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NVIDIA Quad SLI Disappoints

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-buy-sins-of-a-solar-empire-and-casual-games dept.

PC Games (Games) 427

Vigile writes "While the death of PC gaming might be exaggerated, it's hard not to see the issues gamers have with the platform. A genre that used to dominate innovation in the field now requires a $1200 piece of graphics technology just to participate, and that's just plain bad for the consumer. NVIDIA's SLI technology was supposed to get a boost today by going from two GPUs to four GPUs with the introduction of Quad SLI but both PC Perspective and HardOCP seem to think that NVIDIA drastically missed the mark by pushing an incredibly expensive upgrade that really does nothing for real-world game play and performance. If PC gamers are left with these options to save them from consoles, do they even have a chance?"

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Consoles always been cheaper (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857866)

Consoles have always been cheaper than PCs, that has never been in dispute, but over $1000 for a bit of bragging rights.
I read up in the reviews now them talking about 2560*1600 display sizes and full options and shit:

I am still happy running around at 800*600 with medium graphics (and I used to keep up with the curve until I wasted money on nvidia 5900).

Fake breasts... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22857964)

There was therefore absolutely nothing new to the architecture. In conclusion, buy ATI/AMD products, and make my stock go up.

Thizzanks!

Re:Consoles always been cheaper (4, Interesting)

LoofWaffle (976969) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858836)

Consoles have always been cheaper than PCs
That statement is invalid. The PS3 cost Sony ~$850.00 to make and was intentionally sold at a loss. Had they sold the system at a profit, the price to consumers would have been have been close to a grand(likely more). Consumers would have had a fit if they had to pay "PC" prices for a console, even if this device is essentially a proprietary "PC" with a more traditional console controller.

For the nay-sayers who think PC gaming is dead...
Maybe I'm missing the picture here but given the inner workings of both the XBox and the PS3, their PC-like peripherals (sans mouse), their network-ability and the mod-ability of both into Linux systems, I would argue that console gaming is dead. The only problem with that argument is that the Wii (as the only real console left) is doing pretty damned well.

On a side note, even Apple has realized the benefits of being more PC.

I'd say the PC is doing fine, 1200 dollar video cards and all.

Oh please (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857876)

You hardly need to spend $1200 to save your rig from the years-old consoles. Quad SLI is nvidia's top offering, not entry level PC gaming. A $200 card (and a $300 core 2 duo) can easily trounce anything the xbox 360 or ps3 can do.

Re:Oh please (4, Insightful)

Woy (606550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857978)

Indeed, the death of the PC as a gaming platform is the new "year of desktop linux" prophecy around here.

Re:Oh please (2, Funny)

neocrono (619254) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858312)

But... has Netcraft confirmed it?

Re:Oh please (2, Funny)

RazzleDazzle (442937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858528)

Also, BSD is dying. BSD has been dying for a long time. This is the first I personally have heard about PC gaming is dying. Oh well, join the club, it's a really long and slow path to extinction.

Re:Oh please (4, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858610)

The pc gaming and console gaming crowds are quite often the same people, which a lot of these doomsayers miss.

I do get the impression from high street games shops that consoles are the new wave. Pc games are mostly relegated to a few shelves, or one small section.

This actually shows something entirely different from that which is apparent at first glance.

The old way of games purchasing is dying out at a rapid rate for pc gamers. We don't need to go into shops, we have steam, or play.com, or amazon, to name but a few online locations. Most polls that talk of reduced pc game sales aren't taking these online sources into account. It's been several years since I bought a game in a shop, a bargain bin copy of Rise of the Middle Kingdom.

Console gamers have online shopping systems, but those are very much first generation, and in my opinion, not that good. Give it a few years of work and we might start to see high street console game purchasing dropping. What will they say is the new thing then? Mobile phone games probably.

Re:Oh please (4, Interesting)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858080)

Yeah, this is among the most ridiculous things I've heard on here. Quad SLi is for the consumer just like a super computer is for the consumer. NVidia puts this sort of thing out to maintain its reputation as top dog in the graphics arena and to offer specialized niche users (read people that spend their entire day doing 3d modeling of some sort) an extra boost. This obviously isn't intended for average consumers when the motherboard you have to buy to support Quad SLi costs about half as much Joe Schmoe even wants to spend on his eMachine (not to mention the power supply and the cards themselves.)

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858634)

But, now that NVidia has made and released a quad SLi card, they've just given Epic, id, et al the go-ahead to make games that use it to its fullest. Just wait, in six months or so we'll hear Tim Sweeny bitching about how consumers don't have the 16-tuple SLi card with 2TB of RAM he has, and how we're all stuck in the "primitive" quad SLi cards, which is why Epic can't possibly release Unreal X+1.

Re:Oh please (2, Insightful)

aj50 (789101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858842)

On the other hand, Epic, id et. al (who can afford to buy these things) can test out new ideas which make use of all this power so that their games can use it by the time it becomes affordable (probably in about two years time).

Re:Oh please (1, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858122)

The other bits of the computer are also kind of important as well :-P

It's not exactly like I can just throw a Core Duo and a new card into my 4-year-old computer that is still perfectly adequate for every task apart from gaming.

How many players per PC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858192)

A $200 card (and a $300 core 2 duo) can easily trounce anything the xbox 360 or ps3 can do.
How many PCs do you have to buy for four players? A console can accommodate more than one player per machine, either by splitting the screen (e.g. Goldeneye) or by using non-first-person game designs that put all players on the same view (e.g. Bomberman). This works in part because unlike most PCs, consoles come with instructions to connect them to a 24-inch or bigger TV monitor.

Re:How many players per PC? (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858518)

Yes, but then again, I can also check email, surf the web, and enjoy all the things the Internet has to offer, and more. With that gaming console I can play games, or watch movies. Oh, and now a days, most video cards have DVI out, so hooking them up to a modern TV is trivial.

Re:How many players per PC? (4, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858574)

How many PCs do you have to buy for four players? A console can accommodate more than one player per machine, either by splitting the screen (e.g. Goldeneye) or by using non-first-person game designs that put all players on the same view (e.g. Bomberman). This works in part because unlike most PCs, consoles come with instructions to connect them to a 24-inch or bigger TV monitor.
A PC can accommodate more than one palyer, too, if the game is designed for it. Most PCs come with at LEAST four to six USB ports and console-style controllers are not expensive at all. You can also hook your computer up to a TV too, especially with newer TVs that have compatible inputs.

And while you can get console-type controllers for your PC, not all consoles adequately support a full keyboard and mouse. Arguably a keyboard and mouse provide much better, or at least more flexible, controls in certain situations.

There's a reason consoles have been becoming more like PCs, rather than gaming PCs becoming more like consoles.
=Smidge=

Re:How many players per PC? (1)

sdsucks (1161899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858660)

Split screen can work on PCs as well as consoles... This is a software issue not a hardware issue. (And there are quite a few PC games that DO do it.). Split screen usually sucks though.

What generation of video card are you running that doesn't easily connect to a TV? Almost all TVs support HDMI these days, as do most video cards (At least as DVI). Prior to that, almost all decent gaming cards have had composite or component output for a long time.

I haven't owned a video card that couldn't be easily hooked up to a TV in at least 8 years.

(Currently I am using DVI->HDMI output to connect to my 47" HDTV)

Re:How many players per PC? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858796)

First, the instructions for hooking up a computer to a large TV are easy to obtain, especially for the new fancy TVs with VGA/DVI in. Also, everyone playing on the same screen ala goldeneye is not the the same as everybody having their own screen, like networked on computer games. You get a low resolution section of an already low resolution screen (even 1080p is lower than a lot of the current PC monitors). With a Quad SLI setup, it would probably be feasible for there to be 4 separate monitors all hooked to the same computer, with each user having their own input device via usb. So you could have 4 people, each with their own separate screen and input device, which would be much better than the current consoles, and much better than what most computers offer.

Only problem is... (3, Interesting)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858196)

...that an Xbox 360 pro (HDMI, hard disk, wireless controller) only costs $350 USD and already includes everything you need to play games. Your $200 card, $300 CPU will also need a case, mobo, RAM, keyboard, mouse, and now you're at $800 or so to "trounce" whatever the consoles can provide.

I think a lot of people just don't have the time to set up and maintain a rig anymore or they just don't want to go through the hassle, and contrary to the way things were in the N64/PS1-2 days consoles really don't seem that far behind PCs anymore but the prices are still way cheaper.

Re:Oh please (4, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858274)

You hardly need to spend $1200 to save your rig from the years-old consoles. Quad SLI is nvidia's top offering, not entry level PC gaming. A $200 card (and a $300 core 2 duo) can easily trounce anything the xbox 360 or ps3 can do.


And PC game developers are silly to make anything like that a requirement to even play their game at a decent level.

After all, if they concentrate on only the high-end market, their customer base will be quite small. And unfortunately, the higher end the market, the greater likelihood of piracy. As explained in an article about videogame piracy [slashdot.org] , if you develop for the largest market, then you can ignore the pirates.

After all, once you've shelled out $1200 for a kickass card, you want something to run on it. Yet, you don't want to pay the $60 for a game you'll use as a tech demo, so you'll probably pirate it, go "wow, nice graphics", and that's it.

Go after the people with requirements that an Intel GMA950 can fulfill (basically every machine dating back a few years), and you'll sell a lot of copies, and if it gets pirated up the wazoo, well, don't worry about it. (Also, don't try to sell to markets filled with pirates - e.g., China - why spend all the money translating when you won't make it back. Let the pirates do it for you!).

Sort of how the Nintendo Wii is doing so well - they don't cater for the traditional gaming crowd too much (they do, but Nintendo doesn't focus there), but instead on the non-gamers. The Wii can't compete against the PS3 or Xbox360, so it doesn't. It goes after a bigger market segment of non-gamers. Which is probably why "casual gaming" type games are skyrocketing - non-gamers can play, even their 5-year-old work PC can run it decently, etc.

Re:Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858372)

Oh please indeed...
It's no question that PCs can handle better graphics than consoles, the issue here is GAMES and the depressing lack of them for the PC. As it stands now there's more variety of games for consoles than there is for PC. There's more to gaming than good graphics. If that's all you're looking for you might as well take up photography. The resolution of real life is way way way better than anything a stodgey old PC can render.

Re:Oh please (1)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858400)

But according to the article IT'S REQUIRED to participate!!!!

Re:Oh please (1)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858404)

Smart shopping will run you $600 for an entire PC that can handle the majority of current games. If you want to re-use old components - and learning how to do that will save you money in the long run - you can spend much less.

Re:Oh please (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858444)

You hardly need to spend $1200 to save your rig from the years-old consoles. Quad SLI is nvidia's top offering, not entry level PC gaming. A $200 card (and a $300 core 2 duo) can easily trounce anything the xbox 360 or ps3 can do.


I would like to see the list of games you can play without a motherboard, RAM, hard drive, keyboard/mouse, and a monitor. All things considered you are quadrupiling the price of the entry level Xbox360 for the machine you are talking about.

Plus PCs don't have the creature comforts of not having driver updates, not worrying about hardware compatibility, and being able to play from the comfort of your couch on a wireless remote.

Re:Oh please (2, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858588)

And I'd like to see how many games you can play on your console without a TV. Now, if we don't include displays, one can easily put together a reasonable gaming machine for $750 (and probably a lot less). Sure, that's more that your Xbox 360, but I can do a lot more with a PC then I can with a gaming console.

Re:Oh please (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858656)

But the point of [H]'s article was that compared to the next set of video cards (the Geforce 8800 GTX SLI and the ATI Radeon 8730) the difference in performance doesn't justify the cost. Its not comparing the PC to the console but rather you'd get more bang for the buck for a card slightly lower on ladder.

Re:Oh please (1)

vimh42 (981236) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858696)

I agree with your statement but I think the disappointing Quad SLI illustrates a different point. NVIDIA is pushing the whole multi-card thing too much. They need to focus on single card solutions to provide top performance. I suppose the argument is that if what card kicks ass, through another three into the mix and you kick more ass but it all just seems to me to be a waste of energy (not talking just about power consumption).

Re:Oh please (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858698)

I think the complaint was that the quad SLI is of almost no benefit above and beyond dual SLI. This was the problem with dual SLI for some time, it took a while for it to be worthwhile. Except as a curiousity, and for developers, there's not a point to using quad SLI right now.

Re:Oh please (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858808)

With a $200 video card and a $300 Core2Duo, where do you plug them into each other? How do you view and hear the game? Control the game? Even going with relatively cheap components, you're still about $300 short of a complete computer, and at least $200 more for the display. Now we're at $1,000.

While price is in the favor of the console, that's not PC gaming's biggest problem. PC gaming depends on having a desktop computer, but the vast majority of people prefer a notebook to a desktop. A gaming console depends on having a television, which is not only a less onerous requirement, but one which most people already meet.

It's not so much that PC gaming is dead, it's that its fortune is tied to the desktop PC, and the desktop PC is beginning to become relegated to niche markets outside of the den, living room and bedroom. On the other hand, the console's fortune is tied to the television, which is entrenched in our dens, living rooms and bedrooms.

Until recently, if you had a PC, you most likely had a desktop PC, and souping it up to play games wasn't much of an extra expense. Initially (Commodore 64, Apple ][, etc.), it was no added expense (except maybe a joystick). Then, you maybe needed a newish CPU (486) and a VGA card. Then the 3D card. Now you need a high end just about everything.

In other words, when PC gaming first started, just having a PC meant you could play games. Then, as PC gaming started to become more mainstream (the Doom era), you might need a minor upgrade, but nothing too onerous. Increasingly, however, to play the cutting-edge PC games, you have to make a deliberate choice to purchase a gaming capable PC, and it's not just an economic choice, as you also need to choose a form-factor (desktop) which is probably not the one you'd prefer (notebook).

Whereas with a console, you just need a TV.

Fishy (4, Interesting)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857886)

There's something very fishy about the graphics card market. Using a substantially faster video card in a PC doesn't provide nearly the performance of a slower spec'd console. The console isn't burdened by nearly as much overhead, but that should not affect the GPU noticably. The only factor that I can see in play is that games can be better optimized when the developers know exactly what hardware will be used (as is the case with consoles), but surely having twice the power should be enough to negate that.

Re:Fishy (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858012)

If anything all the consoles need to bundle a "mouse". With all the FPS on the consoles already, adding a mouse would render PC gaming dead permanently. I don't believe WOW cannot be done on consoles with a big hard drive. There is no reason to keep upgrading for eyecandy.

Re:Fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858138)

One could say the same regarding upgrading consoles.

Why should I buy a new console every few years? My only PC gaming-specific cost is my graphics card, and that's only a couple hundred dollars every few years.

New AGP card doesn't upgrade your CPU or RAM (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858344)

Why should I buy a new console every few years? My only PC gaming-specific cost is my graphics card, and that's only a couple hundred dollars every few years.
For the same reason that despite video cards still being available in AGP, new games aren't going to work well in my 7-year-old PC with an 0.86 GHz Pentium III CPU and 0.37 GiB of RAM (upgraded from 0.12 GiB when purchased). Even if one is buying a new PC for other reasons, PCs aren't necessarily more backwards-compatible than consoles; how well does a PC that comes with Windows Vista run games designed for Windows 95?

Re:New AGP card doesn't upgrade your CPU or RAM (1)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858884)

Generally games from back in the days of DOS orWin95 (most of which were non-accelerated DirectDraw or DirectX3 if they were Windows titles) run well in a virtual machine. I'm not sure I'd want to try a Doom-derivative, but my old strategy games (Master of Magic, Xcom) work well that way.

Console mice; indie gaming (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858252)

If anything all the consoles need to bundle a "mouse".
My console doesn't just have a mouse-equivalent; it has thwii of them.

With all the FPS on the consoles already, adding a mouse would render PC gaming dead permanently.
By "PC gaming" do you mean "major-label PC gaming", excluding indie games and indie mods of major-label games? As I understand it, it's a lot more expensive for a smaller developer to develop a game for a console than to develop and self-publish the same game on Windows.

Re:Fishy (2, Insightful)

innerweb (721995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858328)

How about a bus that allows mice, trackballs, and other attachments to be hung on it. Then, put some more oomph in the console in memory and allow basic applications. With the new displays being sold, you could have your PC migrate to the console.

I do not see that coming. What I see coming is the PC, the console, the DVR, the DVD Player, etc all melting into an appliance that provides everything that the normal family wants/needs. It will feed multiple displays (with slots or bus attachments available to allow more displays to be hooked up and used by different people for different tasks simultaneously.) The funny part is that MS's *new* OS might be able to accomplish exactly this. It is modular, so you only need to load what you are going to use. It is multi-user, so it can accommodate multiple simultaneous users with different interface requirements, and it can be run without a GUI, which allows it to be used on a screen, a LED display, a console display, a PIP display, etc. MS wants the entertainment market. The thing they are missing is an OS flexible enough to scale from the entry to the high end. This is that potential (if you believe all the hype).

Will the console kill the PC? Nah. They will merge. Another product will emerge that will be some combination of the concepts of the two (not necessarily the best of each). And each one will keep on going as a part of the chain, or an independent component, whatever the individual consumer wants.

InnerWeb

Re:Fishy (5, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858116)

Actually, most console versions of PC games have watered down poly counts and lower resolution textures. They've been able to get away with sub par graphics for years because standard def TV is only 640x480 at 24 FPS. Compare that to people running PC games on wide screens at 2048x1024 and pushing 60+fps.

As HD TV penetration rises, consoles will have to package more hardware to push the same picture quality. And thus the reason why we're seeing console going for $400-600 instead of $100-200.

-Rick

Re:Fishy (1)

tzhuge (1031302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858410)

Google console prices and inflation. As HD TV penetration increases, we'll see more powerful console, but at the same time the technology will become cheaper. Really the issue still boils down to homogeneous console hardware vs. a very wide range of pc configurations. Ultimately game makers aren't optimizing for poly count and fps anyways, they're optimizing for the gaming experience (i.e. art design and a steady smooth fps).

Re:Fishy (1, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858420)

Actually, most console versions of PC games have watered down poly counts and lower resolution textures. They've been able to get away with sub par graphics for years because standard def TV is only 640x480 at 24 FPS. Compare that to people running PC games on wide screens at 2048x1024 and pushing 60+fps.

I don't think that is really true of *current* console games. I don't have a PC game rig, but PS3 games look VERY nice on a 1080p projector.

Re:Fishy (5, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858706)

The 360 and PS3 are a bit slower with a little lower settings than my 18-month old mid price PC. The PC was a $500 upgrade of my 4 year old system (which was in turn a $500 upgrade of my 6 year old system, etc), and is about 1/2 the speed it would be if I spent $180 to put in an 8800GT. On my PC, Oblivion has 16x more pixels in each texture than on my 360 and PS3, draw distance is much higher than on my 360 or PS3, resolution is 1600x1200 (vs 720p or 1080p on the consoles, I'm not sure which mode they render in Oblivion), and I'm forcing AA and HDR to be on. The framerates are about the same between the systems, with a slight edge going to my PC, especially outside.

I alternate between the three systems. I'm currently in a 360 kick, and honestly when I'm console gaming it's almost always 360, but I'm sure I'll swing back to the PC within a few weeks now that I have it set up to output to my 52" LCD. PC Gamers with high end systems will always have a graphical advantage over consoles and midrange systems will have the advantage through 3/4 of the console product cycle. The important difference to me isn't graphics; it's games. Mass Effect was the original game that started my recent console binge, and then I played a bunch of rather low quality but still fun games like Halo 3 and Gears of War and then a lot of Oblivion on each system, just to compare them. Good PC games tend to beat good console games for quality of writing and nuance of gameplay, but at least half the time I just want a popcorn blockbuster game where I sit back and watch 1-dimensional characters do something simple. I'd hate to give up either type of gaming permanently.

Re:Fishy (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858754)

Of course it is true.
Look at the amount of people who game on the Wii.

I am sure they look good to you, however there are a LOT of people still playing on SD televisions.
Remember, most kids with consoles get their parents old tv rather than a brand new HD set.

Re:Fishy (1, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858468)

Standard Def TV in the USA is NTSC at 29.97 FPS with 525 horizontal lines of resolution, NOT 640x480 @ 30FPS (30 FPS was dropped to 29.97 to adjust to the post WWII color standard.)

Re:Fishy (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858568)

There are like 8 different NTSC standards for "standard def" broadcast TV. Getting into significant detail on them was not the goal of the post. The mention of the lower standard was only to give an idea of scope difference between the two arenas.

-Rick

Little Nit to pick (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858486)

Standard NTSC television is 720 x 480, with a psuedo frame rate of 60 fps.

It's a little more complicated than that - basically, half the lines on the screen are drawn 60 times per second, so you get 30 actual frames per second, but with the visual impression that it occurs much faster. A gaming console rendering 30 fps could see minor action improvements if it rendered at 60, but nowadays, the difference is hardly noticeable.

With the persistence of vision about 1/20th of a second, there isn't much gained in the difference between 30 and 60 frames per second; the resolution of the frame and accuracy of rendering (realistic fire and smoke, anyone?) probably has a greater impact on the perception of reality.

I think, though, that consoles have the advantage that for the size of the display, televisions are still much cheaper than monitors. Having a sub-millimeter dot pitch doesn't matter much when the action is too fast to notice anyway.

One more thing... (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858544)

Yes, technically NTSC has 525 scan lines... but not all are visible on the screen. Hence, 720 x 480 is a good approximation.

Re:Little Nit to pick (1)

cheier (790875) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858608)

Just another little nit pick... its 29.27 FPS.

Re:Little Nit to pick (3, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858760)

The persistence of vision is 1/20th of a second. But that's ONLY vision. If you don't render faster on an interactive system, your control inputs will lag, because we compensate for the "slow" vision by being able to predict movements according to the rules that are set out. How else could a pitcher catch a ball hit directly back at him? Point is, there IS a very valid reason on games to do faster than 20fps. On movies, not quite so much, but anything interactive definitely so.

Re:Fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858178)

Supposedly, knowing the exact hardware specs and being used to writing on it can give quite radical performance improvements.

Not only for the coding, but also for game development (i.e. 'this console can display particle effects from three explosions simultaneously with no performance lag, but not more, so I'll cap the limit at 3 and script 3 whenever possible'), versus two graphics cards that might do either 1 or 9 depending on cost. In that case the console game will appear to run with far better graphics than the budget graphics card, while in 95% of cases almost as good as the top-end graphics card. Same thing with number characters on screen at a time. It should be basic practice to run through a console game during development with a frame rate logger, and optimise wherever it drops.

Chances are your console will therefore always run at the exact capacity where things don't slow down, while random graphics card X would either lag or have lots to spare.

Re:Fishy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858254)

Actually, it does.

What passes for "max" graphics on a console is not equal to "max" graphics settings on a PC. Lacking will be: resolution, textures, model detail, effects, viewdistance, etc.

If any modern console tried to directly compete right now, it would get trounced. The only reason for their "apparent" higher performance is the false belief that their graphics are equivalent in the "same" games. They're not.

Re:Fishy (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858476)

Consoles run at much lower resolutions than PC monitors. 720p is equivalent to 1280x720. My 2 1/2 year old 7900GT has about the same GPU power as a PS3 or 360, and it can still easily run any game at that res.

What a load of crap... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858552)

Consoles offer dismal graphics performance compared to even mid-level PC GFX cards. How can the author or any of these posters make such uninformed statements? How about you do some real research and look at the actual hardware inside the console game and compare the GPU performance apples to apples?

Console games push CRAP resolution, that is why they can do that and operate smoothly with less hardware. PC's have other overhead but this mainly increases cost rather than reduces performance. PC's do a lot more than just games though!

It's hard to make an apples-to-apples comparison when consoles can do very little compared to a PC as far as applications are concerned. If you want to compare consoles to PC videocards, stick to the fill rates and raw rendering performance of the GPU.

I have never played a console and said "wow, I will dump my PC now!!!"
1) The GFX blow. PS3, Xbox360, none compare to even my nVidia based laptop.
2) The controllers blow. Playing FPS games on a console is like playing with parkinsons disease. FORGET IT!!! Talk about repetitive stress injuries. I will save my thumbs for later thank you....

Re:What a load of crap... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858686)

Console games push CRAP resolution

Often they have all of the features and resolution, but they grossly sacrifice framerate. I've played a couple of console games, on current generation consoles, where it was around the 5fps. While it's a "what you're used to" thing, that is ridiculously unplayable once you become accustomed to 30fps+.

People who declare consoles graphically superior virtually never know what they're talking about -- there has yet to be a console that, on release, features better graphics than the mid-level computer hardware at the same time. Then it just rots and rots further behind, until an almost entry level 8800GT absolutely clobbers it dozens of times over.

Re:Fishy (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858628)

The console has a finite resolution with a self imposed limit. The PC does too but it covers a much larger range. A console with use only one resolution and use additional hardware to scale it to the device it is conected to. This would be a regular TV or a 1080P with the playstation 3.

This allows quite a bit of tuning in drivers and so on along with not having to do more complexed math for different resolutions such as scaling textures. I guess with a HDMI output, you might have a wider ranger of resolution options although I'm not aware of what they let you use. But the graphic card the consoles use are built specifically to that resolution which moves portions of the GPU that would calculate the proper scale of objects and such for more innovating tasks. Plus a lot of the work done by GPUs in computer is already taken care of by special images and texures specific to one resolution as well as having a processer that can take some of the load because it doesn't have to worry about other programs running in the background like in a normal computer.

Anyways, it makes for a more controlled and tuned environment that just doesn't happen on the computer. Most computer users would be outraged if they had to disable everything nonessential to the game and cold only pick one resolution to run it in. But in a console, that is a benefit they enjoy which makes things run smoother. Look at some of the difficulties they have going from one console to another when the resolution mix up.

Re:Fishy (1)

brunascle (994197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858708)

huh? perhaps i misread, but it sounds like you're saying a console has better performance than the top of the line gaming rig. quite dubious. you're gonna need some stats to back that up.

More to games than graphics (4, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857922)

This is a very narrow view of gaming. There is more to success than graphics. Themes, genres, plot, interface and repeat playing all affect how popular a game can be. While most of these points are available on any platform the PC still has an edge on interface. Keyboards, mice and flightsticks all offer a more advance UI than thumb levers.

Re:More to games than graphics (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858106)

You're absolutely right. PC gaming isn't dead. Why, I even played Warcraft II for four hours yesterday!

Re:More to games than graphics (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858348)

You forgot "user generated content" a lot of games on the PC come with their own SDK/Mapping tools and have done so for many years. Can you do that on consoles?

Re:More to games than graphics (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858356)

While most of these points are available on any platform the PC still has an edge on interface. Keyboards, mice and flightsticks all offer a more advance UI than thumb levers.

If you stick to FPS and RTS games, sure. Try playing anything that requires precision running and jumping. Or a fighter.

If you play an FPS with a Wiimote + Nunchuck, you've got aiming on par with what a mouse offers but far better control of your character's movement.

Re:More to games than graphics (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858844)

Was just gonna post the same thing. What is it with FPS games and using the ENTIRE keyboard? Games like that pretty much put me off the genre. I can't be using my mouse to aim and fire while using the number keys to switch weapons, using the arrow keys to move, using c to crouch, and various other commands. I can't have my hands three places at once. Some games do it well - like Halo was always easy to work with...but then too many don't, like Deus Ex II. There were so many controls in that game that I never got past the first 10 or so minutes of gameplay. I just couldn't manage everything at once.

...like number of players. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858434)

the PC still has an edge on interface. Keyboards, mice and flightsticks all offer a more advance UI than thumb levers.
It's too bad that a PC running Windows can't take four keyboards and four mice, and most games that use flightsticks don't work in a split screen, so your guests have to sit and watch you play instead of joining the fun.

Re:More to games than graphics (1)

JM78 (1042206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858626)

Not only that, but one of the big reasons I enjoy PC games over console is the vast number of mods and independents who take games and make them better - often long after the original developers have given up.

I fully agree that TFA is narrow-minded in it's view of what makes a game attractive - graphics are great but it can be pretty and pretty-lame at the same time. Gameplay will always remain the key to decent gaming (in fact the success of the Wii against Xbox/PS3 is probably a perfect example of this in action).

What? (4, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857928)

What on earth has Quad-SLI got to do with 'saving us from consoles' ?

You don't even need a single top-end card to provide an alternative to a console, let alone *four* top-end cards.

Re:What? (1)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858652)

What on earth has Quad-SLI got to do with 'saving us from consoles' ? You don't even need a single top-end card to provide an alternative to a console, let alone *four* top-end cards.
More interestingly, the Playstation 3 has shown that we aren't very picky about HD gaming when most games don't even play in 1080p, but considerably lower resolutions. Additionally, far from all titles play in optimal frame rates.

With a PC, you can do this at an added cost because what's new inside the console will eventually be replaced by faster PC hardware.

PC:s will always be better at high-end gaming, because consoles are unified pieces of hardware. You don't want to see a sticker on a game saying "only works with Playstation 3 v2.0. On a PC, you just lower the resolution or game details, but even a medium range computer of today can play games that are released in two years. And more importantly, we can upgrade them quite easily.

Requires? I think not. (4, Insightful)

caerwyn (38056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857936)

As someone still quite enjoying PC gaming, I've got to take issue with "now requires a $1200 piece of graphics technology just to participate". You can play modern games on some very inexpensive hardware just fine. Yes, you *can* spend $1200 on graphics alone, easily, but the vast majority of us, I think, realize the futility of it.

Tech like quad-SLI is there for people with more money than sense, or at least more money than they know what to do with- and at that point, fine, if they want to spend that money and basically support the graphics companies' development costs, let them. The rest of us can continue as we have, working with normally-priced hardware that does everything we need it to. No, we can't play the latest games at 200 FPS on a 30" monitor with everything turned on- but then again, most of us don't even *have* 30" monitors, so... who cares?

Re:Requires? I think not. (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858856)

I'm gaming on a single 30" monitor, in addition to using it for work (with another monitor paired up). 2560x1600 with current games does tax the system, but I was able to play most things with a 7900gtx if I turned the eye candy off. Updated to a 8800gts (512), which goes a long way to turning on some of the graphics. I'm in queue with EVGA's setup up program for the 9800gx2, which should be enough for a 'normal' game experience that I have with a lesser resolution.

Not saying that $1200 for a pair of video cards is a good idea (a quarter of that gives a nice experience, half that should make for what I'd call spot on and good for a couple years)- but keep in mind that folks who picked up a 30" monitor already spent more than $1200. You surely don't need that sort of graphics system to run on lesser hardware. A bit more hardware is needed for the higher resolutions, however.

Was not that long ago that a 21" CRT or a 15" LCD went for that price too. All the 'latest generation' stuff tends to carry a heavy price tag on first release.

Really? What has this become the 'People' of IT? (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857954)

1200 dollar card to participate? IS the poster really that stupid?
I have a 150 dollar card I bout 2 years ago and it runs everything pretty damn well.

Nothing to see here (1)

Alcorr (1262056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857980)

Anyone who has kept track of the discrete graphics scene for the past 5 years has known for a long time that quad sli is less than admirable for what you pay for it. Its only for the etreme of the extreme and by no means is a 1200$ graphics setup REQUIRED to participate in pc gaming as the article would have you believe: "A genre that used to dominate innovation in the field now requires a $1200 piece of graphics technology just to participate." With a 300$ graphics card you can run almost any game today on high or medium high graphics, which is, needless to say, much better than the console equivalent graphics on the same games....

Re:Nothing to see here (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858464)

With a 300$ graphics card you can run almost any game today on high or medium high graphics, which is, needless to say, much better than the console equivalent graphics on the same games....
How many graphics cards do you need to buy for you and three other people who live in or visit your house?

Don't let PC gaming die (4, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 6 years ago | (#22857986)

No matter how much cheaper and prettier consoles get, they still won't be fully fledged computers that you can do with as you will.

With only consoles as viable games platforms, the modding scene will essentially die. Seeing as this is the primary source of independent games these days, then expect the standard of games to plummet as publishers have no real incentive to produce quality.

Furthermore, console makers have this tendency to lock you into their proprietary games networks, and unlike the PC it is not possible to get around this.

Re:Don't let PC gaming die (0)

BigDaveSittingOnHisC (1196625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858154)

don't worry; i wont let it die! I'm a dab hand at going postal from time to time =D Yeah, Quad SLI is just ridiculous! absolutely no need what so ever. why would you need to view 200FPS in the first place? your eyes can only see something in the regions of up to 50FPS or so anyway, so you've kinda wasted $1000 on; well, nothing really. XBox's are rubbish anyway... I got the Red Ring Of Death (!!!) last night; so MS had their chance; I'm not buying another one, for the record :)

Re:Don't let PC gaming die (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858168)

Furthermore, console makers have this tendency to lock you into their proprietary games networks, and unlike the PC it is not possible to get around this.


http://www.techlore.com/article/14302/ [techlore.com]

You're welcome.

Re:Don't let PC gaming die (1)

CMDR_Noob (1050300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858524)

Thanks for the link. Should have read it before posting. It requires....gasp....a computer. So okay, you might not be totally locked in, but to get around you have to make sure that you spend another few hundred dollars to buy a computer, which puts up close to 1200 anyway. Regardless, this article assumes that you need to have the top of the line everything to just be able to play games on the PC. As an avid PC gamer for years I know this is entire not true. For my current computer, I spent 1200 on the entire thing not just the graphics components and I'm able to run every game currently on the market on high settings with everything turned on. That was a hand built machine, and everything but the case was upgraded. Also as another reader mentioned you can't notice a difference on anything above 40-50 FPS anyway. Some games (ie - Battlefield 2142) even have a frame rate capped at around a 100 or so because anything else above doesn't matter. So my feeling is that this article is written by somebody that doesn't know what they are talking about. Please make sure you know your subject before you post. I read enough crap on the internet to begin with. Slashdot is my sanity.

Re:Don't let PC gaming die (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858776)

I can honestly say that after setting up XBConnect on my computer as well as some of my friends, it is a bit of a pain to do it...but it's totally worth it:-)

Back on topic, however, I completely agree with you. You don't need top of the line hardware to enjoy the majority of PC games out there. And if you need a super-expensive video card to support the resolution required by your monitor...you should have bought a different monitor.

Obligatory car anology: It's like buying a $60,000 car without having the money to maintain it. If you can't afford the video card, don't buy the monitor.

Clearly it's the end of PC gaming! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22857988)

Someone released hardware that has yet to be taken advantage of! It must be the death of PC gaming forever! No successful industry has ever released a single product that flopped because it was before its time! clearly the failure of a single Nvidia product to deliver massive speed boosts to games that weren't made with it in mind, spells the doom of not only PC games, but the PC itself.

Re:Clearly it's the end of PC gaming! (1)

MoonlightSeraphim (1253752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858550)

I wish there was a mod option of "Sarcasm +1" =)

If it were in a console (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858016)

It would kick just about everything's ass in performance and visual quality, because people could develop games to that spec. But its on a PC, and no developer in their right mind would ever write something optimized for 4 graphics cards unless they're writing a tech demo. Nvidia and ATI are trying to push multiple cards on people to get more performance (a decision which obviously helps their bottom line), but I'm sure in a year or so their single-card solutions will end up being better and far far cheaper than having to throw down $1200 for 2 "double-cards".

PCs just have so much damn extra power that is underutilized or wastefully used compared to consoles. Between Windows, any background apps, any programs you're running that grab up as much ram and processor attention as they can, and games, the PC is not really an ideal gaming platform, and consoles will usually beat them on performance and looks at least until near the end of their life-cycle. PCs have the advantage of mod-ability, custom content creation, and greater control (try playing an FPS on a controller after a few days on a mouse/keyboard).

Four graphics cards (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858548)

It would kick just about everything's ass in performance and visual quality, because people could develop games to that spec. But its on a PC, and no developer in their right mind would ever write something optimized for 4 graphics cards unless they're writing a tech demo.
PC games already run on four graphics cards: the ones in the four separate PCs that the four players have to use. Serious Sam supports a split screen, but among major label PC games, very little else does.

PCs just have so much damn extra power that is underutilized or wastefully used compared to consoles.
Yeah, like the USB hub. Windows won't let a game address four keyboards and four mice individually.

(try playing an FPS on a controller after a few days on a mouse/keyboard).
If you have one computer and three friends visiting you, who gets to use the mouse/keyboard?

Pros and cons of P.C. gaming (2, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858084)

I'm not sure I'd say P.C. gaming is "dead" but I have my doubts about long term viability. As P.C. become even more connected to the outside world and more and more of your collateral exists in digital form on your P.C. The need for security and reliability increase even more. To circumvent the security in order to get good performance for games means that hackers can circumvent the security for their purposes as well.

A console who's sole purpose for existing is to play games doesn't need to (a) be a general purpose computing system and (b) contain anything particularly sensitive. It can dispense with operating system security. There is no way a P.C. can ignore the very real threat of intrusion, data theft, and risk of hijacking.

So, if a video card for your computer costs as much as a whole gaming system, what's the benefit of the video card? More over, if you have to jeopardize the security and integrity of your system to play games, is it worth it?

I can't say, I'm not a gamer and besides a little solitaire, I don't play games on my computer. So, in the abstract, I can't see the advantage of playing games on a computer when good/cheap consoles exist.

Lockout chip business model (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858586)

A console who's sole purpose for existing is to play games doesn't need to (a) be a general purpose computing system and (b) contain anything particularly sensitive. It can dispense with operating system security.
No it can't. It has to be secure against indie developers who would use a consumer unit as a devkit.

I can't see the advantage of playing games on a computer when good/cheap consoles exist.
How well would Valve's Half-Life have sold without mods such as TFC and Counter-Strike?

Console vs. PC; VI vs. Emacs, *yawn* (1)

musides (127384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858090)


  I suppose things must be framed as epic battles in order to make them dramatic and interesting. Otherwise, we would just be reading an article about Nvidia not having a clue. I mean, that is obvious, isn't it? Graphics hardware is absolutely out of control. The Wii is proof positive of the start of a change in the industry, meanwhile Nvidia is stuck in the past cycle.

  Yes, ridiculously overpowered graphics cards are absurd. This has been true for years: just look at game reviews. With all the settings at maximum, the top tier cards run 60+ fps. That is way more than anyone can ever appreciate, and yet review sites have been living in a make-believe land, along with the card makers, that 10 points more somehow matters.

  None of this means PC gaming is dead, by any stretch of the imagination. This is a dead horse, and to try to turn the mistakes Nvidia is making into some kind of broad statement about PC gaming takes quite a leap of logic and sense. You know, consoles have graphics cards too...

 

Doomsday Summary (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858104)

Good grief. For a minute there I thought the entire PC gaming industry was going to crash down infront of me.

Quad sli is a crude (ie, consuming excess physical space and $$$$) representation of the future of graphics cards. It is an enthusiast concept for those who absolutely have to have it. It isn't the future. Fact of the matter is, you can immediately reject based on sheer use of space. Were we huffing and puffing at the future of the cpu industry when the concept of dual cpus came out? I don't think so.

Misleading article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858120)

You don't need to spend 1200 dollars to be competitive.

9600 GTs went on sale for 130 bucks recently and they can play crysis at a modest detail level.

A decent gaming machine isn't expensive nowadays:

$100 processor
$100 mobo
$50 case
$150-200 videocard
$70 RAM
$50 PS

Bam you got yourself a gaming rig.

~600 bucks and that's not including the corners you can cut with upgrading.

Re:Misleading article (1)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858482)

You left out the hard disk drive...

Multiply the costs by four (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858714)

9600 GTs went on sale for 130 bucks recently and they can play crysis at a modest detail level.
How many 9600 GTs do you need to get multiplayer going?

$100 processor
$100 mobo
$50 case
$150-200 videocard
$70 RAM
$50 PS
You meant:
  • $400 four processors
  • $400 four mobos
  • $200 four cases
  • $600-800 four videocards
  • $280 four RAMs
  • $200 four PSs

Perhaps requiring each player to buy his own PC is acceptable for Crysis, if only because Crysis happens to be rated M. But for any game not rated M, there will be a lot of players who are not yet old enough to work [wikipedia.org] and therefore have to use someone else's PC. If someone else is also playing, then we don't have enough PCs to go around.

This isn't the problem with PC's (4, Insightful)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858170)

I have to call B.S. on the article summary. The problem with PC's and gaming aren't because of these ridiculous high end graphics cards. Those are for the morons (like me) who like spend 3x the money to get a 20% boost increase. It has always been like this. I can't think of any games that require cards like these. If there are, the creators of that game are pretty dumb if they want it to sell. The real problem is the crappy Intel graphics cards that are put into many of the mainstream store-bought computers. The people who buy those computers will get screwed in terms of what games they can play. I think it's silly to say that the high-end graphics card is problem. That's like saying "Microsoft just released a new, more powerful, XBox-Super-Elite 360 for twice the cost, but it only adds 10% more detail to all your games. The original 360 is doomed!" No, stupid, you just keeping playing your games on your regular 360 and don't buy something you don't need.

Re:This isn't the problem with PC's (1)

theaceoffire (1053556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858618)

"I can't think of any games that require cards like these."

Crysis.

Re:This isn't the problem with PC's (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858752)

Crysis still doesn't play very well on these cards.

Re:This isn't the problem with PC's (1)

Frigga's Ring (1044024) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858692)

"Microsoft just released a new, more powerful, XBox-Super-Elite 360 for twice the cost, but it only adds 10% more detail to all your games. The original 360 is doomed!"
It's not as crazy as you think. First, you have the late adopters like myself who can't buy the version of a system they want (60g PS3 with full backwards compatability because Sony stopped making them when they came out with a new one with a shiny new bell). Then, you have the early adopters who's 360 red-ringed and was out of hard drive space because a 360 hard drive costs what? Three times the cost of a PC hard drive? I'm not saying it would be easy, but Microsoft should make PC and 360 games work cross-platform when possible. My copy of World of Warcraft can be installed on a Mac or PC so I can't imagine MS couldn't find a way to make games go PC to console.

This is retarded (1)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858176)

$1200-1300 was the price tag of SLI 8800GTXs right after they were released. With the 9800gx2 you get almost that much performance with a single slot at half the price. Hell, you can buy SLI 8800GTS 512s (the current price/performance champ) for like $500 and get better performance than a 9800gx2. Quit whinging about how the absolute bleeding edge is unaffordable, asshole.

Obligatory (1)

icthus13 (972796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858198)

I for one welcome our new console playing overlords.

Office computers (5, Interesting)

colmore (56499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858214)

The peak of PC (& mac) gaming was the early 90s. Games like tetris, civilization, sim city, lemmings, kings quest, red baron, played fine on standard issue office computers, and the platform was targeted at adults rather than the under 25 crowd. At what point in the 80s did Apple IIs stop getting ports? Since grownups outside a dedicated fanbase generally do not care about the next iteration of graphics and twitch style play, this meant that games had to use either innovative gameplay, storyline, or compelling simulation to compete.

It was also wonderful that games had small enough budgets and man hours of development that games could be signed by individual creators. Virtually nothing made by committee is as interesting as the enthusiastic work of a dedicated artist.

All the "are video games art?" questions amuse me. Because the answer is: they used to be, now they're straight Hollywood, with opening weekends and everything, and if that qualifies as art or not really depends on individual taste. But they aren't terribly compelling art as storytelling mediums (Chrono Trigger is the only non-adventure story game I've ever played that might make a decent non-licensed-property paperback) and they don't match film for visual spectacle. Interactivity is the fundamental nature of the art. Tetris is ten times the work of art that Final Fantasy is.

While I'm complaining: what's with the totally jockish attitude toward games. I have so little interest in proving my skill against testosterone drive 15 year olds, I can't even begin to describe it. Competitive online content, which is seeing the most energy and creativity on both PCs AND consoles, is a turn-off to most people.

Rhythm games are interesting because much like adventure games, they have a basic interaction model that is dirt simple, but they appeal based on the surrounding context. If you'd told me at the time that Parappa the Rappa was one of the most important games ever made, possibly more so than Street Fighter II, I'd have thought you were nuts.

There's a lot of innovation on the PC these days though. It's all in Flash. If you haven't played Desktop Tower Defense, you're way missing out (say goodbye to your productive time and sleep schedule though, 100 level challenge is basically impossible but you just keep wanting to try). I'd relearn actionscript (haven't played with it since Flash 4) to make some games if I wasn't very well aware that any good game takes hundreds of hours to write and under the hood if you aren't using complicated physics or AI it isn't very interesting programming. I'd rather invent a language or fork Minix or something.

On the other hand, MMORPGs are very interesting. Though I worry that WoW defined the success model too well and experimentation is going to fall off (given the huge investment it takes to launch an MMORPG this isn't so much a worry as a certainty).

Back to the main topic: it's no accident at all that WoW runs playably well on 8 year old graphics cards. Games that require specced out systems have a bright neon sign that says "hobbyists only." If you want a game that crosses over, make it run on whatever piece of crap integrated graphics they put in $500 laptops these days. Hell make it run on OLPC. Graphics can scale down much farther than the currently do, and most people don't mind. Most games could be reduced to Halflife 1 level graphics and still convey the important ingame objects and map features. One thing that I'm constantly bewildered by is that designers use all these polygons not to populate worlds with more interactive objects, but to dress up the same low moving object count we've had since Quake 1. Halo would play perfectly well with 500 polygon characters.

Or maybe I'm just bitter because 1991 era action puzzle games were the last genre I was any good at. I beat Oh No More Lemmings! as a 10 year old, a fact that I'm still damn proud of.

But don't worry, PC gaming isn't anywhere near as dead as arcade games.

It disappoints? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858256)

The fact that anybody needs four video cards is disappointing in itself.

Fai7zors!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858306)

and coders be a lot M5lower

Beaten by Radeon (4, Informative)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858308)

Beaten by ATI Radeon: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/geforce9800-gx2.html [xbitlabs.com]

"If you have a 30-inch monitor that supports 2560x1600 resolution, then your choice is clear: ATI 4-way CrossFireX
outperforms the similar solution from Nvidia or runs at comparable speed offering acceptable gaming performance
in such titles as Battlefield 2142, BioShock, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and ompany
of Heroes: Opposing Fronts.

Nvidia GeForce 9800 GX2 Quad SLI platform, however, leads in Call of Duty 4, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of
Chernobyl and Tomb Raider: Legend. In other games, both quad-GPU configurations either work incorrectly or
cannot provide acceptable performance in 2560x1600 resolution.

So, the total score would be 5:3 in favor of AMD/ATI that offer better compatibility, scalability and fewer technical
issues for the users."

___

So, beaten by Quad Radeon in some games.

However, anyone willing to bet on the Linux 3D performance on Radeon? I'm not...

Re:Beaten by Radeon (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858530)

When you look at the titles mentioned - you EASILY notice something - all of the games ATi wins at are D3D, whereas the other games where nVidia wins are OpenGL. This is like comparing apples to oranges. Let's see games hat have both D3D and OpenGL renderers so we can get a REAL idea of performance.

$1200? Why not just go outside then.. (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858340)

If I want to look at high-res, high-FPS content, I'll just go outside in the real world, thank you very much. In addition that $1200 you didn't spend on a GPU could probably make for some quite nice "real life" experiences as well..

Re:$1200? Why not just go outside then.. (4, Funny)

Alioth (221270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858512)

The trouble is, in "real life", you don't respawn when you get shot.

Re:$1200? Why not just go outside then.. (1)

Idaho (12907) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858636)

The trouble is, in "real life", you don't respawn when you get shot.


Depends. You could try Paintball, for example ;)

PC Gaming not even coughing up blood yet (1)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858584)

EEEgads... PC Gaming is fine thank you. Sure, you can go nuts and spend more on your graphics cards than many folks spend on a whole decent gaming PC. However, I have never seen the point in folks saying "OOOH I Get 4 gazillion frames per second" when the damn monitors are refreshing at what? 60 hz for most LCDs - maybe up to oh? 120 for some really top end stuff? So, I don't see the point except that it's another form of ruler.

I love my PC games - I played Portal on a friend's Xbox and quite enjoyed it, but when I got it for my PC, I was actually able to get the medals on the speed runs - mouse and keyboard offer MUCH more precise and speedy control than the thumb sticks. For RPGs like Neverwinter and MMORPGs like WoW, I just could never see anyone making a usable control layout without a full keyboard. Consoles are great. I like that I can turn on my Wii, have a couple friends over and we have a great time. I like that I can go buy a game for the XBox and not worry that it might be too much for my system to handle, prompting a RAM or video card upgrade (the way Neverwinter Nights 2 did).

I guess it all depends. Except for that one occasion when I first got BioShock on the PC and decided to hook it up to a big LCD TV late at night and play with the full surround sound working overtime to really try to enjoy the full-on creepy factor, I usually separate my gaming: console games where I just want it to work, to be fun, to play in the living room - preferably with friends, and PC games when I want to spend some serious time fragging away or raiding.

Sure, having some totally kick-ass quad video card setup that would let me max out all the video settings at resolutions higher than 1920x1200 would be great - just as soon as I get some monitors that can display that - right now, 1920x1200 is the best I have and my current Nvidia only lags the tiniest bit on some of the newest most advanced games IF I crank absolutely everything up to max. It's not worth the money (to me) to take that next step. Even if I did, I could probably get away with either a single 9800 series or even just a normal pair of SLI type cards.

Let the early adopters pay the huge prices so they can have bragging rights and work out all the inevitable bugs while the rest of us enjoy our relatively stable, not-so-bank-busting gaming experiences. It's going to take a while before the games require all this processing power, and by then, there will be some new, even more outrageous cutting edge stuff that will only work with a handful of the latest games, and the cycle will repeat.

Digit's Law: Early adopters almost always get screwed, so never buy the bleeding edge: get the thing that was bleeding edge yesterday... learning from the mistakes of others is far more pleasant than learning from your own.

My laptop cost less than this video card.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22858744)

..and it runs anything I throw at it. I spent $800 on an Acer 5920G last December and even Crysis is playable at medium settings. Top end graphics cards have always cost $700+ when first hitting the market. Not exactly sure why just because Nvidia releases a $1200 video card suddenly you need one for all PC video games.

This is just sensationalism. Nothing new to see here.

Why on earth would they use Vista ? (1)

phoxix (161744) | more than 6 years ago | (#22858838)

am I missing something here ?
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