I recently wrote a review of an overclocked GTX 980 Ti, one of, if not the fastest graphics cards you can buy right now, and I was somewhat taken aback by a handful of the comments. People were asking why we would be reviewing a variant of a card that launched nearly a year ago. Others were clamoring about the forthcoming releases from AMD and Nvidia, that are “just around the corner,” and asking why anyone would buy a top tier card right now.
These questions truly baffle me. I have a hard time coming to grips with the concept that people would take these two stances. Currently, Nvidia’s GTX 980 Ti stands as the top GPU that a consumer can buy. The Titan X is technically a higher-end card, but an overclocked 980 Ti, especially those with reengineered PCB designs and higher quality components, can outperform the Titan X in many cases. If you are building a high-end gaming computer, why would you wait for something better rather than buy the best that you can today?
There will always, always, always be something new coming in the near future, especially in computer hardware, and even more so for graphics hardware. You can almost guarantee that within 18 months, Nvidia will refresh its entire lineup of GPUs from the highest level to the most basic discrete boards. To think otherwise would be naïve, but it’s equally misguided to always wait for the better thing in the future.
When buying computer parts, the best thing you can do is buy the best you can afford, when you need to buy it. Unless you know for a fact that something better is coming literally next week, then waiting for the future is a fool’s game. Especially when you’re talking about passing on the best of the best from today, to wait for something that doesn’t even have a release date yet, like Nvidia and AMD’s next generation.
I’m seeing a lot of the same mentality with comments about VR. People are saying that they will just wait for the second generation because the first generation of hardware “isn’t good enough,” though they’ve likely not tried the VR hardware that is coming out in the next few months. Waiting for second generation of hardware because the first doesn’t have 4K screens is a silly argument. Why wait to experience something for that long? Second generation VR headsets are two to three years away.
Having been around the block a few times in the computer hardware world I can tell you with certainty there will always be something better coming down the pipe, so you might as well enjoy the best system you can while you wait for that future Holy Grail. Ultimately the choice is yours to make.
Kevin Carbotte is Senior Editor, Hardware for AYBOnline.com. He knows a little about a lot, and a lot about a little. The opinions in his columns are his and his alone, but you are free to have them.