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  • Post published:09/05/2021
  • Post last modified:09/05/2021

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Guru3D Spring 2020 PC Buyers Guide

It has been around 4-5 months since the last version of this guide, and the world is very much a changed place since then. The pandemic of the SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19 virus has thoroughly left its mark on 2020, having shut entire nations down.  This article has been in the works for a fair while but we wanted to wait, but then decided that during this outbreak, many people will purchase or buy a (Game) PC for home-usage. 

 

  

Moving on from such unpleasant matters, though, and we find that the hardware space is still alive and kicking, with several notable releases being on the horizon this year. These are, namely:

  • AMD’s Zen 3 ‘Vermeer’ CPUs;
  • Intel’s ‘Comet Lake’ 10th Generation CPUs;
  • Nvidia ‘Ampere’ GPUs;
  • Radeon/AMD RDNA2 GPUs;
  • The PS5 and Xbox ‘Series X’ (‘XSX’ from now on).

This guide will try to cover all of the major price points from the ‘ultra-budget’ to the entirely ‘overkill,’ or – that is to say – utterly beyond the ‘price vs. performance’ barrier that so many should try to target. Before we start, however, there are some things I must cover. The upcoming console releases and – as always – the potential for new products from the likes of the big three, aka. Intel, AMD, and Nvidia.

  

 

 

First, though, near future consoles.

Glossing over many of the arguments that have been had for eons regarding PC vs. console-based gaming, the upcoming hardware from the likes of Microsoft and Sony is extremely impressive. Their GPUs are roughly equivalent to an RTX 2080 Super (a $600~700 graphics card), which is a quite staggering leap forward even when compared to the improved PS4 Pro and Xbox One X.

Considering the above, the price vs. performance ratio of any PC stacking up against the new consoles is looking poor, at best. If we assume the PS5/XSX are in or around the $550 mark, for the same amount of money on the discrete GPU front, you get an RTX 2070  Super… Whichever way you cut it, that is a slower GPU, by quite some margin. Not even accounting for the cost of the rest of the PC, the new console hardware is looking rather excellent. I guess we will need to see what the next generation of GPUs brings us. Maybe they will change that outlook, but I doubt it very much.

A quick word Intel’s ‘Comet-Lake’ 10th Generation processors

We know that the pending Comet Lake-S will be based on the now heavily refined (and, for that matter, rather aging) 14nm fabrication process, and – as seems all but confirmed – the flagship model will be the 10C/20T Core i9 10900k. Now that Intel no longer has the instructions per clock (IPC) advantage, they are forced to push clock speeds (and, therefore, power draw) ever higher, and to almost nobody’s surprise, high power draw has been reported on even locked SKUs such as the rumored i7 10700. In these articles, we can’t really base findings and conclusions based on speculation and rumors though. I have no doubt that nearly all processors in the Comet Lake line up will make superlative gaming chips. Price, however, will be the factor in determining their viability against Zen 2. If Intel prices their 10th generation chips competitively against Zen 2, then they might be easy recommendations. Anyway, with all of that said, shall we move on to the budget end of the homebuilt market? Before we move on, please note the following: 

  1. Our aim is gaming, here, however, so whilst there are cheaper options like the Athlon 3000G or Intel Pentium ‘Gold’ G5400, they are barely gaming capable from an on-board graphics standpoint.
  2. I won’t make any special considerations with regards to the ‘form’ of the PC, here, and will just assume that you will be aiming for your regular ‘ATX’ spec PC.
  3. The recommendations are based on the pricing and availability of products in the USA/UK/EU.  

With that, we will move onto the first of our builds.

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