Is it really worth buying a high end gaming rig any more?

cthulhuiscool

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I used to upgrade once every 2 years, at very least my graphics card but usually the whole rig. I haven't felt I needed an upgrade since 2007, even with my notebook with an 8600m. Sure not all games run great at full and I might have the scale back to medium-high setting, but there hasnt really been that jump in technology which warrants a massive upgrade. Arguably only cpu's and the only thing being pushed anymore, it seems an nvidia 8800 would still work great for most applications.
 

Tolyngee

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My computer is now about 4 years old - may be older.

I can still play games fine though not as well as I used to.

About four years ago I built an AMD FX-60 system. It appeared to run games fine as well.

About a year ago I noticed two things about it, though:

1) The CPU was now the framerate bottleneck. Anything about a 4870 was pointless, unless you just want to crank up the filters.

2) On Far Cry 2, the game was fine... 'til the moment something blew up, then the game became a slideshow at the worst possible time...
 

Kowan

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It's a must if you run a large resolution monitor/monitors at native res.
If all you run is 1920x1080 or less, (in 2D) you can get by with a lesser system.
 

Bigbacon

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the bestthing about gaming on the PC now is that you don't need the top of line anymore because they make really quality video cards/cpus/mobos that work wonderfully.

figuring even older series cards still cut through todays games you can get a new gaming PC for a few hundred dollars.

Cheap Quad cores, cheap ram, cheap video cards = win for today's PC gamers. No longer do you need a 600 dollars video card just ot get good performance out of newer games.
 

heatlesssun

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Cheap Quad cores, cheap ram, cheap video cards = win for today's PC gamers. No longer do you need a 600 dollars video card just ot get good performance out of newer games.

The cost of PC gaming is very scalable today. Just five years ago you pretty much bought ONE high-end CPU and GPU and called it a day if you wanted to game. Now you have good options at the lower end and the upper end is nearly limitless.
 

PrincessFrosty

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PCs have always scaled well as far back as I can remember, AA/AF and resolution will scale in pretty much all 3D games, most of them have some extra effects that can be scaled up/down such as texture resolution, shadow resolution, LOD distances factor in a lot with new games, props and grass and even shadows are rendered at certain distances which can make a large performance difference.
 
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BladeVenom

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It almost make sense with fewer PC titles being made to have a non-gaming PC for surfing/email and then a console like a PS3 for gaming.

Since you no longer need a high end PC to play games, consoles don't make sense anymore. Since the CPU in almost any reasonably recent PC can run most PC games, all the average PC needs is a somewhat decent graphics card. You can buy a reasonably good graphics card a lot cheaper than a console, that's also a lot more powerful than a console.

Consoles just aren't worth buying now.
 

WabeWalker

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One look at Red Dead Redemption, supposedly one of the most cutting edge console titles available, and one look at a maxed out Just Cause 2 with 16QX AA, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to say that yes it's worth buying a high end gaming rig.

I couldn't be more pleased with this new GTX 480 - I love this card. I hadn't realized that running with anti-aliasing at 16X makes the games look so much sharper - it plays tricks with your eyes.
 

Mr. Bluntman

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Since you no longer need a high end PC to play games, consoles don't make sense anymore. Since the CPU in almost any reasonably recent PC can run most PC games, all the average PC needs is a somewhat decent graphics card. You can buy a reasonably good graphics card a lot cheaper than a console, that's also a lot more powerful than a console.

Consoles just aren't worth buying now.

Tell that to the majority of the 80 million people that have PlayStation 3 and XBox 360 systems, and developers that are either abandoning PC game development alltogether (Epic), or have shifted from being primarily PC first to strictly mutiplatform (id and Crytek spring to mind) with PC no longer being the focus.

But I agree with what you have to say. Intel is part of the problem with so many PCs having craptacular integrated graphics that can't really run games even at low settings at HD resolutions. Piracy/BitTorrent is the other big problem.
 

PrincessFrosty

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But I agree with what you have to say. Intel is part of the problem with so many PCs having craptacular integrated graphics that can't really run games even at low settings at HD resolutions.

No, we need those sorts of computers for non-gaming platforms, what needs to improve is user awareness when they buy a PC that they know what it's capable of.
 

spicey

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There is little out that is unplayable on my set-up, so I'll be sticking with it until there is a game that is 'worthy'

My upgrade frequency has dropped dramatically, simply because most cross platform games don't push mid range PCs that hard.
 

aldamon

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I would have to say no. I used to upgrade my video card once or twice per year and now I just play used games on my PS3 and 55' HDTV. I'm actually dumping my HD 4850, which will still play anything out there, because I have only played through Ghost Busters and Dead Space (I gave up on Far Cry 2) this year and it's just sucking up power.

This is my wish list on Goozex. As you can see, I keep falling farther and farther behind. There's just not enough time to play everything on multiple platforms:

God of War III
Heavy Rain
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
BioShock 2
Borderlands
Prototype
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Katamari Forever
 

Daggah

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PC Gaming will always be the premier platform for a gaming experience.

Consoles are horrible for FPS, RTS, MMO's...

It is very worth it, if you enjoy gaming.

I hate to say it, as a kb+m fanboy, but I don't think you can say consoles are horrible for FPS games any more.
 

theNoid

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I think so, however I will add this. The day that consoles have full first party support for mouse and keyboards I will never need to upgrade my PC again. Sure its nice to have great graphics but I am more than happy with settling for console graphics, and saving thousands of dollars so long as I get my mouse and keyboard support.

Not sure it will ever happen, but it may. Things like XIM360 have me hopeful.

Graphics + Eyefinity > consoles for tots

We get it, some of you feel emasculated by consoles and get pleasure by putting down other gamers. :rolleyes: News flash, anybody can own and build a pc rig, and perhaps someone sees better value in buying a console. You are not smarter, better or more kick-ass than anyone who games on another platform.

edit. I am a PC gamer first, but own a few consoles and take great offense to ignorant comments. Its not the 1990s any longer, and its not hip or cool to put down other gamers and be a pc elitist.
 
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mfost21

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One look at Red Dead Redemption, supposedly one of the most cutting edge console titles available, and one look at a maxed out Just Cause 2 with 16QX AA, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to be able to say that yes it's worth buying a high end gaming rig.

While I don't dispute that games often look better and play better (mouse + keyboard) on computers; that doesn't mean gaming on a console can't be a great experience. If every game created came out at the same time on PC and consoles I wouldn't own a PS3. Unfortunately the PS3 has some great games I can't play on my PC - Rock Band, Uncharted 2 and Red Dead Redemption as examples. That said, I wouldn't want to play BFBC2, CoD games, RTS games on the PS3.

If you are a gamer, I think owning a single console and a mid range PC gives you the optimal gaming experience and access to the majority of the best games.
 

michael.pa2

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I hate to say it, as a kb+m fanboy, but I don't think you can say consoles are horrible for FPS games any more.
Horrible,no,but nowhere near as good.Joypads just don't cut it for FPS,and the third party KB/M adapters currently available are imperfect and expensive. And naturally,no console can touch a gaming PC for graphics.You also lose out on the mods and conversions.
 

GreenMonkey

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I've never found high-end PC gaming to be worth it. No game is worth spending that much money.

My last upgrade (Intel 965 / e4500 / x1950xtx -> AMD 780G/PII 550BE unlocked / hd4670 ) cost me virtually nothing after selling parts on ebay.

I've always only spent a few hundred dollars...I think the most I ever spent was about $600 back in the late 90s.

For years I've had all 3 consoles, though. I just buy a lot less games than most folks.

What little FPS I play (not a huge fan) I play on the xbox 360 with my XBL buddies. Not as good as a k/m but a nice community. My PC is mainly for an occasional Western RPG (Dragon Age), RTS, and an occasional older FPS (right now Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 1).

I could never understand spending like $2000 on a computer. I have always ridden the bang/buck curve. It is even easier these days as Windows installs are easier, and the hardware is more idiot proofed. My normal upgrade is <$400 every 2-3 years, tops, and more likely <$200. The most I ever spent on a GFX card was an original Radeon (7000) - $230.
 
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LeninGHOLA

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Definitely don't need to spend over $2k for a PC that can play 99.9% of the games out there. In todays world, a $1k PC will handle quite a bit, Metro 2033 and Crysis maxed being the exceptions.
 

Tzzird

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The last time I paid more than $1,500 for a complete system, not counting monitor and OS, was a Compaq 486 dx2-66 in 94' for $3000 (included a state of the art 3x CD-reader and sound card bundle for $800) and a dx2-100 laptop for $3200 in 95'.

Pretty much every system I've built since 96' has been under $1000, not counting monitor and OS. Some people would rather spent their expendable income on high end specs for a gaming computer. I'd rather spend it on other, equally wasteful, passions.

To each their own, right?
 

Deads0uls

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It's a hobby. The value perspective is moot.

The irony is that this thread is going at [H]ard.

Do people discuss the value proposition at off-road, scuba, jet-ski, motorcycle (Harley Davidson, I'm looking at you), or yacht stores?

Edit:
If the value perspective is so important, do not spend any money. Instead, invest it in the stock market. One of the few "hobbies" that has the possibility of appreciation.
 

Lateralus

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It's a hobby. The value perspective is moot.

The irony is that this thread is going at [H]ard.

Do people discuss the value proposition at off-road, scuba, jet-ski, motorcycle (Harley Davidson, I'm looking at you), or yacht stores?

Edit:
If the value perspective is so important, do not spend any money. Instead, invest it in the stock market. One of the few "hobbies" that has the possibility of appreciation.

Well said. I would probably never spend thousands of dollars on a bicycle, but if that's what a bike enthusiast wants to do then who am I to question it? To me, my $350 Trek is a much better bang for the buck but the guys who are hardcore into it have no problem paying way more for better performance...
 

Spiko

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If you don't have everything you'll be missing out on something.
I'm not a console gamer.
I'm not a pc gamer.
I'm a gamer.
 

dirksquarejaw

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http://www.amazon.com/Xfps-360-Keyboard-Mouse-Adapter-Xbox/dp/B0010ZH3V8
For those who want a keyboard and mouse while console gaming(360 at least)
This adapter will allow you to do so.
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Imagine the savings you'll have reusing all your previous Playstation 2 accessories on your Xbox 360 console.
 

BladeVenom

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No, we need those sorts of computers for non-gaming platforms, what needs to improve is user awareness when they buy a PC that they know what it's capable of.

Blame Dell and other PC wholesalers and retailers. Instead of offering decent graphics cards for low end and even mid range PCs, they usually only offer decent graphics cards in their over priced computers.

A $60 graphics card in a decent low end system is fine for basic gaming, and still a lot more powerful than a console. But that option usually isn't offered, unless you do it yourself.

It seems the PC companies have gone for an all or nothing tactics. Either sell a $2000+ gaming PC, or sell something that's not at all suitable for gaming.
 

piscian18

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This question will be answered on the release day of the next Elder Scrolls game.
 

JaguarSKX

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I think I'm in the waning days of gaming. The last game I've bought was Fallout 3 in 2008. The next game I'm buying is Fallout: New Vegas. Of course, that didn't stop me from dropping $$$ on a HD 5850.

The "newest" game I'm playing is Ultima III on my Driod.

Never got into console game, might get a Wii (black version) though just 'cause it's different and good for group entertainment.
 

Serpico

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I think I'm in the waning days of gaming. The last game I've bought was Fallout 3 in 2008. The next game I'm buying is Fallout: New Vegas. Of course, that didn't stop me from dropping $$$ on a HD 5850.

The "newest" game I'm playing is Ultima III on my Driod.

Never got into console game, might get a Wii (black version) though just 'cause it's different and good for group entertainment.

Gaming is incredible right now. Between Starcraft 2 and Bad Company 2 on my PC, as well as Red Dead Revolver and Mario Galaxy on my consoles, there is just way too much good stuff right now. If you only like a specific genre of games that is dying out then its a different story, but otherwise there is a huge amount of quality out there right now.
 

michael.pa2

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http://www.amazon.com/Xfps-360-Keyboard-Mouse-Adapter-Xbox/dp/B0010ZH3V8
For those who want a keyboard and mouse while console gaming(360 at least)
This adapter will allow you to do so.

Like I said,expensive and imperfect. The device has issues in adjusting mouse sensitivity,only allows you to use the WASD keys for movement control (a pain for left handed gamers) and requires that you use a wired 360 controller to have it work at all.So not only do you have to pay about $100 for the device itself,you have to pay for a wired controller. All this just because Microsoft stubbornly refuses to directly support keyboard/mouse control on their console.
 

JHefile

Necrophilia Makes Me [H]ard
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I think the people that really need to upgrade are users of bigger and bigger monitors.

For someone like myself who uses a 19inch lcd there isn't much need for a boat load of power.

I'm using AMD's first dual cores at 2.6mhz, 9600gt and can play what I want to,

I want to upgrade but I need a reason. granted, it is choppy sometimes in my games but not worth spending 300 or more. I will eventually.
 

aldamon

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This question will be answered on the release day of the next Elder Scrolls game.

Touche.

I think the people that really need to upgrade are users of bigger and bigger monitors.

Fixed resolutions certainly have led to a rat race of sorts. If PC games ever ramp up again, it will be a bitch to keep up, especially with those Eyefinity setups.
 

JaguarSKX

[H]ard|Gawd
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Gaming is incredible right now. Between Starcraft 2 and Bad Company 2 on my PC, as well as Red Dead Revolver and Mario Galaxy on my consoles, there is just way too much good stuff right now. If you only like a specific genre of games that is dying out then its a different story, but otherwise there is a huge amount of quality out there right now.

Nah, I'm just a little busy doing other things in life.
 

PrincessFrosty

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Blame Dell and other PC wholesalers and retailers. Instead of offering decent graphics cards for low end and even mid range PCs, they usually only offer decent graphics cards in their over priced computers.

Not really, I've just browsed dells UK site and they offer several ranges of computers including a performance range all of which come with 5450 you can upgrade to have high performance graphics cards like 5870s, in fact the price is pretty damn good for the overall build I must say.

You can get expensive alienware style prebuilt machines which go over the top with performance components but that's it's own niche, getting reasonably priced gaming desktops from dell is no problem at all.

Again it's educating users as to what a graphics card is and why it makes a difference, if OEMS are guilty of anything its skimping on things like PSUs and motherboards limiting upgrade paths, that's done to make the PC more affordable at the end of the day.
 

pxc

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In my case, no I don't think it's worth spending $2,000-$3,000 mainly for gaming. As pointed out in a couple of posts above, a very decent "gaming" configuration can be had for $800 or so, of course leaving out the treadmill of upgrades, especially video cards (imagine demanding gaming 2 years later [now] with the May 2008 top card under $250: a $220 G92 8800GTS... HD 4850 didn't arrive for another month).

My computer, including external drives, speakers, 26" LCD, tax + shipping on parts (if applicable) and everything else inside it cost around $1800, and even that is probably overkill for most things I do. :p My computer is used mostly for non-gaming tasks.

Computer enthusiasts do this as a hobby and like any hobby, it can be both time and money consuming. Even if it sounds like a cop out, what a "high end gaming" computer is worth depends on what the buyer intends to get out of it. Someone who has a 30" 25x16 LCD and plays 20-30 hours a week may want something much better than someone who plays 6-8 hours a week on a 20" 16x10 WS LCD, for example.
 

PrincessFrosty

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Someone who has a 30" 25x16 LCD and plays 20-30 hours a week may want something much better than someone who plays 6-8 hours a week on a 20" 16x10 WS LCD, for example.

Exactly, the quality scales up with price, not always in a linear fassion but it definately does scale. I basically do nothing but play games in my spare time, I watch some TV and movies and I enjoy other more productive hobbies like coding and developing my websites but the bulk of my entertainment is games.

It's absolutely worth it for me, gaming on a 30" 2560x1600 panel with max settings is expensive but it's pretty damn hard to beat as far as gaming and multimedia experience goes. If I played maybe 2-3 hours a week it would be a major waste of money, but I spend 90% of my free time using my PC in some way or another.
 
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