The Grass Is Always Greener On Ultra High

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The Grass Is Always Greener On Ultra High

Tom Endo thinks this game looks great on his PC. Well, maybe. Wait, is yours running faster than mine? What visual settings do you have yours set to?

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I think that might just be you who gets that unbelievably paranoid about the graphics. I tweak for the first 5 minutes and then never give it another thought. If I have to turn it down to medium, I do so, and stop worrying about it.

That artical was one big facepalm for me, sorry.

vivaldiscool:
I think that might just be you who gets that unbelievably paranoid about the graphics. I tweak for the first 5 minutes and then never give it another thought. If I have to turn it down to medium, I do so, and stop worrying about it.

That artical was one big facepalm for me, sorry.

Agree. I don't care much about that. Then again, I didn't like Crysis the first bit (my potential: looked at the graphics, said 'woot' twice, once for it being awesome and one for it running smooth on my PC, then got bored) and I don't see any game around that would even have the same potential for that crazy talk of Tom's. Practically, there's not much money to be shelled out in order to enjoy really stunningly-looking modern games. Unless, of course, you want to play in Full HD resolution, but that's.. ridiculous. I never understood the need for MORE pixels, I want better pixels.

Medium? Boo, freaking, hoo. I run my games on low, damn budget.

It's funny while this whole "get your computer games to run on high" have plauged the pc gaming market since 3-d games were made we find ourselves in the same problem not just with PC games but also console games. So this goes beyond just the developers and what machines they expect to run the game well. Consumers now have to get that 1080p big screen to get the "most" out of their gaming experience.

While I do agree that one should enjoy the game without having to be a degraded experience like Valve designs most of their games to run smoothly, most game developers miss this approach. The idea that the masses will have the latest processor by AMD or Intel is not the reality. After building my own top of the line with the latest processor it really does make a different experience because framerates are up and the games run efficiently but it was only until now after 5 years that I finally upgraded and even then most games I still run on medium because there will be slowdown on high settings.

So while we try and customize the ever changing set up for the top of the line PC and monitor or big screen television to play these games making it more expensive to the consumer shows that graphics have really taken control of the wheel because that currently the bar to determine if a game is good.

EDIT: Although the main reason I would recommend getting a top of the line Pc is to also enable yourself to do recording and editing while still maintaining a smooth gameplay experience. Also if you utilize programs like Adobe premiere rendering takes a lot of resources and turns a long process into a smooth and short process.

I usually postpone playing a game I *MUST* play until I have a system that can run it at high settings. There are plenty of good "old" games out there to waste time on in the meantime. Hell, I still regularly play MS-DOS games on DosBox.

If my PC is starting to age so that I can't play new games at decent framerates, I have no problem with waiting even a couple of years, if need be, until I upgrade my system. I almost never play new games anyway because I usually wait until prices drop into the 20s range.

The only thing that sucks about this is that I can't keep up with the hardcore community that plays and discusses games on the net as soon as they come out. But I don't care much about this and everything else is a plus:
1. I still get to experience all the games I want eventually
2. I do so considerably cheaper than the "must have now" gamers
3. By the time I get to play a game, it has been well patched and may be even more enjoyable and less frustrating

I remember back in the Quakeworld days, everyone would hack the textures out of the game because a) you'd get a higher framecount, and b) it's easier to shoot a guy with a rocket if he doesn't blend into the background at all.

Pretty much the exact opposite of Tom's dilemma, really.

I understand the yearning to have those few more fps, in Crysis every frame counts. Crysis drove me to overclock my graphics card to the verge of instablity. The 20% fps gain, about 25 instead of 20, really made the game feel smoother. I am not sure it is that I just want to see it prettier, but that I want to make sure I squeeze every last drop of performance out of my system before I can say that my computer has reached its limits.

On the flipside, it's a lot of fun tweaking it to get it just right, knowing the whole time that it looks a hell of a lot better than the 360's everyone else plays on.

While I share your frustrations, you might want to talk to your doctor about your OCD. You're a bit overboard...

Games like Crysis I don't even bother with. I know it won't run smoothly on anything but the lowest settings, and then it will look like Doom. The ridiculous price tag that goes with continually upgrading your PC is ultimately what pushes me away from PC gaming. I'd rather spend my money on more games than on more hardware.

vivaldiscool:
I think that might just be you who gets that unbelievably paranoid about the graphics. I tweak for the first 5 minutes and then never give it another thought. If I have to turn it down to medium, I do so, and stop worrying about it.

That artical was one big facepalm for me, sorry.

What he said.. all of it, facepalm included.

Kojiro ftt:
While I share your frustrations, you might want to talk to your doctor about your OCD. You're a bit overboard...

Games like Crysis I don't even bother with. I know it won't run smoothly on anything but the lowest settings, and then it will look like Doom. The ridiculous price tag that goes with continually upgrading your PC is ultimately what pushes me away from PC gaming. I'd rather spend my money on more games than on more hardware.

Tis the fate of obsessives.

Brother Tom, I share your pain.

MAX PAYNE that is! *ba dum tsh*

I can live with 20 or 25 fps if I'm playing single player, and it makes the game look good. I will often turn settings down and realize I can't tell the difference! If you are spending much time looking at scenery, the game must be boring. When I play online I turn everything down until I get at least 60fps.

this has a simple solution: buy a 1,500 Dollars PC! i have a monster machine! i got the money from a rewards program, In short I told the government to pay me for going to college! we I love wasting tax payer money on my gaming needs! but enough about my deliciously sexy PC.

Hey an expensive PC is not as good as a console!
WRONG: with a computer all you need to do when a new generation starts is replace your video card and add some ram. The core lasts allot longer than 1 generation so you wont be changing that for years!

Example:
PS2: game GTA: San Andreas
GPU: 124MB
RAM: 512MB
PROSESOR: 1GHz

PS3: Game GTA: 4
GPU: 512MB about
RAM: 2GB or 2,000MB
PROSESOR: 2.3GHz Dual prosesor

So upgrading your computer to these requirements form generation to generation would cost about the same as buying the console. But! the money saving comes with the internet and the abilities that a computer has, such as smooth internet, better more versatile controls and let's face it if your rig can take it, better graphics.

Games like RTS and FPS play best on a computer.
Most MMORPGS out here are FREE and there are some good ones, it's not all WoW clones.
Well this might get me in trouble but, Lets face it, Pirating games in a computer is (In my opinion WAS) very easy.

One quick note, FALLOUT 3 for PC 20$ FALLOUT 3 for the PS3 65$ (WTF?!) not so drastic but there was also a prize difference between MassEffect for the 360 as apposed to masseffect for the PC.

WendelI:
So upgrading your computer to these requirements form generation to generation would cost about the same as buying the console. But! the money saving comes with the internet and the abilities that a computer has, such as smooth internet, better more versatile controls and let's face it if your rig can take it, better graphics.

I would have agreed to that maybe 10 years ago, but now I truly enjoy the comfort of playing games in the living room from my couch on the huge screen that my projector is producing.
Somehow I grew tired of all that tweaking in my spare time until I get to play a game.
Just popping it into a console, having just a controller to do everything without worrying about any customization settings is worth a lot to me now.

The only thing where I use my laptop except for browsing and working, are RTS games. But I am playing them not often enough to get a new computer just to play everything out there; already busy enough with the console games.

I think in the end it comes down to what you personally value within your gaming experience. Some like the additional puzzle for potentially more graphics and other just enjoy a cinema-like atmosphere where you can jump in and out without a lot of hassle.
(no I can't imagine sitting on my couch with a mouse and keyboard)

This reminds me, I need to buy a new GPU soon.

Aries_Split:
Tis the fate of obsessives.

Brother Tom, I share your pain.

MAX PAYNE that is! *ba dum tsh*

Aye, I spend far more time than I should endlessly tweaking the game's settings to get the game looking as absolutely brilliant as possible while still having a semi-playable framerate. Even when the setting I spent the last 10 minutes fiddling around with didn't have any noticeable impact whatsoever, and in the end I'll probably be focusing too much on playing the game to pay much attention to the scenery. Still, if I can get the blood spatters to look just that little bit shinier, I'll be damned if I'm not going to do it. That's why I like playing old games, I can just put everything on "The computer needed to run these settings does not exist yet (Ah ha ha, but it does, since I'm from 7 years in the future!)", and then stop worrying about it. Until I find the mods online that replace all the textures with high-res ones, activate all sorts of fancy lighting effects, and up the polycount of every model ten-fold, that is.

This is the precise reason that I don't allow myself to buy a PC for the purposes of gaming, it's probably also one of the reasons why I'm a mac user.
I cannot trust myself to be in a situation where I'm left thinking that things could be better. If I play a PC game, it's the highest settings or nothing for me, I can't bear the thought that things could be better, if I ever made the mistake of buying Crysis, I'd inevitabley end up spending a small fortune to make sure I was playing as close to the highest settings as was humanly possible.
Sure, I know it's stupid and I know it's a battle I'd never win, so that's why I choose to stay out of it as opposed to getting into the thick of it.

vivaldiscool:
I think that might just be you who gets that unbelievably paranoid about the graphics. I tweak for the first 5 minutes and then never give it another thought. If I have to turn it down to medium, I do so, and stop worrying about it.

That artical was one big facepalm for me, sorry.

Agreed. I think only a few people are as fanatical as described in the article. This seems written by a console gamer having a nightmare where he was forced to use the PC. I myself am done in about two minutes, and then don't bother with the graphics.

I know that problem so very very well. I've had Fallout 3 since release and I still tweak the settings every now and then :[

Oh well, if I get a new graphics card soon I'll at least have equal or better quality than that PS3 on the HDTV, but for less money.

WendelI:

RAM: 2GB or 2,000MB

Wrong. Check how many bytes are in a kilobyte, how many kilobytes in a megabyte and how many megabytes in a gigabyte.

S.H.A.R.P.:

vivaldiscool:
I think that might just be you who gets that unbelievably paranoid about the graphics. I tweak for the first 5 minutes and then never give it another thought. If I have to turn it down to medium, I do so, and stop worrying about it.

That artical was one big facepalm for me, sorry.

Agreed. I think only a few people are as fanatical as described in the article. This seems written by a console gamer having a nightmare where he was forced to use the PC. I myself am done in about two minutes, and then don't bother with the graphics.

Or, you know, just someone who's overly perfectionist, like me. I'm not happy unless I know things are at the best they possibly can be, although my sheer laziness usually somewhat cancels that out. Still, I've spent far too much time messing around with the equalizer on my MP3 player, the picture settings on my TV, the temperature/time/intensity settings on my washing machine, the amount of water needed per-cup in my electric kettle, etc, etc, etc.

Wow. I'd been reading this column since it started, and had been enjoying it, but I don't think I'll continue. The fact that he cares this much about graphics has caused me to lose a great deal of respect for him.

Tom, you don't work for Crytek. Graphics are not the most important part of a game.

Anachronism:
Wow. I'd been reading this column since it started, and had been enjoying it, but I don't think I'll continue. The fact that he cares this much about graphics has caused me to lose a great deal of respect for him.

Tom, you don't work for Crytek. Graphics are not the most important part of a game.

I think it's probably less about the graphics themselves, and more about the principle of the thing. You want to get the absolute most out of your games, right? Well wouldn't it annoy you to know that on your computer, the fictional port of Dead Rising can render 1241 zombies at once, while someone else with the exact same specs as you can render 1325? That's an extra 84 zombies they've got! Why don't *I* have them?! What have they done differently from me?! The differences might seem (well, are) pretty insignificant, but that other guy is still having a (very slightly) better time than I am.

I just don't see how having better graphics makes the game more enjoyable. In something like Crysis that's all about the graphics, I can see their point, but for all the other games that weren't developed by Crytek, it's not an issue.

I love Quake II to death, and I can crank all the settings up to max and it still looks like crap by today's standards. This doesn't bother me, and you know why? It's a fantastic game!

I realise a large part of my argument for this is my stone-age PC, but you need to focus on the gameplay, not the graphics. There's a reason games like Quake and Doom are still popular today and Crysis will be forgotten in a few years, except as a benchmark to see how much you're prepared to spend on a computer. It's because, although they had very good graphics for their time, that wasn't the draw. The draw was their gameplay, which should be the case with all games: graphics are not that important.

I'm sorry. I misread the title of this article as "The Grass Is Always Greener When Ultra High".

I don't think I would be responding to the article if I proceeded.

Anachronism:
I just don't see how having better graphics makes the game more enjoyable. In something like Crysis that's all about the graphics, I can see their point, but for all the other games that weren't developed by Crytek, it's not an issue.

I love Quake II to death, and I can crank all the settings up to max and it still looks like crap by today's standards. This doesn't bother me, and you know why? It's a fantastic game!

I realise a large part of my argument for this is my stone-age PC, but you need to focus on the gameplay, not the graphics. There's a reason games like Quake and Doom are still popular today and Crysis will be forgotten in a few years, except as a benchmark to see how much you're prepared to spend on a computer. It's because, although they had very good graphics for their time, that wasn't the draw. The draw was their gameplay, which should be the case with all games: graphics are not that important.

Graphics aren't that important to me either, like I said before, I like playing older games (some of my favourites include Morrowind, Daggerfall, Fallout, C&C (although I only have the DOS version), and Deus Ex) because I can just put all the settings on maximum, safe in the knowledge that I'm having the very best experience possible. It's all about getting the most out of my games that I possibly can, because if the game itself is good, then having it look that little bit shinier, sound that little bit clearer, or play that little bit smoother can only make the experience better, right?

Fair point. If you can crank all the settings up to maximum without taking a performance hitch, then by all means do it; that's what I'd do in the situation. My point was jut that you shouldn't sacrifice gameplay in order to make the game look shinier.

vivaldiscool:
I think that might just be you who gets that unbelievably paranoid about the graphics. I tweak for the first 5 minutes and then never give it another thought. If I have to turn it down to medium, I do so, and stop worrying about it.

This. That said, everyone has their own 'quirky tidbits'. I myself get obsessed with reloading my gun in FPSs

Anachronism:
Fair point. If you can crank all the settings up to maximum without taking a performance hitch, then by all means do it; that's what I'd do in the situation. My point was jut that you shouldn't sacrifice gameplay in order to make the game look shinier.

You know, the thing is: I bought GRID, and it looks awesome even on low settings (except for the cars, which are on ultra) but I still get kinda envious when seeing it on my friend's PC with the graphics cranked up like there's no tomorrow, and it just looks fantastic while still running smoothly. Then I go back to my own PC and curse the day I thought a 8500GT would be enough.
I don't know, it's just that inherent perfectionism (and competetive... -ism?) that everyone has. Which is what I think the article is about (Hence that saying, "the grass is always greener...").
You shouldn't stop reading the column for something completely natural, he just put it in an outright way you don't here that often, although everyone (and I do mean everyone) feels that way. Kinda.

Yeah my GPU just got to the point where it's basically obsolete with the release of directx 10, I can only run nine, for now games run with nine too, but I rue the day they switch over.

That being said, I'm normally able to run games on high settings with the direct x nine, older games at least, the ones I bother playing, so I normally don't even think about it.

I can run Crysis better then Far Cry 2... but then again I don't have Vista so I can't try out DX 10. But I can run Crysis on High at about 35 FPS, Far Cry 2 on Very High at 40, Ultra High at 25, and there isn't even much of a difference.

E8400 Duo Core 3 GHz
HIS RADEON HD4850 Turbo 512MB
4 GB RAM (3.25 is max on XP)

Socken:
You know, the thing is: I bought GRID, and it looks awesome even on low settings (except for the cars, which are on ultra) but I still get kinda envious when seeing it on my friend's PC with the graphics cranked up like there's no tomorrow, and it just looks fantastic while still running smoothly. Then I go back to my own PC and curse the day I thought a 8500GT would be enough.
I don't know, it's just that inherent perfectionism (and competetive... -ism?) that everyone has. Which is what I think the article is about (Hence that saying, "the grass is always greener...").
You shouldn't stop reading the column for something completely natural, he just put it in an outright way you don't here that often, although everyone (and I do mean everyone) feels that way. Kinda.

I agree that you should get the game looking as nice as you can without sacrificing performance, but I'm not going to spend ages tweaking the graphics settings to sort it out. I'll go to Options, change a few things and play the game a bit to see how it runs. If it runs well, I'm not going to be particularly bothered about making it look prettier.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you can sacrifice graphics for framerate, but never the other way around.

Anachronism:

Socken:
You know, the thing is: I bought GRID, and it looks awesome even on low settings (except for the cars, which are on ultra) but I still get kinda envious when seeing it on my friend's PC with the graphics cranked up like there's no tomorrow, and it just looks fantastic while still running smoothly. Then I go back to my own PC and curse the day I thought a 8500GT would be enough.
I don't know, it's just that inherent perfectionism (and competetive... -ism?) that everyone has. Which is what I think the article is about (Hence that saying, "the grass is always greener...").
You shouldn't stop reading the column for something completely natural, he just put it in an outright way you don't here that often, although everyone (and I do mean everyone) feels that way. Kinda.

I agree that you should get the game looking as nice as you can without sacrificing performance, but I'm not going to spend ages tweaking the graphics settings to sort it out. I'll go to Options, change a few things and play the game a bit to see how it runs. If it runs well, I'm not going to be particularly bothered about making it look prettier.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that you can sacrifice graphics for framerate, but never the other way around.

And I most certainly agree.

I kind of got out of PC gaming for the same reason. Not that my game wasn't all that it could be, but because it got too expensive to keep up and play at "very low". More of an economic thing really. I didn't want to get back in at some point and have the machine I just bought end up being sub-par in a matter of months. Then I finished college, got a "real job", saved up a couple grand, and built a box that makes Crysis say, "I can't handle this!". Sadly, at least for me, it never ends, I'm always thinking "I could probably upgrade..." Even sadder, at some point, I'll have to.

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