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Hardware Entertainment Games

The Best Gaming PC Money Can Buy 360

SlappingOysters writes "Gameplayer has gone live with their best PC hardware configurations for Q1 2009. They've broken it into three tiers depending on the investor's budget. And while the prices are regional, it is comparative across the globe. The site has also detailed the 10 Hottest PC Games of 2009 to unveil the software on the horizon which may seduce gamers into an upgrade."
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The Best Gaming PC Money Can Buy

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  • by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @10:05AM (#26356893) Journal

    ...there's not actually any games that needs anywhere near the horsepower they pack. I'm rarely impressed by a machine that with full details at super HD resolutions can run any game....at 400fps. Your eyes can only pickup 80fps anyway; you wouldn't know if it was 100 or 10,000 fps unless the fps counter didn't say.

    Oh, and in 1-2 years comparable hardware can be picked up at a tenth of the price.

    Still, I'm all for the advancement of benchmarking science, so this is still a good thing.

  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @10:15AM (#26357033)
    You mean the original Crysis, not Warhead, as the newer game was optimized to run on lesser hardware.

    I know because I have both running on a Core 2 Quad Q9550 with 2 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 and a Geforce 9800GT. Warhead runs smoother on higher settings.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @10:15AM (#26357049)

    Your eyes can only pickup 80fps anyway; you wouldn't know if it was 100 or 10,000 fps unless the fps counter didn't say.

    It doesn't matter what your eyes can see. It's about responsiveness. Faster rendering makes the game more responsive. See, we live in an analog world which has essentially infinite FPS. The closer a game gets to that then the better it feels because it will respond at the exact microsecond you do something. It does make a very real difference.

    Now granted many people don't care otherwise there wouldn't be people like you that think "80 FPS is enough for anyone." Gunny how that number keeps creeping upwards. First it was 24 FPS (because that was all the eye could see), then 30, then 60, now you're saying 80. LOL

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @10:17AM (#26357089)

    Seriously, I'm honestly curious. I'm a huge PC gamer and I run Vista 64-bit. All 32-bit Windows apps, which accounts for most games made in the last 10 years or so, seem to run great natively. For older DOS games, well those don't run well in 32-bit Windows. You get no sound, video problems, etc. The NTVDM isn't really good fro games. So what you do is fire up DOSBox, which runs them great. However that runs just as well in 64-bit as it does in 32-bit.

    Thus far, I don't see any gaming problems with a 64-bit OS. So if you know of some, I'd be interested in what they are.

  • What games (Score:2, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @10:45AM (#26357425) Journal

    Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but I haven't seen a lot of "heavy" new PC games that would require an "ultimate gaming rig" these days.

    That's not to say that some good games/additions/etc haven't come out or aren't on the boiler, but what's out-or-coming that would require or make use of a souped-up gaming rig VS just a decent machine (with a decent graphics card)?

  • Re:What a crock... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @11:16AM (#26357809) Journal

    Sharky Extreme used to do these (not sure if they do it anymore), and it sounds like the budgets are similar (though I think they had 4 tiers - budget, mid, high, and extreme). The budget machine there was also $1000, but that includes some stuff like Monitor that isn't always included in other PC building guides. The extreme guide usually had the disclaimer that "if money was no object...," so I say "only 2 blue ray burners? Why not 4?" I can't tell if they're similar due to the slashdotting.

    I'd question a quad, but that depends on what the PC is for. I added a quad to the one I'm building (incidentally, off the top of my head, mostly with parts off newegg...), but you lose about .5Mhz clock speed for those two extra cores. Since my system splits time doing builds and gaming, a quad made sense for me (parallel builds... yum). A duo would be better future-proofing for games, but I bought hardware with room to grow (can add memory and improve CPU at a later time), favoring lower memory latencies over more memory and a faster FSB than the CPU needs so I can update that when prices drop (in addition, mobo and memory apparently OC quite well).

    Anyhow, benchmarking never is perfect, so I always take it with a grain of salt - a CPU intensive benchmark that threads may give great results on a quad, but one that doesn't would favor a faster duo. Same thing with any apps you ran. Ditto for GPU tests. Even with real world tests like Crysis, it may stress shaders more than memory and HL2 might do just the opposite.

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @11:36AM (#26358073)

    Tell me about it, I built a new PC earlier this year having been playing mostly XBox 360 games for the past 2 and a half years.

    I spent £1,600 (equivalent to $3,200 US at the time) on my new machine. I bought high end named RAM (something I never usually do), I bought a high end gaming motherboard (again, I always used to just go for any old board) etc. etc. So imagine my display when as soon as it was built I fired up Crysis to find it would not run smoothly anywhere even close to highest detail at 1920x1200 and nor would it run at max detail at lower resolutions. Whilst games like Spore and Warhammer Online ran perfectly, they're not exactly top end graphical marvels.

    So yeah, I agree, PC gaming for games that show off the latest graphics is an absolute waste of time when there are consoles out there that due to having fixed hardware (at least the hardware that matters when optimizing) is so much cheaper and games can be so much better optimized for. Games like Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty 5 end up looking so so much better than Crysis on the PC even at full detail and yet also run amazingly smoothly and for a mere fraction of the cost of my gaming PC and without any of the hassle of making sure drivers are uptodate etc.

    I'm not sure there's really a solution either unless we really move everything off of the standard PC hardware like we have graphics and just have "gaming boards" that are effectively like console hardware but that slot into the PC and just utilise it for display etc. but have some standardised specs to allow for proper optimization. As it stands, PC hardware now can't even compete with the graphical quality and smoothness of console hardware that is now 3 - 4 years old since release, and even older when you factor that it was developed long before release.

    Perhaps what I miss most though is extensibility, games like Quake were fantastically fun to mod, but similarly even that became a little silly with newer games. The increased complexity of assets (higher poly counts, shaders etc.) means you can't really create decent mods as a one man band or small team anymore bar some smaller innovative code-only mods. Anything that requires a change in graphical style requires many more bodies working on it than before and if you do build a team of the right size and skills then why build a mod anyway? Why not just outright make a game when the workload is similar if you use one of the many great cheap engines out there (C4, PowerRender, Torque etc.) or even OSS engines (OGRE, Irrlicht).

  • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @11:49AM (#26358245)

    Anyone who spends that kind of money on hardware to play last gen games is a fool.

    Plenty of current and next gen games when they arrive utilise 4 cores, it seems to make sense if you're spending money on a PC like that for it to be able to still play the games of tommorrow than to play the games of yesterday that can be run perfectly well even if using only 1 of 4 cores anyway.

    To create an example to make this point clear:

    Game A is out now
    - it can be run on a single core higher clock speed CPU at 150fps
    - or a lower clock speed quad core CPU utilising only one of them at 140fps

    The difference will be narrow (or may not even exist in fact) because the OS still utilises multiple cores to ensure the game has a core to itself whilst single core has to share the core with the OS and background processes so even if the game doesn't use 4 cores, the OS does. Then onto the next scenario, a new game:

    Game B comes out in a month
    - it can be run on a single core higher clock speed CPU at 20fps due to not supporting the latest SIMD extensions etc.
    - or it can be run on a quad core CPU utilising all cores, with the latest SIMD extensions and such at 200fps

    So tell me, if you're laying down this kind of cash for a PC that you'll probably want to last for a while, what makes the most sense to go for?

    Only a fool uses the "quad core is pointless, existing games don't use them all" argument when spending the amount of cash required for a high end gaming PC.

  • by wgaryhas ( 872268 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @12:18PM (#26358617)
    depending on the monitor's refresh rate, 80 fps may be the best a monitor can do: 8 ms response time = 125 fps 12 ms = 83 fps 16 ms = 63 fps And many monitors have response times of 12 ms or more. So if you aren't paying attention, you could build a system that updates faster than the monitor can display.
  • Re:What a crock... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shadow of Eternity ( 795165 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @12:41PM (#26358971)

    Alan Wake
    Company of Heroes
    Far Cry 2
    Hellgate: London
    Lost Planet
    Microsft Flight Sim X
    Rainbow Six Vegas
    Source Engine
    Splinter Cell Double Agent
    Supreme Commander
    Unreal Engine 3
    Half-life2: Orange box engine games/mods

    Nowadays you've basically got a choice between a 3.4ghz quadcore and a 3.4-3.8ghz dualcore (4ghz is still a little out of range for the average overclocker). I'd rather have another 2 cores and a slower clockspeed than a slight boost in clockspeed. Then again maybe that's because I'm not an idiot that relies on the false logic that just because it's not immediately the absolute best thing out there that it won't be very useful to have for the next few years.

  • Re:Gaming PC? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CronoCloud ( 590650 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noruaduolconorc>> on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @01:03PM (#26359269)

    Certain genre's will never be comfortable on a traditional gaming console.

    Never say never when it comes to statements like that. Remember those guys who said back in 93: "You'll never play a blood soaked slugathon like DOOM on a kiddie console". Or the ones who said a few years later "You'll never have internet play on a console".

    There are two console MMORPG's, both PS2 games (though FFXI has an Xbox port), both with keyboard support. Past trends prove that there will be more, it's only a matter of time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @02:04PM (#26360247)

    The Planck time allows for only around 1.86x10^43 fps, which is nowhere even close to infinity.

    Holy frak. What sort of high-spec machine is our universe running on then?

    could be infinite...according to wikipedia:

    The Planck time is simply the time it takes a beam of light to travel a Planck length. As of 2006, the smallest unit of time that has been directly measured is on the attosecond (10â'18 s) time scale, or around 1026 Planck times.[3][4] There is also speculation that one Planck time after the Big Bang, statements can be made about the universe displaying properties equal to some of the other Planck units. (Some hypothesize that gravity must have separated first due to its homogeneity to the others. Some propose that the strong nuclear force is the most likely candidate due to its strength.)[5]

    One Planck time should be the smallest measurable unit of time, according to quantum mechanics. But according to news reports, analyses of Hubble Space Telescope Deep Field images in 2003 brought up a possible discrepancy. Images should have been blurry at very far distances, but the news articles stated that they were not, challenging the theory that Planck time is indeed the smallest measurable unit of time in the universe.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller