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Read this before pre-ordering your Nvidia RTX 30 series graphics card

I know I know. The temptation is great, if you’re a DIY PC building enthusiast who is tired of watching your games stutter when you set them to “Ultra”

; quality settings. Nvidia’s new RTX 30 series graphics cards are beasts. But should you pre-order one? I would not.

I’m tempted, though: even though Nvidia’s marketing is exaggerating their capabilities a bit, you’ll get solid performance at a reasonable price even if you choose the lowest rung, $ 499 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070. This card is supposedly Faster compared to Nvidia’s previous flagship, the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, a card that cost at least $ 1,000 at its launch.

All of this seals the deal if you’re upgrading from something older, especially if your graphics card starts with the number “10” or lower. But I’ll continue to wear my skeptic’s hat and be that annoying Reason voice: Don’t pre-order a new graphics card.

Illustration for article titled Read this before pre-ordering your Nvidia RTX 30 series graphics card

But if I don’t pre-order I won’t get one

I see. There is an absolute thirst out there for new graphics cards, because Nvidia hasn’t offered a new line (microarchitecture, actually) since the September 2018 launch of its GeForce RTX 2080. I bet you’ll see some exhausts on launch day ( September 17), which means you may have to wait a while to get your hands on a new 30 series card. All right.

First, we don’t have the practical tests yet, confirmed points of references of what these series 30 cards can do. Good on Nvidia for doing a lot of the initial work and throwing it out some nice graphics to exhibit how these new graphics cards trample previous models. (They are it will upset many of the recent updates, especially those who recently overpaid for the top of the range 20 series cards.) But Nvidia’s figures are PR, not real-world performance testing.

You have to expect yourself for all others, journalists and YouTubers alike, to put these graphics cards to the test. Not only will this give you the best possible indication of how these cards perform under normal conditions, but you will learn a lot about the nuances than the simpler ones. “200% faster!” the graphs do not enter.

For example, want CPU bottlenecks it affects your ability to achieve high frame rates, regardless of your qualityour graphics card is? How much extra power will these cards attract when you play your favorite games to the max? Will these graphics cards turn into miniature space heaters or jet engines when you play games? Will these do cards dramatically increase the frame rate in the games you love the most, at the resolution and quality settings you normally play? (Hint: You probably don’t need a $ 1,500 graphics card to play games Fortnite).

Will the Series 30 see sales sooner or later?

The launch of the GeForce 30 series cards comes at a delightful time. It’s September; pandemic-September, of course, but still September. This means that those big, old days of shopping in late November are really close. While you probably won’t see incredible cash offers for, say, Nvidia’s $ 1,500 GeForce 3090, you might at least be able to buy the graphics card and get some freebies: games, extra months to try out a subscription service, one. discount on other gear you may need (like a new power supply) and so on.

I’m not the type to say “wait two months to save $ 50”, because that sounds a bit silly, but given as soon as As close as we are to some major geeky sales events, it’s worth the wait a while if you’re not completely convinced you’re buying a new 30 series graphics card on launch day. And you may also see more aggressive pricing than usual due to …

Illustration for article titled Read this before pre-ordering your Nvidia RTX 30 series graphics card

Don’t call AMD a comeback, it’s been here for years

Big Navi. We won’t see AMD announce its counter-offer to Nvidia’s 30 series graphics cards until October 28, which means we have no idea what kind of performance to expect, nor how AMD is planning to counter Nvidia’s already aggressive pricing. its series 30 graphics cards. But with these being the first major AMD graphics cards to (finally) support ray tracing, you can expect healthier-than-normal competition.

What does it mean? Even if you’re a Nvidia loyalist, I wouldn’t buy a 30 series graphics card until I’ve at least seen what AMD is up to. If AMD’s offerings are compelling enough, perhaps Nvidia will have to try a bit (or lower prices) to stay appealing. Who knows, maybe AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs might actually be the best, maybe for performance is price. If so, you’d be an idiot to spend $ 1,500 on Nvidia’s top-notch card right now if you can have something better after just a month of waiting.

Simply put, the latest generation battle of graphics cards hasn’t begun yet. There is no reason to upgrade immediately; if you’ve been holding out that long for the update, you can handle a few more weeks. It is the smartest move.

The Power Move: Preorder Anyway, But …

I wrote this article and even I am I’m still thinking about pre-ordering a 30 series graphics card because I don’t want to be stuck waiting for months if there are inventory issues. If I couldn’t convince you to do it not pre-order a new card, I’m not offended; however, I suggest you pre-order at a retailer that has a great return policy (and no restocking fees).

Nvidia? Amazon? B&H? You’re good to go, assuming you have an unopened graphics card. Newegg? No.

Purchase your new Nvidia graphics card if necessary, but sit as long as possible without using it. You may still not be aware of AMD’s announcements unless we see some leaks before October 28, so I would try to order the Series 30 as close to the end of September as possible.

Of course, you are now playing everyone’s favorite graphics card riddle game – how long can you hold out before the cards run out of wherever you are looking to buy them? I’m sure you’ll get an idea of ​​the question once Nvidia’s new cards launch, which should help you figure out if it’s worth the wait or pulling the trigger sooner or later. Whatever happens, consider the power of a good return policy and you may be able to get a better deal later, or a completely better graphics card.

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