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What do you consider high-end and mid-range (for gaming)?

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April 14, 2012 4:40:30 PM

I always hear people throwing terms out there like, "high-end", "mid-range", and "beast" when referring to rigs built for PC games. I know that all these things are subjective. But, I thought I would create a thread asking what you consider "high-end", "low-end", "mid-range", etc - and using whatever standard you wish to use. We have 3Dmark 11 and the Heaven benchmark, and of course there is the GPU and CPU hierarchy chart here on Tom's, among other things. You can use those, or just name hardware. This is just for fun, and I thought this would be interesting. Keep in mind I that I don't hold laptops to the same standard.

Here is my opinion...

Low-end

A dual-core CPU
5570/240 or better
3DMark 11 score - 3000 or more

Mid-Range

Quad-core CPU at 3.00GHz or better
5750/450 or better
3DMark 11 score - 5000 or more

High-End

2500k or 1100t or better
7950/580/7970/680 or better
3DMark 11 Score - 9000 or more

Beast

3930x or better
680x2/7970x2 or better
3DMark 11 score - 20000 or more

Just my opinion, like to hear what your opinion is.
April 14, 2012 4:54:45 PM

The 1100t isn't in the same league as the 2500k. Listing them in the same tier would probably be misleading to the sort of people who would actually use such a list.

I realize that your goal is to have equal representation, but I really think AMD just doesn't have a high-end CPU to offer anymore, unfortunately.

Personally I would consider a 5750 to be a low-end card at this point for the purpose of gaming, with more along the line of a 6870/460 as mid-tier. Everything else I more or less agree with.
April 14, 2012 6:14:45 PM

casualcolors said:
The 1100t isn't in the same league as the 2500k. Listing them in the same tier would probably be misleading to the sort of people who would actually use such a list.

I realize that your goal is to have equal representation, but I really think AMD just doesn't have a high-end CPU to offer anymore, unfortunately.


You're preaching to the choir. But you're right, I felt like putting that in there so as not to eliminate a PC from being considered high-end because of the CPU alone, especially when everything else is solid.

casualcolors said:
Personally I would consider a 5750 to be a low-end card at this point for the purpose of gaming, with more along the line of a 6870/460 as mid-tier.


I had 5770 and 460 originally, but thought I would lower it a notch just for the sake of fairness.

My list is very basic. In reality, there is upper and lower mid-range, upper and lower high-end, etc. I just put what I felt was in the middle of each category. Just an opinion, but I do agree with you FWIW.

EDIT: Not to go off subject, but I see your new avatar. I am a huge fan of Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun. Awesome.
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April 14, 2012 6:20:23 PM

PCgamer81 said:
You're preaching to the choir. But you're right, I felt like putting that in there so as not to eliminate a PC from being considered high-end because of the CPU alone, especially when everything else is solid.



I had 5770 and 460 originally, but thought I would lower it a notch just for the sake of fairness.

My list is very basic. In reality, there is upper and lower mid-range, upper and lower high-end, etc. I just put what I felt was in the middle of each category. Just an opinion, but I do agree FWIW.

EDIT: Not to go off subject, but I see your new avatar. I am a huge fan of Ikaruga and Radiant Silvergun. Awesome.


There isn't much bad anyone can ever say about Ikaruga. It's one of the best ways to spend 20 minutes. Offtopic-done

Yeah, it's funny that with your list, 2 of the most popular GPU's (the 560ti and 6950) actually don't fall into a specific category. I guess that's bound to be case when there are so many viable choices, though.
April 14, 2012 6:53:38 PM

casualcolors said:
There isn't much bad anyone can ever say about Ikaruga. It's one of the best ways to spend 20 minutes. Offtopic-done

Yeah, it's funny that with your list, 2 of the most popular GPU's (the 560ti and 6950) actually don't fall into a specific category. I guess that's bound to be case when there are so many viable choices, though.

I would consider both of those upper mid-range/lower high-end. It is where you just start getting into the high-end category of GPUs. Until the 7870 came out, I considered the 6950 1GB and 560Ti the best bang for buck GPUs on the market.
April 14, 2012 6:59:59 PM

Quote:
I consider my intel pc as high end-enthusiast.
GTX 480 SLi with core clocks to die for with some of my own innovative cooling.
Smashing 570 SLi and peaking at where stock 580 SLi scores lay.
i5 2500k, no one needs more than this cpu for gaming.
64 GB SSD (BOOT) 2x 1TB Samsung spinpoint F3's in RAID-0 for best performance.
EVGA Z68 FTW 3-way SLi motherboard for bandwidth.
1000 watt silverstone strider 80 plus silver for the juice.


Your rig is certainly high-end, no doubt about that.

But I don't think a 480 is overall as good a choice as a 570, once all things are considered. Unless of course the user lives in a cold climate. I can imagine the biggest advantage to having two 480s in SLi over two 570s would be not having to pay for indoor heating. If it starts getting cold, just huddle around that gaming rig and throw on Crysis 2. On second thought, you might still have to open a window. :D 
April 14, 2012 7:07:22 PM

Quote:
No issue actually.
I use 2x Gelid icy vision coolers...
480's are faster than 570's clock for clock by around 5% or more.

I was joking. Your rig is wicked fast, no doubt.
April 14, 2012 7:11:04 PM

Quote:
Hehe i could have joined in if i did not use my brain and changed the coolers :D 


Well, if you've got the cooling then hell yeah, 480s can be a monster. Even your AMD rig is high-end IMO.
April 14, 2012 7:19:40 PM

Quote:

480's are faster than 570's clock for clock by around 5% or more.


It's actually the other way around until 1920x1200 or bigger ;) 
April 14, 2012 7:21:58 PM

casualcolors said:
It's actually the other way around until 1920x1200 or bigger ;) 

Personally, I think a 570 for 1080p is mighty hard to beat. The 6970 doesn't beat it, and anything more is overkill.
April 14, 2012 7:26:03 PM

a cpu that costs 1000 and 2 of the best gfx cards currently available make a high end gaming rig.
mid range any i5 or better quad with a single top tier card valued at around 250-600+
entry level a 2,4 dual core 8800gt-gtx550
low end any igp based platform without a dedicated gfx card. regardless of whether they are an i5 or g945
notice i dont use amd refrence because i cant be bothered trying to work out there numbering system any more... after all my 5870 beats out everything in the range up to a 6950
April 14, 2012 7:33:35 PM

Quote:
Oooh don't contest me on this subject lol.
8 more ROP's, and 384-Bit interface with 1536mb of memory.
The GTX 480 is clock for clock faster than a gtx 570, with 8 less ROP's, and 320-Bit interface with 1280mb.

570 at 800mhz vs 480 at 800mhz=480 winner!.


The 1.25gb VRAM that comes standard on the 570 is why it loses out to the 480 on benches at 1920x1200 specifically.

Since there is no reputable bench for arbitrary overclocks, I can't say anything about your 800mhz vs. 800mhz claim (my guess is they stay about the same +/- 1 fps of variance) but I guess by the same token, you could note that the max overclocking range on the 570 is far higher. So you can compare them at stock clocks, or overclocked. But the average watercooled 570 tops 950 core stable, which is a range that the 480 on similar architecture can't broach. They're about the same, barring larger resolutions.

I think you could go so far as to say that there are no 2 cards from different tiers that are more similar, performance wise.

On a side note, you can get 480's for 250 bucks right now on Amazon and I think that is a sorely overlooked option at the moment. For 250 dollars it's better hardware than the 7850, in spite of its generous power consumption.
April 14, 2012 7:38:31 PM

Mostly agree with your categorisation. The choice of hex core intel for beast (and not the high end quads) depends on your PC being used for purposes other than gaming. Hex is no better than quad for gaming, but it comes into its own in other areas such as video editing and transcoding.
April 14, 2012 7:47:23 PM

Quote:
I hit 917 on my 480's which is not far from your claim of 950mhz.
My claims of the 480 being clock for clock faster is totally true.
8 more ROPS's and higher memory bandwidth.
The only reason people "think" a 480 cannot reach such core speeds is due to heat.
Well some of us have custom coolers that can dissapate the immense heat effectively.
I do not mean to be rude to you or insult your intelligence, but the 570 only wins by what 5% maximum stock vs a stock 480 due to higher core frequency.


The difference comes down to the 570's higher core clock. But the higher core clock as you alluded to, is due to the significantly diminished heat. I guess I should include a caveat that the 950 on watercooling is generally accepted as universally game stable. For the purposes of benching and majority of games, watercooled 570's do actually go 985-1ghz. Certain picky games won't play with these clocks though, same as any other card pushed to absolute max clocks.

All in all, you have a great setup and 913 core on a 480 is way fast, but the 570 still keeps the same degree of clock superiority throughout and still produces +5% performance. The 570 being about 5% faster than the 480 has been the blanket statement regarding the 2 cards since the 570's release strictly due to that. No secret that the 480 has superior standard onboard VRAM though (which was the biggest flaw on the 570 imo).

Another way to look at it, you have an elaborate cooling setup to run comfortably at 880-913. But I run those clocks on the reference cooler.
April 14, 2012 7:50:52 PM

Interesting side question, have you tried OC'ing your mem much? Speaking only from personal experience and a few articles I've read, with my card I had significant performance gains with mem OC'ing which most people overlook entirely since it doesn't usually yield much more than 1fps if that. 570 mem oc'ing scaled pretty well with core overclocking yielding as much as 6 fps improvement clock-to-clock. Curious if this is a trait of fermi in general.
April 14, 2012 7:58:00 PM

Quote:
OFC i understand the 570 will clock higher, however vs a 480 it comes to around the exact same numbers in benchies ;) 


I guess that was my point. Stock vs stock or max clock vs max clock, the benches still show the 570 about 5% ahead (at most). It's only due to being able to attain higher clocks, but I guess I don't see the point of comparing two things at the same clocks, when the clock limits one well before the other :x.

It's like saying Secretariat was only as fast as Sham, as long as they agreed to run next to each other the entire time.
April 14, 2012 8:47:39 PM

Quote:
Lol you said at 1st the 570 was faster clock v clock, the reason to my rant :) 


My bad. I read your post as the 480 is 5% faster. ;) 
April 14, 2012 9:19:53 PM

Good thread. I consider my rig a low end (and getting lower) with a dual core AMD 240 proc running at 2.8 ghz with 4 gig dual channel 1033 mem and an AMD 5570 512 mem overclocked slightly using catalyst control center. Of course it was not too bad when I bought it 2 or 3 years ago.
Dave
April 14, 2012 11:28:58 PM

stillerfan15 said:
Good thread. I consider my rig a low end (and getting lower) with a dual core AMD 240 proc running at 2.8 ghz with 4 gig dual channel 1033 mem and an AMD 5570 512 mem overclocked slightly using catalyst control center. Of course it was not too bad when I bought it 2 or 3 years ago.
Dave

I bet you can still run just about every game out there, even if you have to run on low settings.
April 14, 2012 11:35:49 PM

Quote:
The AMD rig is borrowing one of my 480's atm till it gets a 7870 for an upgrade.
I gave that rig to my bro with a 5670 512mb at 1st.


I am not sure a 7870 is that big an upgrade going from a 480. Maybe a slight fps boost in most games, but hardly anything worth upgrading over. Unless you are demanding that 480 back, I think your bro should toss that 5670, forget about the 7870, and stay with the 480.
April 15, 2012 1:32:49 AM

Quote:
No issue actually.
I use 2x Gelid icy vision coolers...
480's are faster than 570's clock for clock by around 5% or more.
They run at a chilly 70c max...



I REALLY like the GELID Icy Vision......I put one on my EVGA 570 to replace the incredibly noisy stock cooler.

Now the thing is pretty much inaudible and never gets out of the 60's. Great cooler for the price.

April 15, 2012 1:53:58 AM

Sorry, one more quick off-topic for you PCGamer. If you like bullet hells and haven't looked into Jamestown on steam, give it a peek. It warms my heart, particularly with its soundtrack.
April 15, 2012 1:59:21 AM

Hey guys, I can manage a stable 940/1430 on my 6970s with stock cooling. Do you think I could push them up to 1000/1500 with a couple of those or will I need water blocks?
April 15, 2012 2:03:22 AM

casualcolors said:
Sorry, one more quick off-topic for you PCGamer. If you like bullet hells and haven't looked into Jamestown on steam, give it a peek. It warms my heart, particularly with its soundtrack.

I've seen that and it looks very awesome. I plan to make my way around to it, actually. Next on my list is Alice: Madness Returns, but maybe after that.

Right now I am having a real time with Hard Reset. It is hard, and I often reset. I love it. Very hardcore. I thoroughly recommend it. It is one of the best examples of why PCs should have more exclusives. It is a landmark in PC optimization.
April 15, 2012 2:12:57 AM

PCgamer81 said:
I've seen that and it looks very awesome. I plan to make my way around to it, actually. Next on my list is Alice: Madness Returns, but maybe after that.

Right now I am having a real time with Hard Reset. It is hard, and I often reset. I love it. Very hardcore. I thoroughly recommend it. It is one of the best examples of why PCs should have more exclusives. It is a landmark in PC optimization.


It's a good game. It stays tough on the harder settings without reaching DoDonPachi Daioujou levels of memorization/unplayability.
April 15, 2012 3:20:31 AM

Check mine...



How's that for some epic cable management? Prettiest rig evah!
!