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What's the point?

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March 3, 2008 4:54:00 PM

A few weeks ago I posted a question looking for advice to help me decide if I should purchase a new video card. I was chosing between an ATI-based video card (3870 & 3870x2) and Nvidia (take your pick).

I still haven't moved for several reasons but one in particular.

What's the point? In my opinion the PC gaming industry is in such bad straights I can't see the point in plunking down more than $250 for a video card.

Does it really matter anymore who makes the fastest/best video card if there aren't any good games to play on them? I [play Civilization IV, Civilization Betyond the Sword, Battlefield 2; Company of Heroes, Rome: Total War. I'm using an ATI 850 XT.

Don't get me wrong. I'm going to upgrade my video card. But I'm not going to go high end like I planned.

Why?

What games are worth a $300 plus video card? I've read the reviews of Crysis. That games isn't worth paying out the big bucks. Vista blows as a platform, why pay for Direct X 10 or 10.1 when you don't plan on upgrading for a long time.

Does anyone else out there see the death of PC Gaming and question why are all of us spending so much $$$ for top of the line equipment if there's nothing worth it to run it on?

Kind of a midless rant here, I realize that. But does anyone else out there think we're being played for a bunch of chumps?

More about : point

March 3, 2008 4:58:44 PM

Absolutely, but I am not trying to follow the herd with a few more FPS here and there.
If I did, I would bin my current mobo & RAM and go with an Intel system.
My second GTX was an extravagance I didn't need, but I bought it for a relative song on eBay and I thought, why the hell not! ;) 
I was planning on going to 3870X2's so the difference was a large amount of £.
I'm quite happy to wait until ATi & Nvidia have settled down before I upgrade my graphics! There isn't much out there that is better than what I have graphically, so why bother changing for a few more FPS?
I have my system exactly how I want it with graphics and HD's (there is nothing I would change with them!) but I would like a Phenom and that would be the icing on the cake! :) 
If it runs what you want, why bother upgrading?
March 3, 2008 5:39:55 PM

Yeah well, I was thinking about pulling a Jeff Bridges in The Big Labowski and just **** it all because I think the world is coming to an end, but I still don't for some reason. I still get up in the morning and go to work, and then I come home and do school work to hope someday I have a better paying job that I actually enjoy doing. Hey, life's about choices, right? but it's getting harder and harder for us ****-kickers to make them for ourselves.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
March 3, 2008 5:57:23 PM

Pc gaming is getting a little cheaper. The companies are seeing people go to consoles alot more. Cheaper cards are coming out like no tomorrow and hardware is going down in cost.

When it comes down to it, forget Vista (unless you have a new system build) It works fine on all new hardware the old components are what it has issues with. DX10, sure its there and you can use it but you can turn it on or off. Crysis, well that's all I have to say, you can't count that toward anything. It's really not a great game, Call of Duty 4 blows its pants off and it will run on almost any moderate system.

You can get an 8800GT that play almost every game on high settings for $200 and you can get 2GB of DDR2 800 memory for $50.
March 3, 2008 6:02:23 PM

I prefer PC gaming infinitely over the Consoles. You cannot beat the precision of a mouse in a FPS... and that's all I play.

But its fair point, not alot of good games to choose right now, and the ones I have got run 'poo' on my 7950GT and didnt run much better on an 8800GT (Gears of War, Crysis etc)

I'd pay £500 for a card if it played the games how I wanted them to play.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 3, 2008 6:35:27 PM

dev1se said:
I prefer PC gaming infinitely over the Consoles. You cannot beat the precision of a mouse in a FPS... and that's all I play.
Exactly. Even some of the guys I work with agree on that and they are 360 nuts.

dev1se said:

But its fair point, not alot of good games to choose right now, and the ones I have got run 'poo' on my 7950GT and didnt run much better on an 8800GT (Gears of War, Crysis etc)
I played Gear of War on my last card which was a x1900xtx (OCed of course) and it played and looked great. Crysis on the other hand.... well it just doesn't count. I think the only way a 8800GT wouldn't be enough is at higher resolutions.
March 3, 2008 7:05:52 PM

It's as if this is the first time there's been a price premium that's not worth it. I wouldn't buy three 8800Ultra Black Pearl Editions and run them in 3-way SLI, but why would my desire to do so be heightened in any way by the release of exciting PC games? whatever comes out in the next year, I'm going to be running it on an EVGA 8800GT or maybe two, and that's about it.

It's not the end of the world, and if you think about it, the situation the market is in right now is no different than the same exact thing that's been happening since PC gaming has been around.
March 3, 2008 7:40:03 PM

Hi Gino,
If you don't wish to pay alot for a video card, as none of us want to... I would strongly recommend the Nvida 9600 GT 512 MB. It retails for about $179 - $199. It is very compareable to the 8800 GT, but cheaper.

Check out some reviews. THG have a great review.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 4, 2008 12:43:23 PM

byrddogg77 said:
Hi Gino,
If you don't wish to pay alot for a video card, as none of us want to... I would strongly recommend the Nvida 9600 GT 512 MB. It retails for about $179 - $199. It is very compareable to the 8800 GT, but cheaper.

Check out some reviews. THG have a great review.

Also Agreed

MSI has a pretty decent 8800GT with a better cooler as well and I believe it is $200 with an additional rebate that puts it lower.
March 4, 2008 1:09:56 PM

It's amazing how much cheaper PC components are in the states.
jay2tall, you mention an 8800GT @ $200. Which is approx £100 (it's a touch less, but I'll say £100 for ease)
On a popular UK component website (I get free delivery with them, so I use them as my preference) the cheapest 512mb 8800GT is a Palit @ stock speeds @ £139.19 or in USD $278.38.
And you guys moan components are expensive :lol:  ;) 
(Tongue-in-cheek!)
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 4, 2008 3:09:14 PM

LukeBird said:
It's amazing how much cheaper PC components are in the states.
jay2tall, you mention an 8800GT @ $200. Which is approx £100 (it's a touch less, but I'll say £100 for ease)
On a popular UK component website (I get free delivery with them, so I use them as my preference) the cheapest 512mb 8800GT is a Palit @ stock speeds @ £139.19 or in USD $278.38.
And you guys moan components are expensive :lol:  ;) 
(Tongue-in-cheek!)

It's probably taxes on importing products, etc, etc. My paycheck gets taxed to all crap though I can tell you that much.
March 4, 2008 3:17:37 PM

jay2tall said:
It's probably taxes on importing products, etc, etc. My paycheck gets taxed to all crap though I can tell you that much.

Yeah, I'd love to know where the mark up comes from!
Oh well, what do I care, after my recent expense of another GTX, I shall not be upgrading for a while!
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 4, 2008 3:42:13 PM

Taxes for something I suppose. Now if they can get the ethanol out of our gas and make fuel efficient cars over here I'd be a happy camper.
March 4, 2008 5:15:12 PM

Some of you have missed the point. Perahps I wasn't too clear.

I could throw down big $$$ for a high end video card. The question I was trying to raise is, why?

When was the last time a really good game came out for the PC? I like flight sims, military sims, RTS, etc. There aren't too may flight/military sims anymore. That market's dead.

Maybe I'm not seeing it, but in my opinion there aren't very many good PC games anymore. Not enough good games to support spending big $$$ for high end equipment.

Most of the people who read Tom's Hardware and enthusiast, correct? They look the fastest and the best in their rigs.

Most readers of Tom's Hardware most likely play games. Not all, but the majority I would bet.

So what's the point of spending big $$$ for high end systems when there's nothing but crap games to play on them? What do you guys think? Am I alone out here or does anyone else see the PC Gaming industry dying?
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 4, 2008 5:41:35 PM

GinoS said:

So what's the point of spending big $$$ for high end systems when there's nothing but crap games to play on them? What do you guys think? Am I alone out here or does anyone else see the PC Gaming industry dying?

Because it's more than just gaming it is also a hobby. And you don't need a HIGH end system to play most games. And as far as crap games? What games have you been looking at lately. COD4 is awesome, World in Conflict is awesome, Company of Heroes is awesome, Team Fortress 2 is fun, UT4 is fun. There are TONS! of great games out there. It all depends on taste. My buddies girlfriend is all about the SIMS.

The PC game industry will not dye as long as people are still into it. I don't like the game, but how many people play WOW? MILLIONS..

So please take no offense when I say this, but "shut your pie hole". :fou:  and don't bash the computer games. Buy and Xbox and quit whinning. You don't have to upgrade one of those.
March 4, 2008 5:55:07 PM

I agree the PC gaming industry is loosing ground to console gaming.
I agree it is not necessary to pay a premium for discrete graphics.

I'm happy with the Sapphire Radeon HD3870.
I don't plan on upgrading my graphics card for a long time.
In general I don't upgrade components very often. I build an entire new PC.

March 4, 2008 6:10:26 PM

One more point.

I started playing computer games back when the first Zork was just a text based game. I've been around for too long.

I don't own an X-Box or a PlayStation. That's for my kids.

I used to be in the newspaper business and I used to write reviews on games and hardware in addition to covering murders and trials. The PC stuff was for fun.

So excuse me, I won't shut my pie-hole. PC Gaming is in bad shape. It's getting the snot kicked out of it by the console industry. I remember when there were hundreds of PC titles to chose from.

Remember Microprose? Spectrum Holobyte? Gilman Louie? Computer Gaming World Magazine when it really mattered before it went belly up? Origin Sytems? SSI? Bullfrog? Digital Integration?

I guess I pinning for the good old days and feel sorry for you youngsters who missed out on the Golden Age.

Will it ever return?
March 4, 2008 6:17:56 PM

GinoS said:
I still haven't moved for several reasons but one in particular.

What's the point? In my opinion the PC gaming industry is in such bad straights I can't see the point in plunking down more than $250 for a video card.
snip!
What games are worth a $300 plus video card? I've read the reviews of Crysis. That games isn't worth paying out the big bucks. Vista blows as a platform, why pay for Direct X 10 or 10.1 when you don't plan on upgrading for a long time.


Yes, thought provoking argument. In the last year PC gaming lost a lot of ground to console gaming. I think that two major factors are in play here; Vista causes performance lags and game consoles have increased performance. So, I agree; Do you spend $250 for a video card that has an uncertain future, or a $350 dedicated game console that will give you 4 years?

If the popularity of PC gaming continues to slide, ultra powerful GPU's will be irrelavent giving credence to AMD's 780 chipset gamble.


Just my 2 bits,

Rick
March 4, 2008 6:31:05 PM

PC gaming sets the standards for the consoles to follow IMO

The new next-gen consoles have been around no longer than 2 years now... PS3 & Wii much less... Their parent companies WONT be releasing a new console any time soon.

What the PC users DO HAVE on the other hand, is Next Gen DX10 Graphics cards, just around the corner, ready to overtake Consoles once again and I'm sure game developers will jump back on the PC bandwagon once this hardware is there.

Microsoft hasnt helped by making DX10 such an indecisive format. It performs **** and its given Vista a bad rep.

Such things should be ironed in the next 12 months I should hope, and PC gaming / performance should be overshadowing Consoles by quite a margin
a c 199 U Graphics card
March 4, 2008 7:11:32 PM

I'm interested to see what the new brain interface devices will bring to PC gaming. I doubt consoles will have that for years. That kind of thing will be a major shot-in-the-arm to PC gaming.
I see GinoS' point though. I have a 3850, which is more than Guild Wars (my primary game) needs, and no doubt will be fine for Guild Wars 2. I don't even play many FPS games (some occasional UT G.O.T.Y. or 2K4), and found the mechanics of Oblivion awkward (though I do intend to take another shot at it). I remember the days when I thought it absurd that a graphics card would need its own cooling fan :lol:  ; now I am fighting the itch not to get an 8800GT, reminding myself I don't really need it.
Still, it is indeed a hobby, and upgrading is a part of it. If you get down to need, very few of us "need" computers at all, except perhaps to do some paid work.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2008 7:12:41 PM

dev1se said:
I prefer PC gaming infinitely over the Consoles. You cannot beat the precision of a mouse in a FPS... and that's all I play.

But its fair point, not alot of good games to choose right now, and the ones I have got run 'poo' on my 7950GT and didnt run much better on an 8800GT (Gears of War, Crysis etc)

I'd pay £500 for a card if it played the games how I wanted them to play.

Couldn''t agree more. The real problem is the game developers.

Quote:
You also have to factor in the advances in game engines. The new Unreal Engine 3 -powered games have pushed up the effective minimum requirement a lot during 2007 - even if Unreal Tournament III itself proved that you can play a properly developed UE3 game with an older card just fine if you don't care about the shiny bits. In general, developers using the UE3 engine seem to target to a level that runs happily on the Xbox 360, and skip doing work towards optimizing for low end PCs - and that translates to a Radeon X1800 / GeForce 7900 -level hardware when playing at the common PC resolutions (1280x1024). In terms of "cards I can buy today", that would be a Radeon HD 2600 XT or GeForce 8600 GT - not massively expensive, but still pretty high for a minimum to play a game.

http://www.yougamers.com/articles/16583_the_2008_guide_...
March 7, 2008 2:57:36 PM

I know I might get flammed for this but I'd like to go back to the whole PC vs Console and PC gaming dieing. WoW a PC game at it's peak has had 9.5 millions players (According to Blizzards definition of 'players' aka they have a real sub, not trial etc etc). My point is MMO's are becoming a very big thing and the hardware requirements for them are noticeably less(My friend wanted me to help him upgrade his comp to play WoW on something better, so I got him a x1650 pro...) His other specs were 512MB RAM, 2.8Ghz P4....Obviously a weak system but it practically played WoW @ 1280x1024 almost maxed out. Another reason why MMO's will be the flagship of PC gaming is because of Piracy. You could easily pirate Crysis/Titan Quest(Purposely mentioned this one if you haven't read the article on it) and play it without paying a dime. With MMO's theres no way around it, you have to pay and that's it. I believe piracy can be one reason PC gaming is slowly declining. It was mentioned that Bioshock sales ratio from console to PC was 10:1 Yet I'm pretty sure that the amount of actual people playing was closer to 10:10. I do believe PC gaming is on the decline but will not perish, especially with MMO's into consideration.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 7, 2008 4:21:38 PM

bildo123 said:
I know I might get flammed for this but I'd like to go back to the whole PC vs Console and PC gaming dieing. WoW a PC game at it's peak has had 9.5 millions players (According to Blizzards definition of 'players' aka they have a real sub, not trial etc etc). My point is MMO's are becoming a very big thing and the hardware requirements for them are noticeably less(My friend wanted me to help him upgrade his comp to play WoW on something better, so I got him a x1650 pro...) His other specs were 512MB RAM, 2.8Ghz P4....Obviously a weak system but it practically played WoW @ 1280x1024 almost maxed out. Another reason why MMO's will be the flagship of PC gaming is because of Piracy. You could easily pirate Crysis/Titan Quest(Purposely mentioned this one if you haven't read the article on it) and play it without paying a dime. With MMO's theres no way around it, you have to pay and that's it. I believe piracy can be one reason PC gaming is slowly declining. It was mentioned that Bioshock sales ratio from console to PC was 10:1 Yet I'm pretty sure that the amount of actual people playing was closer to 10:10. I do believe PC gaming is on the decline but will not perish, especially with MMO's into consideration.

I am not a fan of MMO's but that's just my preference. To add to this. Look at Battlefield 2142. You basically have to have the real deal to play online. Any games that have online play need a real install key in order to play them. And I will be honest. I have several..."non legitimate" games but for the simple reason we play many of them at our lan parties on a local lan, which you do not need a valid key for. Why would I buy a game to play it once a month and that's if we like it. I had a non authentic copy of COD4 and played the single player. It was short and fun, but gave me enough to say "hey this game is awesome" I actually just got an amazon box on my desk when I came back from lunch, I bought the real deal. I have a legal copy of every game I play on a regular basis. I like the ability to test them out before I guy them. I bought Crysis on a whim and regret doing so because really the multiplayer stinks and the single player wasn't worth $50. I am willing to bet the PC market could win alot of fans if they sold their games cheaper and offered more free trials, ie fuller demos and such. You can't really do that on a console. Download a demo and have at it for several levels. Granted the consoles have an advantage of just pluging in a disk throw a controller at 2 people and play. There is a market for both. Maybe the PC gameing market just has to find what consoles can't offer. I find it hard to believe it will go away.
March 12, 2008 2:04:00 PM

jay2tall said:
I am not a fan of MMO's but that's just my preference. To add to this. Look at Battlefield 2142. You basically have to have the real deal to play online. Any games that have online play need a real install key in order to play them. And I will be honest. I have several..."non legitimate" games but for the simple reason we play many of them at our lan parties on a local lan, which you do not need a valid key for. Why would I buy a game to play it once a month and that's if we like it. I had a non authentic copy of COD4 and played the single player. It was short and fun, but gave me enough to say "hey this game is awesome" I actually just got an amazon box on my desk when I came back from lunch, I bought the real deal. I have a legal copy of every game I play on a regular basis. I like the ability to test them out before I guy them. I bought Crysis on a whim and regret doing so because really the multiplayer stinks and the single player wasn't worth $50. I am willing to bet the PC market could win alot of fans if they sold their games cheaper and offered more free trials, ie fuller demos and such. You can't really do that on a console. Download a demo and have at it for several levels. Granted the consoles have an advantage of just pluging in a disk throw a controller at 2 people and play. There is a market for both. Maybe the PC gameing market just has to find what consoles can't offer. I find it hard to believe it will go away.


Regarding your 'demo-ing' I actually do this quite a bit for music and games as well, I remember one time I 'not so legitimately downloaded a song', guess what RIAA, I ended up buying 5 albums from the artist within the year....(Mogwai, not even an American band.) I do this with games and I can recall several games I have purchased once I 'tried' them. Funny thing is when I really think about it most games I own I have either legitimately/illegitimately demo'd before buying. So I think you do bring a strong point with people having that ability. The way consoles differ is that people get stiffed whatever their paid, PC's well if the user doesn't like it that much, they can just keep the 'demo' version. Which really does hurt the PC market because the console market already made the cash whether the user liked it or not.
a c 147 U Graphics card
March 12, 2008 3:58:55 PM

^
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I agree. I do the same with CD's as well. Granted I havn't bought to many CD's in the last year because apparently no one can make a CD anymore that I can listen to for the duration. One good song don't get me buying your CD. Like the one hit wonders that have a good song or two and the rest stink. Make some GOOD music and I'll buy it. Same with games. I have a stack of games which I have purchased. I wish I did this for Crysis instead of believing the hype. Stupid me.

And guess what... $60 for COD4 on Xbox or $40 for COD4 on PC????
March 12, 2008 11:44:12 PM

i think PC gaming is very much alive. its just having a very quiet time at the moment but it will be back and better than before.

I have a Playstation 3 and i love it and i now have a new fantastic PC which i love but given the choice i would pick the PC over the PS3. Why. because i know my time and effort has gone into getting my PC just the way i like it. With a console every thing is pre-devined for you - what processor you have ect ect. theres nothing better than playing a game with keyboard and mouse knowing the game you playing is running on the system you have choosen. Each PC can have a bit of individuality about them. A console can't so thats be my reason my i would spend the money on the best graphics card.
March 13, 2008 3:24:12 PM

jongley said:
i think PC gaming is very much alive. its just having a very quiet time at the moment but it will be back and better than before.

I have a Playstation 3 and i love it and i now have a new fantastic PC which i love but given the choice i would pick the PC over the PS3. Why. because i know my time and effort has gone into getting my PC just the way i like it. With a console every thing is pre-devined for you - what processor you have ect ect. theres nothing better than playing a game with keyboard and mouse knowing the game you playing is running on the system you have choosen. Each PC can have a bit of individuality about them. A console can't so thats be my reason my i would spend the money on the best graphics card.


Only downside the very big majority are not people like you, me and the rest of the guys on the forums. Not only that Consoles are adult and kiddie friendly, or friendlier than a PC would be. So the Console market makes great money when parents buy consoles and console games to shut there kids up. PC sales however only go up during lowered price sales, never just because of a season like Christmas, although sometimes dealers do sales during the holidays where it may seems like PC game sales etc do alright.
March 13, 2008 3:28:16 PM

jay2tall said:
^
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I agree. I do the same with CD's as well. Granted I havn't bought to many CD's in the last year because apparently no one can make a CD anymore that I can listen to for the duration. One good song don't get me buying your CD. Like the one hit wonders that have a good song or two and the rest stink. Make some GOOD music and I'll buy it. Same with games. I have a stack of games which I have purchased. I wish I did this for Crysis instead of believing the hype. Stupid me.

And guess what... $60 for COD4 on Xbox or $40 for COD4 on PC????


I got thieved on my purchase of Hellgate:London, that douche Bill Roper rode his high horse "we made diablo and this games going to be better" wagon and got a lot of peoples attention. Then when it came to game time the game failed massively. Technically the game was released on Oct 31 2007, but they didn't actually have the game up to 1.0 until a month and a half ago, so it literally was like an extended beta just now you can buy it. It was literally the worst $50+tax I ever spent on a game. I do get good kick going on the forums and busting peoples chops however, I might have gotten my moneys worth from that in an entertainment sort of way. As a matter of fact I believe I logged into the forums more to talk than to login into the game to play, that's just sad. And it's not just me that thinks that way, during the best possible peak hours, the bust numbers the game can come up with is between 2k-3k players...Instead I migrated to EVE where I'm much happier, I actually look forward to playing compared to contemplating to play HGL or uninstall it.
March 13, 2008 3:49:16 PM

PC gaming is no where close to dying! ! ! Just ask any representative to steam, and they will gladly tell you about their sky rocketing sales and profits! Now, PC sales in retial might be total crap, but that is because retial stores have total crap for selection, but online services like steam are much better. I love how I can older games on Steam that are still fun and now cheap. Hell, I even bought Commander Keen for $5 off steam for **** and giggles.
March 13, 2008 3:53:32 PM

jay2tall said:
I bought Crysis on a whim and regret doing so because really the multiplayer stinks and the single player wasn't worth $50.


I completely agree. Crysis wasn't very fun, sure it might be pretty to look at, but 95% of the time while I was playing I was cloaked and just trying to make it to the next check point. I will say that their was one great moment I had while playing, and that was when I shot down 2 helicopters with one rocket, only to have one of them fall out of the sky right on top of me.
!