1: I keep seeing console owners saying, "Why do we have the same game as the PC owners, when we have older tech?".
2: I keep seeing PC owners saying, "We all have different PC setups so the developers can't optimise for us".
We've all seen the kind of remarks across the net.
There are the exceptions to the rule, but moslty the games are optimised to the same degree.
A year ago I hooked up my old ATI x1950pro with my I5 2500K and it played games very well, much better than my PS3. I played L4D2, FEAR 2, Portal 2, Bioshock 1 and 2, Unreal Tounament 3, Oblivion and a few others. The performance was mostly between 30-60 fps at max settings (or near) at 720p. The consoles get around 30fps at mostly 720p (not quite so good in all games). I tried the resolution at 1680X1050 and the card could still handle most things at 30fps, which is of course a better resolution and probably higher IQ settings.
In June I bought a budget laptop with a AMD 3500M with a 6620g (APU). This, is definately weaker than the x1950pro. This can play games well at 1366X768 (native to laptop). I've been playing Gears of War at around 3/4 settings at mostly 60fps, and the same with UT3, LFD2, Portal 2. I tried Crysis 2 on the laptop and it could just manage a resolution of 1024X768 at the lowest in game settings (High) and get 15-35fps. It looked awful, but that is what it's like on the PS3 (same settings and bad frame rate). But this laptop has a weaker GPU than in the xbox or PS3.
The x1950pro and the 6620g are not any more powerful than the consoles' GPUs but seem to perform at least as well if I lower some settings and play at about 720p, in some cases much better as I get 60fps.
Now, before people slam me and go crazy, I know I was using a I5 2500k, but I also have a e6300 at 1.8ghz (no overclock) from 2006, which is a pile of poo, and when hooked up with the x1950 pro does bottleneck it. But, not that much and perhaps the games are programmed to be triple core (xbox) for some games, meaning the e6300 dual core suffers for this. But if you had a very weak quad core and put this with the x1950pro it might eliminate the bottleneck. My point being that a comparable GPU and similar strength CPU would get the same settings and FPS as the consoles.
There is the question of high amounts of RAM. I only have 2gb in my XP PC running the x1950pro and the e6300, this is of course lots more than the consoles have, but RAM would not be the limiting factor in building a PC as it is quite cheap. What matters more is of course the GPU and CPU.
My laptop GPU is weaker, but the CPU element is probably stronger and seems to perform better than it should.
The x1950pro is similar to the x1800xt, which is similar to the xbox GPU, and this performs in a similar way to the consoles, sometimes better.
Now, some will say "who cares"? But, lots of PC owners seems to think that games are optimised to run better on the consoles, and I wanted to say what my experience of this is.
Also, I know the x1950pro isn't going the run BF3 well at all, but neither do the consoles!
My understanding is that consoles don't have the resolution or processing effects that modern PCs have. anti-aliasing in particular as well as complex shadows and screen space ambient occlusion.
Consoles effectively run in what PC gamers would call 'low' settings; relying more on games being good than visual quality. The current generation of consoles are pretty long in the tooth. I personally wouldn't buy one at this stage.
The 'Anyone else got the same experience' was asking if people have tried old hardware with new games. People seem to think that the console version of games are much more optimised than the PC version and I think if you have comparable PC hardware then you'd have a similar result. As you say a modern game would be at low settings and resolution, but if you set a old GPU to those setting you'd get 30fps the same.
I trying to say that the console version of a game isn't more optimised than the PC version.