have if you actually need more GPU grunt or keep on with the single 670 till the next generation (8xx) which it should be capable of doing.
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post #6 of 12
I got a GTX570 and i'm waiting for 700 series to appear in my country so 600 series would be cheaper.
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post #7 of 12
I think that being early adopter is pretty cool. thumb.gif

No, I don't work for Nvidia - disclaimer.
post #8 of 12
If you want a card that will last as long as possible the best time to buy is always at the very beginning of a new manufacturing process. We're currently in the 2nd half of the life cycle of the 28nm process. 20nm is coming next year.

If you want the best bang for the buck the best choice is to either buy a new mid range card every year/two years or buy the previous generation high end card used.

And of course if you want to minimize the amount you spend you should always look into selling your cards. Sell at the right time (a week or two before new card series releases) and you can always have the flagship card with very minimal spendings per year...
 
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post #9 of 12
If you truly want best value, wait for next generation to be released, then pick up this generation second hand. You can get awesome cards only a few % slower for like 50% off.

However if you are like me and enjoy buying new, then I would just buy whatever is on the market atm, unless there was something really special around the corner (which imo isn't happening this generation).
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post #10 of 12
the best time to buy a card is during the winter, september to dec .
or just buy used cards smile.gif
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