No one wants to build a new computer if some super-amazing component will roll out in a month or so, or if prices will drop significantly. So is 2020 a good time? Yes, but waiting until October is a good idea ̵1; especially for AMD fans.
October is AMD Month
On October 8, 2020, AMD introduces the Zen 3 processor architecture, the successor to its current Ryzen 3000 chips based on Zen 2. We do not yet know any release date, but AMD’s CEO, Lisa Su, said on Twitter “it will be an exciting case. “This suggests an October or November release.
Given AMD’s recent history, it’s likely that they’s solid processors. Still, it’s a good idea to wait for the reviews on launch day before committing to a new CPU. Bargain hunters should, however, be on the lookout for deals on older Ryzen processors until the end of the year.
AMD also has some news about the next generation graphics card (called RX 6000) which will be released on October 28. The new AMD graphics processors are based on the company’s Big Navi (also known as RDNA2) architecture. It is unknown when these cards will be rolled out.
They should offer features like real-time beam tracking and variable speed shading and networking, all of which are expected in future next-generation consoles. General performance improvements should also be on the agenda.
Again, it is wise to wait for the reviews before making a new GPU. You should also be able to get deals on older AMD and Nvidia cards.
Nvidia RTX 30 series cards come before Big Navi
Before AMD even talks about its upcoming RX 6000 cards, Nvidia will already be selling its latest GPU dynamos. Nvidia recently announced new GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards, including RTX 3070, 3080, 3090, with release dates in September and October 2020.
These graphics cards will not be cheap, but they are expected to provide much better performance. The hardware features include GDDR6X graphics memory on the two higher-level cards as well as tools for optimizing system latency.
Anyone looking for a great slot machine should take a serious look at these cards. If you do not have cash right now, the new cards should also create some great deals on older gear in the coming months.
Intel processors are good and still latest
Intel’s 10th generation (Comet Lake-S) desktop processors are still fairly new. They were released in the spring of 2020 and were also generally well received. If you go with a standard Intel desktop processor, it’s just as good to buy anything.
Even if you are building a gaming PC, you should be fine with one of these processors. If you are thinking about future-proofing, however, the Ryzen 3000 or upcoming Zen 3 processor is better. This is mainly due to AMD’s transition to PCIe 4.0, which probably Zen 3, supports just as the Ryzen 3000 does.
Intel decided not to jump on the PCIe 4.0 bandwagon with its 10th generation chips. Some Comet Lake-S Z490 motherboards are billed as PCIe 4.0-ready, however, pending future support from Intel.
Comet Lake-S is a refinement of Skylake, as all Core desktop chips have been for several years now. Intel’s next round of Core processors is expected to be based on Rocket Lake, and they will reportedly meet in late 2020 or early 2021.
These should be Intel’s first Core desktop CPU series in several years that will not be related to Skylake, but they will use the same 14nm process as their predecessors. Rumor has it that Rocket Lake supports PCIe 4.0 and uses the same socket type (LGA 1200) as Comet Lake-S.
Here’s the thing though: No one knows how Rocket Lake will compare to Comet Lake-S. Intel has been working on improvements to Skylake for several years, but will the new CPU platform be as smooth? The answer comes with time.
Intel viewers also seem more interested in Alder Lake, which is not expected until the second half of 2021. Alder Lake is a 10 nm chip that uses a hybrid design. Golden Cove and Gracemont cores work together, similar to ARM’s big.LITTLE strategy. In 2022 (or later), Intel should introduce 7 nm Meteor Lake chips, which could be even better.
We can continue, but the question is, should you wait or just buy Comet Lake-S now? At this time, we are unsure what to expect, but we know that Comet Lake-S is solid and available right now.
Future Intel processors are unknown and probably far enough away that we would not bet on waiting for anything other than AMD, as it has concrete announcement dates. If Comet Lake-S suits your needs, there is no need to wait at all!
Anyone who wants to build a powerful workstation (without getting into Xeons, which we will not cover here) will also do well with Intel’s Cascade-Lake-based X-processors or AMD’s latest Zen 2 wires.
RELATED: Intel 10th generation processors: What’s new and why it matters
So, what about everything else? RAM finally fell at reasonable prices this year, and these six-month component deficiencies seem to be correcting themselves. Bargain hunters may find that some B550 models and other AMD-based motherboards are out of stock, but in general most components are available.
There have also been some good sales in recent months on M.2 NVMe devices, so keep your eyes open for bargains. We recommend that you look for sales on most components right now, and do not forget that there are also many you can also reuse. For example, if you have an older computer with good DDR4 RAM or a high quality PSU, reuse can be a good plan.
Building a new computer can be a welcome distraction, and it’s as good as any to grab your components. The only exception would be if you are interested in AMD (wait until October) or just can not drop another Intel processor which is once again a refinement of Skylake.