The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

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No one's ever made such a convincing argument for PC gaming before. To be honest, I have always been a console gamer, I generally find them easier to use and cheaper, although I do have a crappy laptop for indie titles, but after reading this I'm seriously considering forking out for a decent gaming PC.

TheNarrator:
To me, PC gaming has always been about freedom, about actually owning your system. You can do with a PC whatever you please, no one, including the manufacturers of the parts of your computer, can tell you what you can or cannot do with it. Consoles are cheaper, yes, but that's because you sell your freedom. Whenever PC gamers go on about how good their graphics are or how everyone who plays on a console is a dirty casual, I feel vicarious shame, because all they accomplish is putting people off PC gaming while not actually communicating the most important advantage of the platform.

I may be a bit fundamentalist in this, I would still prefer PC gaming even if it had worse graphics and fewer good games and was five times as expensive and regularly break, because I just can't feel comfortable with tying myself so closely to one manufacturer. The manufacturer of the hardware should not have any say in what software runs on its platform, and it shouldn't get any royalties from sold software either. That's plain and simple vendor lock in, which is anticompetitive.

There have been several times when I've wanted to switch from consoles to PC gaming. Mostly due to Bethesda games, which got me hooked on video games in general. I see the mods done for my beloved Fallout 3 (which got me started), or more recently Skyrim, and I keep thinking, 'I want that'.

But it's absolutely impenetrable. When I have had money to buy something beyond the little laptop I'm currently typing on, getting a straight answer (at Best Buy or wherever) is next to impossible, and I always have the feeling that they're trying to radically up-sell me something beyond my price range. When I've tried to get help online, I got the 'just build it yourself' answer, as if I could just wave some magic wand and do that (see examples in this thread). Attempting to research it led down bottomless pits on incomprehensible specifications, figures, and language I could not understand, which also seemed to change month to month.

Any attempt to get help from the sp-called Glorious Master Race was met with a wall of insufferable superiority, condescending attitude, or point-blank statements: 'you are a fucking casual - go back where you belong'. And so I did. Is it just because I'm so ignorant? Just because I've only known consoles? Or in the case of some really great so-called 'help', just because I have to sit down to pee?

Your post is the very first time I've ever seen someone articulate something that open or inviting.

Pink Apocalypse:

But it's absolutely impenetrable. When I have had money to buy something beyond little laptop I'm currently typing on, getting a straight answer (at Best Buy or wherever) is next to impossible, and I always have the feeling that they're trying to radically up-sell me something. When I've tried to get help online, I got the 'just build it yourself' answer, as if I could just wave some magic wand and do that (see examples in this thread). Attempting to research it led down bottomless pits on incomprehensible specifications, figures, and language I could not understand, which also seemed to change month to month.

The problem is: those bogged down technical specifications ARE the straight answer. It's the bare-bones facts that one would need in order to determine if it's the right buying choice to make.

You're absolutely right in that it's too much, it's the kind of facts that most people can't use to make informed decisions because most people don't understand what the point of those specifications are. And there's nothing wrong with that, there's nothing wrong with not understanding what to do with those facts.

Also most places that are trying to sell you a pre-built computer are indeed trying to make you buy inferior hardware at an inflated price. It's why the "just build it yourself" answer is so popular. It's also why so many people don't get into PC gaming, it takes lots of time and effort to understand the details which go into a computer.

"Getting help with it" really depends on who you ask. If you ask some place like Toms Hardware, you're going to get a lot of friendly, helpful people. If you ask 4chan or reddit, you're going to get a lot of dickheads who only built a computer to feel superior and run Gentoo, not actually because they have a real use for it.

And what could be more smug and elitist than having no backwards compatability? Now then. Let's put aside the argument of "the current generation consoles aren't going to magically disappear". Let's imagine someone, we'll call them Bertha, deciding they want to get into gaming, so they buy an Xbox One, and play Assassin's Creed 4. She likes it, and wants to play Assassin's Creed 1-3 as well. What do we say to her? "You can't. All the previous installments of the story that provide the necessary background, all the experiences and highs and lows of the series thus far, none of that matters. Nothing that was made before this console matters, because we found a way to make games slightly prettier. And that alone, sight unseen, makes our paltry handful of bland launch titles worth more than the entire history of gaming put together. You should have played them in the last generation." And then Bertha explains she wasn't into gaming around the time of the last generation, and everyone laughs at her for being a noob.

A+ point right here.

If the Xbone is intended to appeal to a mainstream audience who doesn't usually play games, as I've heard so many people say it is (which is going to fail for a whole lot of reasons but let's pretend it succeeds), it's really kind of stupid to think that they'll shell out money for the latest installment of Assassin's Creed or what have you when they now have absolutely no ability to play those old titles which are cheaper and essential for understanding what the hell is going on in the story.

Every video game console is going to be quite a number of people's first consoles. Consoles shouldn't alienate them from gaming; one of the whole advantages of consoles is that they were one of the quickest and easiest methods for non-gamers to approach games. Are we seriously going to have these major companies running on the assumption that there will be no new gamers?

At least in theory it's still possible that you could get the Playstation versions of past generation games streaming on Gaikai or whatever, but I'm not totally convinced that the PS4 won't shoot itself in the foot on this point before release.

The Creator Speaks! AND I LISTEN!!

Stryc9:
I really wonder if Microsoft isn't doing all this shit with the Xbone so that they can have the easy excuse of "We're discontinuing our console gaming department due to poor sales of our last console." or not. It really seems like with all the mixed messages and that half-ass announcement makes it look like their heart really isn't in it anymore and that may be for the best for Microsoft as a whole.

^Why would they launch a console they wanted to fail? They could just..you know, NOT release the console.

LordTerminal:

No it's still not worth it Yahtzee. Not when it costs thousands of dollars for a man to accomplish. Shame on you and everyone who agrees with this. I'd like my games to be affordable without having to buy a bunch of random pieces that cost the price of an actual console.

Toms Hardware routinely build gaming pc's that cost less than $1k

Howling Din:
Um... Little point out. The term "Master Race" comes from racism, not elitism. Two different things, you know.

Howling Din:
Um... Little point out. The term "Master Race" comes from racism, not elitism. Two different things, you know.

Wrong! In this context, it comes from this.

I'm still holding out for Sony to use this Microsoft disaster to their advantage and give us all the functions that Microsoft is holding hostage. I'm not sure how blindly optimistic that will be, but hey, it's possible. I wasn't frothing at the bit to run off and buy the Xbone anyway, having never owned either of it's predecessors, but I wouldn't dismiss buying one, as long as the titles were good. Which is really all I care about in my console. Though, I could do with a new Laptop. This one is a bit out of date, and having some issues. Regardless, it would be a few years before I bought any new console, but I might need to fix or supplant this computer by year's end. Whether or not the pooch is screwed for those of us who prefer to mix class levels remains to be seen by then.

1337mokro:

Whilst that is true we also have to keep something else in mind. These are all emulators made by people working from the outside in. It basically involved designing simulated consoles that run the same as the physical ones. A program made by the people with direct access to the very design documents might find someway to make a better working version.

Although with things like the PS3 the problem is quite clear. The goddamned Cell architecture. However the 360? That should not be such a big deal for the people that made it or heck if they wanted to they could hire hackers and coders from the community to build an emulator for next to nothing compared to professional techmonkeys.

To be fair, I'm mainly thinking of the PS4 because that's the one I'm going to buy =D I think it's less Sony being elitest, and more Sony screwing up incredibly with the PS3, it's impressive given that the PS2 was the hardest to design for in it's generation that they managed to step it up a notch again with the PS3.

The 360 I'm more surprised with, I guess they're changing layouts too, so it's not an easy task and it probably would need a great deal more power than the 360 itself had, but they might have found a way and the One does have a great deal more power.

Lightknight:
At the risk of beating a dead horse, no. Consoles are optimized in entirely different ways than pc's. The same specs you see in a console do not line up with a pc tower containing the same hardware. There is architecture in those boxes that really is next-gen technology despite the hardware being average. So you're likely looking at a mid-high range equivalent.

If you want to talk about the consoles' processing ability, sure. The Wii U's 1GB of available RAM, the Xbone's 5GB, and the PS4's 8GB of integrated memory, isn't going to stretch very far especially for the latter two when Sony and Microsoft are talking a standard of 4KP resolution. That's fine now, but it's going to be a serious constraint moving forward compared to PC's, especially as PC's operating systems are trending towards greater optimization and already have a standard of 9-10GB of total RAM.

Sticky:

And shame on you for not actually knowing how much it costs, never taking the time to research it, and instead spouting nonsense that you parrot from other people who also know as little as you do about the subject.

No really, without going to Newegg or googling what an IBM workstation costs, how much do you think it costs to make a good gaming PC from the ground up? I want to hear this one.

Its easy to understand when the post following yours has the poster spending £1200 on his rig (thats $1800 at current exchange rate) and the next post says he spent $1200 on his current PC. He then goes on to say that you can now buy a "passable gaming computer" for "only" $700.

Can you see why people may feel barred from the club when they see an xbox 360 on the shelf for $120?

BrotherRool:
[quote="1337mokro" post="6.409091.17107317"]The 360 I'm more surprised with, I guess they're changing layouts too, so it's not an easy task and it probably would need a great deal more power than the 360 itself had, but they might have found a way and the One does have a great deal more power.

I guess it wasn't the Chosen One :D

Just call it the XBone, because that is what it will be trying to do to you for the next few years. However we will probably have to just wait and see though the glorious response of "Backwards compatibility is truly backwards" pretty much put a giant hole in that expectation.

Now if you will excuse me I have to upgrade my computer again the hardware just got outdated again :D

1337mokro:
However we will probably have to just wait and see though the glorious response of "Backwards compatibility is truly backwards" pretty much put a giant hole in that expectation.

That press conference really was a thing of beauty, they managed to create anti-soundbites. I don't know what world they were on when they possibly thought saying something like that was a good idea. If you just say 'It could be reasonably priced and easy to develop or backwards compatible but not all three' people will understand that. You can't tell people straight up that they're wrong for wanting something and expect them to react positively.

ResonanceSD:
The Creator Speaks! AND I LISTEN!!

Stryc9:
I really wonder if Microsoft isn't doing all this shit with the Xbone so that they can have the easy excuse of "We're discontinuing our console gaming department due to poor sales of our last console." or not. It really seems like with all the mixed messages and that half-ass announcement makes it look like their heart really isn't in it anymore and that may be for the best for Microsoft as a whole.

^Why would they launch a console they wanted to fail? They could just..you know, NOT release the console.

How about they're going to try and pass this bullshit and if it sells that's great and if it doesn't they have a ready made excuse to bow out of the market?

LordTerminal:

No it's still not worth it Yahtzee. Not when it costs thousands of dollars for a man to accomplish. Shame on you and everyone who agrees with this. I'd like my games to be affordable without having to buy a bunch of random pieces that cost the price of an actual console.

This is a common misconception among people that don't really PC game that much. Not every gaming PC has to be built to run all of the games with the graphics settings maxed out!! The people that believe that are the ones that tend to be "PC Gaming Master Race" assholes. I could go to Newegg right now and put together a PC that would serve all of my needs for around $600-$700. Yes that is more than a console but I'll be doing more far more with it than I would be with a console so the extra cost is sort of justified.

BrotherRool:

1337mokro:
However we will probably have to just wait and see though the glorious response of "Backwards compatibility is truly backwards" pretty much put a giant hole in that expectation.

That press conference really was a thing of beauty, they managed to create anti-soundbites. I don't know what world they were on when they possibly thought saying something like that was a good idea. If you just say 'It could be reasonably priced and easy to develop or backwards compatible but not all three' people will understand that. You can't tell people straight up that they're wrong for wanting something and expect them to react positively.

"We understand that backwards compatibility is something people desire. Therefore we have set up a service that allows you to order backwards compatible versions directly from us. Though fair warning the extra hardware required for backwards compatibility will increase the cost and delivery time may be slow as they are built only after the order has come in. We however think that offering this option to those interested in backwards compatibility whilst simultaneously offering the average consumer a cheaper product can appease both parties."

Of course it's not going to fucking please them. People will bitch and moan but right there you have a situation where the people that want it can get it. Now call me a PC Elitist but I am of the opinion that if I want to stick a giant GPU in it I should be able to stick a giant GPU in it.

Heck they could have done the Jaguar thing.

"For those who want to play their old games on their Xbone we have developed this extension. You can buy it separately to play old Xbox and 360 games it plugs right into your Xbone and works in unison thus allowing us to shave down the cost of the Xube to just 50$! We only produced a limited amount to test the market for these devices so if the response is strong enough we might make more."

I always wonder why giant corporations would rather have people conform to their desires than for example use a sleazy marketing tactic to sell even more cheap crap to the masses.

Dexter111:
You can't take it back, it's ours now.
image

I just upgraded with a Samsung 256GB SSD and I'm going to upgrade my graphics card to a GTX 770 awaiting the arrival of my Oculus Rift soon.

I'm also looking forward to 4K monitors coming up and you can't stop me!

You know if those things were somehow tipped over, there'd be a domino effect, right?

I'm looking really forward to the day when someone finally manages to get an XBox 360/PS3 emulator running.

When the XBone and PS4 release stores with 360s and PS3s will want to get rid of them ASAP, dropping the price significantly and emulator designers will have a lot of cheaper toys to play with. I think the two stumbling blocks for making a PS3 or Xbox360 emulator is the Pandoras Box type of programming that went on with them and how fiddling too much will brick the system. When systems are cheaper trial-and-error reverse engineering will not be such a financially daunting process.

Pink Apocalypse:

TheNarrator:
To me, PC gaming has always been about freedom, about actually owning your system. You can do with a PC whatever you please, no one, including the manufacturers of the parts of your computer, can tell you what you can or cannot do with it. Consoles are cheaper, yes, but that's because you sell your freedom. Whenever PC gamers go on about how good their graphics are or how everyone who plays on a console is a dirty casual, I feel vicarious shame, because all they accomplish is putting people off PC gaming while not actually communicating the most important advantage of the platform.

I may be a bit fundamentalist in this, I would still prefer PC gaming even if it had worse graphics and fewer good games and was five times as expensive and regularly break, because I just can't feel comfortable with tying myself so closely to one manufacturer. The manufacturer of the hardware should not have any say in what software runs on its platform, and it shouldn't get any royalties from sold software either. That's plain and simple vendor lock in, which is anticompetitive.

There have been several times when I've wanted to switch from consoles to PC gaming. Mostly due to Bethesda games, which got me hooked on video games in general. I see the mods done for my beloved Fallout 3 (which got me started), or more recently Skyrim, and I keep thinking, 'I want that'.

But it's absolutely impenetrable. When I have had money to buy something beyond the little laptop I'm currently typing on, getting a straight answer (at Best Buy or wherever) is next to impossible, and I always have the feeling that they're trying to radically up-sell me something beyond my price range. When I've tried to get help online, I got the 'just build it yourself' answer, as if I could just wave some magic wand and do that (see examples in this thread). Attempting to research it led down bottomless pits on incomprehensible specifications, figures, and language I could not understand, which also seemed to change month to month.

Any attempt to get help from the sp-called Glorious Master Race was met with a wall of insufferable superiority, condescending attitude, or point-blank statements: 'you are a fucking casual - go back where you belong'. And so I did. Is it just because I'm so ignorant? Just because I've only known consoles? Or in the case of some really great so-called 'help', just because I have to sit down to pee?

Your post is the very first time I've ever seen someone articulate something that open or inviting.

Honestly, there are three real options for you to get into PC gaming:

1) Buy a pre-built brand name gaming PC - this is arguably the worst option, as you'll be spending more money for less performance, but it comes with warranty, so there's that(if you can stomach talking to phone tech support if things go wrong).

2) Learn the technobabble surrounding the arcane art of PC building and make one yourself - Some people will help you learn, but there is some childish elitism you have to ignore, as well as the usual RTFF(read the fucking forum) that you get in any DIY hobby. So probably a no go unless you were already interested in learning about it. But it is the best way to the most bang for your buck.

3) Find a friend that knows how to build a PC and have him make one for you - This is the easiest option that will get you a good PC for a reasonable amount of money(insofar as a gaming PC's price is ever reasonable). Give him a budget to work with, and he'll get you something that will get the job done. If you hear questions like "AMD or Nvidia," just respond with "whatever you think works best," as it doesn't really matter that much anyway. If you're paying for the parts, a friend will usually be willing to build it for a pizza bribe.

Eacaraxe:

Akalabeth:
I stopped reading at "Xbone". Resorting to such annoying slang comes across as amateurish

Well, somebody's awfully defensive. It wasn't us that picked a name for the blasted thing that's not only confusing, but the inevitable shorthand for which sounds derisive.

I don't see how Xbox One is confusing at all. Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One. Three different names.
If they'd just straight up called it "Xbox" again then yes it would be confusing.

And regardless of the name, anyone who says "xbone" is still choosing to use it. It's just kind of childish in my opinion, in the same way that person misspells a word to try and present themselves as cool or edgy, it's something I'd expect from the younger forum-goers of the Escapist, but not from someone trying to present himself as a professional columnist.

knox140:
No one's ever made such a convincing argument for PC gaming before. To be honest, I have always been a console gamer, I generally find them easier to use and cheaper, although I do have a crappy laptop for indie titles, but after reading this I'm seriously considering forking out for a decent gaming PC.

attaching the cpu is the hardest part. get on youtube/forums if youre doing it alone

bjj hero:
Its easy to understand when the post following yours has the poster spending £1200 on his rig (thats $1800 at current exchange rate) and the next post says he spent $1200 on his current PC. He then goes on to say that you can now buy a "passable gaming computer" for "only" $700.

It's a shockingly simple mind that can't understand that, unlike the console market, PC's can be built to match the exact specifications, or budgetary constraint, of the given consumer. A person, provided they have the money, can build a multiple-thousand-dollar gaming rig just as easily as a person, provided they have the diligence and gumption, can build a decent gaming PC on the cheap.

Pink Apocalypse:

TheNarrator:
cool post

There have been several times when I've wanted to switch from consoles to PC gaming. Mostly due to Bethesda games, which got me hooked on video games in general. I see the mods done for my beloved Fallout 3 (which got me started), or more recently Skyrim, and I keep thinking, 'I want that'.

But it's absolutely impenetrable. When I have had money to buy something beyond the little laptop I'm currently typing on, getting a straight answer (at Best Buy or wherever) is next to impossible, and I always have the feeling that they're trying to radically up-sell me something beyond my price range. When I've tried to get help online, I got the 'just build it yourself' answer, as if I could just wave some magic wand and do that (see examples in this thread). Attempting to research it led down bottomless pits on incomprehensible specifications, figures, and language I could not understand, which also seemed to change month to month.

Any attempt to get help from the sp-called Glorious Master Race was met with a wall of insufferable superiority, condescending attitude, or point-blank statements: 'you are a fucking casual - go back where you belong'. And so I did. Is it just because I'm so ignorant? Just because I've only known consoles? Or in the case of some really great so-called 'help', just because I have to sit down to pee?

Your post is the very first time I've ever seen someone articulate something that open or inviting.

Actually, one of the primary reasons I do PC gaming is for modding TES and Total War.

In terms of breaking into PC building, it's bloody terrifying to start with, but once you've taken the plunge so to speak, it gets a lot easier.
PC shops are sometime a bit rubbish not only because they might try to rip you off, but also because they sometimes honestly don't know what they're talking about. I've gone into PC World here in the UK and have had shop assistants looking dumbfounded when asked about what specs a PC has.

Toms Hardware are great for advice, the advice forum here on the escapist is good also. If people on a particular site are dickish, don't go there for advice - if they're just trying to metaphorically demonstrate their own penile length then they aren't going to offer reliable support.

http://www.logicalincrements.com/

This has already been posted, and is a good start in terms of deciding budget and get a general idea of what components you need.

http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18046396

This is the actual building guide I used - gives a decent idea of what you need to do with actual assembly. Mostly it is just plugging stuff in the right slot and making sure you aren't generating static electricity.

If you decide you do actually want to give it a go, start a thread in the advice forum or chuck me a PM and I'll offer what advice I can!

1337mokro:

"We understand that backwards compatibility is something people desire. Therefore we have set up a service that allows you to order backwards compatible versions directly from us. Though fair warning the extra hardware required for backwards compatibility will increase the cost and delivery time may be slow as they are built only after the order has come in. We however think that offering this option to those interested in backwards compatibility whilst simultaneously offering the average consumer a cheaper product can appease both parties."

Of course it's not going to fucking please them. People will bitch and moan but right there you have a situation where the people that want it can get it. Now call me a PC Elitist but I am of the opinion that if I want to stick a giant GPU in it I should be able to stick a giant GPU in it.

Heck they could have done the Jaguar thing.

"For those who want to play their old games on their Xbone we have developed this extension. You can buy it separately to play old Xbox and 360 games it plugs right into your Xbone and works in unison thus allowing us to shave down the cost of the Xube to just 50$! We only produced a limited amount to test the market for these devices so if the response is strong enough we might make more."

I always wonder why giant corporations would rather have people conform to their desires than for example use a sleazy marketing tactic to sell even more cheap crap to the masses.

I'm not convinced you could buy an add-on that wouldn't be more expensive than buying a 360. It would be a new manufacturing process instead of the one they've been working on for 7+ years now and it would be in a much lower quantity than of the 360's even now (because a 360 it would almost certainly outsell it, with people replacing theirs who don't have a One or latecomers catching up). And sticking hardware together isn't necessarily efficient either because you've got to figure out how to make the thing not enormous and deal with the heating problems from the less space.

They might do it. But I'd probably rather buy a 360, that way if one red-rings I'd still have something to play on and in a family situation someone could take one away with them or play on a different TV if the One is being occupied. You'd also be able to move it around the house without having to move 2 consoles and whole bunch of cables. Maybe if the add-on really is cheaper by a lot. Even at $50 cheaper I'd definitely be considering getting the 360 still.

What's weird is it sounds like MS is developing a console for the Korean/Japanese market, and Sony is developing for the West. By which I mean US totally doesn't have the infrastructure, and I suspect most of Europe and the rest of the world are in the same boat. But Korea and Japan do have the infrastructure that Microsoft imagines. Likewise the West has used games and Japan does not. Not sure about Korea.

You forgot to mention that many of those Steam and GOG games have mods, and many of those games are free to play, and there are many free games like Spelunky, Dwarf Fortress and others. One you have a PC up and running it only takes £5 or less to buy weeks of entertainment. With £30 on a console you could buy about 2 indie games or 1 triple A both of which would run out in about 10 hours.

It takes about half an hour to buy, download, install, configure and play an average game through Steam for me. And it's much cheaper. EDIT: Oh and I can do this any time I want, not when the shops are open.

It takes about 2 hours to walk to the high street, browse the isles for what I want, walk back home, install the game to my measly 250GB hard drive and play an Xbox game. And it's much more expensive.

I know which I prefer.

Pink Apocalypse:
There have been several times when I've wanted to switch from consoles to PC gaming. Mostly due to Bethesda games, which got me hooked on video games in general. I see the mods done for my beloved Fallout 3 (which got me started), or more recently Skyrim, and I keep thinking, 'I want that'.

But it's absolutely impenetrable. When I have had money to buy something beyond the little laptop I'm currently typing on, getting a straight answer (at Best Buy or wherever) is next to impossible, and I always have the feeling that they're trying to radically up-sell me something beyond my price range. When I've tried to get help online, I got the 'just build it yourself' answer, as if I could just wave some magic wand and do that (see examples in this thread). Attempting to research it led down bottomless pits on incomprehensible specifications, figures, and language I could not understand, which also seemed to change month to month.

Any attempt to get help from the sp-called Glorious Master Race was met with a wall of insufferable superiority, condescending attitude, or point-blank statements: 'you are a fucking casual - go back where you belong'. And so I did. Is it just because I'm so ignorant? Just because I've only known consoles? Or in the case of some really great so-called 'help', just because I have to sit down to pee?

Your post is the very first time I've ever seen someone articulate something that open or inviting.

It's really weird how people on the internet seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that insulting people isn't the best way to present your argument, isn't it? :P It's very strange how many PC gamers are constantly shouting "stop buying consoles, game on PC!", and when you actually want to join them, they seem to go "what? No, we don't want you here, you've been tainted for life by console gaming and now you will forever be a dirty casual." I really don't know what these people are thinking and, even as a PC gamer, this annoys me to no end as well.

Anyway, I'm sure there are many helpful people out there on the internet, but perhaps the reason why getting actually useful help out of them is difficult, is that selecting components for your machine is really quite time-consuming, and very dependent on personal factors (mainly your budget; what you're planning on doing with the machine also heavily affects how your budget will be weighted towards the various components). And if you don't want to build yourself (which is perfectly understandable by the way; it's really not as difficult as you probably think, but I fully understand you don't want to take any chances on something that costs you hundreds of dollars), it's even more time-consuming to make a good pick (you'll rarely find a machine that has the exact specs you want). So people who are genuinely willing to help will often not be able to simply set aside the time to do so.

I'd consider myself moderately tech-savvy. Probably not as knowledgeable about hardware as many PC gamers on this site, I don't really follow hardware developments closely myself, to be honest. I'm interested in computers, but more in the software side than the hardware side, so when I need new hardware, I have to do my research as well. Generally, I go to a hardware review site I trust, which is, unfortunately for you, in Dutch (tweakers.net). They always have recommendations for complete custom-built systems, which are really good for their price class. Right now, for example, they have recommended builds for a budget gaming system at 425 euro, a basic gaming system for 600 euro, and a mainstream gaming system for 950 euro. I can't recommend an English-language site that does the same (though I'm sure there must be several out there), but that's the kind of site you should probably go to. All you really need is a shopping list, really. It's not important whether you actually understand what these components do or not, all you need to know is which parts you want, and then ask the shop to assemble the PC for you. At least, in my region hardware shops tend to offer that option. It'll cost slightly more, but it'll probably still be more cost-effective and reliable than an off-the-shelf computer.

If you want, I can get you a shopping list from that Dutch site, if you have a budget in mind. In my (limited) experience, they're reliable (I'm not sure how much computer electronics differs in price between the US and Europe, but if there's a difference, it'll probably just end up cheaper in the US).

Also, my captcha is: "Describe this brand with any word(s): Best Buy"

Well done, captcha.

LordTerminal:

"A top-of-the-range desktop PC costs a lot more, but I wouldn't just be paying to buy into the new games club. I'd be paying for an entire history of games, safely filed away on GOG.com and the Steam listings."

No it's still not worth it Yahtzee. Not when it costs thousands of dollars for a man to accomplish. Shame on you and everyone who agrees with this. I'd like my games to be affordable without having to buy a bunch of random pieces that cost the price of an actual console.

Forget PC, it's the handheld market that's the true master race.

A good PC is about 700$ now. It blows consoles away.

A PC on the level of the next gen consoles is 500$ max.

Consoles are not the bargains they once were.

Dexter111:
You can't take it back, it's ours now.
image

I just upgraded with a Samsung 256GB SSD and I'm going to upgrade my graphics card to a GTX 770 awaiting the arrival of my Oculus Rift soon.

I'm also looking forward to 4K monitors coming up and you can't stop me!

Where did you get that pic?

"Does Microsoft kill one of the hostages?" That part made me laugh out loud ^^

Come join us you unwashed masses of console gamers we, the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race, shall bring you enlightenment!

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely."
Well it won't be free but definitely worth it!
No matter what you do(rather buy a PS4), don't buy the Xbox One! It would irritate me to see Microsoft being rewarded for all that idiocy and shit they are pulling off.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbWgUO-Rqcw "Xbox One Reveal 2013 Highlights"

Yahtzee's got it backwards. It's not that we PC gamers are elitist, it's that console owners are victims of predatory monopolies, and we feel so very sorry for our enslaved gaming brethren.

I mean seriously, they were denied the use of inexpensive, superbly accurate and flexible mice and keyboards so that they'd have to buy expensive controllers instead. They're locked into a monopolistic product market and forced to pay whatever their masters deem profitable enough for whatever their masters deem good enough for them. (sixty bucks - 30 hours of gameplay. 2 bucks an hour. Seriously?). They're supporting the OTHER monopoly too - that of their masters chokehold on game developers. Evil every way you look.

I don't own a massive shiny box o'blinky FPS joy. I have an old POS that just barely runs Skyrim acceptably. But I still feel so very sorry for my poor enslaved brethren and wish that somehow, someday they'll be free.

SonOfVoorhees:
Those kind of people have a pc in the same with other have cars. They want to mod it up, make it faster, louder etc My thoughts are, whats the point in spending all that money just to play the handful of games that need a rig that powerful? An even when they port those games to the 360, like Crysis 2 and Far Cry 3 - the gameplay is still the same. FC3 was good fun, but C2 was crap.....but certain people seem to take graphics over game play.

Also even when a developer brings out a shitty game like Aliens CM, gamers will mod it to make it look better. But why? Now i think modders do some amazing stuff, but they shouldnt need to patch games. I would rather just not buy the game than have to look and hope modders have fixed it. Isnt that just allowing developers to release buggy games?

I like Steam, its great for gaming, i just use it for older games like xcom. I wish they would have worked with MS. Cheaper games are good for every body and i guess there sales are like console gamers buying used. I know there is a steambox in the works, but i dont know who they are aiming to sell it to. PC gamers wont buy it, console gamers will get those games anyway and i doubt non gamers will waste money on it. Unless Steam box is something like an app on a smart tv?

But as ive said to many people. Consoles are for gamers who enjoy playing games. PC's are for people that want top of the range graphic, high def and 60fps (as in gaming isnt the primary reason).

It is interesting reading people talking about cost of parts and what parts to get. But for me personally, building a pc just for gaming isnt worth it as i mostly rent games. But for those that like buying, collecting and building up a huge catalogue of titles that they will replay in 10 years time. Then PC is the way to go as its BC. Especially now as console exclusives are getting very thin on the ground when you compare it to the exclusives the PS2 had.

dem graphics...

image

For me, consoles are for a few decent JRPGs, and the odd exclusive that actually interests me(pretty rare these days). I think the last one I bought was Dragon's Dogma. For everything else, I have a PC. And oddly enough, PC exclusives are most certainly not getting thin. Especially if you like niche games like space sims, old school RPGs and 4X.

Ultratwinkie:

LordTerminal:

"A top-of-the-range desktop PC costs a lot more, but I wouldn't just be paying to buy into the new games club. I'd be paying for an entire history of games, safely filed away on GOG.com and the Steam listings."

No it's still not worth it Yahtzee. Not when it costs thousands of dollars for a man to accomplish. Shame on you and everyone who agrees with this. I'd like my games to be affordable without having to buy a bunch of random pieces that cost the price of an actual console.

Forget PC, it's the handheld market that's the true master race.

A good PC is about 700$ now. It blows consoles away.

A PC on the level of the next gen consoles is 500$ max.

Consoles are not the bargains they once were.

A WiiU costs $250. A PS3 costs $250. A 3DS costs $180. You're not convincing me. If anything, you've proven me right that gaming PCs are expensive. I'm not paying that.

Pink Apocalypse:

But it's absolutely impenetrable. When I have had money to buy something beyond the little laptop I'm currently typing on, getting a straight answer (at Best Buy or wherever) is next to impossible, and I always have the feeling that they're trying to radically up-sell me something beyond my price range. When I've tried to get help online, I got the 'just build it yourself' answer, as if I could just wave some magic wand and do that (see examples in this thread). Attempting to research it led down bottomless pits on incomprehensible specifications, figures, and language I could not understand, which also seemed to change month to month.

Really, it's basically a question of "you get what you pay for", keeping in mind diminishing benefits very clearly apply. The process of deciding how to build a computer for gaming is actually very simple. "How much do you want to spend on a computer?" should be the main question. You then find the components that fit your budget, and read some online reviews to compare them and decide exactly which one you'll buy. I personally like to read my reviews on www.hardocp.com , but other good review sites exist. Hint: If a part gets a "editor's choice" or "gold medal" award on a large review site and it fits your budget, it's probably going to be a good purchase. Don't sweat over the extensive specs analysis if you can't understand them: just look at the performance graphs and the review conclusions, and that should be enough if you're not a PC enthusiast.

So, without further ado, let's go through the whole process quickly, building an entire computer, monitor included:

Two main components: Processor and Video card. Should be about 40% of your budget, more if you want to invest on a more powerful video card.

1) Processor: Essential to gameplay calculations such as AI, physics, etc. A good processor will not only help you with games, but also make everyday computing faster. You have two brands to choose, Intel or AMD. Lately, intel has been pretty much indisputably a better option for gaming. You should still look for processors on both sides that fit your budget, read a couple reviews on each, and decide either way.

2) Video Card: Renders all the visual goodies. If you want to play the most current, graphically-intensive games, you need a strong one. Again, two brands to choose, NVidia or AMD. Neither is clearly superior right now, so, again, you should find one from each side that fits your budget and read reviews to choose. Don't be fooled by crazy specs numbers, clock speeds or memory amount; those things alone don't make good cards. Look at in-game performance analysis (eg. frame rate comparisons) in reviews and get whichever yields the best results for the type of game you want to play most.


The secondary parts: RAM Memory, Motherboard, Hard Disk Drives. Another 40% of your budget, but really depends on how many hard drives you are buying, how large they'll be, etc.

3) RAM Memory: RAM is the lane where all your computing traffic moves. Have too little, and things get bogged down quickly. It's also the easiest part to upgrade, so you don't have to buy enough to last three generations; just buy what you need now, and expand it later if you need. This is a case of "the more, the merrier", but then again if you have too much of it it won't really help. Get at least 8GB, and the higher frequency you can get, the better, but again, stay within your budget.

5) Motherboard: This piece brings all the other parts together, and includes a few parts of its own (especially the integrated sound card and network card). Find one that's designed for your chosen processor (look at the "socket" type) and your budget. Make sure you get one with enough room for your desired video card (some more advanced cards can be huge), and if you want to overclock your computer, one that unlocks the needed multipliers. Really, just find one that is approppriate to the socket and is well-reviewed.

6) Power Supply Unit: You need a PSU that can provide enough juice for your computer and that's reliable. Modular cabling is a plus. Most combinations of mid-high performance video cards and processors can run on a 550w PSU without much trouble.

7) Hard Disk Drive: Stores all your documents, data and games. They can be disk-based or solid-state (SSD), the first ones being less expensive and the latter faster. It's a good idea to have a smaller SSD to store your operational system and most used programs so your computer boots really fast, and another large "standard" HD to store your media files, documents, data, and games. Only if you're *REALLY* impatient with game loading times you'd need to install a game to an SSD.


And the peripheral parts: Computer case, monitor, mouse/keyboard/gamepad. The remaining 20% of your budget, or more if you want to invest on larger monitor or fancier computer case.

8) Computer Case: These can go from the fanciest of fanciest to simple, no-frills design. You decide on how much you want ot invest on case aesthetics, but it should at least be roomy and have at least three or four well-placed cooler fan spots.

9) Monitor: It's obvious what this does. Get one as big as you'd like it to be, make sure it has a low latency (ie. 2ms is usually good). Make sure to read reviews to see if your chosen one can really show good colors and stand the test of time, since this is a part you probably won't be upgrading for a while.

10) Mouse, Keyboard, DVD Drive, Speakers, Gamepad: It's a mouse and keyboard combo. Stick to the basics at first, and upgrade to a mouse with more buttons or whatnot if you feel the need to. Get a wireless combo if you plan on connecting the PC to the living room TV and play from there. Get whatever DVD Drive you can get. Get a good set of speakers with a subwoofer. As for gamepads, if you feel you need one, again, try out and see which one you like. The Xbox controller has become somewhat standard for PC gaming, and I find it comfortable and sturdy as hell.

So, based on that, here's a quick computer build, aimed at a budget of around 1400 dollars, which gives us a reasonably high performance computer, which should be good enough to run all current games on at least high settings for the next three to four years at least (considering that the next-gen console games don't seem to be terribly more advanced that current PC games, I'd wager this machine will be able to run very well all upcoming games for the next gen, which should amount for six years or more). It's a mix of high-performance mainstream parts and entry-level enthusiast parts. The prices were taken from quick searches on newegg.com and amazon.com, and it's very likely you could build a similar machine at lower prices, if you look for good discounts.

Entry-level High Performance build, as of May 2013
1) Processor: Intel core i5 3570 - $225
2) Video Card: geforce 660 - $230
3) RAM Memory: Corsair Dominator 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz $80
5) Motherboard: MSI Z77A-GD65 $160
6) Power Supply Unit: OCZ ZT Series 550W $190
7a) Hard Disk Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200 1.5 TB 7200RPM $100
7b) Hard Disk Drive (SSD): SanDisk Ultra Plus SSD 128 GB $100
8) Computer Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower $65
9) Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23-Inch $160
10a) Mouse, Keyboard: Logitech Desktop MK120 Mouse and keyboard Combo $15
10b) Speakers: Logitech LS21 2.1 Stereo Speaker System $25
10c) DVD Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST $20
11) Operating System: Windows 8 $100
TOTAL COST: $1470

These are parts for a high-performance computer, one I'd build for myself if I were to build one now. Alas, I don't really need one now, because my three-year old computer built on a similar budget can still run everything I throw at it with ease.

A brief aside: computer parts usually come in "budget", "mainstream", "performance" and "extreme" price/performance groups. Find out where you stand in that range and you should have an easier time finding parts for yourself. For an example of this thing in practice, look at the intel Core i5 article at wikipedia: ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture)#List_of_Ivy_Bridge_processors ) I personally find the best place to be, cost-benefit-wise, is the higher "mainstream" to lower "performance".

I'm partially pulling this out of my ass since I haven't simulating building complete machines for each of these categories, but here's an approximation of costs for a complete PC on each of these levels:

PC Build categories/prices, partially pulled out of my ass, as of May 2013.
Budget: $500 to $700
Mainstream: $700 to $1500
Performance: $1500 to $3000
Extreme: $3000 to $6000+

TL;DR: In PCs, what you pay is what you get, but there are diminishing returns. If you want to play all *current* games on high, you might be able to get away with a $700 PC.If you plan on being future-proof and playing everything on high detail settings for the next generation of consoles, be prepared to spend about 1500 dollars. Throw any more money at it, and you get to play with a couple more bells and whistles, add a second or third monitor, but you won't be adding anything really essential to gameplay.

Keep in mind a PC is not only a games machine but also a means to do stuff in the internet, and work. Also, PC games are generally less expensive from the start, and have been getting great discounts as of late, and there are a lot of great free games on PC. Also, free multiplayer and full backwards compatibility! And customization, and mods, and lots of "exclusive" games (eg. Civilization, Total War, Europa Universalis, ArmA, etc)

I hope this helps some.

Dr. McD:
Where did you get that pic?

I found it here: http://saejinoh.blogspot.de/2012/11/master-race.html
Also wanted a bigger version of it, it's just genius (>.<)

LordTerminal:

Ultratwinkie:

LordTerminal:

No it's still not worth it Yahtzee. Not when it costs thousands of dollars for a man to accomplish. Shame on you and everyone who agrees with this. I'd like my games to be affordable without having to buy a bunch of random pieces that cost the price of an actual console.

Forget PC, it's the handheld market that's the true master race.

A good PC is about 700$ now. It blows consoles away.

A PC on the level of the next gen consoles is 500$ max.

Consoles are not the bargains they once were.

A WiiU costs $250. A PS3 costs $250. A 3DS costs $180. You're not convincing me. If anything, you've proven me right that gaming PCs are expensive. I'm not paying that.

The Wii u runs incredibly outdated technology that has been discontinued by parts manufacturers. The PS3 is 8 years old and is about to be replaced, the only reason it took so long was because Sony didn't get enough profit. A 3ds is still a useless paperweight.

Why not bring in the PS1 while you are at it? Because next gen will be just as ex[pensive as a tablet because it runs tablet tech.

PC gaming still gets you more for your money, because the current gen consoles are on their way out and next gen is looking to be more expensive than PC gaming.

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