How Long Till Low-Spec Gaming Dies?

in Geek Zone2 years ago (edited)


I've had quite a run with my GPU for nearly a year. I played games that were so demanding, they ran perfectly fine at the highest graphical presets. As usual, games are getting more demanding. But even, then I still feel like it does a good job till am ready for a new upgrade.

There's more to squeeze out. However, people who are clamouring to get new GPUs now for their PCs have to deal with all kinds of problems; from the price hike, low supply in the market, to the fact that scalpers/mining are taking a lot of inventory.

There's a big trend going on out that, and that is buying the most powerful GPUs you could possibly get. That applies to everyone, sadly. Most people to this day still use the GTX 1600 cards and 1000 cards. Like 1660 or 1060. AMD has RX 580, and no card has come to replace that even once. A realization that makes you wish AMD got off their high horses and release another budget-king product.


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Based on recent Steam Hardware survey data(of which, I can't seem to get access to any more) from the link above, Nvidia dominates the industry by 80%. AMD is barely present. It's an implication that the underdog contender hasn't made a difference within the past 4-5 years.

My best guess for this would be, that they're waiting for Intel to swerve right in and save the day with their ARC GPU cards. Intel's GPU division is being led by former AMD prodigy, Raja Koduri. And they want to let you know you're in their best interest, yes you, the gamers.

And if you're wondering if Intel can match up against Nvidia even, there are verifiable leaks that show that even their top cards can contend against Nvidia's higher end SKUs. But we're talking about budget cards, if their low-end cards come out at competitive price, Nvidia will have to react to that. Though, nothing tells me that will be the case.


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Because as much as Intel likes to brag about owning their own fabrication plants, they're working with TSMC to create the silicon chips for their own cards. TSMC also makes cards for Nvidia and AMD. That's kind of a shame. Because since the pandemic, these guys have been having a hard time meeting up GPU supply and demand.

Where The Price Isn't Right


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Two new releases came out from both AMD and Nvidia, RX 6500 XT(Red), and RTX 3050(Green). Neither of them are competing against one another. The 6500 is a very gimped card that underperforms even against an RX 580. With half the VRAM and price tag of 200 USD. The 6500 XT provides a paltry performance for Ray-Tracing at the price it sells, who is it exactly for?

The RTX 3050, which sounds like a good card since it is a viable replacement for the 1660 Super, for just 250 USD. Except this card has RTX features like Ray-Tracing, and DLSS.

Except, none of these cards are selling at their marked up prices. They're selling for a lot more in Ebay. Prices are so jacked up, what should be less than 200 USD are now worth twice over. While the RTX 3050 seems like a tempting card to buy at its price, the 2060 that I have, back 3 years ago, was worth over 300 USD. The 3050 falls short of a 3-year-old card by 15%. That 2GB extra VRAM is nice, but it's all about the processing power.

Here's a big question, what is the right price these days? Putting outside the inflated price right now, once things settles later on, maybe at the end of the year, what will be the median pricing? Releasing new cards that aren't progressive against their prior generation. Instead of bringing us new cards that leaps in performances, it's in the reverse direction.


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PCPartspicker chart shows that the price for a card like the RX 580 has skyrocketed. The dead space shows that the card has been out of stock for that timeline. Why is it worth 3x the price when it came out for 200 USD around its time of release?

Proving My Point

I did a benchmark with my 2060 for Forza Horizon 5. I ran Horizon 4 on my RX 580 perfectly well on ultra settings. But it seems this game is now requiring more graphical processing power and even with my RTX 2060 at somewhere between ultra to high, just tweaked, it deals with a few dips.

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A racing game made with an engine that's very efficient, can't even run properly on a medium range GPU such as this. The only game that ridiculously gets blown off by my GPU is Rainbow Six Siege, running way past 100FPS at benchmarks.

Halo Infinite runs poorly on this card if I push the settings to the max. Even at high settings with a few things toned down, with my 6 core CPU, running at campaign mode I would get a lot of dips and most of the time during intense fights in large areas, it would stay around 45-48FPS.

Crytek just announced a new Crysis game, usually a new crysis game would mean that they're releasing a new engine. I would be stoked to hear this too, but I am saving up to buy a new GPU and even then, am wondering if that will be enough for the next couple of years.

Future Seems Bleak


Nvidia as a company has grown a lot for the past 4 years, mainly due to being the highest proprietor for A.I based computer chipsets. For the past 4 years, their GPU pricing has made no sense to me at all. But nobody is challenging them to that, as if they have free rein.

Of course, supply and market demands are other factors for pricing, but you're going to have 3 different companies that provides GPUs now. Apple is also making their own integrated GPUs for both Macbooks and Mac Pros, embedded in their M series chips.

I want people I know, that can't afford the kind of GPUs that I purchase, too to join in the gaming culture. Gaming isn't just about playing the FPS types, MMOs, sports, mobile games, and such categories. It has expanded into something much more. Like, you can learn so much from playing games that develops critical thinking and problem-solving skills, like the Zachtronics series.


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With the price hikes, most people can settle into buying GT 1030s or second-hand GTX 1050s or RX 560s. Some countries already sell them for outrageously high prices, and with the continuing crisis in the silicon manufacturing industry, things won't improve till late this year or next year.

I can buy my GPU and mine to an extent for half of ROI, but that won't be the case for everyone. I don't want a future, where the starting price for a gaming PC starts from 700 USD, because of the extra money being forked over for that juicy GPU. Not everybody has that kind of cash. This isn't how you help set up the future for people.

In Summary

A lot of you reading this might be thinking it's some technical mumbo jumbo, so let me put a TL;DR points to help

  • New GPUs for low entry gaming have prices that make no sense
  • GPUs even with low prices are being sold ridiculously high thanks to supply issues
  • Older GPUs are even more expensive than they should have been
  • Nvidia has a recognizable monopoly
  • Intel will be releasing GPUs, but doubt that they are going to save us from this plight

You don't need Nvidia GPUs to play games at the entry-level though, AMD APUs can be used for a fun time even with AAA titles, (just not at the best visual quality or frame rate,) but I think you know this and talking about a different aspect than the one I'm talking about...

There's a channel called Low-Spec Gamer and from the fans on their discord server, I don't think Low-spec gaming will die in the near future...


Yes, I am aware of APUs existing. But unless DDR5 comes soon enough, there's going to be memory bottlenecks.

Also, I've seen the new Steam Deck just now. That device proves that fully integrated gaming systems could be the new way of playing on the budget. Could be our saving grace.

Steam Deck/Valve is the only company that could make that happen though, a computer with the same power as the $400 Steam Deck will probably cost at least $700 if another company made it. (The higher end versions would compete with the power and price with the $1200's AYA NEO.) The main reason is that they have the eco-system (Steam itself) to bring profit back even if they don't have any profit on the units themselves.

I'm not too worried about the DDR5 since APUs for now can run the latest AAA games well enough, (even if not at the highest quality and frame rate,) by the time a stronger APU is needed, DDR5 will probably be readily availble.

(Disclaimer: I'm speaking out of educated speculation here, not experience.)

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