August 19, 2014 at 7:34 pm #105271
So recently I’ve been toying with the possibility of upgrading my PC to better run games as opposed to getting a PS4/XB1. I’m new at this, but I’m actually taking classes right now that should give me the experience I need to build/change the parts out for my PC. One area my computer tends to fail in when it comes to running newer games, or at least running them at a high graphic level with a solid framrate, is the graphics card. What are some graphics cards that would give roughly equivalent to a PS4/XB1 without costing the same price as buying a PS4/XB1 (because at the point, might as well just buy the console, right?)? Right now I have a AMD Radeon HD 6530D. Which I’m sure is horribly out of date, lol. I can’t even run Warframe without stupidly high amounts of lag on the lowest settings. As a ballpark range, I’d like to able to run The Witcher 3 when it comes out at a respectable level, if not at a decently high level.
Secondly, would you recommend I upgrade my CPU? Or would that not really affect gaming power too significantly? Right now I have a AMD A6-3620 APU. Any advice in this general area would be really appreciated. =)August 20, 2014 at 9:01 am #105293
Spider ShinobiLevel 20
Incompetent Evil Commander
CGR XP: 2436
Look, I can’t give you the advice you’re looking for, but I think that you should still consider higher priced parts because in the end the PC library is just very big compared to what the Ps4/XboxOne will get.
Now to wait for someone who gets computers.August 20, 2014 at 3:19 pm #105308
Yeah that’s a fair point, and I was actually thinking about that after I posted. Plus if you go big you should, at least in theory, not need to upgrade again for awhile.August 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm #105313
Honestly I think PC gaming is in some ways a scam, in the time since I purchased my gaming PC I have gone through three motherboards, two sets of memory, two processors, and three graphics cards. With all the money I’ve spent keeping this computer “current” I could have purchased a console which never needs to be upgraded to play newer games for that console and a whole lot of games.
If I was going to upgrade my graphics card AGAIN, I would probably go with a Nvidia GTX 770, but at almost the same price as a PS4 I just don’t see the point.
The ironic part is that a computer with specs from a decade ago can still do pretty much everything else I use this computer for EXCEPT player modern games, I’m tired of PC elitism, consoles are a better value imo.August 21, 2014 at 2:30 am #105343
@Mipaol – You were definitely scammed by whoever was selling these things to you. But this is not the general experience: if you plan really well how to build your computer, you won’t need to upgrade in at least 4 years (usually the time I take), and even then, you’ll just need a new graphics card and maybe more ram, as cpus haven’t been much important for these last years.
My current computer was built 3 years ago, and I am still running every game on maximum/very high settings at 60fps (including Witcher 2, Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs), so I still have no plans to upgrade it. Plus, even if the inital price for the computer may be a bit steep, pc games are so much cheaper that you will quickly recover your investment – just look at Steam sales!
Plus, we are talking about high-end computers, made to run the games BETTER than consoles. If you just want you computer running the games AT THE SAME LEVEL as a Xbone/PS4, it won’t cost you much more than a Xbone/PS4, and you CAN still upgrade it later if you want. (You don’t need to. It’s down to your preference.)
EDIT: To give you an example: I am using a Geforce 560 Ti. It costs (according to Nvidia’s site) US$ 240.56. Definitely not as expensive as a Xbone/PS4, and yet it’s running the games better. I’ll certainly go at least another year with it (maybe by then it’s running the games “just at” very high settings instead of maximum, but still looking probably better than on consoles).August 21, 2014 at 8:12 am #105355
@Cervantes Right now I have a gtx 660 and it works fine enough but even that was like $300 when I bought it, that’s still only a hundred less than a complete console that will never be outdated as far as games for that platform.
For me and I suspect many others it all boils down to how I could buy a PS4 and upgrade my gaming computer tomorrow and in a few short years I’ll have a perfectly capable PS4 that still plays all the PS4 games and an outdated gaming PC that still does everything else fine EXCEPT play current games, having had that realization it becomes very hard to keep throwing money at computer upgrades just so I can play video games.
No point in arguing though, just wanted to vent that bit of frustration with something I’ve come to consider a bit too 1% for my continued enjoyment, the video card I mentioned above is the one I would get.August 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm #105375
@Mipaol I understand. My point is just that, in a few short years, you will still be playing current games – maybe not on maximum graphics settings, but they will still look just as good they look now, even without any upgrade. I mean: almost all pc games are still using only 2 cpu cores and 4GB RAM even on maximum settings, with only very, very few exceptions like Witcher 2. Of course, if you want to have a fully upgraded computer all the time – even if it isn’t necessary -, that will cost you a lot.
Going back on topic: I also agree with the GTX 770: this one looks pretty future-proof, you won’t need to upgrade for a long time. I’ve been increasingly preferring NVidia lately, as their drivers are usually better and make out the most from the graphic cards.
For CPU, I would definitely recommend an upgrade to, at least, a Core i5 – but ideally, a Core i7, if you can afford the difference.
For reference, look at this chart:
I think 8GB RAM is also enough, as I still haven’t seen any game that goes over 4GB. I don’t think we’ll see any game needing more than 8 for another couple of years.
Also, for reference, the heaviest current game I know right now is the Witcher 2, and these are the recommended requirements for it:
Processor: Intel or AMD Quad-Core
Memory: 3 GB (Win XP), 4GB (Win Vista/Win 7)
Graphics: GeForce 260 (1 GB) or Radeon HD 4850 (1 GB). Resolution: 1440×900.
With that, you can run the game on maximum/near maximum settings.
EDIT: This is a prediction of the requirements, and they point to a i5, 8GB RAM, GTX 580 for recommended settings:
http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=3443&game=The%20Witcher%20IIIAugust 22, 2014 at 6:14 am #105401
CGR XP: 2
I personally wouldn’t recommend a card below the Nvidia GTX 750Ti. The GTX 750Ti will be able to run newer games, not maxed out though. You can pick one up for around £110 on Amazon. Slightly more expensive but also slightly faster is the AMD R9 270 and 270X. These three cards offer a lot of bang for the buck, and anything much lower is simply not worth it.
If your system is older and you add a new card your CPU or other components could be a bottleneck. Your power supply may be also be too low of a wattage for the card. If you post your system specifications up I can give you a recommendation if you would like.August 22, 2014 at 7:25 am #105403
CGR XP: 2
Sorry, I have just re-read your original post and I have just seen that you listed your CPU. Unfortunately this CPU will be quite a significant bottleneck and will not be fit for running newer games.
I would suggest building a new system. You said that if a GPU were to cost the same as a console you may as well just get a Xbox One or PS4. Not necessarily so. There are many advantages a PC has over a console. A PC may seem expensive compared to a console but it is a fully functional computer, with all of the freedoms that come with it.
The game library on PC is immense, and you can then play the games forever on one device without having to worry about cross-platform and backwards compatibility. The games are cheaper too.
A mouse and keyboard can also be used for certain genres.August 23, 2014 at 7:40 am #105424
Walking Trash Can Robot
CGR XP: 253
I think I’d buy a whole new system. You can get a new graphics card like the 750Ti or better, but I’m guessing you can’t use more powerful graphics cards without upgrading the PSU (assuming your PSU isn’t 450W or better). You’d need to upgrade the CPU too, but I don’t see that a CPU upgrade is possible with that motherboard using that socket.
Any current i5 should last a long time, and a GTX 760 will be good enough for games running at 1920×1080. It would be more expensive than a PS4 or Xbone, but it is also more powerful.
The way I see it, I’ll need a PC anyways. I might as well spend 200-300 dollars extra and get one with a decent graphics card.August 24, 2014 at 11:29 am #105479
Dead Cousin TedLevel 6
Off-Brand Transformable Robot
CGR XP: 120
Just in contrast to all the ‘build a new PC’ comments… My PC has an AMD X3 455 processor (which apparently is about as powerful as yours) and an ASUS GTX 650-E graphics card (which is a low power card, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your power supply) and it’ll run things like Skyrim on High at 720p and something like Saints Row The Third maxed out at 720p. That’s more than enough for me to be happy, so I’d recommend the 650-E if you’re just looking for a ‘solid and affordable’ upgrade to get newer games running. (I think that Radeon “card” you’ve got is just an integrated chip, so you’re never going to get great gaming performance out of it and just about any decent graphics card should make a pretty big difference for you.)
If you want more than that… then you’re looking at spending at least £250 upgrading your CPU and GPU (or about £400 if you’re really serious about it)… then potentially another £120 on a new motherboard and power supply to cope with them…. while a PS4 is currently going for £330 on Amazon.August 24, 2014 at 11:54 am #105486
Intel Core i5 processor…. $234
LGA 1150 socket ATX motherboard…. $50-$200
8GB of DDR3 1600 MHz Memory… $90
Corsair CX Series 600 Watt Power Supply…. $70
Nvidia GTX 770 graphics card…. $350
And that doesn’t even cover new cooling fans, perhaps a new case, maybe a new copy of Windows
Playstation 4… $400
Seagate 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive… $100
Sony PS4/PS3 Gold Wireless Stereo Headset… $80
4 games @ $60 each
I know which one I’m picking.August 24, 2014 at 8:40 pm #105508
@Mipaol – It goes down to personal preferrence, but you have to keep at least three things in mind:
1. As Joacim pointed out, most people need to buy a pc anyway, even if they choose a console as their gaming device – well, I am accessing this forum from my pc, while I also do some work. So, even if you choose a console, you still spend some money on a (cheaper, of course) pc. If you take that into account, you may actually be spending MORE (PS4 + a cheap pc VS A gaming-capable pc).
2. You only get 4 games on a PS4 with $240??? I would get a bazillion pc games with this kind of money. To give a practical example: there’s this awesome Humble Bundle website, http://www.humblebundle.com , where you buy bundles of games for any price you desire. I bought a lot of bundles, but I will mention just two: in the Warner bundle, I spent $15 (keep in mind I could have spent $1 if I wanted… But I considered how the money went to both developers/charities) and got Batman: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, FEAR 1, 2 and 3, Scribblenauts and Lord of the Rings: War in the North. On the THQ bundle, I spent $15 and got Darksiders 1 and 2, Company of Heroes, Metro 2033, Titan Quest and Red Faction: Armageddon. That’s 13 games for $30, and they’re not small, indie games – both Batman games are on that list. There were other bundles with Sega games and awesome indies. My point is: the price difference between a pc and a PS4 will be offset by the prices of the games very, very quickly if you keep looking for bundles and discounts on GOG/Steam.
3. The PS4 library is small. Very small. You’ll be spending a lot of money on a console that has no retrocompatibility and still has only a few worhtwhile games for it, some of them being those “definitive” (pff) ports. On pc, you have everything released from the 80s until now, especially if we start counting with emulators (with them, you can be playing everything up to and including the Nintendo Wii). Even not counting them (legal reasons and such), you still have an awesomely huge library of great pc games.
The only thing that keeps consoles interesting nowadays are the exclusives, and except for the WiiU this generation will have almost none: even the games that were considered exclusives, like Dead Rising 3 and Ryse, were later ported to pc; the Metal Gear series is also being released on pc now. The architecture of the PS4/Xbone is the same of a pc, so it’s easier for developers to port their games to all platforms. The other advantage is that you don’t have to understand how to build and upgrade your consoles – this was always the Achilles’ heel of pcs.
EDIT: I also forgot to add the online subscription on consoles, if you like to play any online multiplayer game. You don’t have those on pc, so you’ll also save on that.August 26, 2014 at 11:56 pm #105694
Hmm… lots of good points from both sides, and some good pieces of advice as far what kind of video cards to look at. I’ll definitely have to think all of this over.September 23, 2014 at 4:44 am #107382
CGR XP: 15
I’ve been running the same PC for the last five years (with a GPU upgrade two years ago), and I still outperform all the next gen consoles in regards to resolution and frames per second.
I am not a huge buff on AMD processors, but I do know that the CPU can severely limit the advantages of a better GPU (although a better GPU is usually the cheapest/most effective upgrade).
Currently, I run an Nvidia GTX 660 Ti with a i7 920 processor and get around 30-60 fps with everything enabled at 1920×1200 resolution in all games. When I put that same graphics card in my older Intel Q6600 processor computer, I get roughly half the frame per second because of the CPU bottleneck.
The next gen consoles certainly give a nice package for the stress free 1080p or 900p gaming for a low introductory price, but you’ll always pay the premium price for the software with consoles. PC games can be had for 75% off or more on a regular basis ‘and’ there is no ‘generation’ or ‘backwards compatibility’, nigh everything is compatible on PC.
Personally, I’d suggest building an affordable lower end/mid end PC rig and just run it for several years until you want to upgrade. I’d start with the GPU (a quick, easy swap) and see how it performs, and then consider upgrading the CPU/motherboard/RAM later one. It’s amazing what a solid GPU can do (even when bottlenecked) to upgrade a rig.
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