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General Discussion 

Hardware  » When will we see the next decent/worthy boost in hardware?

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28 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/04/09
Posts: 527

OP  5/04/14 10:17:59 AM#1
I currently have an old Sandybridge that is overclocked to 4.7Ghz and my graphics card is a 670GTX. Neither are that fancy and the cpu is years old but I can still play most games on max detail and everything loads fast etc. Ivybridge and haswell were meh in terms of raw performance. Will Broadwell be the next big upgrade? Or what about for GPU? The 800 series? I'm really curious when it will be worth upgrading. This is a great age for pc gaming with components lasting so long!


Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14684

5/04/14 11:01:12 AM#2
In single-threaded performance, possibly never.  In GPU performance, we're waiting on die shrinks, and should get to 14/16 nm in about two years.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/16/07
Posts: 262

5/04/14 11:06:59 AM#3
Why do you care about boosts in hardware when you already run everything at max settings?

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/12
Posts: 243

5/04/14 11:09:24 AM#4
Well, long term we will be getting a game changing boost in about 10-15 years.  400 Ghz Graphine processors are going to change everything.

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 1811

5/04/14 11:11:18 AM#5

Intel Haswell K-sku refresh is coming in Q3. Rumors are Intel has significantly improved the heat transfer from core to the heatspreader. They should be overclockable to 5+ GHz on air.

Still not a massive boost, but keep on mind Haswell is about 20% faster clock-on-clock against Sandy Bridge.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/04/09
Posts: 527

OP  5/04/14 1:44:30 PM#6
I enjoy building new comps and want to make one lol but I'm not going to do it until it makes sense. Gone are the days of an outdated system in 6 months to a year :)

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/31/12
Posts: 666

5/04/14 1:50:53 PM#7
I'd like to see a boost in how game engines use the current generation of hardware. They're not using the full potential of them.  Hardware race makes developers complacent IMO.

Elite Member

Joined: 10/03/05
Posts: 2546

5/04/14 3:38:00 PM#8

The current technology is already so fast, that I don't think we'll be seeing any large performance jumps just by improving it.

I'd say we'll need nanotubes, graphene or silicene, or single-atom transistors to replace our current computer parts before we'll be able to get large boosts to single core performance again.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 1566

5/04/14 3:48:08 PM#9

A more important question might be :  How will a significant hardware boost, improve the games we have today?

I am not convinced that better graphics at this point will make games better, which generally what a hardware improvement provides.   The differences are becoming minimal. 

What sort of hardware advance will provide improved gameplay as in better NPC  artificial intelligence, which is what I would like to see in games?  

FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!


Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 8310

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

5/04/14 4:00:04 PM#10
Originally posted by FlyByKnight
I'd like to see a boost in how game engines use the current generation of hardware. They're not using the full potential of them.  Hardware race makes developers complacent IMO.

That is the real problem,the coding is very lazy as we already have gpu's that are more than fast enough when compared to the junk they are selling us in games.Instead of constantly evolving,MOST games are delivering 2000-2005 graphics,some even worse,so why bother upgrading the hardware when it is the developers that need to upgrade their efforts.
Samoan Diamond


Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/13/13
Posts: 968

I want an awesome sci-fi game that is a sandbox...give it to me!!!!

5/04/14 4:05:21 PM#11
Originally posted by Wizardry
Originally posted by FlyByKnight
I'd like to see a boost in how game engines use the current generation of hardware. They're not using the full potential of them.  Hardware race makes developers complacent IMO.

That is the real problem,the coding is very lazy as we already have gpu's that are more than fast enough when compared to the junk they are selling us in games.Instead of constantly evolving,MOST games are delivering 2000-2005 graphics,some even worse,so why bother upgrading the hardware when it is the developers that need to upgrade their efforts.

Well i think companies dont push the hardware because most people are on the low end of performance. They want to have those computers in places like south america and asia (and other places) to be able to play their game. If they cater to high end rigs then they alienate many people and that makes them less money. 


So in short....$$$$$$$$$

Originally posted by laokoko
"if you want to be a game designer, you should sell your house and fund your game. Since if you won't even fund your own game, no one will".


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/10
Posts: 939

I tend to get discontent when I run out of content.

5/04/14 4:08:52 PM#12

Not for a very long time which is why the focus is changing.  A PC will last a lot longer for a while until the next major revolution, whether that be graphene, optical, or quantum.  Silicon has pretty much reached its limits.


It is kind of surprising how little we can do with it actually.  Back when the 80386 came out, I pondered on just how many amazing things one could do with a 10th generation chip of the same kind.  Reality did not fulfill the expectation.


Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6658

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

5/04/14 4:14:26 PM#13
Originally posted by JayFiveAlive
I enjoy building new comps and want to make one lol but I'm not going to do it until it makes sense. Gone are the days of an outdated system in 6 months to a year :)

upgrades only make sense when your PC needs the upgrade. That could be any time. I got my PC in 2009-10 and i did a some upgrade one year later. I still can play all games out there with max settings but high fps is a must and im not getting it with mmos. Strangely enough FFXIV gives me the highest fps in mmos (40-60). Even wow gets 35 and lower on my pc. And im the type of person that rather not play a game if i have to lower the settings to get decent fps, rendering my money wasted. So yeah i do need an upgrade lol.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/14/14
Posts: 494

5/04/14 4:24:45 PM#14
seems like we are seeing it happen as we speak, project morpheus and oculus rift

Novice Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 1176

5/04/14 6:05:24 PM#15

The next big boost is coming from low level optimizations and architecture that is designed around it.

AMD's next architecture will be designed with Mantle and the new OGL optimizations and DX12 in mind.

Nvidia's next one will be centered around OGL, DX12, and CUDA 6 which will mirror many Mantle features.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 4121

5/05/14 2:16:37 AM#16

I think you missed the memo. The big boosts are all happening over in the mobile sector. Mostly with ARM, but there's a good bit of x86 shakeup too in that realm (the AMD Beema/Mullins post, for instance).

The PC isn't dead - that isn't what I'm saying. But it's not growing either. That sector is receding now, as mobile (tablets/smart phones) not necessarily supersedes it, but rather augments it and is able to get at markets that were unreachable by PCs.

Not everyone in the third world has a place where they can keep a desktop dry and with steady power, but there aren't a lot of people who don't at least have a pocket and occasional access to charge a phone up every couple of days.

We will continue to see the mobile sector advance very very quickly becausae it's being approached from two directions - some of it by taking ultra-energy efficient hardware and making it faster, while some is driven by the (now) slower advances in the PC/desktop segment and then brought down to the mobile market via increased energy efficiency.

The hardware R&D will follow the money, and the money right now is in mobile. We will see modest increases in desktop performance, but it will no longer be because that's where the money is, it will be because faster desktop parts can then be brought down to the mobile arena with subsequent energy efficiency improvements. The proof is already happening: nVidia's Maxwell has started out with a highly efficient 750/750Ti, rather than the beastly high performance card first (880 or whatever they may call it). Intel hasn't appreciably gotten faster for 2 generations now, instead focusing almost exclusvely on energy improvements. AMD is basically doing the same thing, focusing mostly on GCN graphics and more tight integration between their GPU and CPU components.

Your PC will get faster. It just won't be at the same rate as it was in the 1980's-90's. The PC you bought in 2005 isn't going to be that much slower than one you could buy today... but the modern version will be a heck of a lot smaller, quieter, and more energy efficient.

In my opinion, PC gaming components having such a lifespan is bad for the gaming industry (although great for my wallet). I was hoping we'd see a modest burst of activity again with the new consoles, since we seemed to have stagnated out with the last console generation, but the hardware specs on the consoles is not terribly promising. Perhaps I'm wrong in blaming the consoles at all, maybe PC stagnation has been because of the mobile bubble this entire time, and I should be blaming Apple for introducing the iPhone.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 4121

5/05/14 2:27:51 AM#17

Originally posted by tom_gore
Still not a massive boost, but keep on mind Haswell is about 20% faster clock-on-clock against Sandy Bridge.

That is true, and sounds impressive.

But realize... Sandy was released in Feb 2011, Haswell June 2013. That's a bit over 2 years, for 20% performance. That's nothing to sneeze at, for sure.

Take that same 2 year span:
1993-1995: P5 Pentium @ 60Mhz -> P54CS a@ 200Mhz.

That isn't a 20% jump, that's over 3x just on clock speed alone.
And 6 months after the P54CS, we got the P6, and another 100Mhz clock.
And 6 months after the P6, we jumped the the PII.

Back in the 80's and 90's... we used to double performance inside of a year. ALl the way until just shortly after the turn of the century. We kind of hit a road block around 4-5Ghz, and we're still there. Pesky laws of nature.

Going from 100-200% increases annually, to 10-20%... that's a huge change. An order of magnitude slower.

Just bringing this back into some perspective. Yes, there was a period in time where a computer that was 2-3 years old was ~ancient~ and utterly obsolete. Now, 4-5 year old computers are typical, and you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in performance between that and a new one.

  User Deleted
5/05/14 2:29:10 AM#18

We'll probably see a boost over the next year, as games are designed with a greater scope to take advantage of the new consoles.  Unfortunately PC gaming is largely bottlenecked by this.  They can create a game and do stuff like add better textures and draw distances for the PC, but the overall design is still constrained by what the console hardware can use.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 4121

5/05/14 2:40:44 AM#19

Originally posted by JayFiveAlive
I enjoy building new comps and want to make one lol but I'm not going to do it until it makes sense. Gone are the days of an outdated system in 6 months to a year :)

I agree. My current computer is a circa 2008 CPU, and 2010 GPU. I do keep the main hard drive relatively current (I only have SATA2 interface, but I have a M4 SSD installed).

There's some stuff that can't MAX-MAX at 1920x1200, but I'm ok with that for right now. The stuff that I have to turn down to maintain an acceptable frame rate, honestly, I can't tell much of a difference with or without it anyway. There are some games where I need to kick up the overclock, but most games run fine at stock clocks of 2.66Ghz - from 2008.

I was going to build a Haswell system about this time last year, but passed over it, seeing as how this rig still works ok. Now I'm thinking I'll just wait for a DDR4-based system -- not because I believe it will necessarily be that much faster, but I'm betting it won't be like RAMBUS and that most systems past that will also be DDR4 based for a while, rather than investing in another DDR3 system now and having DDR4 come out 6 months later. Not that I have a really valid reason for doing so, other than it's just some artificial and somewhat arbitrary milestone I have set for myself.

This computer, as long as it's been running, could die any moment. I've decided once the next part goes out on it, I'm replacing entirely, and if that's before DDR4 is out (or out at some price point where I'm willing to purchase), then I'll just build another DDR3 system and be happy. And if it's still chugging right along when DDR4 is out and cheap... then maybe I'll keep chugging along, or maybe I'll get bit by the bug and decide to rebuild.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/20/07
Posts: 530

5/05/14 2:59:59 AM#20
Coding is expensive. Advanced hardwared makes your pc  successfully work with more advanced coding, but it doesn't cheapen it significantly. Companies are  reaching a point in which they have to start reining in the complexity of their games, not because they are technologically unviable but because they are financially unfeasible. If you need an army of designers working for five years to create a game, no matter how beautiful it looks, no amount of tech is going to make it cheap. 
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