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2005 PC graphics vs modern high end console graphics

Last response: in Video Games
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January 5, 2013 9:55:33 PM

Hi , I just wanted to make this comparison because I searched around the web but could not find anything about it. I wanted to compare a 2005 PC game in Ultra settings vs great console games to see if there are any differences.

Here's Quake 4 ( PC 2005) in Ultra settings at 1080p. I could play this game in middle settings with my 8 year old mid end pc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=est5EOAKFa4

Now Halo 4 (Xbox 360 2012) 720p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63Q8cgUMfmw

God of War III (PS3) 1080p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8FyNltwJ68


I believe GOW III has the highest level of detail by a slight margin but plays really choppy. What I am trying to prove is do low end gaming pcs from 2012 totally smoke consoles? Being a newcomer to pc gaming and not owning PS360 this finding was quite dissapointing to me.

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More about : 2005 graphics modern high end console graphics

January 5, 2013 10:28:21 PM

Your comparison is flawed. You're comparing 2012 games to 2005. Try comparing Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which was released just 3 months after Xbox 360 launched. It looked MUCH better on PC.

Anyway, PCs totally smoke consoles today as well.
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January 5, 2013 11:40:25 PM

The thing is if I do a comparison with 2 games released in the same year it's known by anyone that the pc version will be far superior. I compared 2005 PC in ultra vs current console games to see if they are equivalent at the graphic level.
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January 5, 2013 11:42:36 PM

Of course they will not be equivalent. Time moves forward. Technologies improve.
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January 6, 2013 12:14:46 AM

It is fair to compare 2005 PC games to 2012 console games because they are both using technology from the same era (current generation console hardware was finalised in 2005).

At any point in time high end PC games will look superior to console games. Why? Because the advantage of consoles is not more powerful hardware but rather superior optimisation. Get a 7800 GTX or a X1950 from that era and they will not be able to play Halo 4 or GOW3 at smooth frame rates on the PC (assuming a PC port was made and was identical to the console game).

So because console developers can get very familiar with the hardware and develop specifically with one hardware combination in mind they can learn to squeeze 100% of the hardware's potential performance. Because PC developers have to develop with 100's of hardware combinations in mind they can't optimise the games to nearly the same level as console developers can.

Even so, PC games at the high end will always look better because as soon as the console is released the developers will not be all familiar with the hardware and at best it will be tied with a high-end PC. However by the time they learn to fully optimise the hardware of the console the PC would have had far more powerful GPU's and CPU's released for it and so will still maintain a lead. Look at the difference between the Xenos GPU on the Xbox 360 and an AMD 7870, the difference is HUGE and no amount of optimisation can come close to covering the gigantic superiority of the 7870 (forget about the 7970!).
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January 6, 2013 12:39:45 AM

Yeah , it kinda surprised me that Quake 4 being a 2005 game looked that good in ultra.I mean , with the exception of gears of war I have not seen many games that look that much better than this pc game.
PS3 has a bit more graphics but the games have serious lag issues on the other hand.
Now , don't get me wrong. This may be no breaking news to most users here in Tom's hardware but here in Argentina "next gen" consoles are being truly popular (to the extent most middle class kids can have one) just now and there is so much hype about the "HD" graphics. I was like , yeah I played a game in 2006 that looked just as good if not better than most games you are currenly playing.
Since I felt like buying one of the 2 HD consoles to see what the hype was all about I started to see you tube gameplay videos in HD but almost none of them knocked my socks off. I mean , I don't even have a modern gaming rig but the graphical leap was not worth it at all.
Specially taking into account that these consoles cost like 600 bucks over here. Apparently the words "price" and "drop" are not part of the retailers here.
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January 6, 2013 4:55:04 AM

It is not just hardware that improves, and it is not just getting familiar with certain hardware that improves game graphics, it is also learning new software techniques. They are always learning new ways to improve visuals with less hardware usage, even on PC's.
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January 6, 2013 7:35:04 AM

9a3iqa said:
It is fair to compare 2005 PC games to 2012 console games because they are both using technology from the same era (current generation console hardware was finalised in 2005).


No they're not. Programming languages improve. New programming paradigms are born. Stuff is progressing software wise as well.
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January 6, 2013 10:59:19 AM

when you think about it, current gen console hardware was never really finalized, how many revisions of cpu and GPU was put in to the xbox 360? they also unified them as a APU in the 360 slim, the PS3 on the other hand i think retained the same similar architecture throughout most of its life except for the removal of PS2 hardware and of making the hardware smaller.

and how can you say GOW3 was choppy? did you actually play the game? i played through the entire game on my original PS3 and never experienced any slow down or choppy frames.

and as sunius as mentioned already, development software improves over time which allows for better optimization when developing games for consoles, just like there are for PC, like Unreal Engine for example, it is always improving which in turn allows for better optimization for better looking graphics on all sorts of hardware.
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January 6, 2013 11:37:53 AM

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January 6, 2013 2:22:37 PM

As said when you deal with a console to a point you are using a fixed hardware solution.
So you have the ability to optimize code for the game, and graphics ect.
When it comes to a graphics card in a Pc, you have a choice of ATI or Nvidia.
Companys or game makers obviously have to provide support for both cards.
But the off set due to this is the code is not fully optimized due to the reason your not dealing with a fixed hardware spec.
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January 16, 2013 8:10:36 PM

I find this argument interesting. I think the reasoning behind it is a combination of the fixed hardware and more efficient programming techniques. Still consoles reached their limit years ago. No console game in the current gen will ever look as good as Crysis, which was released all the way back in 2007. So, in essence PC's became too powerful for current gen consoles to catch only two years after the release of the 360 in 2005.
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