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  1. #21
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    One subjective thing is what is "ok" for everyone. What is your minimum standard you want before you start thinking about needing an upgrade? After you put on Ultra and throw on some AA even high end cards take a beating.

    1920x1080, high or better settings, x2/x4 AA, 40+ FPS. Is what I hope to maintain over the next few years for newer games. Once I get below medium settings getting less than 40 FPS it may be time to upgrade again.

    I do have a HD 68xx in my old PC now instead of a HD 48xx. Of course depending on the game I saw some nice boosts for the little before/after testing I did. Then games like WoW or SC2 you saw more boost from a better CPU than the E8500.

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    The only hardware I'm considering buying this year is a mechanical keyboard, but that's kinda hard to justify (I built my PC on 2011, i5-2500, 560ti, 16GB RAM).

  3. #23
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    Yep, my 460GTX seems to cope with most things I throw at it.

  4. #24
    Looking through my purchase history I bought my second PC in 2006. The next in 2010.

    Don't really seem to need to upgrade it now either. Got an i7 with the intention of buying a new GPU after a few years. That's still the plan but I just don't need to yet.

    Upgrading is not really needed anything like as often as it used to me.

    I'm sure I could go from 6 gig to 12 or 16 or get an SSD but what's the point? :)

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    I had a hardware break for about 4 years discounting a gpu that burned out, am I doing it wrong?
    That sounds about right. I built my desktop rig back in summer '09 and haven't needed to upgrade a thing, as of yet. Personally, I'm just as happy that the hardware race has slowed down so dramatically.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadayi View Post
    Personally holding off on any upgrading until the new consoles have been fully announced and showcased. I don't see the point in forking out at this point in time.
    I'm a bit (read: a lot) hardware naive, and I've seen this one a few times and wouldn't mind clarification. How do console specs figure in your decision making process? Surely a well built PC today will beat out any upcoming console in raw power by quite a ways. Is there some reason to expect a price drop of any sort?

  7. #27
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I'm a bit (read: a lot) hardware naive, and I've seen this one a few times and wouldn't mind clarification. How do console specs figure in your decision making process? Surely a well built PC today will beat out any upcoming console in raw power by quite a ways. Is there some reason to expect a price drop of any sort?
    a console game ported to PC requires quite a bit more raw power to match the console. This is a non-issue when comparing a 3-4 year old PC to an ancient 7 year old console, in other words we already have all the raw power we need in midrange PCs. When next gen consoles hit they'll be going head to head with current $1500+ gtx680 powered PCs.

    Personally I'm not worried that my 4.5GHz core i7 3930k PC will buckle under the strain (~$2000 PC here), but i'm pretty sure my 2 year old GTX580 won't be giving me 80fps performance with Watch Dogs etc.

    That doesn't mean that a gtx680 is the way to go. I'm waiting for the next generation of GPUs with vastly superior performance to consoles. I wouldn't mind paying $500 towards that rather than get a new console.
    Last edited by mashakos; 16-04-2013 at 09:49 PM.
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  8. #28
    Obscure Node Asheme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I'm a bit (read: a lot) hardware naive, and I've seen this one a few times and wouldn't mind clarification. How do console specs figure in your decision making process? Surely a well built PC today will beat out any upcoming console in raw power by quite a ways. Is there some reason to expect a price drop of any sort?
    The static nature of console hardware, coupled with consoles becoming the lead platform for a lion's share of the AAA games, means that-- as we reach the end of a console cycle --the average/midrange desktop has zoomed past the once "bleeding-edge" tech of 7+ years ago.

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Eh. I'll buy a whole new rig for Dark Souls 2 if I have to. Otherwise most of my rig is from 2007 and likely to stay that way until it breaks or new games get more compelling.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
    I upgraded about 2 years ago now and it'll be at least another 3 or 4 until I do so again.
    Same with me. I upgraded it in late 2010 and it serves me fine so far. I'm relieved that hardware upgrades are taking a break, right now I can't afford keeping up with anything.

  11. #31
    Looking through my order history on various web pages gives me the following info:

    Early 2011: New build of i5 2500k, memory, case, m/b, AMD 6870 and sundries.

    Mid 2012: Samsung SSD 830 256Meg (my birthday gift to myself).

    Early 2013: AMD 7950. Got this on special offer for £200. Sold the 6870 and the 6 free games AMD kindly gave me on Ebay so clawed back around £140 of that outlay back.

    Unless I can talk myself into a new monitor I am done upgrading for this year and probably 2014 also.
    Last edited by Adeste Fideles; 17-04-2013 at 12:05 AM. Reason: I can't count

  12. #32
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    3-4 years for upgrades for me. I tend to ask for parts as a Christmas or Birthday present, then supplement the rest with my own money if I need any other majors parts. If I get a bit of excess cash I will sometimes upgrade something as a treat (I bought a second GPU the other day), but I rarely do it.
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  13. #33
    The next console generation will certainly do one thing of interest to PC owners: They will be multithreaded out the wazoo. That much is known, and it will start to show up on some older PC systems. Dual cores will take the biggest hit, but with 6 and 8 threads being coded for, even just quad capable processors will start to see pressure.

    I am continuing on with a venerable, OC'd q6600 cpu, and a warrenty replacement 6790 gpu. Will probably look to upgrade the guts to some form of i7ish based thing eventually. Definitely a SSD on the want list. But I tend to buy on the backside of the technology switch.

  14. #34
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    The console gen slowed everything down. The release of Win8 had nothing to do with this, since its system requirements are similar to Windows 7, which are similar to Vista, while also getting improved performance. The reason we've slowed down since about 2007 was because consoles took over. Now that we're coming out of a console generation, we can expect things to pick up in the next few years. That said I haven't been sitting idle, I've gone through a few upgrades, half of which were due to parts failing and the other half were for non-gaming related upgrades (SSDs and HDDs, new monitor, mechanical keyboard, stuff like that).

    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    I'm a bit (read: a lot) hardware naive, and I've seen this one a few times and wouldn't mind clarification. How do console specs figure in your decision making process? Surely a well built PC today will beat out any upcoming console in raw power by quite a ways. Is there some reason to expect a price drop of any sort?
    The thing is that quoting console stats (save for RAM) doesn't translate well to the PC. It's a different architecture (except for the PS4, which apparently uses an x86 processor of the same kind you'd find in your PC). They're purpose built for playing games which makes them not so great at other tasks. Since they're designed primarily for one purpose developers can squeeze lots of power out of the device well beyond what its bare numbers would suggest. Furthermore since there's only ever one kind of 360 and one kind of PS3, you can employ lots of hack and tricks to get even more out of the system. Trying to do that in PC gaming, where we have an incomprehensible number of hardware profiles, would result in massive compatibility issues. I don't know if you were around for the DOS days in the 90s, but back before DirectX developers could code at a very low level, and if they didn't support your particular sound card (for example) then you got no sound and never would unless you had a compatible card. This kind of programming (direct or close to metal) enabled some of the amazing innovations of the 90s considering the limited hardware... but trying to do it now would result in compatibility problems. So to answer the question - console specs on their own mean fairly little comparing to a PC. Your PC can push more pixels but it comes with processing overheads that consoles don't have to cope with, so they can do more with less.

    As for why consoles are important for upgrade cycles - since they're the dominant system, developers (AAA developers and an increasing number of indies) target their games for these systems, and generally tack bits on for the PC as an afterthought (the main benefit we see is increased resolutions, most 360 games are at 720p which is ridiculous). Since they're targeting boxes that came out in what, 2006 or 2007, they have very modest requirements and generally don't need beefy PCs to be played at or above console quality. So when console generations go on for a long period of time you can get away without upgrading so much (at least after the first year or so of console dominance). When a new console comes out though the target is lifted and you'll see a spike in requirements, and we'll go through another cycle. That, or nothing happens.
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mashakos View Post
    a console game ported to PC requires quite a bit more raw power to match the console. This is a non-issue when comparing a 3-4 year old PC to an ancient 7 year old console, in other words we already have all the raw power we need in midrange PCs. When next gen consoles hit they'll be going head to head with current $1500+ gtx680 powered PCs.

    Personally I'm not worried that my 4.5GHz core i7 3930k PC will buckle under the strain (~$2000 PC here), but i'm pretty sure my 2 year old GTX580 won't be giving me 80fps performance with Watch Dogs etc.

    That doesn't mean that a gtx680 is the way to go. I'm waiting for the next generation of GPUs with vastly superior performance to consoles. I wouldn't mind paying $500 towards that rather than get a new console.
    That's a bit optimistic. They might, once all the clever optimization tricks start to really kick in, but that takes a while.

  16. #36
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    Yupe waiting for next gen consoles to come out first. In the meantime, my CPU is some 2ghz core2duo. Lags bad.

  17. #37
    Network Hub PeteC's Avatar
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    I've had my current PC for exactly three years and apart from a new SSD a year ago I've not upgraded at all. I've got an ATI 5870 that I sometimes think about upgrading but it plays every game out there perfectly well so don't see the point just yet. Mark me down as someone that will wait until the new consoles hit before I think about upgrading too I suppose.

  18. #38
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    Thanks for the patient explanations. I remember the DOS days well. Back then I cared about hardware compatibility, and muddling constantly with config.sys and all that old guff, because I had to. Keeping track of hardware matters is one of those things I was happy enough to let fall out of my head when I no longer really needed to. It helps that my approach to buying PCs and upgrading them is rather more... frugal than most committed PC gamers. I tend to use one set of hardware until it fails, replacing bits that break where possible. Still, I find myself wondering if it isn't coming up on time to replace my whole set-up. That's why I was wondering if there was some reason I should hold off.

  19. #39
    Network Hub KwisatzHaderach's Avatar
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    The only thing I might upgrade 2013 is my monitor (still on 1680*1050).

    When I think back to the late 90's it feels like upgrading your hardware every two or three years was much more important to be able to play the latest titles thatn it is today.

    My last full upgrade was in 2006, ever since then I've made use of the PS's modularity; the only things I haven't exchanged are the HDD's and the PSU. I upgraded my CPU twice from a Q6600 (didn't overclock very well) to a PhII X4 940, then to an i5-2500k. I've had lots of graphics cards, starting with the 8800GT to my present HD 6950@6970. Most of the parts I buy are used, so my last upgrade from AMD to Intel for example only cost me 130 € (for MoBo + RAM + CPU).

    I generally like to keep my comp up to date and play my games at the highest possible quality, but since I'm always on a budget I tend to go for used parts from the foregone generation while selling my old stuff.
    Last edited by KwisatzHaderach; 17-04-2013 at 07:03 AM.

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Oh, the days of config.sys and forbidden lore of boot disks. HIMEM.SYS, EMM386, EMS and XMS, DOS=HIGH... all to get voices on X-WING. I do not miss those days, no sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by arathain View Post
    That's why I was wondering if there was some reason I should hold off.
    Definitely. More than that though there hasn't been significant movement in the hardware cycle anyway, Intel have settled into a "tick tock" set where you get one release with significant changes followed by a release that improves on the previous design. Meanwhile AMD... are making things worse, for some reason. Really GPUs aren't doing much except getting faster from a practical, end-user perspective and using less energy. If you're looking to upgrade, I'd wait for a while yet. Haswell, the next Intel line of CPUs, is set to come out later this year so even without the consoles it's worth waiting to see what happens with that. The only time you can really pick a solid hardware profile that will last a few years though in gaming is when the console rush has settled down, and that might take a year after they're released. For comparison the upgrade cycle still hadn't really ended immediately post 360 and PS3 releases, but hardware from 2007 onwards is still highly serviceable (except GPUs, IMO).
    Nalano's Law - As an online gaming discussion regarding restrictions grows longer, the probability of a post likening the topic to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea approaches one.

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