A PC for the next console generation

Hey all, I’m looking to buy a computer. I have the parts picked out but I’m a little worried about how future proof this thing is. If I were to build an i5 / GTX660Ti / 8GB RAM type computer, would that allow me to play PS4 ports for years to come do you think? Just looking for some informed speculation at the moment.

Just at 1080p for the foreseeable future as well.

Yes, the 660ti compares well to a 7870 or when overclocked even a 7950. Next-gen console GPUs are essentially 7850s.

And yeah there are various optimizations beyond that but I think you’ll be very safe playing console ports with a 660ti.

Is the 670 not worth the premium at 1080p?

I’d be a little concerned about the 192-bit memory interface on the 660 Ti. It’s not just the width, but the fact that it’s not aligned (not a power of 2).

Plus, most 660 Ti’s are noisier than their bigger brothers.

Um, whoosh?

Not super concerned about noise, but if there’s a sensible upgrade for a little more I’m up for it.

ETA And what about the red team? I’m sick of nothing seeming to work properly on my AMD dual graphics machine, but do they support single-GPU computers better?

660 is fine for now but it doesn’t have legs to survive for “generation”. 680 might.

That configuration is going to be obsolete by 2014.

Cool news. What do you base that statement upon?

“Future proofing” is a hard thing to do.

He’s goofy, but I think his advice is generally good.

My own observations:

GPUs are constantly improving, faster than almost any other gaming component. It really makes more sense to buy something modest and in your budget and plan on getting a new GPU two or three years down the road. GPUs are also easy to replace.

CPUs on the other hand, are a pain to replace, and Intel likes to create new slots that mean you have to get a new motherboard, which means you might as well get a new system.

SSDs are great are almost a must have, but they are rapidly improving, so don’t go crazy. This is true for most memory/storage. Stuff just improves and gets cheaper quickly over time. Just plan on upgrading RAM and storage when you need it, not before.

Also, “i5” is a very wide range of CPUs. I just got the 3570K, which is the top of the line right now (assuming one overclocks… which I will get around to one of these days). The i7 is an improvement, but not enough of an improvement to justify that higher cost.

there’s been no great advancement in gpus or cpus in last 2 years.

my crystal ball :)
or, just observations of the general trend that’s been repeating ever since expansion cards were a thing on PC.

the great next-gen graphics race is almost upon us:
current gen hair
next gen hair

This is Lara’s new hair rendering system for the PC version of Tomb Raider. Wonder how it will run on my GTX580?

…I guess I need to see it in motion.

If you were buying a gaming PC this month and didn’t want to have to upgrade it too much for the next 3-4 years, what would you get?

in the first pic, the hair is just a helmet with a texture plastered on it, and a wriggling mass of polygons for the pony tail.

in the second pic, you get flowing hair with strands and everything.

a motherboard + cpu combo that can be overclocked easily from the BIOS/UEFI
16GB ram at 1866MHz speed
PCIE 3.0 and thunderbolt support (it might have a use next year)
probably get the cheapest gfx card I can get away with for this year as anything bought now (including the Titan) will be obsolete by 2014. A used gtx670 or gtx580 maybe? The gtx660ti is worse than either. I personally can’t recommend an AMD card because I’ve experienced bad non-gaming/driver related problems with the AMD 5870 I had two years ago. That card was highly praised by most reviewers and while it provided great gaming performance for what it cost, not having hardware accelerated H.264 video and no bicubic scaling of resolutions on displays coupled with strange driver glitches for certain games meant that the extra $50-$100 premium that goes towards an nvidia card is worth more than the time lost dealing with all that crap.

I’ve heard things have “improved greatly” since 2010. In any case, it’s best to ask others about AMD because I personally have written them off as a failure this generation (2006-2013)

It won’t, though, because most games will continue to be console ports and the next-gen consoles have AMD 7850-class GPUs. With tweaks, maybe 7870s. Therefore, purchasing a faster videocard than that will future-proof for the vast majority of games. Obviously there will be outliers in the PC-exclusive space, and it’s impossible to account for everything.

My only advice is to decide on a screen resolution and buy your hardware to run at that resolution. For example: I use a 24 inch 1920x1200 monitor…my OCed GTX580 runs almost anything out there at the highest quality at that resolution just fine so I have had little reason to upgrade. When the time comes and the gtx580 won’t run at maximum quality at 19x12 ill upgrade.

Yeah but it still looks like a bunch of jaggy aliased sprites. I know things have improved exponentially, I just don’t think that was the best example :p.

As far as that build… it seems kind of ridiculous. 16gb of ram at 1866? When I said I don’t want to upgrade ‘too much’ I didn’t mean I was adverse to changing the ram, no need for the most possible overkill. Ditto the motherboard, those kinds of memory speeds aren’t going to be standard for ages. People are still building ‘gaming’ PCs with 1333, and why do I care about Thunderbolt?

Is the 660ti such a bad card? I thought it was in the sweet spot.

Anyways thanks dude :)

660Ti is fine. It’ll play next-gen console ports at console-like quality at 1080p for this entire generation.

There will be faster video cards over the next 5 years. They’ll play console ports at quality levels superior to the consoles, at higher resiolutions, just like current-gen console ports now.

Thanks stusser. I think I might have been a little shocked and awed by all the epeen.

Considering a generation may now last 7 or 8 years, I doubt you can assume a 660 ti will comfortably play everything released in that span. Just go in expecting to upgrade that card 3 or 4 years in and you’re probably fine.