Is PC gaming still worth the investment?

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by KinGamer7, Apr 1, 2011.

Apr 1, 2011
  1. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    I've always seen the appeal to PC gaming. Better graphics, a diverse range of genres, more control methods, cheaper prices for software, etc.

    Recently, I've been considering saving up for a rig so I can finally experience what it's like to game on the PC myself. I own a 360, yet I haven't touched it in months. When I browse my collection and pick out my favourite games in my head (Left 4 Dead 2, Bioshock 1 & 2, The Orange Box, Borderlands, Super Street Fighter IV, etc.), one thought that comes to mind immediately is, "I could have saved plenty of money by buying these on the PC." (barring SSFIV, and other fighting games in general).

    Problem is, I have an iMac; I've owned it for almost a full year now. Why did I get one? To be honest, I wanted to try out the Mac OS for a while to see what it was like, and wanted a new computer in general. Another reason was because I thought PC gaming was expensive (it is initially, but that's pretty much it), so I just stuck with my 360 for my gaming needs (mainly talking about multiplatform titles, as 360 doesn't have any exclusives that appeal to me). After many months of saving, I could easily have the budget to buy a very nice gaming PC for £600-700, but I can't help but feel hesitant about taking the plunge. It's not because of the fact that I have never built a PC before (honestly, it looks easy, and the vast majority of people have confirmed this to be the case); the reason for me holding back is because of the developers.

    Lately, it seems that PC gamers have been given the shaft when it comes to multiplat titles. Most developers are simply optimising their games for the consoles and leaving PCs in the dust with shoddy ports and neglect. It's obvious why; consoles are making them substantial profits compared to the PC market. It's often claimed that piracy plays a huge role in all of this (the consensus is that piracy on the PC is much, much easier than on consoles), but having a much wider demographic of gamers is simply more profitable. This wouldn't be an issue if PC gamers weren't receiving poorly optimised software when their hardware is capable of so much more.

    Although I listed primarily FPS' in my example above, I literally play any genre of game if it's good. RPG's, RTS', Adventure, Action, Racing, Horror - anything. Problem is, certain developers (particular eastern ones like Capcom) are often neglectful of PC ports, with them often arriving many months after their console brethren (which I can manage) or simply not at all (Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and SSFIV, for example).

    As much as I'd love to try out PC gaming in all its glory, I can't help but feel that I'll regret it down the line if developers continue this trend; after all, I already have a 21.5" iMac that does everything I want it to perfectly well, bar playing games at a reasonable level, aside from emulation (the GPU is an integrated GeForce 9400m; hardly beastly, is it? [​IMG]).

    What do you think of all of this?
     


  2. Ringo619

    Member Ringo619 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Not much of pc expert but i'd say its usless wasting money on your pc cause you have to pretty much bump up your pc specs to play a newer game once in while , e.g
    graphics card , update your ram and your computer speed and more. i'd stick with the 360 if i were you then again its my opinion
     
  3. KinGamer7
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    I see your point, but don't you think that the need to upgrade is a lot more of a luxury than a need now? Upgrading a GPU or CPU at about £100 every couple of years is nothing major at all, but if developers aren't even pushing the boundaries of PC hardware anymore, then the need to upgrade is severely diminished.
     
  4. Ikki

    Member Ikki GBATemp's grumpy panda.

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    Not really.
    Dead Space 2 requires 1GB RAM and 256MB VRAM and Bulletstorm requires 1.5GB RAM and 256 VRAM. And both came out a short while ago.

    There's PCs with 8GB RAM and I believe 4GB VRAM exists since 2009


    Now @ your matter, KinGamer, I think PC gaming offers the best gaming experience you can get. If I had the money, I'd go for it without hesitating.
     
  5. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Street Fighter IV is on PC. I don't know if it has the patch to SSIV, but I don't imagine there are that many differences between the two versions.

    The choice of getting a PC gaming rig depends on the type fo games you want to play. Some games are inherantly less available on consoles (MMORPGs and RTSs). People may disagree with me, but I feel that a keyboard and mouse are much, much easier to control than a gamepad in most cases (e.g. aiming in FPSs or multitasking in RTSs). Also graphics tend to be better on PC ports (when the devs can be bothered to support this) than on consoles simply because PC gaming rigs have superior hardware that can handle much higher levels of graphics than consoles. Since I play a lot of RTSs, MMORPGs and general RPGs, and I prefer a mouse for the few FPSs I play, and since I already have every gaming console... I think PC is the best platform for games (and consoles for any exclusive games or games where the PC ports are just terrible).

    It is undeniable that getting a PC gaming rig is much more expensive than a console, but the games are also much cheaper. There are also many other uses for a PC (homework, office work, multimedia, multimedia editing, etc) than there are for a console. Really it's just a matter of balancing what you need, want, and would like, against what there actually is (i.e. if there are enough games you want to play on PC, or game genres that you want to get into... or if you need a powerful PC for other uses, then that's how you justify getting a gaming PC).

    That said, if you use your iMac for everything except games, then there's less reason to get a gaming PC. PCs are still better at computer gaming than Macs, but it's harder to justify the cost if you're only going to use it for gaming.
     
  6. twiztidsinz

    Member twiztidsinz Taiju Yamada Fan

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    Here's the thing...

    CPU clock speeds haven't increased in a few years. They're just adding more cores, which don't get used to the full advantage (as far as I know). My old PC has a 3.4GHz single core. Most dual and quad cores I see now are high 2.xGHz to 3.0GHz
    A dual core 3.0GHz will be sufficient for a good while I think, splurge on a quad core if you got the money.

    RAM is relatively cheap and many motherboards come with 4 slots. When I was building/upgrading mine, I made the mistake of buying two 2x 512MB kits. Now my slots are all used up and upgrading the RAM with a 2x 1GB kit, which will only net me 1GB, will cost me $40ish.
    Get 2x2GB or 2x4GB now and 2x2GB later on, I don't see more than 8GB being worthwhile for the average gamer, but the 2x4GB will give you room to expand.

    GPUs are always going to screw you, especially now. They are exorbitantly expensive for new cards and as soon as you get the card a new one is out that is better.
    Buy a good but cheap (maybe a year old or so) card that has SLI or Crossfire (be careful of 'compatible' and 'ready' cards that really aren't and cause problems/headaches with a dual card setup).

    Really the only thing you should have to be upgrading to keep up with new games is a video card since other things have sort of leveled off.
     
  7. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Older Processors.
    The "Intel Pentium 4" 2.26ghz processor scores 288.

    Newer Processors.
    The "Intel Core 2 Duo P7350" 2.00ghz processor scores 1,318.

    There's a hell of a lot more to processors than ghz and cores.
     
  8. MadClaw

    Member MadClaw GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm upgrading from a 1.3ghz AMD Duron, 787mb ram, 120gb HDD, GeForce 6200. To a 3.2ghz AMD Penom II x6 1090T Hex Core, 4gb ram, 500GB HDD. No graphic card yet since i don't have the money, i'll be using onboard for a while. I've been looking at the 5770, very good for $129 on NewEgg.com I've ordered my new computer parts, should be here tuesday. can't wait [​IMG]
     
  9. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    You're all spot-on. The crux of the matter is this, though; despite the gaming experience being far superior on PCs, the games themselves are not being developed as well as they could be when it comes to the majority of PC titles. There's also the issues of console games being sold months ahead of any foreseeable PC ports, simply because the consoles are given all the attention nowadays. Like I said before, I play games from all genres. I won't sell my 360, so I can still pick up fighting games and the sort on there should I need to. I'm just puzzled as to whether I should invest hundreds of pounds into a system mainly for the superior technical abilities and gaming experience of the machine. This all comes down to my personal preference in games (like Originality said), but seeing as my tastes are so broad it's difficult to decide...
     
  10. moose3

    Member moose3 GBAtemp Regular

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    Excuse me while I chuckle when you mention PC gaming being expensive then mention buying a mac *ahem*

    Isn't bootcamp available so you can slap a windows dual boot on there and try the pc gaming experience out? While the components are probably laptop equivalent and not upgradeable, I would think it would be enough to play most, maybe not at 1080p with maxed effects, but maybe 720p with mid to high effects.

    Personally, my last console was an Snes, and I have been happy with PC gaming. With the one caveat being that occasionally there are hardware headaches as video card mfg's try and improve performance, but break older tech occasionally... *AMD I'm looking at you and your abuse of my R.I.P. 4870x2* And you do need to fully benchmark a new PC to make sure no components have bugs *Shakes a fist at ASUS and a bad motherboard* But if you bug check once built, you can normally RMA the stuff back to the retailer no probs, and afterwards, warranties normally last 2-3 years.

    As to the games, look at some of the crysis 2 comparisons to see when they do things right (probably wouldn't run on an imac though), and when they just have it mediocre, it's the same as a console, plug in a 360 controller, and it is the same. You just can't get used PC games cheap like you can get consoles, but you can get insane deals from Steam [​IMG]
     
  11. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    I know, I know; I'm a hypocrite, what with the Mac and all. [​IMG]

    I'm already running bootcamp; in fact, I installed Windows 7 a few hours after getting my Mac. Your guess was pretty accurate; games like Team Fortress 2 run decently (I say that lightly) with most settings on high, but no AA and trilinear AF only, and only on 1280x720. Still, I drop below 30fps on large maps and in chaotic fights; Macs just aren't meant for gaming, as they're not upgradeable. The more powerful models can run games very well, but they're ridiculously overpriced at the same time. I'd love to see what it's like to play at 1080p with all settings on max though, believe me!

    Strangely enough, I'm actually looking at some Crysis 2 comparison shots right now. [​IMG] The PC version is undoubtedly beautiful. Hasn't Crysis 2 been heavily criticised lately, though? The consensus seems to be that it's been 'dumbed down' by console versions due to them being the main focus by Crytek. This pretty much emphasises my main issue with trying out PC gaming in full, hence the topic.

    I virtually never buy used games, so the cheap deals on Steam are a big selling point to me.
     
  12. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    There really isn't much point in talking about 720p and 1080p with computers. Computers are much more flexible than TVs (and indirectly consoles) and can go to insane resolutions if needed. Not that it matters since I tend to either play games in 900p or 1050p (or, more specifically, 1440x900/1680x1050). Any bigger and it just doesn't look so good on my 22" monitor.

    I don't know what you mean by AMD breaking their older tech... my HD 4870 and my brother's HD 4870X2 work fine. We'll continue to use them until games start crying for better (I'll prolly switch to a GTX 860 by that point). Also my Asus Rampage Extreme is doing just dandy.

    Also, CEX (UK game trade shop) would disagree with you on the used PC games bit. I still find great older games at great prices every now and again (most recently was Crysis for £6).
     
  13. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Computer Monitor > TV
    Computer monitors have been capable of HD since windows 95/98.

    The 720/1080 thing refers to the vertical resolution (Horizontal(x)Vertical). So if a computer/monitor can display 1280x720, that's 720P. If it can display 1920x1080, that's 1080P.

    This is why you rarely see monitors advertised as "HD" monitors. Computers and monitors themselves have been capable of HD for years, it's TVs that are way behind as far as quality goes. When a monitor advertises itself as HD, that just means it can accept an HD signal from something other than a computer's standard connections (such as something a game system or cable box would output).

    The reason most people don't realize how much TVs still suck is because you're generally not viewing them from 2 feet away like you do a computer monitor.
     
  14. murkurie

    Member murkurie GBAtemp Fan

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    I find its also up to preference PC or console. I used to be a console gamer in till I found steam, Now the only time I use a console is too play mario or zelda. And if you can afford it, gaming on a eyefinity display is worth it, 3840X1024, using different res and size monitors that im borrowing from a neighbor so I could use 3.
     
  15. Fishaman P

    Member Fishaman P Speedrunner

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    The last PC game I've played that had an optimization problem was Guitar Hero III.
    Then again, the last PC game I've played was Guitar Hero III.

    EDIT: And WTF?
    Why is your resolution 1920x1024 on both monitors? Why not 1920x1080? I didn't even know monitors supported 1920x1024.
     
  16. KinGamer7
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    I don't see the point in having more than one monitor, to be honest. When I'm playing a game, I'm just playing a game, y'know? I don't need to do other things in the meantime.

    Anything above 1080p is excessive for me, anyway. A 21.5-22" screen is the biggest I need.
     
  17. Ikki

    Member Ikki GBATemp's grumpy panda.

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    It's not for other things. More monitors aren't enough to do more things.

    It just gives you more resolution. Somewhy, people love that for gaming.

    Example
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X3Bprkwzl4
     
  18. KinGamer7
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    Ohh, I see. Makes sense. [​IMG]
     
  19. Narayan

    Member Narayan desu~

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    uhm, i don't have much to contribute. only this: http://manuals.makeuseof.com.s3.amazonaws....d-gaming-pc.pdf

    and i only play mmorpgs mostly. personally i like RF online most from Korea.

    and i agree with originality. the keyboard and mouse is better than a gamepad. but you'll need to have really fast hands in some games i play. but i think you already know this.
     
  20. KinGamer7
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    Member KinGamer7 GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I doubt any of us will be debating the advantages of the PC's array of control inputs. [​IMG]
     

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