back to article It's a fullblown Crysis: Gamers press pause on PC purchases, shipments freeze

A dip in the Chinese economy and consumers exploiting lower-priced GPUs to upgrade rather than replace their desktop rigs has led to slowdown in sales of gaming systems. In Q1 of 2019, IDC stats indicate shipments into the channel of gaming PCs fell 6.2 per cent year on year globally to 7.5 million units: desktops and mobile …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    The Chinese economy 'only' grew 6.6%, it's lowest in years.....

    In Europe if a country's economy is doing better than two percent everyone is crowing about it.

    That the Chinese are doing that well in the face of Trumpian economic warfare makes them pretty good in my eyes.

    1. EE.EE

      "That the Chinese are doing that well in the face of Trumpian economic warfare makes them pretty good in my eyes."

      Your "eyes" are not worth much if that's how you look at business economic growth trends.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Something something perpetual growth on the finite resources of a planet.

      The Chinese have been doing great, you would not be surprised how much you can grow your economy with poor wages and working condition, in fact the only thing better is slavery.

      1. Persona Bronze badge

        Between 1959 and 1961 somewhere between 15 and 30 million Chinese people starved to death. Compared with that they are very very happy with the huge improvement in their standard of living and wages and working conditions that seem poor to you but beat the crap out of scratching around in dirt trying to find food.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          So are you saying that something is good because there is something worse?

          1. Persona Bronze badge

            Definitely. In the UK just 177 years ago the 1842 Mines Act was passed which prohibited the employment underground of all females and of males under 10 years. Till then there were some five year old children working in mines.

            177 years may seem a long time ago but there are people alive today who could have met people who worked in mines when they were 5.

            China is behind us, but by less that two human lifespans. I would argue the direction is good.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night, half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing 'Hallelujah.'

              1. Colemanisor

                You were lucky

          2. E_Nigma

            Something is relatively good because it is a vast improvement over what was in place before it. And it's not like things are not progressing still. If you've been around Europe over the past years and noticed a big increase in the number of Chinese tourists everywhere? The purchasing power of the Chinese people is increasing constantly. Not yet as highly paid as their European and US counterparts? Maybe, but they are already a far cry from the stereotypical oppressed mass that works for a handful of rice a day and the trend is in their favour.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          That was not due to being "backward" economically, that was due to Mao's Great Leap Forward being a leap off of a cliff.

        3. Jove Bronze badge

          "Between 1959 and 1961 somewhere between 15 and 30 million Chinese people starved to death. Compared with that they are very very happy with the huge improvement in their standard of living and wages and working conditions that seem poor to you but beat the crap out of scratching around in dirt trying to find food."

          Indeed, but there is a downside to that - the younger generations will have higher expiations than then their older brothers and sisters, but can the "Little Emperors" keep the juggling trick going?

          1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

            The same happened in the 'West' in the 50's and 60's.

            What are you trying to imply here? That the chinese will also squander their hard-won economic improvement by pursuing unfettered capitalism?

            1. Jove Bronze badge

              The debt to GDP ratio is already estimated at about 250% (2018 figures) - that probably does not take into account the extent of the problems in the shadow banking sector, and certainly not the recent bank collapses.

              In terms of loosing control; it has been evident for the last few years that the authorities are struggling to contain the problems.

              1. Jove Bronze badge

                It is odd that someone has taken the effort to vote down a statement of the facts regarding China's financial position; perhaps one of the Little Emperor's themselves is a reader of the The Register.

              2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                The debt to GDP ratio is already estimated at about 250% (2018 figures)

                Unlike some other countries the chinese are in deb because they invested in infrastructure, something that should pay off in the longer term.

                The main worry would be overinvestment due to incorrect growth estimates with large amounts of real estate currently standing empty.

                - that probably does not take into account the extent of the problems in the shadow banking sector

                Not familiar with the chinese 'shadow banking' so can't really comment.

                , and certainly not the recent bank collapses.

                Letting banks collapse is healthy. Propping up diseased banking institutions such as happened in the US and EU is not. So that's a positive thing in my book. People (and bankers) only learn if there's a consequence to their actions.

                In terms of loosing control; it has been evident for the last few years that the authorities are struggling to contain the problems.

                Which government does not have this issue? I'd actually argue that due to the more authoritarian manner in which the chinese government works, it'll be much easier to steer the economy the way they want it to go.

        4. BGatez Bronze badge

          Spoken like a smug ass who sees a few cities / manufacturing centers (if you've ever been) where some are rich and some get by and many live like dogs. You don't see homeless because they're swept off to "camp". Meanwhile in Britain, a country of 8 million population, the UN estimates 870,000 children alone do not get enough food. Throughout the UK, some 4,700,000 people extremely food insecure, meaning often not eating for a day or more.

          https://borgenproject.org/top-10-facts-about-hunger-in-the-united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland/

          https://www.independent.co.uk/helpahungrychild/food-poverty-future-help-a-hungry-child-waste-stop-felix-project-food-insecurity-a8074366.html

          1. Jove Bronze badge

            Your bitterness towards and hatred of Britain is twisted and blind to the nature of the regime running China.

            Think yourself lucky that you live in a country where you are not monitored by the "Street Grannies" (well, except if your name is Boris Johnson) and liable to disappear for expressing a non-authorised opinions, and that you have access to sites were you can express your twisted opinions and extremist dogma.

            Meanwhile, back on topic, the Chinese economy is heading for a difficult period, this is evident from the macro numbers, and the reports of failing banks that are now being allowed to go under, the massive levels of debt held by cities in failed property developments, the scale of the shadow banking sector that is at risk of freezing the economy, and the the expenditure of over a quarter of the nation's reserves on propping the economy up over the last 18 months.

            So, in short expect further declines in sale in the China market.

          2. Jove Bronze badge

            P.S.

            The Independent is a Putin Propaganda Rag, but I am assuming you know that already.

          3. Gustavo Fring

            ukpop

            generally st at 65-70 mill ... and "losing" not "loosing" (who was a chine emperor in the 1400's

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Low wages? Bad working conditions?

        I thought you were talking about America until you said the only thing missing is slavery. Because, slavery is alive and kicking in American prisons.

        1. James 51 Silver badge

          Re:AC, and the murder and organ harvesting of prisoners is 'alive and kicking' in Chinese prisions:

          https://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/23/asia/china-organ-harvesting/index.html

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            well, that makes it ok then!

    3. Jim Mitchell

      China has also been suspected of producing fake numbers for this kind of metric.

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Let me guess, you're a USian aren't you?

      2. Jove Bronze badge

        Indeed; the reported growth matches the objectives, but there is evidence in the macro numbers that the numbers are fabricated.

    4. JLV Silver badge

      Behind the glitz, a lot of China’s peasants are quite poor. 2017 GDP/person, at $9K, lags Brazil by $1K and Russia by 2. CCP proposes a Faustian bargain: don’t question our hold on power and we’ll deliver growth and international prestige. Xi increased his autocracy even more.

      Slower growth risks unrest. To balance you can up the prestige factor by pointless forays into the Spratleys. Or put 1M people in re-education camps.

      1.5-2 growth is a lot easier to live with when you are already at rich Western levels ;-). Starting from a very low base, and with a growing population, 6% ain't that impressive.

      Question is: what will China behave like and what will their aging demography support when they are nearer parity per capita? Will they grow at 5%? 2%? We have very little background to work with: while chauvinistic, they don’t have a tradition, like the West, of foreign expansionism. They steal a lot of IP, but that was normal at their stage of development until 2005 or so. It hasn’t changed for the better much. Will it? They’re nominally Communist, will they try to export that? Will they lose their One Party state? They seem to value strong governments more than we do - it’s in their history, they resent the Opium Wars and they had warlords running amok 1910-1940.

      Trump’s clumsy attempts to curb some of their real abuses are marred by his uncanny ability to untangle decades of US alliances with the rest of the world. All because his brain, to the extent that he has some intelligence at all, has all the intellectual curiosity of a dead muskrat. All he’s good at is firing up his base for elections, damn all the rest. And the best way he’s found is to shit on the rest of the world, daily.

      But none of this makes China a model much worth emulating. Just someone to come to terms as best we can to avoid Cold War 2.

      1. Persona Bronze badge

        " they don’t have a tradition, like the West, of foreign expansionism"

        China is so big that keeping it together was traditionally more of a goal than expansion.

        That has changed. They are now funding a lot of economic expansion, particularly so in Africa. By the time their rising wages and living standards make them non-competitive I believe their aim is to "own" Africa and exploit it as a vast source of material and cheap labour.

        1. theblackhand Silver badge

          The West gained significantly from foreign expansionism - whether it was European colonialism or post-WW2 Imperialism.

          While there is still some scope for China to benefit from expansionism, the potential "victims" are less willing to part with all of their wealth for little reward.

          I'm aware of China's economic incentives in African countries, but the returns on many of those investments will never match the returns that Western nations got in the past.

          1. Jove Bronze badge

            China is already reaping the returns on their "Road and Belt" policy of getting the beneficiary nations so heavily in debt that they become a puppet state. The latest victim is Sri Lanka, and there is growing concern key states are being leveraged into the Sinosphere. It is not just African states either; Greece and Thailand for example are already on the list.

            For those that think this is heading for Cold War 2.0 they need to engage with the strengthening ties between Russia, China, Iran and Turkey - the proxy wars have been increasing in recent years, as are the arsenals and capabilities.

    5. DougS Silver badge

      China is lifting a lot of people out of poverty every year so it is easy to grow at a fast clip. Once that's mostly done they'll be in the same position as the rest of the developed world where your growth rate becomes closely tied to your population growth.

      The reason why the US grew at 5% back in the 50s and 60s isn't because American was "great" then, it was because the population was growing a lot faster because people were having more babies. If it wasn't for immigration the US might not have any economic growth at all today since the native born population has a birthrate below the replacement rate!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        With stability, economic growth would continue because humans keep getting better at doing things. The rate of growth would depend on the rate of improvement.

        But there isn't stability.

    6. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Given their GDP per capita based on PPP it shouldn't be much of a surprise. I expect that once that doubles and they approach Portugal or the Czech Republic that things will slow down appreciably.

    7. Jove Bronze badge

      "The Chinese economy grew at 6.6 per cent in calendar 2018, its slowest climb since 1990"

      These are state compiled figures delivered to match projections and objectives - they are widely regarded as a fabrication of an authoritarian state.

      With regards to Europe; most are no where near 2% growth, and a good proportion of any growth they do record has been as a result of oil and raw material fluctuations - hence the need to additional QE pencilled in for Q3/Q4.

      Looking forward; a number of China's banks are coming unravelled and the expectation is that the economy will continue to deteriorate.

    8. Ian Emery Silver badge
      WTF?

      All points Bullitin

      Do not forget all these economic growth figures are "compiled" and announced by a corrupt, communist regime, so their reliability is in question.

      My own observations last year showed about 1/3rd of certain shopping areas were empty and boarded up - areas that were thriving when I visited in 2015; and whole blocks of unsold new apartments.

      Prices for food/water had doubled.

      Mass starvations peaked in the late 60's - early 70's, with a smaller event in the 80's.

      No one really knows how many people died in the main event, Chinese official figures say a total of about 20 million people over the 5 years, but one single province has records for 12 million IN ONE YEAR.

      My Chinese wife was born in 1974, she had no surviving older relatives beyond her parents; the effects of the starvation can clearly been seen in her older sister, who is one year older, but looks 20 years older and is tiny; and her one year younger sister, who looks much younger and is also taller.

      At no point was there a lack of food being grown, in fact there were several years of bumper harvests.

      There were reports of cannibalism.

      1. Ian Emery Silver badge

        Re: All points Bullitin

        For the one down voter, if it is because of the alleged cannibalism, the matter is mentioned in either the autobiography of Mao's personal physician or a (banned), history of 20th Century China called Wild Swans.

        if I can find where my copies are hidden, I will post the ISBN numbers, as well as the Title and Author.

  2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Mature Product

    Not a gamer, I suspect the real cause is the improvements gained by a new box are generally not enough to justify its purchase when the incumbent is not very old. Basically, gaming rigs are acting like a mature market as the rest of the PC has been doing for several years now.

    1. Persona Bronze badge

      Re: Mature Product

      I am a gamer and I run a fairly low spec machine thanks to Steam. Steam makes it trivially easy to find and buy 5 year old games for very low prices. These 5 year old games run at maximum level of detail on my low spec machine, and when I eventually need to update my machine it's always a cheap upgrade.

      This is a lot better than buying full price games, playing them on an expensive machine and having to wind the graphics down to make them play at an acceptable frame rate. I get to play all the good games too … eventually.

      1. The Dogs Meevonks

        Re: Mature Product

        I know what you mean, I struggled to run the latest games at a decent res/fps on my old system and I have an aversion to paying stupid money for games that have 50% of the content removed so they can sell it back to you at ever increasing prices.

        So I wait for steam sales and grab what I can providing the following criteria are met.

        1: it must be the full game inc all DLC (cosmetic crap doesn't matter)

        2: It must be at least 60% or more off

        The last game I bought full price was Civ V and then I bought the expansions... But that's because I loved those games and still play them now (played them since around 92/93)... But I refuse to buy Civ VI because

        1: It's pretty bad

        2: £60 for the base game + another £70 for the 2 expansions so far... Fuck that.

        There are also companies that I boycott... like EA... and Epic have pissed me off with their exclusives bullshit and links to China. Ubisoft are about to join that list because of the way they've been fucking me around recently (taking my money not supplying the product and refusing to help when I exercise my consumer rights).

        But if you really want some old school games... Get GOG... it's run by CDPR who created the Wtitcher series (W3 is possibly one of the best games ever made) and are doing Cyberpunk 2077... I have a huge amount of respect for the way they operate (so far) and the quality of their games.

        So when you know that you cang et so many great old games, fully patched to work with a modern OS and in some cases remastered with more modern graphics for larger displays... and ALL DRM Free... I'm in.

        Just added the Monkey Island series of games... In fact almost the entire Lucasarts back catalogue of adventure games... Takes me back to my younger days.

        Fuck... I'm old.

        1. whitepines Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Mature Product

          Myself, I got sick and tired of the "digital rental" crap, dumbed-down, unoriginal games, constant Internet connection requirements, games shifting / morphing into un-fun mere shadows of the original (now unavailable) game, etc., and simply stopped PC gaming outside of some of the (not really very good) open titles (to be fair Xonotic is decent, if dated). I then bought a console that was cheaper, has actual resale value, along with various games on physical disk that actually work offline (!), and also have resale value versus some nebulous individual-locked download. Why would I want to spend double the console price on a gaming rig, then pay for Windows, pay for antivirus for Windows, then pay for digital rentals of the games AND microtransactions on top of all that?

          I may not be typical, but I was a PC gamer back in the day. Bought lots of GPUs and cutting edge hardware for the games I bought (and still have) on CD and DVD. I can honestly say the console does everything I want at this point, including displaying graphics that are pretty darn close to (if not at) top of the line PC graphics. YMMV of course.

          Where this ties into the article is that I haven't bought a top of the line GPU since, and the only high end "PC"s I've purchased are workstations to run Linux. My phone and console are more than enough games for me, and if I'm going to be tracked on the phone anyway, might as well have some fun.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Mature Product

            50/50 agree with you. That the exploitative actions by publishers is unfair. But not that it's the fault of PC games. Most of it was done on the consoles too. EA are a fine example of this. So it's not the fault of "PCs" or even GPU prices. You just seem bad at choosing games. ;)

          2. Roxor

            Re: Mature Product

            Why not game on your Linux workstation? Plenty of games on Steam have native Linux versions and a large chunk of the rest work just fine with Valve's Proton distribution of WINE.

      2. gyaku_zuki
        Happy

        Re: Mature Product

        Not only that, but gaming now is so diverse that even brand new games are often indie darlings, with retro styles or 2D aesthetics rather than groundbreaking realism.

        The most fun I've had in ages has been "Slay the Spire" which is completely 2D, or "Darkest Dungeon". Heck, even things like Cuphead. Or look at the wild success of things like "Undertale", the South Park RPGs, etc.

        Mega realistic and demanding AAA games will still have their place, but gameplay > graphics every single time.

      3. Baldrickk Silver badge

        Re: Mature Product

        https://xkcd.com/606/

        1. Persona Bronze badge

          Re: Mature Product

          It's not a problem. My best friend is a real cheapskate and lags a further 5 years behind me. Now even he knows that the cake is a lie. He's going to play Portal 2 in a year or two.

    2. Morten Bjoernsvik

      Re: Mature Product

      If you buy your gear in parts, as most of my mates do, you are not part of this statistics?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mature Product

        As long as you brought a new GPU you would have featured in the statistics.

        For other components or anything second-hand, you're unlikely to be counted.

        The only real surprise in these figures is the extent of the Chinese decline, everything else has been status quo since consoles became the dominant gaming platform in the mid-2000's.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mature Product

      Yeah it's this. I did a major (mobo, CPU) upgrade this year, but my last system was an i5 I've had since 2011. And even that was forced due to a major mobo failure, otherwise it was still playing the latest games just fine. My GPU is a generation or two behind the latest and is perfectly capable of handling 1440p at 60FPS+ (and even if drops below that the adaptive sync keeps everything looking smooth).

      Also not sure how many gamers are even buying "gaming PCs" now. DIY is really easy and even if you did buy a prebuilt system you're probably going to upgrade it piecemeal rather than dropping another few grand on a complete setup.

    4. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Mature Product

      That and price. You can "game" on medium cost/performance hardware pretty well. I kinda agree that it's mature. But there are some improvements, the problem is, they are smaller/less a nessasity, but the *prices* have skyrocketed.

      This is mainly because of Whales/big spenders obviously being there to but the "most expensive" products. So the top end has skyrocketed in price, buy the lower end has not dropped, it's stayed level. Which leaves people not upgrading, because the products worth it, are just too expensive, and the products with a small improvement, are rather lackluster (why buy a newer sports car with 0.5 seconds faster 0-60 when you love the one you are driving?).

      PS, thankfully AMD coming in and bringing in competitive products means CPU prices might half for the similar performance (or close to), and we will wait to see if the same happens for GPUs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mature Product

        For many the cost of new, high-end is too much. I'm old enough to remember that the move to globalization was sold to us as a way to bring lower costs to the populace and that it would only impact lower end jobs that would be replaced by higher end jobs through more/better education/re-training for those displaced. Education has been gutted and re-training for those displaced costs money for those now unemployed. That hasn't worked out very well here in NA, at least, and we can mark that down to deregulation bought by Corporate lobbyists and allowed by greedy Politicians.

        1. naive

          Re: Mature Product

          This is point on. For the price of high-end gaming rig, one can buy a decent used car.

          High-end gaming laptops vary between 2500-4500 euro, decent gaming desktops like Alienware start at 1500.

  3. LeahroyNake Silver badge

    July 7th

    Maybe everyone is just waiting until July 7th For AMD to release its Ryzen 3 processors, that will work in existing AM4 sockets..

    While Intel are in damage control mode....

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Re: July 7th

      I know I am. I'm running an i5 from 2011 so an upgrade is long overdue. I looked at Intel prices and searched for AMD instead and yada yada yada here I am putting everything on hold til Ryzen 3.

      Even if performance isn't all its cracked up to be, it should be financially astute to not have taken the Intel plunge.

  4. jonathan keith

    Screw the GPUs...

    I've been waiting for AMD's Zen 2 Ryzen CPUs to launch before pulling the trigger on my big spend. Time to bid a fond farewell to my Core i7 920 (D0 stepping).

    1. Luiz Abdala

      Re: Screw the GPUs...

      I jumped from a Core i7 First Gen 920 socket 1366 (like yours) to an AMD Ryzen 5 1600X.

      I swear to $deity, I even used the same aftermarket cooler I had on the i7, thanks to the lower TDP and matching brackets stored.

      You can find a motherboard with the AM4+ socket that could potentially take an upgrade, no need to wait so much.

    2. The Dogs Meevonks

      Re: Screw the GPUs...

      I built a new rig in Jan 2600X B450 MB, 32GB 3200mhz... because my old rig was built on the old AMD FX platform and simply wasn't worth micro upgrades anymore after 8yrs. (I actually replaced everything except PSU, CASE, HDD's at some point, often second hand).

      But I also ahve a media server on the same platform (now upgraded with parts from my old gaming rig)... but it's on W7, so will need a proper rebuild in the new year.

      So my current gaming rig will be part stripped (MB/CPU) and replaced with something in the Ryzen 3xxx range... Not sure it's worth going for the 3600x just to gain 2 more cores and a 10% bump... So I'm leaning more towards the 12 core along with the X570 board.

      and my current RX580 GPU will also be replaced before Xmas this year... waiting on full reviews and benchmarks before deciding... I need 1440p @ 75fps + on latest games @ highest settings... So if the RX5700 can do that for a lot less than a 2070... I'm sold.

    3. Andy Denton

      Re: Screw the GPUs...

      I was about to pull the trigger on a new gaming PC purchase and then the AMD announcements hit and I decided to wait a month or so to see if they're really as good as they look.

  5. Luiz Abdala
    Boffin

    Nvidia bet on the wrong horse.

    I am an avid gamer, and I can say with property.

    Nvidia was betting heavy in cryptocurrency using gfx cards, but this specific market dwindles down by its own nature. As the currencies evolve, they demand ever increasing computational power to calculate their hashes and the reward for the people willing to do the heavy lifting shrinks in proportion. As a result, dedicated Asics made for cryptocurrency become cost-effective once again, and the cycle repeats itself with the invention of new currencies.

    That cycle stopped.

    So now, Nvidia has LOTS and LOTS of GTX1060-era boards out there, and they are FLOODING the market with these, now low-end graphics cards. Avid gamers don't want those, they are PAST it. So, late gamers, as in, gamers in a tight budget, are spoiled for choice, as the prices plummet on the low-end. Nvidia can't get rid of them fast enough.

    On the high-end, RTX boards were A MAJOR FLOP, because the effects are negligible, and the boards are substantially more expensive just to show a nice extra reflection on a puddle of muddy water in a bombarded French city lost somewhere. The extra grunt on these cards does NOT work to improve framerates, or enables 4k or even 8k gaming, as gamers wanted in the first place. Gamers were after smoother gaming, not some new visual effect.

    To cut it short, Nvidia FAILED to read the market, and bet on bells and whistles, instead of betting in raw processing power, higher resolutions, higher framerates.

    To get out of this, they need to cut their profits on the high-end market too. Since they have to pay for the development of RTX cards, they CAN'T cut prices. The average gamer won't buy overpriced, premium launch money for cards that can't improve their current setup by a significant margin.

    The whole market freezes as a result. AMD can't keep up, specially since the prices were forced down in every corner, without convincing research and cost-effective boards.

    You don't need a dude rendered in an orange pallette to piss on their parade, the market froze by Nvidia's own cockup.

    1. The Dogs Meevonks

      Re: Nvidia bet on the wrong horse.

      I've been watching GPU prices... and I'm not seeing these bargain basement 1060 prices anywhere... Still the same old price gouging over priced stuff that's slower than an RX570/580 and costs either the same or more.

      nVidia then released the GTX1660 which was still slower than the RX580 and yet still cost more.

      If the RX5700XT can compete on par with the RTX2070 at a far lower price point... nVidia will have no choice but to slash prices (which is rumoured to be happening with the 'super' refresh of the 20xx series soon).

      Intel have apparently just announced a 15% price cut across their CPU range because of the upcoming Ryzen 3 release.

      I'm no fanboy... I'm anti price gouging and nVidia have been doing that for far too long... I'm all about the price vs performance side of things... Fuck RTX, only 3 games have it and only 3 more are announced (some of which aren't even out until 2020)... it's a niche within a niche and exists solely for fanboy bragging rights.

      Give me a decent mid range card that can do 1440p and give me a min 75fps (because I only have 75hz monitors) on the highest settings in the latest games between the £250-300 price range and I'm kinda sold, and will probably buy it... and by latest games I mean good ones, not esports or shitty battle royale ones. Give me decent SP games any day... I'm too old for MP these days, no longer really have the reflexes to compete and hate the amount of smacktards out there.

      1. Christopher Reeve's Horse

        Re: Nvidia bet on the wrong horse.

        I agree that the problem is pricing. The 1060-1080 series has been out for years now, and faced with a massive oversupply of stock at the same time as the release of the new 2080 there were two options: 1. slash the price of the 10 series, or 2. Drastically increase the price of the 20 series in order to make the 10 series appear to be better value. No prize for guessing which option they went with....

        2 Years ago, a top flight 1080ti was in the £700 to £800 range. Now a top range 2080ti is £1300 to £1500.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Nvidia bet on the wrong horse.

        I'm only interested in the latest cards because I'm curious about their non-gaming potential (say, modeling), but as I haven't heard much on that front, I'm content to wait.

  6. Lorribot

    The issue is Intel has done nothing worth the expense of upgrading MoBo, CPU and RAM for about 5 years, they have been milking it it AMD's absence. My old Haswell i5 (now paired with a rtx2060 as the 5 year old HD7850 died) is adequate at the moment, the cost for minor improvements are very large, hopefully with the AMD's Ryzen 3 stuff pushing Intel forward and Intel finally get a process improvement we may well actually get some big steps worth the cost, plus all those still on Sandy Bridge may well choose to upgrade.

  7. SVV Silver badge

    GPUs wedged in the channel that it can't shift as it wrongly bet large on crypto demand,

    Get those whizzy new games out asap then. How about "Manic Crypto Miner"?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Jove Bronze badge

    Hardware refresh timing

    My own hardware refresh is currently on hold in anticipation of new product launches towards the end of the year, but I am also factoring the end of October as decision deadline in expectation of a fall in the GBP.

  9. TheSkunkyMonk

    Don't worry GTA6 will be along soon.

  10. buserror

    Gamers aren't waiting for new GPUs. they are waiting for the release of the new AMD CPUs before replacing the machine!

    A LOT of people (myself included) got a pretty good PC due for replacement, and just on the trigger of building a new one.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Real gamers ...

    … don't buy PCs. They build them from picked components.

    1. Jess--

      Re: Real gamers ...

      I think the last time I bought a complete system was somewhere around 1994, everything since then has been bits and pieces.

      I tend to replace bits at 4 year intervals so...

      year 1 : new motherboard / cpu (ram if required)

      year 2 : new hard drives (the old ones are 4 years old and probably fairly full)

      year 3 : new video card(s)

      year 4 : anything else that needs replacing

      current system..

      I7 4790k (water cooled)

      32Gb ram

      nvidia gtx970 driving 3 23" ips screens @1920x1080 (5760x1080)

      1tb SSD + 2x4tb spinning rust

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Real gamers ...

        "I tend to replace bits at 4 year intervals so...

        year 1 : new motherboard / cpu (ram if required)

        year 2 : new hard drives (the old ones are 4 years old and probably fairly full)

        year 3 : new video card(s)

        year 4 : anything else that needs replacing"

        Well, I am now down to my LAST Desktop, which I have upgraded over the last year to:

        Ryzen 1600 ($80)

        B450 AM4 MB that takes NVME, has usb c... $50

        RX580 $130

        1TB NVME SSD $109 (SP P34A80... no slouch!)

        16GB DDR4 3000 memory $80

        That is $450 for a relatively kick ass system. I used to game extensively... now my children have started gaming and I keep the system somewhat up to date for them and for the occasional FPS. the CPUMark system benchmark puts it at the 90th percentile of ALL computers that have run that benchmark (which nearly every serious gamer runs). Save for the NVMe SSD, everything else in my system has been out a couple of years, so that gives me an indication that VERY FEW folks are opting for $500/$1000 GPUs or upgrading into that last 10% of high end home computing, and that VERY FEW home computers (relatively... in absolute numbers they may still be profitable) can run the latest high end games at maximum frame rates.

        If this will hold (i.e. not break down), then I should be good for at least 10 years. When the AM4 Ryzen 3s get to $100, I will upgrade! When the AMD Vegas get to $120, I will upgrade!

  12. Lee D Silver badge

    If Half Life 3 came out tomorrow.

    Or VR headsets stopped being silly money.

    Or if I could buy one in an ordinary shop without having to jump through hoops to have a no-OS one.

    I'd buy a next PC the next day.

    Until then, they have nothing of use to me beyond what my current (8 year old) gaming laptop does. Even that... if it dies... I'd probably rather have another one of those, cheap, than whatever's the latest and greatest.

    I keep getting phone calls in work from IT recycling companies. They are desperate for business. For the fifth year in a row, I've had to say "Sorry, guys, I literally haven't thrown a machine out". Day 1 I ditched some antique hardware here. Ever since, nothing. Desktops work like desktops and run all we need (I did an 8Gb or SSD site-wide upgrade for a fraction of the cost of even a small room of new PC's, doubling their speed in the process). Servers are servers... they stick around until they die and then I have spares anyway. I buy WD drives and I've replaced two in five years. Everything else just ticks along.

    You hit market saturation, you're not offering me anything spectacular (sure, I can get an extra 0.1GHz or whatever, but processing power is never the bottleneck, and 10Gb is still just a pipe-dream in anything commodity, RAM is still being sold in blocks of 4Gb, SSDs actually make a viable upgrade to even the oldest computers, graphics cards are really only relevant to specialist and serious home gaming contexts, what else is there?).

    Gimme a reason to buy one. VR would be great, but I'm not paying £2k on hardware, plus £2k on a machine just to bump around a room with a friend (I think Nintendo really missed a trick not making a cheap VR this generation, even if it was only a "Wii Sports" compared to the Vive's "Crysis" level of gaming). Big-name games that I'm so eager to play that I'd upgrade like I did for Doom, Quake, Half-life, etc? None. They all either work well enough, or they're just over-hyped trash.

    If you want to sell more PC's... drop a few million into Gabe Newell's lap and ask him to pretty-please make HL3 a reality.

    1. macjules Silver badge
      Happy

      Sod all that. The only reason I have right now for a new "gaming" computer is this:

      https://baldursgate3.game

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      I actually am in the same position workwise, except that my old hardware is going to be wayyyy older than yours. To get out of a recession/downsizing provided surplus of XP boxes when the XP support date arrived I basically fitted the entire office out with second hand Core 2 Duo's running Win7 Pro, did a life extension program consisting of an upgrade to 8GB RAM and an SSD for about half of them and put the worlds slowest replacement programme in place to provide a long term supply of new equipment rather than have refurb stuff in forever.

      Some of the Win7 boxes are now so old they were purchased new with Vista, and only got Win7 courtesy of the Microsoft authorised refurb program. It's not utterly improbable that the SSD/memory upgraded boxes could get upgraded to win10 by a refurb company and then do another 5 years with somebody else after I get rid of them.

    3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

      Sod HL3, I want Portal 3!

      There already is cheap VR, it's called the Oculus Quest, or a PS4 Pro with PSVR. VR headsets are not expensive (compared to a half decent gaming monitor), it's the high end graphics cards required to drive them, although you can run some of the library with less powerful cards.

      There's also no point in having an OS less computer if VR is your aim. Unfortunately VR is absolutely tied to Windows 10 at the moment for any sensible use.

      (A limited number of VR games will work under Wine. Windows Mixed Reality absolutely needs Windows 10, and you'll likely be using SteamVR for some programs too. Oculus Rift will technically work on Windows 7, but it's a pain, the best platform is Windows 10. Haven't used Vive.)

  13. Binraider666

    Not so far different to the housing market

    I already own a 3 bedroomed house, which is two more than we really need. Clearly, forking a shedload out in legal fees and stamp duty to move to a different 3 bedroomed house; probably with lower ceilings, no soundproofing, and big brother watching my meter readings so they can do targetted marketing is not in my interest.

    It's not so far different to the PC at all. I own a 4-core 4GHz CPU and GPU adequate to my tastes (mostly paradoxy grand strategy titles or Dosbox). The case is nicely soundproofed, and (mostly) spyware free because Linux Mint. Pray tell what is the purpose of any upgrade against that?

    RTX is little more than a tech demo. Pretty cool; but the power consumption certainly isn't. Given the compute intensity required to make real time ray-tracing work at anything other than a trivial scale; somehow I can't see this being a particularly good bet. Some top end machines can draw as much power as a hoover; and you wouldn't want to know what your bill was if you left that on 24/7.

    Increasing resolutions further is all well and good; but, let's be honest, for a 25" screen there is not really a discernible difference between 1080P and 4K? Certainly not for 8K. Not too many laptops with 25" screens around. Giant TV at home? Well, OK, maybe I'll grant you there is a benefit there; but no, I'm not getting a £500+ GPU to do that.

    Power efficiency might not be quite so saleable but right now; the most attractive improvements nvidia and AMD could make would be to undo the stupid charge to 800W+ PSU's that almost feel like they have become the norm in the high end market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not so far different to the housing market

      "Giant TV at home?"

      The distance at which you sit always tends to make the screen occupy the optimum angle of your vision. My laptop feeds a 27" 1920x1080 screen about 24" (60cms) away.

      Once went to see Bonnie and Clyde at a 1000 seater cinema. Very popular film - the only seats left were in the front row. You had to lie almost flat against your seat in order to look up and try to capture most of the screen with your eyes.

  14. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    I'll stick with my Playstation thanks...

    The rubbish arms race regarding who has the best GPU, CPU and PC build etc is why I'd rather just sit on the sofa with my PS4.

    Thanks.

    1. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

      Re: I'll stick with my Playstation thanks...

      I like my PS4 too, but there's an arms race there. Not just with MS, but the PS4 has had at least one Pro upgrade and the PS5 is a year off..

      That's not stable, its built in obselence

  15. EmilPer.

    downturn

    everybody waiting for the Ryzen 3000s?

    1. David Shaw

      Re: downturn

      yes, waiting for Zen 2, but there are price cuts in the previous (current) generation Ryzen products, so I might get a cheap 2700X for one of the home PCs;

      the intel reply to AMD (so far) seems to be a reasonably priced 6C/6T Core i5-9400F (no iGPU) which I'll buy for another of the home PCs when that price stabilises

      no rush to MOBO upgrade as PCIe 5.0 is coming next year

  16. Pete4000uk

    Triggers Broom

    I've had my PC since 2004. The only thing origanal is the case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Triggers Broom

      Oh.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Triggers Broom

      "The only thing origanal is the case."

      When my young friends had their last tech refresh ca 2010 the cases had to go. Cosmetically they wanted black instead of cream - but technically the i870 cpu's liquid-cooling heat exchanger and fan wouldn't fit.

    3. Luiz Abdala

      Re: Triggers Broom

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus

      Exactly. Ancient philosophical discussion.

  17. localzuk

    Upgrade cycle extended

    I would put it down to the simple fact that upgrades aren't as big of a leap now as they used to be. Going from a P4 to a Core 2 Duo or Quad was a HUGE jump in performance. Core 2 Duo to i5/i7, another huge jump. Now? I just replaced a i5-2550k with a Ryzen 5 2600 (due to actual faults, rather than speed issues). 6668 to 13514 on CPU Benchmark, non-overclocked. So about double. After 7 years! Compared to a P4 2.4Ghz to a Core 2 Duo E8200. 6 year gap, 8 x the raw score increase.

    Throw in the fact that simply slapping an SSD in your 5 year old PC will make it run like a new machine and there's just no real justification to replace everything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgrade cycle extended

      At the end of the 1990s it seemed that upgrades could be made twice a year with real improvements. Adding more ram and a careful choice of graphics card could often give massive improvements for gaming.

      A friend bought a new PC with a substantial research grant. The ATI graphics card was chosen because it was expensive - but gaming was poor. Replacing the graphics card with a Diamond Viper 330 was impressive.

  18. Zack Mollusc

    Over(st/cl)ocked gpus

    I was just testing out a ouiji board that had been re- laquered and got through to an A Smith. I didn't really understand everything as economics is pretty complex and technical, but he seemed to be suggesting that if Nvidia lowered their prices, there would be more people willing to buy their products ? Does that sound right? I don't know how much people will pay Nvidia to keep their products in warehouses for months then scrap them, so maybe that would be better? Anyhoo, just passing that along.

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