Nvidia releases the new ‘must have’ powerhouse GPUs. But must you have one?
So this morning the new graphics cards from Nvidia were announced. For some people, this is the news they have been hungrily waiting for. For others, it’s something that happened.
I am kind of in the middle. Graphics cards allow games to look good. REALLY good. Over the last few years, Graphics cards have allowed users to do so much more than just ‘draw pictures’. GPU farms are allowing advancements like Machine Learning to advance at an incredible rate. As an IT professional, this is of interest to me, and technology I occasionally have the ability to put into practice.
And at about 2 AM local time, Jensen Huang showcased the new RTX 20 series and all it’s jargon fuelled benefits.
My main focus is still games. My desktop got a beefy 1070 specifically to run The Witcher 3 in full pretty mode. Well, except for HairWorks. Great for stills, but a lot of effort that could have made the game run faster in every other way.
The x80 cards and Titan cards have always been the big boys of Nvidia’s arsenal. Able to render gameplay at mind-boggling rates, and showing the limitations of screen technology with regularity.
Having to explain that the ‘tearing’ they see in the game is because the screen can’t keep up with the power of the card is a fun discussion at the best of times. But this power always comes with a price tag, and the new generation is no exception. You can build whole computers for the cost of a 2080 Ti, and you need to buy premium components to go with that piece of hardware.
As such I have always been an advocate of the x70 range. This has always been my sweet spot for price/performance. The 1070 in my desktop runs the Witcher in ultrawide perfectly. I have yet to hit a game on the HTC Vive that hiccups. Even in my gaming notebook, the 1070 with Max-Q (effectively the ‘mobile 1070’ Nvidia said they were ditching) runs VR smoothly and works well.
So if you have been looking for a PC upgrade, now is that great/awful time to buy. There will be plenty of people looking to sell their old previously top of the line cards to upgrade. I can imagine a lot of stores even having sales on the ‘old’ stock.
The 10 series cards may be being replaced, but they work great still and draw less power than the new 20 series cards, and you can save some money out of the gate. Even the 1060 cards (the ones I tend to call the minimum to be a ‘gaming’ card) still play a heap of games at great detail and are also likely to be going for a steal if you can find the deal.
The new hype is real and for a lot of things deserved, but don’t get caught up in the jargon and hype. Save yourself some dollars and have a good look at the current 10 series cards that have proven themselves. Sure the RTX 20 series is new, but that’s also its greatest weakness.
While the 10 series now is solid and works well, when it was first introduced there were a lot of bugs to iron out, and I would imagine the RTX 20 series will be the same. How much can you afford to be the early adopter? That’s really the question these generational releases should be making you ask.
Until next time,