Skip to main content

When are you planning your next GPU upgrade?

(Image credit: Colorful)

Thanks to Nvidia announcing its 3000 series of graphics cards, including a $499 RTX 3070 that outpaces the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti, the same conversation has been coming up in our Slack, every online game we play, the comments section, and basically everywhere this week. 

When are you planning your next GPU upgrade? Are you regretting your last upgrade? Thinking about your next one? What from, and what to? 

Here are our answers, plus a few from our forum.

Chris Livingston: Come on, computers. I only just recently caught up on tech by upgrading to a 2080, and now this. I enjoyed the briefest of moments of being top-o-the-line and Nvidia is punting me back into the stone ages. This is the same feeling I had when I finally got a monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate and then the following week Emma posted a story about how great her 240Hz monitor is.

As always, I plan to upgrade my GPU a couple of months before Nvidia announces an even better GPU. That's how it works, right?

Phil Savage: I tend to upgrade every other GPU generation, so, as my current card is a GTX 1070, it looks like I'm due. My big question right now is, do I stick to my normal pattern, and plump for the mid-tier 3070, or do I get swept up in the excitement and go straight for the 3080 and its much bigger numbers. I tend to avoid the more premium graphics cards, as 70s tend to be fine for a 1440p monitor. But at the same time, I enjoy getting swept up in the giddy, vacuous thrill of buying new things. So it's a toss-up, really.

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

Andy Kelly: I only recently upgraded to an RTX 2080 Super, so I think I'm cool for now. I've never been someone who simply must have every new piece of hardware that comes out. If I can play most games at ultra or near-ultra settings I'm good. I'll maybe think about an upgrade to a 3080 if Cyberpunk 2077 happens to run poorly on the 2080, but I doubt that'll be the case. If it means missing out on some fancy raytracing features, so be it. I mean, I love a neon sign reflected in a puddle as much as the next cyberpunk, but I can do without that if it means saving a few hundred quid/dollars/insert local currency here.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Tim Clark: Last year in the Black Friday sales I dropped a discomfiting amount of dollars on a new rig from NZXT with a 2080 Ti which is currently hooked up to the living room OLED. Given that it largely spends its time running Destiny 2, which is a three year-old game at this point, I clearly have no need to upgrade. So obviously I'll be going for a 3090 on day one. Don't make that face. I'm childless, don't have a car, and barely go out because there's nowhere to go in NYC anymore. What the hell else am I going to spend the money on other than takeout which, let me assure you, is also covered.

Lauren Morton: About five years from now, probably. Like Chris, I just recently splurged for an upgrade. I spent about five years running a 970 and finally caved when Red Dead Online was devouring my memory. It was time. I've just upgraded to a 2070 Super, and like Phil I'm an every-other generation kind of buyer. See you all for the 4000-series card or whatever they end up being numbered.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

(Image credit: Fahomnom)

Robin Valentine: I've been weighing up shelling out for a new PC for a few months now—originally spurred by the discovery that I can't run Assassin's Creed Odyssey properly on my now six-year-old machine. To be honest I'm not very clued-in on the hardware side of things, but for now I'm just biding my time. I'll probably take the plunge in October or November. 

From our forum

drunkpunk: I still have my 1080 Ti Founders Edition which has served me quite well. I skipped the 2000 series for two reasons, one being price, the other being a habit of not adopting the first run of new technology. I'm definitely thinking it's time to upgrade, and I'll either go for a 3090 or wait for the Ti series to be announced.

IndecentLouie: Im currently using a 4gb 1050 ti and don't plan on upgrading for another 2 or 3 years. The card is perfect for everything i'm throwing at it and lowering a Graphic setting or two to improve FPS is totally okay with me.

It's going to take a really special game or a hardware failure to make me upgrade early (touch wood)

Zloth: About time to upgrade my whole PC pretty soon. The only thing I like about it right now is the case! Current card is a 1080 so definitely not regretting getting it.

(Image credit: Cloud Imperium Games)

badman: The most graphics-heavy game I'm running (or 'running') is Star Citizen, but my 1070 SC has little problem doing that. I never turn the options to an 'ultra' setting, because I think it adds little to a game. I'm only upgrading when I have to turn most options to 'low', so that happens every 5-7 years or so. Still have some time left  I always skip a few generations with Nvidia, maybe I'll step in again when they announce the next RTX series.

Frindis: I got an Acer Nitro N50-600 with I7-8700, GTX 1070. The PC sounds like an industrial fan and warm enough to make an omelet with. I'm getting rid of it before it burns my apartment down and probably investing in RTX 3070 somewhere in November month.

Johnway: When will i plan my next GPU upgrade? Probably when i get a new PC. I'm quite happy with my GTX 1070 as it runs most of the games at a high level. The concern atm is that everything else will be a bottleneck like my skylake processor, motherboard etc. So it might be better to just do it when everything else needs to be replaced.

That's of course, if my graphics card dies (had a scare this week) or if games run so poorly and i desperately need to replace it to improve framerates.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Shadowclash10: So, I have a RTX 2060S and a Ryzen 7 2700. And 16gb RAM/500gb ssd. I'll probably up my RAM to 32gb soon, and buy an M.2 1tb nvme ssd, and install an old sata 1tb hdd that I have lying around. I don't plan to upgrade my GPU for a while yet - even though the 3070 is so enticing. I'd say I'd upgrade my gpu around the RTX 4000/5000 - so another gen or two. I'd guess that around then is when I'd struggle to run games at 1440p med/low 60fps.

McStabStab: I’ve got a 1080ti with a EKWB on it. I probably will spring for a 3000 series but I cringe thinking about going through all that install again.

Sarafan: I have a GTX 1060 and I'm very tempted to do an upgrade right now. Probably I'll manage to wait until Nvidia releases RTX 3060 graphics cards. My target is definitely mid-range and everything above will be an overkill. Maybe it's going to be a good idea to buy something from the older generation, especially when RTX 3060 will have only 6 GB RAM. In this case I'll probably get an RTX 2060 Super or... wait for RTX 3060 Ti. 

(Image credit: Future)

Ryzengang: New hardware, especially GPU's, is always exciting. For me it can be difficult to balance excitement with practicality. I have a 2070 Super right now. Realistically, in the next 2 years or so (whenever the 4000 series launches) is there really going to be a game that I want to play that will struggle enough on a 2070 Super to necessitate an upgrade? The 3080 is very enticing, but I think for me it just seems unlikely that it'll be worth it. That's a long way of saying that I will probably upgrade when the next architecture (e.g. RTX 4000) launches.

Mazer: No time soon, so I'm currently relying on my eyesight to deteriorate at the same rate that my PC slides into obsolescence so I don't notice the graphics settings lowering over time.

XoRn: I usually wait a generation or two. Since I have a 1070, I'll have to see how the 3070 bench's in comparison and if I can get a good upgrade for around 400, I will.

FreezerBurn: Sadly, I have two hobbies Building mountain bikes and Building PCs. I'll usually upgrade my PC once a year. I'm planning on upgrading this month with a 10700k processor, LGA1200 motherboard and hopefully I can grab a 3080. My name is FreezerBurn and I'm a Parts junkie....

Zloth: Come on @FreezerBurn! Parts is parts!

FreezerBurn: Sadly yes. I upgrade my computer, than I take those parts and put them into my son's computer. After that I take those parts and put them into my daughter's computer. Then I take those parts and put them in a box... there is no steps after that.

Hey folks, beloved mascot Coconut Monkey here representing the collective PC Gamer editorial team, who worked together to write this article!