My next gaming rig will not come so soon. In order for me to make the upgrade, two things must happen; the release of the Ryzen 4000 series desktop CPUs and Nvidia (or AMD) release of their next generation GPUs. Will it happen this year? Most signs point to the imminent release of AMD new cpus sometimes late this year. As for GPUs, forecasts are still very hazy at the moment as to when that will happen. The current Coronavirus pandemic certainly isn’t making future product launches of such magnitude like the launch of new CPUs and GPUs easy.
But nonetheless, it does not hurt to start planning for what goes into my next generation gaming rig. I have a pretty good idea as to what components will be included.
CPU and GPU
As mentioned, it is worth upgrading only if these two criteria are fulfilled. I am currently using the AMD 2700x on an X470 motherboard. It’s an 8 core 16 thread CPU that is still blazingly fast for my needs. Getting the 4000 series CPU in the future will definitely be a major upgrade for me as it will be on a Zen 2 7nm architecture that, judging from the performance and efficiency of their newly released mobile CPUs, it is going to be a beast.
Assuming that AMD will be keeping their CPU’s naming scheme intact, we are seeing their flagship 4950x to feature 16 cores and 32 threads. Now that is overkill and very expensive just by looking at the current pricing of their 3000 series CPUs. Do I really need all that power? No. But will it be great to have that much power? Yes. Can I afford to sacrifice some cores, saving money but not compromising too much on gaming performance? Perhaps, more likely than not. I think for me, keeping an eye out of the overall Budget of my next gen PC, an 8 core or 12 core CPU would make more sense. That would roughly translate to the 4800X or the 4900X CPU in the future.
As for the GPU, I am going all in on this one. If Nvidia is releasing their next gen GPU sometime in the future, I am definitely getting their top of the line GPU, not matter the cost. I have been using the 1080ti for quite a while now, and I feel that it is a good investment so far. I have been able to play all my games at ultra settings, 1440p resolution without any issues. Granted, I only have a 1440p 60hz monitor, but I am not a competitive gamer and I still find 60hz to be sufficient for most cases.
I skipped the 2000 series of GPUs from Nvidia as the 1080ti was still serving me well. So, if I were to get the next gen GPU, it will be a huge generational leap. Who knows, maybe I might upgrade my monitor to a 27 inch high refresh rate 1440p monitor. I find that 27 inch is the sweet spot for me. Not too big, and not too small. Anything above that resolution then, you will need a substantially bigger screen to fully enjoy those pixels, which in my opinion will diminishes your return as you go up the resolution ladder, especially when it comes to gaming. I am still on the fence when it comes to going all out when it comes to computer monitors.
I am sticking with ASUS most likely as I am very familiar with their BIOS system and I had not had any issues with their motherboard so far. I am leaning towards getting an ATX sized motherboard. I used to have a mini ITX gaming rig. But after using ATX sized motherboards, I found that you have so much versatility when it comes to additional features like more RGB and fan headers, more USB ports at the back and many more.
PSU, case and cooling accessories
I am definitely getting a modular PSU, at least 850 watts, perhaps with custom coloured cables. I used to have cables from Cablemod. But soon the cables became frayed and some of the pins from the plastic housing became loose, rendering it unusable. Will I get the cables from Cablemod again? Maybe not, due to the high shipping costs associated with their product. But there are other options out there. I just need to find them. I am currently using at 650W power supply from Corsair and never had any issues. This time though, I might invest in something slightly better, like a PSU from Seasonic.
The case is the accessory that I have the biggest headache with. So many choose from. I have a few shortlisted to be included as part of my future gaming rig. But all of the shortlisted ones have some kind of shortcomings design and practicality wise. This is something I need to study further in choose the most ideal case that will fit my vision of a future PC that I will build in the future. Right now, the top candidates Lian Li 011 Dynamic. Highly flexible and spacious, allowing you to install many radiators and/or CPU fans within the enclosure. However, because of that, I will need to invest a significant amount to bring bling bling to the case worthy of owning a Lian Li 011 Dynamic. If done correctly, then entire rig will sexy. But the challenging part is how? How do I make my future rig be sexy without looking like unicorn vomit with all the stray lighting from the RGB peripherals. Lian Li cases are examples of cases that are very easy to build with, but extremely hard to make it all come together to look aesthetically pleasing.
Thermaltake recently released their new CPU RGB fan lineup, the Riing Quad Radiator Fan TT Premium. It is a RGB case fan with 54 LED, the most number of LEDs in a case fan, divided into four regions, two outer regions and two inner regions. It looks crazy but at the same time absolutely beautiful in any rig. That is one RGB case fan that I am keeping my eyes on. It even comes with a comprehensive software to fully customise each and every LED within the fan using Thermaltake’s software. If I were to get a set of these CPU fans, I am definitely looking forward to customizing the look and feel of my gaming rig through lighting effects.
I am going to stick to AIO cooling for my CPU. I like how clean your gaming rig looks like with just the pump, radiator, fans and the water pipe. The Thermaltake AIO cooler is fantastic. Quiet and easy to install, especially on the AMD AM4 socket, as the pump unit makes use of the available bracket installed on the motherboard to mount the pump and the heatsink directly on the CPU without removing it in the first place.
Recently however, NZXT release their new Kraken AIO cooling featuring a fully customisable, million-color LCD display on the pump unit. It’s mental. Now you are given the complete freedom to customise how you want the AIO pump to look like. You can add animated GIFs and display on the pump, adding personality to the gaming rig. However the whole thing comes at a great cost. The AIO cooling is not cheap and it perhaps one of the most expensive currently available on the market. It seems that if you want novelty, be prepared to pay a lot extra.
As for RAM, I might go with Thermaltake Toughram RGB memory. RGB memory space is Super competitive. There are RGB RAMs from every segment of the market, from Corsair, to Thermaltake, to G.Skill. You have a wide range of choice. If I am going down the Thermaltake route, meaning I get a Thermaltake case, a Thermaltake AIO, a bunch of Thermaltake RGB fans, then I might as well get the RAM from Thermaltake. Because, might as well. It is not a far-fetched notion of going everything Thermaltake (even the PSU!) because Thermaltake sells everything a gamer needs to build a gaming PC (except for CPU and GPU.
Anyways, everything is still speculative at this point. Plans change constantly depending on what the market offers to consumers, to gamers specifically. But the future is bright for gaming PCs and I am bound to fully enjoy building my next gaming rig. As to what I will be doing to my current set up? I might sell or even donate to someone who needs it. We shall see in the future.