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Is anyone else confused about the future of DX10?

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December 12, 2006 6:10:59 PM

The newest killer Nvidia 8xxx video cards destroy everything else, they are truly awesome video cards. They even support directx10, which sounds like it has some interesting new features.

HOWEVER, to this point I am hearing that dx10 will only be supported on MS Vista. I am concerned, that this may delay adoption of dx10 for some time, because it will take a while before adoption of vista is widespread enough to justify making a dx10 exclusive game (or many of them anyways). I suppose some games will be able to work on dx9 and 10? I notice most games come with a directx installation now, because it is required to even run the game.

If games are designed anytime soon which exclusively run with dx10, that would dramatically limit the available audience for a given game. that seems unlikely to me. What that means to me is, buying the first generation of dx10 gaming hardware is probably pointless.

I'm just wondering how much longer dx9 hardware will be useful for gaming.

More about : confused future dx10

December 12, 2006 6:52:50 PM

Yea, we're gonna have to wait for a while for DX10 games. First we gotta wait for Vista then for game companies to start using DX10. But even right now the 8-series blows everything else out of the water.
December 14, 2006 1:42:57 PM

It will take a short while I suppose, but don't forget that Microsoft will probably be subsidising games developers to make DX10 games in order that there will be more incentive for PC owners to upgrade to Vista.

There won't be any DX10 exclusive games anyway, but I think it's in the industry's best interests to write software for the latest technology.
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December 14, 2006 2:46:24 PM

There are rumors that the makers of WINE will be making a DX10 port for Windows XP. It will be interesting to see how that affects things.
December 14, 2006 3:43:04 PM

I think I'm more optimistic as to the future of DX10. Vista will be released at the retail level next month and as far as developers having to create the games for DX10, they already have with a few titles scheduled to be released in Q1 or Q2 of next year (Alan Wake, Bioshock, Crysis). But I think it is a safe bet that DX10 and Vista won't start becoming prevalent and relevant factor in gamers lives until this time next year.
December 15, 2006 11:16:26 AM

Quote:
It will take a short while I suppose, but don't forget that Microsoft will probably be subsidising games developers to make DX10 games in order that there will be more incentive for PC owners to upgrade to Vista.

There won't be any DX10 exclusive games anyway, but I think it's in the industry's best interests to write software for the latest technology.


I'm far from a programmer, so I guess my question in this area would be is it POSSIBLE for a game to be designed to run on two different directx versions? I do not think any of the games I own have been designed for that to be possible yet?

I know directx is backward compatible because you can play games which were designed for directx8, if you are running directx9 (I think). But, I would think the ability for dx9 games to also run on dx10 might be much more difficult.

I was just hoping someone on the boards would have some knowledge in this area.
December 18, 2006 9:35:11 PM

It's not that complicated. Several games support different versions of DirectX. Half-Life 2, for example, supports DirectX 7-9, with features being turned off and on depending on what version your hardware supports, and how well it supports it.

As for backward compatibility, all versions of DirectX, up to and including DX9, are backwards compatible by design. DX10, however, is the first version of DX since it started that has no backward compatibility with any previous version.

Pre-DX10 games will run on Vista with DX 9.0L, but to work in DX10, a game must be specifically written for it. DX9 games will not run in DX10.

Quote:
There won't be any DX10 exclusive games anyway.


Wrong: Halo 2.
December 19, 2006 7:33:35 AM

There already making games that require Pixel Shaders 3.0 minimum so I don’t think the move to DX10 exclusivity will take too long this time round. Had to get the new Rainbow Six for my 360 instead of my PC this time round, good in a way since I am actually getting some use out of that box now and finally have some friends on my friends list now.

Might not sell this 360 after all… saying that I am just about to buy this new AMD GFX card that’s coming out so I dunno…
December 19, 2006 10:54:14 AM

so if dx10 is not backwards compatible, are you suggesting if I were to upgrade to Windows Vista (Dx10), I would no longer be able to play HL2, BF2, WoW, etc? Or, are you saying that vista will actually have two seperate versions of directx installed at the same time?

Halo2 will be dx10 exclusive? Well I guess that does not matter to me because halo does not interest me, but that seems like suicide for sales numbers. I'm assuming Halo2 will be released sometime next year, meaning that only those upgrading to Vista in its first year of release will even be able to install and run Halo2. Brilliant. 8O

On the other hand, I guess Microsoft does not care too much about PC game sales, they are so focused on console gaming generally.
December 19, 2006 3:17:33 PM

Quote:
so if dx10 is not backwards compatible, are you suggesting if I were to upgrade to Windows Vista (Dx10), I would no longer be able to play HL2, BF2, WoW, etc? Or, are you saying that vista will actually have two seperate versions of directx installed at the same time?


I thought I made that pretty clear. I used short sentences. There are two versions of DX in Vista. DX 9.0L and DX10. DX9 will have no further updates, but you can still play HL2, BF2, WoW, and future DX9 titles, as well as previous-gen DX titles, on Vista.

Quote:
Halo2 will be dx10 exclusive? Well I guess that does not matter to me because halo does not interest me, but that seems like suicide for sales numbers. I'm assuming Halo2 will be released sometime next year, meaning that only those upgrading to Vista in its first year of release will even be able to install and run Halo2. Brilliant. 8O


It's definitely not suicide for sales numbers. Microsoft already made so much on Halo 2 they'd never need to release it for Windows, but they did to move Vista and DX10 hardware. Halo 2 is their "killer app" for DX10. It will cause sales, though most of us will wait for Crysis.

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On the other hand, I guess Microsoft does not care too much about PC game sales, they are so focused on console gaming generally.


Three words: Games for Windows. Look it up, then retract your statement.
December 19, 2006 3:51:26 PM

I guess I was a bit shocked that they would bother having two versions of directx in a windows release, that is just stupid. okay, I accept that (thanks to your short sentences, great for us simpletons, otherwise how would we ever keep up with you).

I will refrain from detailing my opinion on Halo as a game. It remains to be seen obviously how good halo2 will be ported over, but I felt the PC version of the original Halo was horribly coded, being choppy and with lame graphics for a PC game. I had a friend with a very high end pc back when Halo PC was released, and it was really, really bad. poor framerates.

I did not realize Company of Heroes was a MS game until I did as you suggested and looked it up, though I have yet to try it. There's one I have heard good things about, so I will not knock it. I still feel that their PC gaming offering is overall sub-par to this point, largely made up of tycoon games and a flight sim. *yawn*
December 19, 2006 4:24:23 PM

Yikes, I should have provided a link! The Games for Windows logo does not mean Microsoft made the game, or had anything to do with it. It means it conforms to standards established by Microsoft to make gaming on the PC easier, faster, and better. It should bring a lot of the benefits of console gaming to the PC, and add a few consoles don't have.

http://www.gamesforwindows.com/
December 21, 2006 1:33:41 PM

Quote:
Had to get the new Rainbow Six for my 360 instead of my PC this time round, good in a way since I am actually getting some use out of that box now and finally have some friends on my friends list now.

Might not sell this 360 after all… saying that I am just about to buy this new AMD GFX card that’s coming out so I dunno…


So you in the same boat as me then :)  it just sort of sits there
December 21, 2006 9:27:45 PM

Quote:
I think I'm more optimistic as to the future of DX10. Vista will be released at the retail level next month and as far as developers having to create the games for DX10, they already have with a few titles scheduled to be released in Q1 or Q2 of next year (Alan Wake, Bioshock, Crysis). But I think it is a safe bet that DX10 and Vista won't start becoming prevalent and relevant factor in gamers lives until this time next year.


Alan Wake is not going to be released in 2007 (let alone Q1/Q2). Bioshock (announced for Q2) and Crysis (release yet to be announced) will not be DX10 exclusive.
December 21, 2006 9:33:24 PM

Quote:
I guess I was a bit shocked that they would bother having two versions of directx in a windows release, that is just stupid.


It's not really stupid, it is by design. DX10 is a complete redesign and directly written on top of Vista goodies, not available on XP.

Personally I think DirectX10 (the first few iterations at least) improvements will not provide us with drastic new visual effects that cannot be done by DirectX9, as much as it will make the development process easier.

People that will upgrade their OS (legally) just to play a game, are out of their minds, in my humble opinion. If you don't have the hardware to go with it (hardware supporting DX10) then it's completely useless.
December 22, 2006 7:06:29 AM

But if you do have the hardware then it’s not, you will have to upgrade to Vista at some point in the next two years. Some will do it right away some will do it when they need to. Same way some people buy a DX10 GFX card on the first release date and some people wait till a DX10 game has been released.

Waiting of course is more sensible but splashing out for the latest hardware is always more fun. But then again I have been waiting with an X800 now for DX10 cards, so for me to buy one next month before games are not even released is just part of the perks of upgrading. I will also be buying Vista with it, I found the beta tests to show it is a very good operating system.
December 29, 2006 4:13:57 PM

I've been working with Vista for sometime, it is definitely NOT a good OS. The security issues are STILL there (get a clue Microsoft) and it is still built on a house of compatibility cards with big holes just waiting to be exploited.

There is NO technical reason DX10 could not be implemented in WinXP (I'm a software engineer I know the details) especially since Vista is STILL a 32bit OS with 4GB limit!! Ugh! Yes, you have to specifically get Vista 64bit - the mainstream $200 Vista Home to the $400 Vista Ultimate is NOT 64 bit. And then HOPE you can find 64bit drivers and hope 32bit apps/games work in Vista 64. Threading support (Multi-tasking) is just as bad in Vista as it was in WinXP -- mostly because of the compatibility they're trying to retain in ancient applications/drivers.

In a word, go buy a Mac Pro and be done with the BS called Microsoft. The MacPro is all 64bit, no lame 4GB limit, no lame ancient BIOS (Mac's use EFI), and you can even run that dog of a Microsoft OS (Vista or WinXP) under a Mac Pro via Boot camp (100% compatibile and no performance loss). The cost to performance arguements have proved false many many times as PC fan boys try to retain blind faith in Microsoft. Hint hint, Intel had a reason to support Apple (Microsoft pissed off a few too many companies).

For PC to MacPro comparison for those about to jump on the "MacPro cost too much bandwagon" http://www.systemshootouts.org/shootouts/desktop/2006/0...

The only real draw back of the MacPro is overclocking, hard to do without at lot of knowledge and the right tools. Please, no comparisons with the Mac G5 or G4 -- not even in the same ball park.

But more importantly, XCore3 development tools for OSX are a factor of 10 better than Microsoft's buggy and slow as hell Visual Stuido 2005 junk.

Why is DX10 not available for WinXP, because very few people would buy Vista if it were -- thanks for the "leverage" Microsoft -- the monopoly is slow but surely coming to an end, there are real alternatives even for gamers - Thank you Intel.

Rob.
December 29, 2006 6:10:41 PM

Wow, I mean just wow... PC fanboys supporting Microsoft? What? I don't think many PC fanboys would claim MS was great. Also this is apparently coming from a frothing apple fanboy so the unwarranted fingerpointing is particularly empty.

As for Intel having a reason to support Apple... HELL YEAH THEY DID! New market segment for their processors, shipping TONS of chips that they didn't previously have penetration on... Its money in the bank. It had nothing to do with political maneuvering to topple the mighty MS empire. It takes some serious delusion to even think that.

Then you claim that because you are a programmer (ok software engineer, no difference really) that you suddenly know all the gritty details of how Vista and DX10 differ from XP and DX9? Thats just egotism. I'm not saying DX10 couldn't run on XP, but I'm not going to claim that it can based on very little. There are tools and services that are parts of Vista that are not built into XP. I am lead to believe those have more to do with the supposed incompatibility. i386 linux and Windows 98 both run 32 bit code, but they are not compatible. Your logic fails.

As for your PC to MacPro comparison... I do not buy computers. I buy components and build computers. For the price listed there I could build 2 computers that did more than I would need and would run laps around either of those. If I could install OSX on a custom built system and have the flexibility of hardware that Windows XP affords me then I would probably do so, but due to the artificial constraints maintained by Mac OS X I cannot do that.

As for Vista already having a known security flaw. (thats right a, as in one, as in singular) it is so far very minor and your point is a weak one.

I by no means am impressed by Vista or even intend to purchase it any time in the forseeable future, but if you are going to attack us PC Fanboys, try to be a bit more ... informed.
December 29, 2006 6:45:37 PM

Here are some cool guides. It will run like the wind on a fast Athlon64 like that
http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page. Search torrent sites for a hacked DVD installer iso that will install it natively on x86 hardware (that's the easiest out of all of the ways to do it). Mac hardware is no better than PC, but a lot of people argue that its operating system is better than the "beige boxes".
December 29, 2006 7:32:24 PM

Infornography42,

Oh you wanna play - ok.

What was unclear about me developing software on BOTH platforms OSX and Windows? XCore3 is for OSX, Visual Studio 2005 for Windows -- I code for both, get it now?

Oh I see, the Apple market share was huge with their G5 and iBook line -- you follow market share much at all?? I don't see Apple's computer market share as being so large as to want to make Intel produce hardware for Apple? So Intel wanted to sell their processors to a very small market with a complete "unknown" -- yeah that makes a lot of business sense, oye! There are many reasons Intel & Apple joined up -- Markets share was very low on the list of importance.

Yes, I do need to know all the gritty details of Vista, DX10 and the same with OSX -- believe it or not to produce software you do actually need to know what the OS supports along with the hardware drivers. Only the very basic of applications/games require only a small amount of knowledge. So because I know my OS's I'm egotistical? Yeah, that make so much sense. Where did you come from?

You obviously have NO grasp of software development -- we can code anything from device drivers to windows services so long as we know what DLL, EXE, etc. etc. to use an call with the correct parameters. Like I said, there is NOTHING to prevent Microsoft from making DX10 WinXP compatible. BTW, DX9 is NOT a Service.

Where did I mention i386 Linux and Windows 98?? Again, you make no sense and seem to grasp at non-sense that isn't even remotely related and just demonstrates your total lack of understanding (which apparently you admit to but still try to debate). What are you trying to debate? Vista Home to Vista Ultimate is 32bit not 64bit and is still limited to 4GB -- are you debating this? Yes you can buy a Vista 64bit, but that is not what will be sold to the main stream.

Do you need 64bit processing? Hell yes, even Microsoft's Ace's development team for FSX suggested FSX would work much better with more than 4GB of RAM (less stutters during scenery loads from HD). With today high resolution audio and HD video editing/processing, a 64bit OS and lots of RAM are crucial to smooth operations. Have you tried Adobe's Photoshop CS3 Beta for the MacPro's? OMG, the MacPro cleans house compared to CS2 running on WinXP. So what do Microsoft do, they dump out another 32bit OS limited to 4GB that everyone will have to live with for another 5 years. 5 years from now you'll be hating Vista more than you were hating WinXP or you'll drop another $400 on Vista 64 and hope you can get all the 64bit drivers you need.

Oh I see the picture you're painting now, you build PC's, you can't build Mac's so your making an attempt to corral customers so you can keep building PCs. No need, PCs will be around for a long time so don't worry, your market will shrink some but Microsoft are doing their best to shoot themselves in the foot. Go ahead, please do list the same components, warranty, support, etc. etc. ... it has been tried before and as always the comparison fails because the same or equivalent components are not selected...it starts with a small incomplete list and spirals downward from there, that article is the ONLY article I've seen that attempts to make the best equal comparison.

Again read it:
http://www.systemshootouts.org/shootouts/desktop/2006/0...

Have you even installed WinXP or Vista RTM on a MacPro? I know this is one of those questions you'll never answer and yet claim that MacPro's don't have hardware flexibility -- you're classic! Get a freakin' clue, my RAM for my MacPro was obtained from NewEgg as where my Hard drives, my Keyboard is from Microsoft, my mouse from Logitech, my Audio interface is Motu (yes you can run multiple audio interfaces without a problem), you can even plug in the new Intel quad core CPUs, and PCI-E video cards (yes there is even a 8800GTX hack to make those work). Stop spouting things you know nothing about.

And what do you do for a living? Build PCs? I'm sorry, I guess as a software engineer on both platforms and owning both Mac's and PC's makes me less informed? Again, what is your profession? If you do build PC's for a living it is probably I good idea for you to keep an open mind and realize the potential of Apple's MacPro and maybe even think about doing custom configurations of MacPros and start selling them as alternatives -- rather than placing all your faith in one Microsoft basket.

Let me see some pics or your MacPro and PC? Here is my home office/studio from which I code, create audio & video for both platforms:
http://www.nocomsleft.com/Graphics/StudioSetup.jpg

Notice the PC on the left, MacPro on the right, notice the Boot camp option being displayed on the MacPro monitor so I can select to boot into OSX or WinXP)

I have a 3rd PC which is my overclocking experiment that you don't see in this picture but can see here:
http://www.nocomsleft.com/MozartTX.aspx

For most people (very few folks are serious overclockers) a fast gaming capable solution that can do both OSX and WinXP/Vista is the MacPro which has the best price/performance ratio in it's class.

Sure you can build a low end PC that will get the job done that comes up under what a MacPro price is -- but your stuck with WinXP or Vista.

Why do I regularly mention MacPro's, because it boggles my mind that TG doesn't cover or do more articles about the MacPro. Instead, TG writes stupid drivel about Apple that is based on unsubstantiated gossip (i.e. iTunes closing down - what BS). The MacPro is a fundamental open door for Apple -- a major change in how they do computer business.

YOU have been informed. If you wanna play further, you need to bring some meat to the table.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 12:17:49 AM

Quote:
Infornography42,

Oh you wanna play - ok.

What was unclear about me developing software on BOTH platforms OSX and Windows? XCore3 is for OSX, Visual Studio 2005 for Windows -- I code for both, get it now?


I'm sorry, I fail to see the relevance. So you code on both platforms. Great. Thats wonderful. So what? I'm not insulting your skill as a programmer, I am saying that there are more nooks and crannies in Windows than a Microsoft developer probably knows about. Sure, Microsoft could technically recode all dependencies to work under Windows XP, The question is how much work would it take them and would it be worth it? Also I am not saying that there is more to it than MS simply trying to profit off of people, just that to claim absolute knowledge of all programs on or about a platform because you write them is a bit absurd.

This has nothing to do with your ability to code on both Windows and Mac OSX, so why do you bring it up?

Quote:

Oh I see, the Apple market share was huge with their G5 and iBook line -- you follow market share much at all?? I don't see Apple's computer market share as being so large as to want to make Intel produce hardware for Apple? So Intel wanted to sell their processors to a very small market with a complete "unknown" -- yeah that makes a lot of business sense, oye! There are many reasons Intel & Apple joined up -- Markets share was very low on the list of importance.


What? What do you mean Intel doesn't want to produce hardware? Thats what they do! I am one man and I can buy Intel processors, so they produce hardware for me too. They sell hardware, if a vendor comes and says, Hi, I want to buy your chips, do you think Intel will snub them because they aren't one of the 3 biggest hardware manufacturers? What nonsense is that?

As for Apple being penny ante, they are the fifth biggest desktop and notebook manufacturer in the US and they beat out sony in every market except worldwide portables. Yes their marketshare is less than 5%, but the biggest is only a little over 30% and even 1% of the entire PC market is a LOT of processors. That is money in the bank. If you know of any official statements made by Intel deriding Microsoft and supporting Apple more than just selling processors to them like any other paying customer then let us hear it, but I seriously doubt this is anything more than selling product to a client.

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BTW, DX9 is NOT a Service.


When did I indicate that it was?

Quote:
Where did I mention i386 Linux and Windows 98?? Again, you make no sense and seem to grasp at non-sense that isn't even remotely related and just demonstrates your total lack of understanding (which apparently you admit to but still try to debate).


I was addressing this statement you made.

Quote:

There is NO technical reason DX10 could not be implemented in WinXP (I'm a software engineer I know the details) especially since Vista is STILL a 32bit OS with 4GB limit!


You seemed to be indicating that the only major limitation to a program working is the memory limit and the number of general purpose registers required by the code and I was pointing out that there was more to it than that since programs are not always compatible across operating systems that share those attributes.

Quote:
What are you trying to debate? Vista Home to Vista Ultimate is 32bit not 64bit and is still limited to 4GB -- are you debating this? Yes you can buy a Vista 64bit, but that is not what will be sold to the main stream.


You seem to have a particularly poor grasp on what it means to have a 64 bit processor for a programmer. Just because the operating system uses 32 bit code does NOT mean it is limited to 4 gigs of memory. To emphasize this I will link to Microsoft's 32 bit versions of 2003 server.

Versions of 32 bit 2003 server

As this shows 32 bit OS's can indeed support up to and including 128 GB of RAM. When referring to the "bits" of a processor there are several things you could refer to. You have the external data bus width, the memory address bus width, and the number of general purpose registers. Any time you see a processor listed as simply 64 bit, you are referring to the general purpose registers, not the memory address bus, though it is common that the memory address bus gets increased to 64 bit as well when the GPRs are increased. It is the General Purpose Registers that determine what kinds of code a processor can process. The address bus simply determines the amount of memory that the processor can address.

I have not researched the limit used by Vista but they would be foolish to make it so small as 4 Gigs for Vista Ultimate. Also the 64 bit versions should work just fine by the time they come out. Hardware manufacturers are working hard to develop the drivers to support it, though I will not be an early adopter due to the still as yet incomplete support.

Quote:
Oh I see the picture you're painting now, you build PC's, you can't build Mac's so your making an attempt to corral customers so you can keep building PCs. No need, PCs will be around for a long time so don't worry, your market will shrink some but Microsoft are doing their best to shoot themselves in the foot. Go ahead, please do list the same components, warranty, support, etc. etc. ... it has been tried before and as always the comparison fails because the same or equivalent components are not selected...it starts with a small incomplete list and spirals downward from there, that article is the ONLY article I've seen that attempts to make the best equal comparison.


Umm, I build systems for ME, I am not a small time system builder trying to "corral customers". I am concerned for my own flexibility. My point was that I could build my own computer for nearly half that cost and significantly more powerful. ALL OEM's overcharge and I really have no interest in buying a pre-built computer from anyone, Dell, HP, Apple, or otherwise. I guess if I were to be so inclined to buy a pre-built system I would buy Apple, but I am not so inclined.

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Have you even installed WinXP or Vista RTM on a MacPro?


No, as this would require buying a Mac, which I don't feel like blowing the money on.

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I know this is one of those questions you'll never answer and yet claim that MacPro's don't have hardware flexibility -- you're classic!


Nice that you criticize me for not answering a question before you even finished your post which contains said question.

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Get a freakin' clue, my RAM for my MacPro was obtained from NewEgg as where my Hard drives, my Keyboard is from Microsoft, my mouse from Logitech, my Audio interface is Motu (yes you can run multiple audio interfaces without a problem), you can even plug in the new Intel quad core CPUs, and PCI-E video cards (yes there is even a 8800GTX hack to make those work). Stop spouting things you know nothing about.


Apple has made great strides in improving their hardware flexibility, but they are not AS flexible as a home built PC. I cannot take any motherboard I see fit and expect to be able to load OSX on it. Any time I go shopping for hardware I would have to pay extra attention to compatibility that I would not normally have to care about. Now a previous poster did leave a link to something that looks promising and if it works I will probably dual boot my main system

Quote:
And what do you do for a living? Build PCs? I'm sorry, I guess as a software engineer on both platforms and owning both Mac's and PC's makes me less informed? Again, what is your profession? If you do build PC's for a living it is probably I good idea for you to keep an open mind and realize the potential of Apple's MacPro and maybe even think about doing custom configurations of MacPros and start selling them as alternatives -- rather than placing all your faith in one Microsoft basket.


Again you seem to be under the delusion that I am some small time PC builder. Not that it is any of your business whatsoever but I am a Cisco network engineer currently.

Quote:
Let me see some pics or your MacPro and PC? Here is my home office/studio from which I code, create audio & video for both platforms:
http://www.nocomsleft.com/Graphics/StudioSetup.jpg


Again I do not own a Mac because I don't consider them worth the inflated cost.

Quote:

For most people (very few folks are serious overclockers) a fast gaming capable solution that can do both OSX and WinXP/Vista is the MacPro which has the best price/performance ratio in it's class.


In it's class. Most people I know that don't build their own systems don't need a computer in it's class. They can easily make do with a Pentium 4 and windows 2000 for MUCH cheaper.

Quote:

Why do I regularly mention MacPro's, because it boggles my mind that TG doesn't cover or do more articles about the MacPro. Instead, TG writes stupid drivel about Apple that is based on unsubstantiated gossip (i.e. iTunes closing down - what BS). The MacPro is a fundamental open door for Apple -- a major change in how they do computer business.


Again, irrelevant to the discussion, but I would appreciate some impartial articles on Macs, mostly since I always appreciate more information.

Quote:
YOU have been informed. If you wanna play further, you need to bring some meat to the table.

Rob.


You have taught me nothing I did not already know except how quickly you jump to conclusions and how adept you are at misreading a post.

To anyone else still reading this post at this point, wow, your dedication is amazing. I probably wouldn't read a post this long if it wasn't specifically addressing me.
December 30, 2006 4:06:41 AM

Wow is all I can say. I read them both and I dont get either of them but i have hada few beers Ill read them in the morning and Ill tell you who wins but i am steering towards infornography cause he kind of got jumped on if i remember correctly but like i said i have been drinking tonight. Peace and love till the morning time
December 30, 2006 4:49:27 AM

Infonography42,

When did I join TG? When did you? You think I don't see this crap A LOT? People spouting about stuff they have NO real world experience in -- you ARE classic.

Go away you retard -- again you have brought nothing to the table, no details, no specifics, and have answered very few of my questions. An how do you claim to know what Apple have done when you admit you don't own a MacPro?? Bang head against wall now.

Enough said, you don't own a MacPro so WTF are you commenting on them? Only an idiot or a drunk would side with someone that has NO first hand experience with both platforms.

You haven't answered most of my questions so please do us all a favor and just move along and skip over something you know nothing about - Cisco engineer, yipee!!

Oh congrats on pointing to Windows 2003 Server for more than 4GB support -- now, how many people run Windows 2003 Server, was I even comparing "servers" at any point in my discussion? Geez, talk about pulling context out of the ether -- is that your normal tactic, just spout useless information to confuse the average reader?

Your tactic of confuse the drunks may have worked, but hopefully intelligent people can see thru your out of context debate and realize you really don't have any real world experience.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 7:15:59 AM

Holy freak Venom. (Appropriate name, btw.) Did you proofread anything you wrote? I think you were running on anger. Breathe! Then edit out half your posts to get rid of penis comparisons and the world "classic". You aren't representing your side very well. Info may not know both sides as well as you do, but at least he's staying reasonably calm about it.

:? I read every post, sober.
December 30, 2006 1:01:04 PM

I will read them again in a bit.
December 30, 2006 3:35:07 PM

VBDude,

Sorry, but I read stuff from idiots like this guy all the time (I've been around TG a long time, even longer than Wusy as V8VENOM is my 2nd ID) -- Infornography42 propagates bad information which others then believe is "da truth" and the cycle of bad information continues.

He makes performance comparisons about equipment he doesn't have, makes statements about a platform he knows nothing about (OSX), makes numerous false statements, diverges to "servers", pulls stuff out of context, tosses out buzz words with no relevance "general purpose registers" (ha ha ha ha), etc. etc. This guy is "Classic" because I see so many posts just like his -- empty of real content but full of disjointed fluff.

What does Penis comparison have to do with anything? This is all about bad information being passed along.

Quote:
...penis comparisons and the world "classic"

Do you proofread anything you write? Is this a discussion about grammer/typos? I hope not.

Quotes from infornography42:

Quote:
Again I do not own a Mac


Yet you can make definitive statements about them and comparisons? At this point, don't ya think it might be prudent to stop the debate since you clearly don't have the experience in 50% of the content?

Quote:
To anyone else still reading this post at this point, wow, your dedication is amazing. I probably wouldn't read a post this long if it wasn't specifically addressing me.
I pick out Info


Say what? Does this have anything to do with the discussion specifically addressed to him? Someone does need to go back and edit what they posted, because Infornography has contradicted himself many times within just a few posts -- good job.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 5:50:29 PM

Sooo... You've given up on even replying to any particular point and are just chest beating now.

The specs on a mac are equivalent to the specs on a PC now. I can accurately comment on hardware capabilities and just because I do not own a Mac does not mean I have not done my research. That is like saying that since Mr. Hawkings has not ever been to a black hole, that he has no authority to comment on them.

Similarly I was not simply "throwing out buzz words", I was trying to bring to light an obvious misunderstanding you had about how memory addresses, 64 bit processors, and various levels of code work. If I was not clear then feel free to ask questions about it so I can clarify for you.

Please, point out a single question you have asked that I have failed to answer, I would gladly do so now, also point out a single contradiction I have made and I will review my statement and clarify what was meant and apologize for any misrepresentation of my intent. Just saying that these omissions and mistakes occurred does not help bring better understanding to the argument, point them out so that they can be properly addressed.

Thank you.
December 30, 2006 7:34:41 PM

Quote:
...penis comparisons and the world "classic"

Do you proofread anything you write? Is this a discussion about grammer/typos? I hope not.

Heck no. I'd never complain about mistakes or lack of english skills if the logic and facts are there and reasonably well presented. I was simply asking you to tone it down. This post was a lot easier to read. Thanks.

The penis comparison was used metaphorically. What I mean is I don't care which of you has better credentials. Just hand out the facts, provide links if you have them, and be civil.

As for "classic", most of us have seen these comparisons before, and for more than just Macs and PCs. (Where do you think the phrase "console wars" comes from?) Just because we've seen it doesn't make the discussion any less valid. New developments appear all the time. It's good to have these conversations regularly to keep everyone up to speed. Especially those not posting.

Keep them in mind while responding because many of them know less about Macs (and PCs) than infornography42.
December 30, 2006 9:17:30 PM

Gentlemen, I'm addressing V8VENOM and infornography42 in particular. I think both of you are knowledgeable in some domains, but you seem to be talking different languages, a programmer's language and a hardware construction language.

It is interesting to read your debates and please do continue but please keep the language decent and try to recognize that each one may have some particular insights that the other may not yet have had.

Let me put one thing forward here I feel somewhat comfortable with, V8VENOM put forward the 4GB limit issue of a 32bit OS. What this actually means is that if you are running a single application/process (regardless whether it contains multiple threads) the maximum memory limit (address space) is 4GB, regardless how much memory you have stacked onto a server. Sure you can run multiple processes/applications but there are applications out there that require a lot of memory (3D image processing for example) and these applications are hitting the ceiling.

Undoubtedly you two will be able to come up with more issues that fall into the chasm between the software and hardware world, but please, keep it decent. You both owe it to each other and everyone else reading this topic.
December 30, 2006 9:26:37 PM

VBDude,

Fair enough. I'll tone it down.

Infornography42,

If you want to learn about the MacPro, OSX, Xcore3, VS 2005, DX10, WinXP, Vista, Windows Servers then I will continue -- but if you're here to TELL me/others how much more cost effective a PC is with a Windows OS is, then I'm not interested -- yes, you can build a lower performing PC for less (I had already stated that early on) that is limited to WinXP.

The OP topic was "Confused about future of DX10". I admit to diverging to MacPro OSX via tennious connections to Microslops vision of DX10. However, a key point is that DX10 could be made available for WinXP without major overhauls to the WinXP OS.

I've been coding for a long long time (circa 1980) and I know exactly what is involved in emulation stubs when putting two versions of software out to run on similar yet different OSs.

Anything that is well coded, can be pulled apart and compile into a different dependancy scenario.

Making DX10 available for WinXP would require:
1. Security model updates
2. Disable 3D aero-glass on use only 2D mode only
3. Methodically checking OS calls and updating dependancies as needed

Keep in mind that an emulation layer was added to DX10 so that Vista can support DX9 apps -- this is a KEY point because Micrsoft have already gone to the effort to emulate -- it would be easy for them to go thru the same emulation process for DX10 calls that are present on Vista that have no equivalent on WinXP - in fact this MUST already exist because the developers had to start coding DX10 on an existing OS.

This is another KEY point, when the developers started DX10 (many moons ago) what platform do you think Microsoft developers used to start coding DX10 in? I can assure you, they didn't wait several years for Vista to get more stable before they start work on DX10. There would be a LOT of parallel coding happening and this was done on WinXP/Win2K3. The would need to be able to compile and run DX10 test apps to ensure their code works as expected.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 9:41:57 PM

Quote:
yes, you can build a lower performing PC for less (I had already stated that early on) that is limited to WinXP.


Actually what I am saying is that I can build a HIGHER performing PC (hardware wise at least) for less money than I could get a MacPro. The same is true of Dells, HPs, etc. This is largely due to my complete lack of overhead and the extremely competitive online hardware pricing. The other night I configured a system that was more powerful in every way to both of the computers in that article you posted for under $1500 (except the monitor was not as nice as the Mac one). Those systems you linked to were running close to $3000.

With the exception of that one point I see no item that I would disagree with in the rest of this post. This is the sort of breakdown and reasoning that I was looking for from the beginning. Having reviewed my earlier posts I do see that I was a bit abrasive and I apologize for that. I just ask that in the future you focus on factual points and not finger pointing, accusations, and unfounded beliefs posted as facts.

Now one thing I haven't kept track of as well as I feel I should, how compatible have Macs been with games in the past few years?

Are most developers programming for both platforms now or has the whole boot camp thing allowed developers to to start ignoring apple again with the poor belief of 'eh, they could run windows if they needed to'?

I'm kind of curious how this has affected the development community's viewpoints on Mac OS.
December 30, 2006 9:44:44 PM

BigMac,

Yes, I will keep it more civilized. There are some versions of Windows that are not limited to 4GB, WinXP 64bit, Vista 64bit and some versions on Windows servers. A point of interest is that WinXP 64bit and Vista 64bit are EFI aware (as well as BIOS aware) -- Mac's have been using EFI for some years now as it is considerably more robust in functionality and feature sets and isn't limited to 1980 technology of the BIOS.

I agree, Multi-core CPUs are going to be even more hungry for memory as folks start running more tasks at the same time. I honestly can't understand why the main stream releases of Vista (Home to Ultimate) are still 32bit and still have the same 4GB limit?? Most people are gonna have to live with this limit for the next 5 years unless they opt for 64bit version and hunt for stable 64bit drivers. Also, Microsoft don't have a 64bit version of DX10 to make matters worse.

There are games today (FSX) that could benefit from more RAM -- I'm sure there are others as I hears stories all the time of slow load times when moving between levels and missions -- these can be drastically reduced with more RAM and multi-threaded code that does look ahead loading of the textures/data needed for the next mission/level.

I've got Photoshop CS3 Beta on my MacPro (universal build) and have run tests against my X6800 WinXP box running at 3.9Gzh (2GB RAM) with CS3 beta for windows -- my MacPro is over twice as fast. I didn't think anything could embarass my seriously overclocked X6800 system.

Infornography42,

I appologize for any personal attacks.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 10:00:45 PM

Actually, Vista will be available in both 32 bit and 64 bit versions for every release except for starter.

Quote:

Windows Vista will ship in six editions.[29] All editions will be available in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) architectures, except Windows Vista Starter which will only be available for 32-bit architectures. Microsoft maintains a detailed Product Guide that describes the various editions of Windows Vista, including detailed comparison charts of all features.


source

Microsoft has also made it clear that they intend to have a very robust driver library available for the 64 bit versions at launch.

As I said I don't intend to buy any version of Vista for a long time to come (I am always reluctant to upgrade my OS if it is working fine as is) but unless you get the embarrassingly weak Vista Starter version, drivers and 64 bit technology won't be a limitation.
December 30, 2006 10:12:00 PM

Infornograph42,

Fair enough, we can choose to disagree on the cost/performance issue. The article I linked was about as close as you can get when you factor in everything (including monitor). BTW, you don't have to use Mac monitors, you can use any monitor you like with a MacPro.

My MacPro is configured with an X1900XT, but the X1950XTX is fully compatible and as I've pointed out there is a Machack for nVidia 8800GTX. As far as games, with Boot Camp that really doesn't matter as you can run any WinXP game with 100% compatibility and no performance loss. If your question is about Mac universal games, then yes the choices are limited (Quake IV, XPlane 8.5, AOEIII, COD2, a few others) -- but like I said with Boot Camp gaming is a non-issue on a MacPro. I've got Quake IV, and XPlane 8.5 and COD2, and AOEIII Mac universal games -- Quake IV and XPlane 8.5 make very efficient use of CPUs and I have no fps problems running at 2550 x 1600 (actually Quake IV doesn't run at that higher resolutions, but close).

XCore3 is a good developers tool, considerably better than VS 2005 and for the first time in many years, there was a large contingency of developers present when XCore3 was demo'd. We'll just have to wait and see if more games move to MacPro. What I suspect will happen is the small time developers will get in on the Mac universal scene as the large companies like EA, Microsoft, etc. will wait for MacPro sales figures to see if the market becomes large enough to make the investment.

All long time developers I know have a Mac or MacPro because the more platforms we know the more we're worth. Parallels, VMWare, Virtual PC are all tools we use to quickly switch in/out of various OS's, but for 100% Windows compatibilty with no performance issues we use Boot Camp.

Since many folks are thinking "hardware upgrade" for Vista "considering" a MacPro would be a very smart decision IMHO. You can run Vista on a MacPro, you can't run OSX on a PC.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 10:28:35 PM

Oh, something that you might find amuzing, VS 2005 is not fully compatible with Vista:

From the horses mouth:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/aa964140.aspx

Why not many developers enjoy working with Microsoft's tools/OS
http://searchvb.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142...

http://www.betanews.com/article/Visual_Studio_Incompati...

I knew about the 64bit version but thanks for clearing up the specific 64bit options in each OS variant -- but as I understand it, these will not be released in retail stores initially, only the 32bit versions will go out first.

The 64bit driver support in the Vista 64bit RTM I have didn't appear complete -- three PC's in my office we're missing 64bit network drivers. I've gone thru Vista pretty extensively as I need to make sure my apps/services still run on Vista. Vista does load about 3X the number of services that WinXP does.

Rob.
December 30, 2006 10:34:22 PM

I would love to see a serious competitor to Windows on the PC platform, but just like the games make the console, the application/games support make the OS.

While I would like the streamlined interface that Mac provides, it does me little good if I have to reboot into Windows to play any games.

I encourage competition but MS has a pretty impressive lock on the market currently. I'm not sure what someone could do to break that.

It takes market share to convince developers to develop for another platform, and it takes developers developing for a platform to convince a significant enough percentage of a market to buy that platform. Its a catch 22 that has kept MS dominant for decades now.
December 31, 2006 4:27:44 PM

The best way to encourage and promote competition is to buy the competition's product as it keeps competition alive. Apple's MacPro is well worth every penny IMHO.

I can understand folks not wanting to deal with the hassle of a dual boot configuration, but the MacPro does make this process very simple. But there again, gaming on the PC has taken a big market share hit from consoles for the very same reason - the hassle of a PC.

But doesn't this leave Microsoft in a bad situation? They have XBOX360 for games and Vista for...? Video/Audio applications are considerably better on a MacPro, Office type applications have reached the point of "no more features to be added" on both platforms and OSX office software can be had for free and gets the job done as well as retail packages.

Games aren't dead on a PC, but they certainly aren't healthy and as you have pointed out, developers go where the market is. I have some developer friends that work for EA and they have shifted their focus to consoles and have very few PC projects.

But where Apple have been consistant is on quality, I'm not sure where Microsoft's QA department has gone (perhaps to India) but their level of quality is getting worse and worse.

Not sure about your circle of friends/relatives (excluding my developer friends), but mine rarely use their PC because they fear it and find it too difficult to use -- not to mention they've contracted a host of spyware/adware that confuses them even more and makes their experience even worse.

Even friends that get a PC for gaming, get frustrated because they contracted a virus or adware or Norton Security is constantly minimizing their game and returning them to the desktop. Sure I know how to resolve all these problems, but they don't and they don't wanna know nor feel they need to learn -- they just expect their PC to work for them and not have to deal with maintaining it religiously.

I would NOT use TG as a good source/indicator of the average user -- the folks here represent a tiny few who are enthusiastic about their hardware/PC. Looking in the real world of PC users I've found many many many that are just done with Windows and let their PC sit and gather dust. It doesn't take much for them to look elsewhere -- I suggest "have you tried a Mac?" -- they'll go to a Mac store within a month they'll be using a Mac and more importantly will NOT be asking me a bunch of questions. About the only question they do ask is "what games for their Mac?" and my response is usually -- get an XBOX360 or PS3.

As performance and graphically challanged as the XBOX360 and PS3 are, for most people (market share) they provide a fun and frustration free solution to playing games that looks good enough for them.

In TG, many appear to be driven by "best bang for the buck" and will deal with whatever the OS tosses at them as best they can. But like I said, TG isn't representing the typical PC user. Many value their time over the cost of a computer. For those used to working with Windows OS, they will be happy with their money spent/saved. But for those that view a computer as a tool/entertainment and don't want to get "involved" in the OS, the computer than gets the job done with least distractions is value for them.

For me, if I have to spend 2 more hours a week keeping my Windows PC maintained vs. my MacPro then that is $500/wk wasted ($250/hr). But that is how I perceive the value of time.

What does this boil down to? IMHO, getting a PC for games isn't the future (setting aside my technical bias) -- the next version of a console will only make gaming migration from PC to console even larger and games for the PC will be on par with what games for the Mac are right now (very few good titles).

Rob.
January 2, 2007 11:59:06 AM

Quote:
I can understand folks not wanting to deal with the hassle of a dual boot configuration, but the MacPro does make this process very simple. But there again, gaming on the PC has taken a big market share hit from consoles for the very same reason - the hassle of a PC.

I would NOT use TG as a good source/indicator of the average user -- the folks here represent a tiny few who are enthusiastic about their hardware/PC. Looking in the real world of PC users I've found many many many that are just done with Windows and let their PC sit and gather dust. It doesn't take much for them to look elsewhere -- I suggest "have you tried a Mac?" -- they'll go to a Mac store within a month they'll be using a Mac and more importantly will NOT be asking me a bunch of questions. About the only question they do ask is "what games for their Mac?" and my response is usually -- get an XBOX360 or PS3.

What does this boil down to? IMHO, getting a PC for games isn't the future (setting aside my technical bias) -- the next version of a console will only make gaming migration from PC to console even larger and games for the PC will be on par with what games for the Mac are right now (very few good titles).
Rob.


some good points here, though I'd like to add a few comments.

I would personally not consider a dual-boot configuration, because it seems redundant and annoying for me. I would rather run only one OS (especially with the hard drive space issues I keep having as I slowly upgrade). I do not think most people buying a PC for gaming would enjoy dual-boot, but someone who only games occasionally would probably not mind as much (and thus, perhaps a large part of the population could benefit from that).

the second point I'd like to make is that I personally believe the reason PC's are full of viruses, spyware, etc is because of their "market share". I doubt most hackers and virus programmers would spend too much time working with OSX, because they would only be attacking a much smaller market. If OSX were the more popular OS, I would imagine many more security holes would be found and exploited. For an advanced user, it is relatively easy to keep yourself safe without any programs such as Norton Security etc, just by being careful what websites you visit, always keeping your OS updated, choose your downloads carefully, etc. I confess, I like to play a lot and probably format every 1 year or so, but in EVERY case I know it's my fault, and am always happy afterwards (because my PC speeds up due to all the junk I threw at it before formatting).

Of course, that means for an average non-gamer user, a Mac PC might be a good idea if they can be found for reasonable prices (especially at the low-end, where they seem to have a weakness in the market). Unfortunately, I think in most cases of sub-$1000 computers, PC's are generally easier to find. Also, people tend to be afraid of what they have'nt used (at work, at home, etc), and non-technical people are much less likely to buy a PC based on a platform they have never tried. That's obviously not a very good reason, but we're talking about general population here, and I would imagine you can see that possibility.

As for gaming moving to consoles, I just hope the products can catch up with my expectations. I am still not satisfied at any FPS solution for consoles, which I really enjoy playing. I used to play a lot of RTS as well, which is another weakness of consoles. Still, I recognize the innovation of the Nintendo Wii, and will be purchasing one as soon as I can find one in a store. :) 

I recognize the strengths and weaknesses of both gaming platforms, but feel that for now I still need both. I prefer the flexibility of a PC to also play my movies, watch TV shows, improve my sound/video experience with just a card change, archive my pictures/videos/movies and network them freely around my house. I see consoles moving that way with linux os hacks etc, and I find that exciting. I think in the future, consoles will take over my needs for media streaming and networking, with a seperate network storage solution. hopefully they will eventually also meet my gaming needs, so my PC can just be for practical uses and downloading new content to apply to my networked storage/media streaming devices.

edit: btw, I am very happy with the responses to my initial question, in which I was very ignorant of the new changes with directx10. :)  glad to see it somehow sparked some additional interesting, if spirited, discussion!
January 2, 2007 2:45:14 PM

I agree with dual boot hassle -- there is however a Beta version of VMWare for OSX that permits the loading of WinXP/Vista from within OSX that doesn't take a performance hit (aka no emulation) and is supposed to be fully game compatilbe as if it were a dual boot) -- I personally have not tried the new VMWare for OSX. I know next Mac OS (Leopard) is supposed to address this also - we shall see.

The purpose of most hackers (out to make money not fame) is to take control of your PC and use it as a drone to attack other PC's. I agree that market share is much smaller so their are fewer hackers aiming at OSX. However, OSX is considerably more secure due to some fundamental differences:

1. Security model was built into OSX from ground up
2. Mac OS version compatibility has NOT been a requirement
3. OSX doesn't let you install anything without entering you user account info (aka password), there is NOT option to have it automatically permit this behavior like there is in Vista and WinXP.
4. OSX is based on *nix, *nix was built with security from day one

Market share is one of the reasons for more attacks on PC's, but the other reasons are:

1. Very easy to attack a WinXP/Vista PC if a user has turned off security challenges (again, no such turn off option in OSX).
2. Compatibility layers (house of cards to retain compatibility and a big open door for hackers)
3. The windows registry -- originally designed without security and patched up so many times to try to implement security but still very flawed

Microsoft trying to retain the "upgrade" path is what has both made the PC originally very successful and has now made it a nightmare to maintain and an open door for hackers.

Add in Microsoft's lack of concern about adware/spyware (they consider this free enterprise and good for the economy - end user is irrelevant -- MSN Messenger is a classic example of this - just run Active Ports and look at how many servers MSN is actively communicating with). Unless you're into your OS, the Windows/Vista platform has become more of a junk mail/advertisers dream platform. As an example, I just purchased a Gateway laptop for my wife for Xmas and there were 13 icons in her systray, 6 of them where basically ads to buy the "full version" of XYZ software. Compare this with a brand new Mac iBook or iBookPro and you get no spam, no popups telling you to buy retail verison of XYZ software, etc. etc. Sure, with a home built PC and if you install your own OS you can avoid the initial spam/adware pre-installed, but I'm gonna bet that most people don't buy home built PC's and most people don't even install the OS.

I will strongly disagree that "ads/spam/spyware" is needed to reduce the cost of an OS, game, or otherwise. Apple can seem to pre-install their OSX without having to require financial assistance from these sources, so I'm pretty certain these other vendors can also.

I am glad to see Apple now selling hardware/software in Best Buy -- and based on my visit a few days ago, there seems to be A LOT of interest in the Mac. BestBuy is a big retail outlet for them, certainly bigger than Fry's, CompUSA, and the Apple store combined. So word is apparently getting out and people our looking for alternatives -- this is good for everyone including Windows PC only folks.

I'm not a console fan either, but I'm in the minority. I hope gaming on the PC survives, but based on the developers I know in the "entertainment" business, they have very few titles lined up for the PC (even with DX10) as compared to XBOX360 or PS3 or Wii, etc. etc. And magazines like PC Gamer and Maximum PC seem to be filled more with Ads and less with articles/reviews.

Like Infonography42 pointed out, game developers go where the money is and the money has moved to consoles. Sure PC games will continue just as there are games for the Mac, but the focus will remain consoles. When true HD consoles are released (as in native support for 1080p resolution not the "up converted" stuff we see now in XBOX360 and PS3) the migration will become even larger especially as controllers to operate these consoles get better and better.

Perhaps a little too spirited on my part.

Rob.

P.S. I think I need to post a screenshot of my MacPro rendering some video with all 4 CPUs cranking away at close to 100% (Activity Monitor) and just how much faster it gets the job done compared to my WinXP PC.
January 2, 2007 5:13:25 PM

While developers do go where the money is, I don't think the PC is in any serious trouble as a gaming platform.

Every new generation of consoles generates a ton of revenue for the first few good games for each console so a lot of developers are trying to be one of those early few greats.

Once this console generation has aged a bit we will see a resurgence of interest in developing for the PC as usual. PCs are extremely widely available and owned so there is always a market for it.
January 2, 2007 6:06:17 PM

Quote:
Perhaps a little too spirited on my part.


Not at all, an excellent read.

I'm impressed at the increased sales of Macs at Best Buy. I'm sure the TV ads had something to do with it. Though I still can't stand them, they do increase public awareness, as has the iPod and product placement in television/movies.

As this is the games section, I'll jump right back to that. It seems silly to me to here how focus of games is on the consoles as console gamers are constantly screaming the same mantra, "We want more games!" There really aren't many games on either side worth buying.

I personally don't think there's a problem with PC gaming any more than we've had historically during console launch phases. Game development as a whole is not focused on consoles or PCs, but devices. If it can run a game, there is a big movement to support it.

I think we've had a few scares lately because historically PC-only developers are making console exclusives. I remember the panic of StarCraft: Ghost, of Halo, and currently of Gears of War and Mass Effect. But at the same time new talent is popping up. New design innovations are taking place. New distribution methods are emerging.

We aren't hitting problems with PC gaming simply because of Windows problems. We're experiencing problems because design, development, and distribution problems are becoming over-whelming to companies and consumers. And sad as it is, we aren't giving much support to initiatives to change these shortcomings.

Services like Steam and GameTap are trying to change the way games get from developers to us, making distribution simultaneously easier and cheaper, without the worries of demand out-weighing supply or shelf space making games unavailable to us. But we're gun-shy because of similar offerings in alternate industries. DRM scares us. A company folding making our games unplayable scares us. Not having a backup scares us.

Tools like XNA and Half-Life 2's SDK make development of content a lot easier for the independent crowd. But we keep asking for the big title sequels and then complain about cookie-cutter content and higher prices. Spending money on the unknown scares us.

Standards like Games for Windows emerge to try and make gaming on PC as easy as consoles while providing additional features unavailable on these more games-focused devices. I can't even begin to see why anyone would complain, but no one seems to notice it or care. Some even accuse MS of forgetting about PC gamers entirely! (Sorry torque79.) Does MS scare us?

Am I the only one seeing the problem is just as squarely on the consumers' apathy and misdirection as it is on the people we're blaming for it?

edit: Beat me to the punch, infornography42. :wink:
January 2, 2007 6:43:16 PM

My big thing is that I enjoy having options and choices on different ways to do the same thing. Different brands I can go with for a comparable or similar product.

When it comes to PC gaming, I NEED to have a Microsoft Operating system. I hate that. Not so much that I hate Microsoft (I have no love for them, don't get me wrong, but I'm not sure I really hate them), as I want a true alternative. If I find I don't like MSI's motherboards, I can go with Asus; if I find I don't like Nvidia's business philosophy, I can buy ATI; if I think HP printers are overrated, I can buy Lexmark. I don't have this sort of choice when it comes to operating systems. If I want to play games I need Windows. Sure you could argue that I can just use consoles for gaming, but I love RTS games, and those are not really an option on consoles. I also like to have the maximum selection of games be available to me so I generally have both consoles and PCs.

Meh, I'm just rambling now, but the point I was trying to get to is that if I want to play PC games, I am forced to run Microsoft operating systems, whether I like their products or not.
January 5, 2007 10:43:56 AM

Quote:

Services like Steam and GameTap are trying to change the way games get from developers to us, making distribution simultaneously easier and cheaper, without the worries of demand out-weighing supply or shelf space making games unavailable to us. But we're gun-shy because of similar offerings in alternate industries. DRM scares us. A company folding making our games unplayable scares us. Not having a backup scares us.

Tools like XNA and Half-Life 2's SDK make development of content a lot easier for the independent crowd. But we keep asking for the big title sequels and then complain about cookie-cutter content and higher prices. Spending money on the unknown scares us.

Standards like Games for Windows emerge to try and make gaming on PC as easy as consoles while providing additional features unavailable on these more games-focused devices. I can't even begin to see why anyone would complain, but no one seems to notice it or care. Some even accuse MS of forgetting about PC gamers entirely! (Sorry torque79.) Does MS scare us?


I agree that I feel Steam and other services like it are a fantastic idea, and serve to improve our access to game content and new ideas. I would never have gone back to a store to grab CS1.6, but when I saw it sitting on Steam I thought I'd pay for it and give it a shot again (after playing CS:S for a year or so). I enjoy the easy access to content, the official game mods which would never have made it to a store shelf, and the fact that as long as Steam exists (I realize that's a big caveat), I will never have to worry about losing my game installation cd's etc.

I think a lot of my concern over MS's dedication to PC gaming stems from the fact that they manufacture a console! Their OS is essentially the only one available for PC gaming. Does it not stand to reason, that if MS was not in the console business, they could focus more on PC gaming? We could have better and more MS titles, perhaps better gaming driver support, and maybe even faster/better gaming software technology development (directx, programming layers, etc).

I think the potential for Xbox to be a long term console war winner, should be worrisome to PC gamers. If MS decides the profit margin is not significant for continuing to develop directx versions and software development kits etc for PC down the road, where does that leave PC gaming in general?

I should not have implied that MS has put PC gaming aside ALREADY, but rather indicated that I am worried about the future.
January 5, 2007 1:54:43 PM

To be perfectly honest, I would welcome Microsoft forsaking PC gaming. If they quit developing DirectX then PC game manufacturers would start using OpenGL again and cross platform compatibility would skyrocket. Admittedly I would even more mourn the loss of the Battletech liscence to probably perpetual limbo, but that is an acceptable price to pay.

That said, it ain't gonna happen. DirectX is a large part of the reason why they hold such dominance in the home PC industry and by extension, the business PC industry. If some other OS started to become more popular at home then the professionals at work would probably favor what they are familiar with. MS would be shooting itself in the foot and they are far too clever to do that in such a spectacular fashion.
January 5, 2007 2:47:49 PM

What Microsoft are doing right now is forcing gamers to by Vista if they want DX10 -- Vista ain't cheap ($200-$400). The DRM built into Vista might even influence enough gamers to not buy Vista since it does seem many gamers are also avid music/dvd copiers/ripers. Vista's DRM will but a big stop to this practice especially since DX10 cards MUST comply. I think many folks are either gonna be really pissed off when the get Vista so they can play that must have DX10 game, or just not get Vista and run the game on DX9 WinXP. Vista has a lot of "gotchas" built in, once you get past the shinny new candy wrapper, a lot of people are gonna be frustrated with Vista and wonder why they spent so much for an OS just to play a game.

Will Vista just push people away from PC's or bring them closer? $400 for Vista Ultimate + $400 for DX10 graphics card = $800, OR will gamers just be done with PC's and get an XBOX360 for $500 (or PS3 or whatever console one prefers).

John Carmack is a long time OpenGL supporter, John is a very talented developer -- he didn't stick with OpenGL without good reason. But if you look at the entertainment industry they use SGI - SGI is OpenGL, you don't see DirectX anywhere when working with professional level graphics processing.

Of course OpenGL is firmly alive and well in the MacPro :) 

It will be interesting to see what happens, my prediction is more folks will move to consoles rather than put down the money for Vista gaming. I think Microsoft's DX10 leverage and DRM implementation will ultimately backfire on them. It will be an interesting '07 that is for sure.

Rob.
January 5, 2007 4:44:09 PM

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I think a lot of my concern over MS's dedication to PC gaming stems from the fact that they manufacture a console! Their OS is essentially the only one available for PC gaming. Does it not stand to reason, that if MS was not in the console business, they could focus more on PC gaming? We could have better and more MS titles, perhaps better gaming driver support, and maybe even faster/better gaming software technology development (directx, programming layers, etc).


I understand your fears, but I don't share them. The only thing lacking from MS lately is titles. That's not to say they don't have any, but they are significantly reduced and many are ported. So I can see where you'd get that.

However, they aren't lacking in either of the other two areas mentioned. DirectX 9 is solid, and DirectX 10 is on it's way. So they aren't lacking in game driver support. As for "faster/better gaming software technology development", I'd invite you to visit their XNA page.

I'd like to remind you again that the focus isn't on consoles or PCs, but devices. Live Anywhere should give you an idea about MS's focus.

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To be perfectly honest, I would welcome Microsoft forsaking PC gaming. If they quit developing DirectX then PC game manufacturers would start using OpenGL again and cross platform compatibility would skyrocket. Admittedly I would even more mourn the loss of the Battletech liscence to probably perpetual limbo, but that is an acceptable price to pay.


I wouldn't welcome a departure of DirectX. I'm a huge fan/supporter of open source, but the only reason I like OpenGL (and other open standards) is because they're an alternative. If they were the only option, as they were before DX, that would not be acceptable.

Everyone seems a bit misguided thinking that we need competition in the corporate world, but it's okay to have only one standard if it's free. We aren't talking about something simple here, like a wall outlet that's about the same in every room in the house. The primary benefit of competition isn't lower prices, it's avoiding the problem of missing the mark.

A single person and even a group working of the same project tend to focus on one thing and ignore anything else. To a degree it's necessary in order to get that aspect right, but at the same time there are needs not being met because they're not on the agenda. Truthfully, I'm sad to see Glide is gone. The perfect blend as I see it is two strong competitors and one crazy in the back that keeps things fresh. (NVidia, ATI, and Matrox. Windows, MacOS, and Linux. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.)

I think cross-platformability is great, but a standard built specifically for a given platform is better. Which would you rather have, a ported game, or an exclusive title? The same banes and boons apply.

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DirectX is a large part of the reason why they hold such dominance in the home PC industry and by extension, the business PC industry. If some other OS started to become more popular at home then the professionals at work would probably favor what they are familiar with.


Your comments on MS dominance are backward. They may have started on home computers, but they dominated in the business segment first. They continue to dominate there because businesses are more comfortable with their software, having used it for over a decade. The reason so many home users use MS products is because that's what they used at work. I'd say if it was otherwise we'd still be using Macs or even Amigas.

DirectX is primarily for home use, but Microsoft's big apps, their money makers, Windows, Office, Visual Studio, SQL Server, and other business apps, aren't targeted to home users. They work for home users, but they get down-graded functionality. That should be a hint that they're just tossing us a bone.
January 5, 2007 5:04:21 PM

Quote:
The DRM built into Vista might even influence enough gamers to not buy Vista since it does seem many gamers are also avid music/dvd copiers/ripers. Vista's DRM will but a big stop to this practice especially since DX10 cards MUST comply. I think many folks are either gonna be really pissed off when the get Vista so they can play that must have DX10 game, or just not get Vista and run the game on DX9 WinXP. Vista has a lot of "gotchas" built in, once you get past the shinny new candy wrapper, a lot of people are gonna be frustrated with Vista and wonder why they spent so much for an OS just to play a game.

It will be interesting to see what happens, my prediction is more folks will move to consoles rather than put down the money for Vista gaming. I think Microsoft's DX10 leverage and DRM implementation will ultimately backfire on them.


A lot of valid points here. Microsoft's vision of the future is kind of an all-inclusive deal. It already caused problems with IE integration in Windows too. :?

DRM is a nightmare that's not working well for anyone. We keep fighting it and businesses keeping repeating it. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. I think both camps have a bit of that right now. There are only two choices for us that won't lead to a long battle on this: give in or "Run away!" flags waiving. :wink:

I think there will be a lot of defectors to alternative OS-es over this, but the majority of the population ain't as tech-savvy and will likely just give in grudgingly. Then there's those to pity, we who will continue to use and support everything. :( 

I share your concluding remarks.

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It will be an interesting '07 that is for sure.
January 5, 2007 7:00:37 PM

Quote:
Your comments on MS dominance are backward. They may have started on home computers, but they dominated in the business segment first. They continue to dominate there because businesses are more comfortable with their software, having used it for over a decade. The reason so many home users use MS products is because that's what they used at work. I'd say if it was otherwise we'd still be using Macs or even Amigas.


There are a number of reasons why companies are starting to chafe under the MS yoke. The things that attracted people to MS in the business world are now cheaply (or even freely) available elsewhere. The computer world has adopted enough visual and functional standards of operation that using Open Office and MS Office are not that different of experiences.

Back when MS gained their dominance, the PC presence in the office was MUCH stronger than the home, now the two realms can more easily influence one another. If the IT staff (typically the people who are playing video games at home) start using a different OS to scratch that itch, then they will start to look into using the OS they are familiar with at home when they go to work. If it comes out saving the company money and providing a more efficient platform to boot, bonus.

At least thats how I see it.
January 5, 2007 8:15:15 PM

Most of the people I work with (my software company) are pretty clueless about their PC, with the exception of developers and QA and some IT folks (the more tech savy represent <10% of the company).

If you also factor our increased reliance on web server based apps/front ends, what OS is used to do their daily activity is becoming less and less significant in the business world.

MacPro's are still priced too high for a typical corporate environment -- Apple should consider selling a single (Woodcrest) dual core CPU with a low end graphics card and a smaller less robust case and get the price around the $1000 mark.

The release of Leopard for MacPro in April is close enough to the release of Vista sometime in Feb (BestBuy claim this is now March 12th for Vista) which is expected to have some jaw dropping features (such as native OS switching without have to use Boot Camp) and a host of other features that leap frog Vista. Leopard comes in one flavor and costs 1/2 as much as the low end version of Vista. If Apple can pull it off, the consumer will buy either Windows or Leopard software and insert the CD/DVD and Leopard will install the product and run it as transparently as possible -- meaning you see a Windows/Vista game icon on your Leopard desktop, click the icon it runs Windows/Vista and loads the game, play the game with 100% compatibility/performance since it's all Intel, exit game and Windows/Vista terminates and your back at the Leopard desktop.

I think the smart buyers in '07 will wait and see what's in Vista and what's in MacPro's Leopard and it will ultimately boil down to $1000 Vista ONLY PC or a $2000 Leopard & Vista Mac. But as with all things money -- the cheapest solution can often blur the differences as the consumer is willing to accept the restrictions/issues and upgrade later on.

Rob.
January 5, 2007 8:39:49 PM

I can see it, but it doesn't work that way most of the time. Where I work for example, there are thousands of PCs on the network and many of them are still being upgraded to XP from 2000.

The people using these PCs aren't very tech-savvy, so imagine what it would be like redoing the entire network and training everyone on new systems because a couple people in IT like an alternative they used at home. It might save money in several years, but it will cost a lot now.

Schools are also behind and many retailers are finally getting out of DOS! As an example GameStop finally made the transition from their POS (piece of s---) to EBGames's Windows-based POS (Point Of Sale) system, and how long has it been since the acquisition?

For many companies whole computers would have to be replaced. Software replaced. License agreements understood. People trained. Staff replaced. Proprietary software rewritten. It's a huge investment!

That's why Microsoft continues to dominate, they give businesses what they want. The business word doesn't care about DRM issues in Vista, they here "more secure" and get excited about the next upgrade...five years away.
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