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  1. #61
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    Saying that you need a mid-high range system or you might as well get a console is a statement about what PC gaming is, and it's a very silly one. Many of the PC exclusive games that have attracted a lot of attention in the last couple of years require significantly less powerful systems than a console.
    And yet games like Crysis certainly have. Look at the excitement over a new HD texture pack for Skyrim, or people hoping for better graphics on the next AAA title. I know RPS tends to lean towards indies being the saviors of gaming (because apparently it needs saving) but to suggest that higher end hardware is irrelevant to PC gaming today is ridiculous, even if the hardware treadmill definitely slowed down after about 2007 or so.


    EDIT: As for the subject of elitism - there's no elitism in my post. Elitism is most definitely in force on RPS though, when people post about console peasants playing with their tinker-toy Call of Duty 105 instead of sophisticated digital artistic entertainments like Dear Esther.

  2. #62
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Saying "get a high end system or don't bother" does ring of elitism to me, but fair enough if that wasn't your sentiment. Still, you made a sweeping statement about something which only applies some of the people who play PC games (those who care about maxing all the sliders in the handful of games that can make proper use of a high end system) and that's just plain illogical. Of course high end hardware isn't irrelevant to PC gaming as a whole, but looking at what games most people play it certainly is irrelevant to a majority of PC gamers at this point in time.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    EDIT: As for the subject of elitism - there's no elitism in my post. Elitism is most definitely in force on RPS though, when people post about console peasants playing with their tinker-toy Call of Duty 105 instead of sophisticated digital artistic entertainments like Dear Esther.
    You came across as the epitome of PC elitism with the "hitting above a console" comment and your attitude towards lesser PCs in general.

    I also don't think RPS is actually that bad in terms of this - there's an element of the "I saw a 1fps drop, I need 1000 of new hardware now" as well as "the game micro-nano-stuttered when the butterfly's wings moved in the foreground and so I want a refund" thing - but this isn't some sort of overclocking dictatorship and we're pretty all-inclusive I think (apart from the drooling imbeciles who play manshoots or football games of course ;) )

  4. #64
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    Of course high end hardware isn't irrelevant to PC gaming as a whole, but looking at what games most people play it certainly is irrelevant to a majority of PC gamers at this point in time.
    But really it isn't, the definition of "high end" has just changed over time since we're out of the perpetual upgrade cycle. Remember the 90s and early to mid 2000s? Mid-range was barely adequate back then. Even high end didn't stay high end for very long.

    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    You came across as the epitome of PC elitism with the "hitting above a console" comment and your attitude towards lesser PCs in general.
    But that's not PC elitism at all because what I said was that if you're going to be in PC gaming it's better to invest in an upper mid-range system to gain the best benefits of PC gaming. That's hardly bad advice at all. My attitude towards lesser PCs "in general" is that they're inferior... because they are. Push too hard and they break. It gets worse when you consider the overhead that some of the major mod releases put on top of the base game's assets. Mid-range is far more viable than it was in the mid 2000s for example but low end isn't suitable for most people engaging in PC gaming... and I'd bet that most people are still interested in the AAA titles. The indie market sure as hell hasn't overcome the AAA sector, but even then there are plenty of indie games that have demanding system requirements, particularly with the rise of authorware packages like Unity with a boatload of built-in shaders.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    (those who care about maxing all the sliders in the handful of games that can make proper use of a high end system)
    It's not just about "maxing all the sliders", it's about having a good stable fps, 60 at minimum, 120 at optimum if you use 120hz monitor. With a bad cpu it does not matter where you set your sliders, fps will suck even if you put them all on minimum.

  6. #66
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    Not really Soldant. If your going to do PC gaming, do it. What do you know about the gamer before asking them? They might be doing PC gaming on old dos games for all we know. So no, a mid to high range system is only a recommendation on those asking to play new AAA games at full res.

    For gamers saying "I want to play games", I'd ask what games and at what level. If they just want Console level graphics, I'd advise a mid range, but last generation, thus budget system. If they have money to burn, then anything /$600 and north up to /$1200. :P

    So none of us are saying "go low end", we either said "go budget mid end" or "depends on what games". Again, this would be for entry. No one buys a Lambo or Porsche as their first car, do they? The gamers may not even care for or know how to install mods. ;)
    Last edited by TechnicalBen; 20-11-2012 at 02:56 PM.

  7. #67
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But really it isn't, the definition of "high end" has just changed over time since we're out of the perpetual upgrade cycle. Remember the 90s and early to mid 2000s? Mid-range was barely adequate back then. Even high end didn't stay high end for very long.

    But that's not PC elitism at all because what I said was that if you're going to be in PC gaming it's better to invest in an upper mid-range system to gain the best benefits of PC gaming.
    You threw out 500$ as the cutoff point for mid-high end, so I assume you'd place the high end at a couple of hundred more than that. I cannot think of a single game that requires a system that costs more than that unless you're running at unusually high resolutions or want 3D or something else that inflates system requirements.

    And you didn't say it would be better to invest in an upper mid range system (which I would agree with as general advice), you said you might as well get a console if you don't, which is what I reacted to since the primary reason for many people to be gaming on PCs is that they want to play PC games, not that they want shinier shaders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakejuice View Post
    It's not just about "maxing all the sliders", it's about having a good stable fps, 60 at minimum, 120 at optimum if you use 120hz monitor. With a bad cpu it does not matter where you set your sliders, fps will suck even if you put them all on minimum.
    And if you care about that then go ahead and buy a high end system. What I'm objecting to is the notion that that is what you need to aim for if you want to play games on a PC, which is riddiculous. The vast majority of gamers don't run at screen resolutions above 1920x1080 (the Steam hardware survey shows <5% of users at a resolution higher than that), they don't have 120hz monitors, they don't care (or even know) if their games are running at 30 or 60 FPS and they don't play games that require a powerful machine in the first place.
    Last edited by Skalpadda; 20-11-2012 at 06:10 PM.

  8. #68
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Except they aren't changing the game. The software support is still quite limited except in specific cases which aren't often common usage
    Software always lags behind hardware. By that token every single firm which has introduced hardware innovations has been foolish.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    But instead there are better options. It's pointless getting on a soapbox to say that AMD are trying to change the game when they're clearly doing a bad job of it. Not all innovation is good - there are plenty attempts that turn out to be mistakes.
    Man, those arguments are all over the place. Are they not changing the game? are they doing a bad job of it? it's either one of those, not both. Are you implying multicore CPUs are bad innovation? then the folks at Intel must be even more "foolish" than those at AMD, following them down that path. The bunch of fools at AMD and Intel might very well be among the brightest minds on the planet, I wonder what that says about us, ordinary people.

    Meh, let's just stick to your main point here: the "better option" is not by any means a fixed or universal concept. Everybody has different needs, and must face different constraints. Budget is one of them.

    The only way you can say Intel is always the better option is by making a lot of assumptions and then arguing that everyone who's not making the same ones is a fool.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    During the 90s when Intel was on top until about 99 when the Athlon turned up, did technology stagnate? No. In between then and now there are a range of other factors to consider besides competition to determine pricing changes or innovation - to state that competition alone is responsible for innovation and price drops is blatantly incorrect. It's an absurd oversimplification of reality.
    A whole range of factors? please go ahead, enlighten me.

    The 90s were a very different time, silicon and x86 were in full bloom, advancing by leaps and bound (and yet computers were way more expensive). Both silicon and x86 have gone a long way and it now takes a whole lot more work (and money) to make faster CPUs and/or migrate to smaller geometries.

    While Intel surely has all it needs to deliver better products, it's only absurd to assume they will have the same drive to deliver significant improvements at a timely pace without a credible competition, be it AMD or a new entrant.

    Other than Intel, I can't think of any other firm with the necessary know-how to manufacture x86 processors which will keep all of our existing software ticking along - ARM PCs are a long way to come. With AMD in dire straits and firing its most precious asset, engineers, it's of capital importance they find someone who will invest for the long term, so the firm can stay relevant.

    The only foreseeable outcome for the future is an Intel monopoly in the PC space - and to think that will be without consequences is what I'd call short-sighted, if not outright foolish.
    Last edited by alms; 20-11-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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  9. #69
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    You threw out 500$ as the cutoff point for mid-high end, so I assume you'd place the high end at a couple of hundred more than that.
    Maybe it's price differences but $500 here won't get you much. Suggest to me what you'd get for $500?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    And you didn't say it would be better to invest in an upper mid range system (which I would agree with as general advice), you said you might as well get a console if you don't,
    Actually I've been saying both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skalpadda View Post
    What I'm objecting to is the notion that that is what you need to aim for if you want to play games on a PC, which is riddiculous. The vast majority of gamers don't run at screen resolutions above 1920x1080 (the Steam hardware survey shows <5% of users at a resolution higher than that), they don't have 120hz monitors, they don't care (or even know) if their games are running at 30 or 60 FPS and they don't play games that require a powerful machine in the first place.
    This I disagree with. Again I'm not sure what kind of hardware you're talking about but 1920x1080 isn't trivial for a lot of titles, particularly those that are graphically intensive. And on the whole I would argue that we do care if the game is running at 30 or 60FPS - we can visually see the difference!


    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Software always lags behind hardware. By that token every single firm which has introduced hardware innovations has been foolish.
    AMD introduced it at the expense of performance for current software. That's not a smart move.

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Are they not changing the game? are they doing a bad job of it? it's either one of those, not both. Are you implying multicore CPUs are bad innovation?
    Wow, nice strawman there. No, I didn't say multicore CPUs are a bad innovation. I said that AMD's Bulldozer/Piledriver designs are a screw up. A lot of software around right now (and which is unlikely to change significantly over the lifespan of either of those) still isn't properly multi-threaded, not even in gaming, and those CPUs are weak in those cases. They're not changing the game because they're clearly not dictating how developers write software, we've had multi-core CPUs for quite a while now and proper usage is slow to develop. It's entirely possible for them to try and fail to "change the game" as well as doing a bad job of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    Meh, let's just stick to your main point here: the "better option" is not by any means a fixed or universal concept. Everybody has different needs, and must face different constraints. Budget is one of them.
    Hell choose a Phenom processor instead if you like, that doesn't change the fact that AMD screwed up with Bulldozer and Piledriver.

    Quote Originally Posted by alms View Post
    While Intel surely has all it needs to deliver better products, it's only absurd to assume they will have the same drive to deliver significant improvements at a timely pace without a credible competition, be it AMD or a new entrant.
    And yet I posted a link to a paper which suggested that a monopoly might actually improve innovation versus a constant race for speed to beat the other side in a benchmark. And again, during the 90s (which you're right, were a different time but innovation was still not dead) that innovation under Intel didn't die off. Even if you assume that Intel did nothing, they can't sit there and churn out the same CPU. Software would catch up and there'd be a demand for more processing power. Why wouldn't they manufacture a new CPU to sell to capture that market need? Technology is still implacable and has to march on to meet demand, if nothing else. We've already seen demand slow in the PC sector with the rise of consoles (and perhaps slightly less so with the rise of indie games which think "retro" is a feature), an attempt at pushing 8 cores onto the consumer market seems pointlessly far-sighted. Something that's "ahead of its time" is a nice way of saying that it would have been great in a few years but isn't particularly useful right now.

    Intel had to admit it dropped the ball with Netburst. AMD brought a new line of CPUs to the desktop consumer market where they're not overly useful, and AMD apparently haven't pushed them to any other market in appreciable quantities (otherwise they wouldn't be suffering as they are).

  10. #70
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Skalpadda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Maybe it's price differences but $500 here won't get you much. Suggest to me what you'd get for $500?
    Looking at a web store $500 could get you an i3, mobo, 8GB RAM, a 500GB HDD and a mid range Radeon card. I can't think of any game that wouldn't be playable with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    Actually I've been saying both.
    That still does not in any way explain why everyone would be better off buying a console than a budget PC.

    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    This I disagree with. Again I'm not sure what kind of hardware you're talking about but 1920x1080 isn't trivial for a lot of titles, particularly those that are graphically intensive. And on the whole I would argue that we do care if the game is running at 30 or 60FPS - we can visually see the difference!
    1920x1080 is trivial for the vast majority of titles. Looking at the games I have on my machine the only one I had trouble running well on my old system (which was built over 3 years ago) is The Witcher 2, and that still ran well enough for me to complete it. I had some RAM troubles about a month ago and took the opportunity to replace the mobo, CPU (with an i5, as it happens) and RAM and the only game I've noticed a difference in since is Guild Wars 2 and even there it's only in gaining a few frames in the busiest situations.

    And sure, I can see a difference between 30 and 60 FPS in a side by side comparison, but if a game should dip down to 30 now and then during play that's not something I'm likely to notice and even if I did it certainly wouldn't ruin my experience. I can't prove that most people share this with me, but I do suspect I'm far from alone and I have a sneaking suspicion that those who go around saying they can't stand anything but absolutely steady 60 FPS are either abnormally sensitive or deluding themselves to justify their hardware fetish.

    That's besides the point though, and yet again what I objected to was the sweeping statement that you might as well get a console rather than a mid range PC. Let's look at what PC gamers play.

    Here's the current top 10 Steam list:

    Dota 2
    Team Fortress 2
    Civilization 5
    Skyrim
    Borderlands 2
    Black Ops 2
    Football Manager 2013
    Hitman Absolution
    Counter-Strike
    Garry's Mod

    I don't know about Black Ops and Hitman but given that they're cross platform games I doubt they require a beefy machine. None of the others require a high end system to run well at 1920x1080. What else is big on the PC? How about Blizzard games, Minecraft, The Sims or League of Legends? Nope, none of those need an expensive PC.

    Now let's make up a hypothetical gamer. Let's call him Steve. Steve likes the Civilization games, wants to play LoL with his friends and dabble in StarCraft now and then. Steve is looking to buy a new PC because his old one broke, but oh no! Steve's car also broke and now he can't afford an expensive PC! Steve now has to buy a console and play platformers and third person shooters because as a wise man said on the internet, if you're not getting a PC in the higher mid range you might as well get a console.

  11. #71
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    the entire PC industry is feeling the onslaught of mobile computing.Even Intel's production lines are now working less than 50 percent of their capacity due to weakening pc demand. this for sure will affect top end chips.
    I hope intel will continue to provide excellent chips for pc even if they'll shift to mobile computing in the near future.

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