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Games Hardware

PC Gaming Is Still Way Too Hard (vice.com) 729

Motherboard has an article in which it argues that PC gaming is still way too hard. The author of the article claims that for one to build a gaming PC, they need an "unreasonable" amount of disposable income, and also have an unreasonable amount of time to "research, shop around, and assemble parts" for their computer. The author adds that a person looking into making one such gear also needs to always have to keep investing time and money in as long as they want to stay at the cutting edge or recommended specifications range for new PC games. The author has shared the experience he had building his own gaming PC. An excerpt from it: The process of physically building a PC is filled with little frustrations, and mistakes can be costly and time consuming. I have big, dumb, sausage fingers, so mounting the motherboard into the case, and screwing in nine (!) tiny screws to keep it in place in a cramped space, in weird angles, where dropping the screwdriver can easily break something expensive -- it's just not what I'd call "consumer-friendly." This is why people buy from Apple. It designs everything from the trackpad to the box the computer comes in, which unfolds neatly to reveal everything you need. Apple reduces friction to the point where even my mom could upgrade the RAM on her iMac, and it can do this because it controls everything that goes in that box.That's accurate. But it also means -- at least as of today -- that the current Apple computer -- MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini you purchase packs in at least three-year-old components.
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PC Gaming Is Still Way Too Hard

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  • by Eloking ( 877834 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:04PM (#52491389)

    Didn't take long to find this little jewel to solve all your problem : https://pcpartpicker.com/ [pcpartpicker.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Plus sites like Newegg will recommend other components based on which motherboard you buy. There's still a few potential pitfalls, but all-in-all it's not THAT hard to build a PC. You can also just buy a whole rig, and swap out parts later when the need arises...

      • Plus, you don't need to build your l33t rig just because you intend to do some gaming. If you don't want to build it yourself there are plenty of companies who will shove a tested combination of off the shelf components into a box for you, for a pretty modest premium over doing it yourself; and even a random Dell or the like probably just needs a better graphics card to be more than adequate for most games, since CPUs are mostly absurdly powerful.

        Sure, the agony of trying to figure out why $1500 worth of
        • by Aereus ( 1042228 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @03:18AM (#52494923)

          Most people know someone that will help them build a new rig for a case of beer anyways. And this guy's article was obviously clickbait at its finest with the amount of hyperbole and sensationalism being thrown about. Not to mention spending way more money than needed for a decent gaming PC.

          Who buys a 1TB SSD for a standard gaming system? Nobody. He also spent $180 on a case and $200 on a mobo when there are plenty of very nice cases in the $100 range and mobos in the $120-150 range. And with a case as large as the one he bought, I don't buy that he couldn't fit the motherboard in there easily and screw it down. Those tend to have plenty of access space, with the only somewhat troublesome screw being the one in the back corner by the PSU, but thats what a magnetized screwdriver is for then. Consumer watercooling solutions are also really simple to tie down. Far easier than a standard cooler, since it requires far less pressure.

          Guy sounds like a wanker judging by his Twitter account anyways, so not surprised.

      • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Tuesday July 12, 2016 @01:10AM (#52494593)
        Or just select your games appropriately. I have no problem with my hardware, a VT-55, running my game of choice, Nethack. Only problem is the EPROM character generator (a 1702) is now more than thirty years over its design life, and some of the pixels flicker on and off due to read disturbs.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:22PM (#52491599)

      Didn't take long to find this little jewel to solve all your problem : https://pcpartpicker.com/ [pcpartpicker.com]

      How the fuck am I supposed to click that? I have big, dumb, sausage fingers!

    • But! (Score:5, Funny)

      by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:30PM (#52491669)

      You expect the same people who can't perform a basic Google search to know how to have knowledge of a screwdriver? Good grief, I need both a Standard and Phillips screwdriver. Needle nosed pliers, and even a flashlight. Don't even get me started on to sniff, or not sniff the aluminum paste...

      That is way too much work for the average person. Why not build my own refrigerator you insensitive clod!?!

      was intended as snark, just in case it's not obvious enough..

    • Oh yes! TOUGH! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @05:28PM (#52492161) Homepage Journal

      Because nobody can buy a basic gaming box for about $800.

      Nope. Just never happens.

      http://www.dell.com/us/p/alien... [dell.com]

      Never!

      Hell, in most cases a pre-existing PC should be perfectly acceptable. Just make sure your PSU is 400W or more and has the necessary connectors.
      Then drop $200 on a video card and you're gaming!

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/... [newegg.com]

      It isn't hard. It's just the bar is set higher than "vegetable-level idiocy".

      • Exactly this. I bought a simple $800 Dell XPS for coding away from home (extended contract living in a hotel) but started missing gaming after a while. I bought a 980 and stuck it in, and it plays AAA titles at max settings no problem.

    • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @05:32PM (#52492195) Journal

      I find it kinda funny when they talk about price, actually.

      A decent/usable gaming box, monitor, and mouse can be had for less than $500-$750. Buy the bits, plug them in, load the OS, and you're off to the races.

      Meanwhile, that $200 console is going to need a $500-$1000(or more) big-screen TV (which will sit in your man-cave or mommy's basement, whichever), and if you want some l33t controllers that give you an edge in the game, that's gonna set you back at least $100 more - per controller. Of course, bad-assed headphone/mic set is de rigueûr, and that's gonna set you back from $35 to $100 extra or more... (Oh, and if you want a pretty cover for that controller to make you look bad-assed? that's an extra $150 [thecontrollershop.com].)

      Yeah... whatevs.

      (also funny... my 2013-purchased MacBook Pro CPU/GPU is still more than capable of taking a CG render pounding that would turn most 2016-era laptop chips into a curl of smoke, so no worries on the 'OMG-you're-so-obsolete front.)

    • Why? No I mean really why? The author is clearly not one for carefully picking parts so he's not serious about cutting edge or anything like that. He should just walk into a computer store say "I want a gaming rig" drop $1000 and walk out.

      This is no different from any other hobby. You can make it as easy or as complicated as you want on many levels. It's only when you start getting into the pro side of things that tiny crap like the smoothness of the mouse, or the customizability of the keys on the keyboard

    • by flink ( 18449 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @06:14PM (#52492471)

      Logical Increments [logicalincrements.com] is also great. They split everything out into builds that are graded on price/performance with a selection of parts under each category that have been tested to work together.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:07PM (#52491411)

    Are they overpriced? Sure. But they're prebuilt if you're too lazy, and the price per performance is still way beyond, say, an Apple laptop.

  • What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vermonter ( 2683811 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:08PM (#52491431)
    I mean, sure, occasionally a game like Doom 3 comes out that is beyond it's time in hardware specs, but my computer at home has 3 year old parts, and I have no problem playing new releases. Sure, sometimes I can't play them on the absolute highest settings, but I've never really felt that the game was less fun because of that. Also, the only real limiting factor to that issue is my video card, and a $200 could easily fix that if I felt the need - much cheaper than a new console.
    • Agreed... I have a 4 year old laptop, high-end so admittedly expensive when I bought it, but it can play today's games without much trouble and they look fine. Yes, some games can't be played at the highest settings, but a lot of games aren't "pushing the envelope" as hard as they used to for graphics. A desktop computer is even easier, you can buy almost any desktop that comes in a regular case, add in a reasonable graphics card and you are good to go, even if the rest of the components are 3-5 years old
  • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:09PM (#52491433) Homepage

    This "article" screams intern assignment. The premise is predetermined and everything that goes against it is ignored. There are so many part pickers and guides available through a single search it's frustrating and stupefying that someone would even try writing this.

    Likewise, building a PC now is nothing close to what it used to take. How would have this person felt trying to configure their IRQ interrupts? Not well, I'm guessing.

    All told, it is sad that /. even allowed this to be submitted. This is an article in search of something to be upset about.

    • That takes me back. When did we get automatic PCI IRQ steering, Windows 95 (20 something years ago)? I feel like this stopped being a problem when ISA went away.
      • Yes. Plug and Pray- I mean Play was the biggest selling point of W95 (in addition to a 32bits kernel).

        Since ISA doesn't support PnP, it went away very quickly. But even with PCI, you will have to pray that your 16 IRQs won't conflict, you have enough memory address (and the right part of addresses!), and DMA (usually not a problem.)

        • The trick that many people never caught on to was that motherboards would assign IRQs to the PCI slot. Have a conflict? Move the card. Conflict solved.

          In the AGP days, the AGP slot and the PCI slot right next to it would share on 90% of the boards out there.

        • ISA kinda-sorta did PnP. Rather, the cards that did it best had a small nvram in them that picked which hardware IRQ lines on the card edge the card should listen on. Several NICs and some audio cards did this. Others used a realmode driver to set it using a hard set IO range.

          The real issue was that every single ISA card wanted to live on 5, or {2}9. only modems were usually able to be put on 10, 3, or 4. (12 was usually eaten by the PS\2 port) That really made things hard, because ISA was hard wired IRQ

      • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @05:02PM (#52491955) Journal

        The beginning of IRQs not being a thing any more was with PCI level-triggering of interrupts. In order to complete the transition, legacy ISA devices either needed to go away, or have non-configurable interrupts so they wouldn't get in the way of PCI doing it's thing.

        For example, you can still have a COM1 in a modern PC, and it will even be on IRQ04. PCI will rightly carve out a hole for serial UARTS on IRQ04 / 03.

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      IRQ, DMA, address ranges. I'd like to see the author trying to install a modem and two sound cards into an old 286-era computer.

      • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:38PM (#52491753) Homepage

        IRQ, DMA, address ranges. I'd like to see the author trying to install a modem and two sound cards into an old 286-era computer.

        You didn't even mention dip switches and jumpers. Seesh.

        Someone complaining about the difficulty assembling a PC today is like someone complaining about making cookies from a roll of pillsbury cookie dough.

        Seriously. The author is "building" a PC the same way I "build" a pair of shoes because I have to lace them up myself.

        (For the author: "laces" are things used to "tie" shoes for those of use who have progressed beyond velcro.)

      • Even 486's were full of ISA slots.
        PCI wasn't standard until the Pentium came out

    • by eth1 ( 94901 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:54PM (#52491891)

      This "article" screams intern assignment. The premise is predetermined and everything that goes against it is ignored. There are so many part pickers and guides available through a single search it's frustrating and stupefying that someone would even try writing this.

      Likewise, building a PC now is nothing close to what it used to take. How would have this person felt trying to configure their IRQ interrupts? Not well, I'm guessing.

      All told, it is sad that /. even allowed this to be submitted. This is an article in search of something to be upset about.

      You missed the part where the author complains about the "unreasonable" cost, then turns around and lauds Apple... :P

    • by Tailhook ( 98486 )

      The only part of the story that rings true with me is the "disposible income" argument. As we are guided through the managed decline and the gaming demographic that used to have disposable income are instead buying healthcare for their elders and paying off student loans to keep the faculty pensioners in vacation homes while dreaming of leaving their childhood bedrooms by 40, it is easy to imagine the cost to build out a capable rig being too high.

      Beyond that it's crap; folks have been building, upgradin

      • Wait, wait...

        Dude, even in the bad old days when I was a broke-assed student, I was able to carve together a working PC by visiting the local geek shops and buying their used-but-still-working parts, then cobbling them together (I think the only above-average-skillset exception requried was my very first VGA monitor, which needed --and got-- a new flyback transformer and 15-pin connector.)

        Seriously - back in the early 1990s, I could whip together a working 486 for roughly $300... back when the new ones woul

  • What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mattventura ( 1408229 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:09PM (#52491441) Homepage
    Yes, of course it's unreasonably expensive if you get a $450 video card and a 1TB SSD. What were they expecting to discover? That water is wet?
    • What would be more interesting is examining all the games that can be played at acceptable quality on an Intel i3 CPU with the stock Intel HD graphics. You'll find that it's really quite extensive.

      Investing $150 in a solid mid-range GPU is not outrageous when you're spending $50/game and provides a huge boost. I've got a 6 year old CPU and a 5 year old mid-range GPU (total cost for the whole system was under $500) and it plays everything that I throw at it.

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Funny)

      by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @05:48PM (#52492295)

      You mean I don't get a nVidia Titan and 1TB SSD with my Xbox One, or PS4? What the hell man?!??!

  • by Kargan ( 250092 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:10PM (#52491451) Homepage

    I've built several dozen pcs over the last 16-17 years and I enjoy it, especially gaming pcs. It's like building a hot rod, and every time I just have to see how fast it goes, because it automatically becomes the new fastest pc I have ever built.

    I can understand the author's point of view, but don't relate to it at all. Having built my own pcs for several years now is a point of personal pride, because I've learned enough to do it well, and I don't mind keeping up with the latest tech news about the latest innovations.

    I'm the opposite of an Apple user, let me pick and choose exactly what I want for my hardware and software, it's more cost-effective and more gratifying in the long run.

    • The premise is entirely dumb, because, just like with cars, you don't need to build your own. You can go to a dealership and buy something fast with a lot of horsepower. If you want better, you don't have to build it yourself (though you can) - there are specialty shops that will upgrade a base model for you. Apple has never been targeted at PC gaming, and any gaming you can do on a Mac is incidental to it. But if you want an out of the box machine that can play games, you can go to Dell or whomever. Sure,
  • Having a niche hobby can be expensive and inconvenient.

  • Negative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:10PM (#52491455)

    1. PC gaming is the same price as console gaming for the hardware and cheaper for the games. A PC in your home is a zero sum game. You will own one. The cost of a PC gaming machine is the cost of a PC gaming system minus the cost of a conventional PC. A console will run you perhaps 300~400 USD. Add 300 to 400 to the cost of a PC and you have a reasonable gaming PC.

    2. As to difficulty, the difficulty of PC gaming is only difficult if you don't know how to use a computer. The difficulty of PC gaming minus again the assumed competence with a PC which you should have anyway is about zero.

    3. If you're talking about how hard the actual game is... adjust settings or get good, noob.

  • it's just not what I'd call "consumer-friendly." This is why people buy from Apple. It designs everything from the trackpad to the box the computer comes in, which unfolds neatly to reveal everything you need.

    Article is comparing a ready-made system of a collection of parts and claiming the ready-made system is easier. Gee, I wonder why that is. It's like saying "This is why people buy Toyota, so they don't need to assemble a car themselves". And why pick Apple? Why not pick Asus, Dell, HP, Sony, Toshiba, or Lenovo? There are many other companies that sell PCs already assembled.

  • by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:13PM (#52491489)

    It's been a while since I built a gaming rig, but most of my time researching was on finding the best price to performance parts I could get. Or was willing to spend at the time. I don't have dainty fingers either. But I've worked on a lot of engines and such in my day, as well as played several musical instruments . So I suppose I my finger dexterity is above average. Still, if you're planning on a gaming rig, you don't chose a cramped case. I also found that I usually could run most, if not all games at maximum settings for at least two years. Generally a video card upgrade at the 2 to 3 year mark will extend the useful life for another year or two.

    I'm not sure how a Mac is going to be relevant. Do current games get released for Mac these days? Also, I've read that they are starting to solder the RAM into them in lower end products. How in the hell is that something that a "mother" could upgrade? Or is she an electrical engineer or something?

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      My current gaming rig is 6 years old. I've switched video cards twice, and I expect a couple more years of use out of it. It's still fast enough, since the vid card does most of the work.

      Building your first PC is hard, sure. If you don't enjoy that sort of thing, buy an Alienware. PCs just don't "age out" the way they used to these days: it's no longer something you have to do every 2-3 years.

      • Building your first PC is hard, sure.

        It's not even that hard. You watch a video on YouTube and you're good to go. I'm a complete moron (as lgw will gladly attest, I'm sure) and I've built my last three gaming machines. One of them, I just went to the MicroCenter and said, "Gimme one of those, and one of those and two of those..." and went home and slapped it all together. It was much easier to complete than the Revelle model of a 1968 Nova that I built when I was a kid.

        The hardest part is taking a coup

      • Alienware = dell there are others out there that will build for you and give a lot more choice then dell and without that dell bios.

  • To spec out vs. a console which has literally no options, so yeah its harder. To say it's hard is another matter. There are plenty of off-the-shelf gaming PC's which will meet most people's needs, but the chief requirement (for the upgrade cycle) is learning how to plug in the components, which has gotten significantly easier over my lifetime of computers.

    I'd say the hardest upgrades are motherboard and CPU. Motherboard because of CPU's and CPU's because they have those dang twist latches to fuse the coolin

  • lolwut.

    You can just buy ready made gaming pc's off the shelf. You don't have to build done yourself. That's what enthusiasts do! Like car enthusiasts who tinker under the hood all the time, and get aftermarket mods installed. That's what pc gamers do.

    End consumers can just buy a ready made pc, install steam and off they go...

  • Yeah, and I wanted a jet trainer so badly, but couldn't afford it. And a spaceship. Come on, you live in a car-obsessed country (I wonder how many people heed this advice [financialsamurai.com]), and a decent desktop PC is still many times cheaper, what's there to cry about?
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:19PM (#52491563)

    Oh wait you can

    http://www.alienware.com/ [alienware.com]

    Not for you ? Oh if only there were someplace that would let you pick your components and they would build the PC for you

    https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

    Tooo hard to figure out what you need ? If only there were a guide of some kind

    http://www.tomshardware.com/ [tomshardware.com]

    http://www.hardocp.com/ [hardocp.com]

  • by bistromath007 ( 1253428 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:21PM (#52491583)
    I'm disabled. While it may be true that I have an unreasonable amount of time to waste, my disposable income is incredibly tight. Despite this, I have a gaming rig, built a few years ago, that still runs most new games with excellent stability and decent performance at 1080p. All told, it cost about $700, which means something better than this one should be significantly cheaper right now. Me and my friend threw the parts list together in the matter of a few hours, because my previous rig had just shit the bed and I needed something in a hurry.

    If you can't build a passable gaming PC, you're incompetent, lazy, or both.
  • Did the person who wrote TFA even look for consistency in their article? Who the fuck says you need to build your own? There are tons of options for buying pre-built gaming PCs, so getting into PCs is no more difficult than knowing how to order shit online. And did he just seriously mention gaming and Apple computers in the same paragraph? Just casually browsing newegg I managed to configure a custom pre-built PC in 5 minutes that would absolutely skull fuck anything currently sold by Apple at twice the pri
  • by Sperbels ( 1008585 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:22PM (#52491591)
    Cars have been around for over 100 years, why are they still so hard to build? It's so much easier to buy them pre-assembled.
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:23PM (#52491603)

    PC gaming is a racist, sexist bastion of white male privilege and clearly consoles are the socially just platform of choice because they have a more diverse market.

  • Gee, if only geeks would share their knowledge. Oh wait, they already do:

    * https://www.reddit.com/r/PCMas... [reddit.com]

    I've been building custom PC gaming rigs since the early 90's. This isn't rocket science. You spend a few minutes doing research -- or if you are really lazy

    * http://www.tomshardware.com/t/... [tomshardware.com]

    Hell, if you can't even be bothered to think one could always go with Dell / Alienware.

    • Exactly the things I wanted to mention. Why waste time when many people have spent lots of their time with coming up with balanced builds?
  • I wish the author had defined what they consider reasonable because without that the article has no meaning.

    I mean, you can argue the point, but to me it has never been easier or more affordable to build a gaming PC. Hell you don't even need a screwdriver anymore, everything clicks together like Lego bricks now - which I guess is how I fell for this click-baity article - by clicking and reading the damn thing to try and determine how far the intersection between cranium and rectum were.

  • So then, what's the problem here?
  • Apple reduces friction to the point where even my mom could upgrade the RAM on her iMac...

    Oh sure, pick the iMac for your example. You're not even saying which iMac you're talking about, so you might even be wrong in your argument.

    The Macbook comes with 8GB of memory built in. RAM is not upgradable in this model.

    The 11-inch MacBook Air comes with 4GB of memory built in. If you feel you may need 8GB in the future, it is important to upgrade at the time of purchase, as RAM is not upgradable in this model. The

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      Only the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display and the Mac Pro can have their RAM upgraded by the user.

      I have an iMac from before the retina displays were even available, and I upgraded the ram in my system without any issue.

  • For prices similar to Apples, and a frustation free experience.

    Dumb article for sure.

    +Voodoo was bough by HP and does not exist as a separate brand, but I do not know how are HP Ink's (pun intended) Gaming PCs marketed nowadays

  • There are services that build to of the line PCs with the latest and greatest in them - but you'll pay a premium. Sourcing your own components and coming up with a build that fits your needs is where you save money. You either do labor and pay less or pay more for convenience. The basics of economics there.
  • Haven't been keeping current with PC trends? Ask a friend, or go on to a forum with computer enthusiasts and ask some questions. Generally people like talking about their hobbies and might help you piece together a decent rig or already have a dream upgrade planned for themselves.
  • by skogs ( 628589 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:35PM (#52491721) Journal

    Dude, a guy from motherboard named website that finds screwing in (actually very reasonably sized) motherboard screws into a case is too hard? Where do they find these worthless lib-arts degree losers to write articles for them?

  • by M0j0_j0j0 ( 1250800 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:35PM (#52491723)

    This guy must belong on the silly generation, save your time click baiting, just read this below.

    Let's take for example the manual for my—brace yourself—"ASUS Republic of Gamers Maximus VIII Hero" motherboard. As you can tell by its ridiculous name, this thing is being marketed specifically to people who are building PCs to play games, but there's no easy-to-find "quick setup guide." Instead, there's an inscrutable 160-page manual that didn't help me find out where to plug in anything.

    How ridiculous is this?! , why is this even on Slashdot, this is an insult to everyone intelligence.

  • You don't have to run every game at over 70fps.You don't have to buy the highest spec corei7. It's like buying a car, you don't have to have a Bugatti or a complicated but cheap to buy kit car to enjoy a track day at your local circuit. An easier or cheaper machine can still be fun. Maybe less performance but the compromise to be made is much the same. Sure there are experts who are mechanics by day who can build a Caterham themselves on a shoestring with cheap parts from scrapyard's etc. But that's just ho

  • I stopped "building" PC's over 15 years ago. There's literally no point, you end up with problems and incompatibilities and extra expense and - in the end - you get a PC that you can't upgrade any further than any other.

    Yet I have 1000+ games on Steam, and god knows how many on other services and discs, etc. You just buy good commodity hardware and - although not "obvious" to complete amateurs, you should know if you've ever googled - a decent video card.

    Last time someone I heard of that didn't have any P

  • Change the interface of cards so that they are T type connectors that cards slip in. Motherboard and cards all have a metal plate at the back (not the bottom, the back) which thumb screws into the case or even simple locking tabs. Need to swap a motherboard? Lift the locking panel on the front of the case, Unscrew the two thumb screws and remove the motherboard card from the case.

    What about fans, on case temp readings, lights, etc? When the motherboard slides into the case it's own connector slides into the
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:38PM (#52491749) Homepage

    The author of the article claims that for one to build a gaming PC, they need an "unreasonable" amount of disposable income, and also have an unreasonable amount of time to "research, shop around, and assemble parts" for their computer.

    Or they could just buy a pre-made gaming PC. You might be able to save a few dollars by putting one together yourself, but if you're worried about all the time and effort spent, and having "sausage fingers" that can't seat a motherboard, buying an already-assembled system is an option.

    It's not necessarily that expensive, even-- the Alienware Alpha, for example, starts at $500. It's not the most powerful system ever, but it'll play an awful lot of PC games.

    The author adds that a person looking into making one such gear also needs to always have to keep investing time and money in as long as they want to stay at the cutting edge or recommended specifications range for new PC games.

    Well yes, if you want to stay on the cutting edge, you need to spend money to stay there. Not necessarily time, since there are companies who will build you a pretty cutting-edge system for a price. But money, yes, you have to spend money to stay on the cutting edge. However, you don't need to stay on the cutting edge. You can buy a $1000 system and play games on it for several years. Even a $1000 gaming rig will play most mainstream games at medium or high graphics settings, at playable frame rates. It might not play the most demanding games on "ultra high" at 100fps, but honestly, you can do it. My pattern for the past couple decades has been to buy a $1000 system every 5 years, updating the video card to whatever I can get for $200 halfway through the lifecycle. I haven't really had trouble playing games.

  • What is being described isn't "PC Gaming" - it's BUILDING a gaming PC.

    Those aren't the same things.

    Yes, sure, if you buy your components and build it yourself, you might save a little money (less now than you used to, IMO). But guess why? The difference is ... THE LABOR $ to build it. Surprise!

    Want to do "PC gaming" without that effort? Just BUY a gaming computer. You don't even need a particularly great one anymore, unless you want to run your games at 4k.

    Sager makes great laptops, or just go buy tha

    • Seems like there is a whole market out there of people who build gaming PCs for people who don't want to build them themselves.
      Of course, building a system yourself for under $1k is going to tend to be better than buying one prebuilt in terms of performance or just general component quality, but there are viable options both for pre-built and DIY in that price range.

      Is $1k a lot of disposable income? I'm not expecting people to upgrade every month, or even every year. Are you going to be a "pro gamer" with

  • The video hardware in Macs is absolutely USELESS for AAA gaming. And it can't be upgraded either.

    This is not a problem with PC gaming. PC Gaming should not cater to the lowest common denominator, that's what consoles are for.

  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @04:44PM (#52491813)

    I RTFA because I couldn't believe what the summary said. It's true, it's all true.
    I don't know what parts of it angered me the most but the below comes close.

    "Beginning to end, the whole process of building the computer took me almost five hours, and I had to make two emergency calls to PC Gamer's Fenlon during the process: once when I couldn't figure out why the case fans weren't spinning, and again when the computer didn't recognize an ethernet cable. I was literally bleeding from a cut on my hand by the end of it, which my YouTube guides said was common. I bled for this fucking thing. ...
    But getting there was a nightmare. It is by far the most difficult product I've ever bought and put together. "

    All I can say is that this "journalist" sounds like an entitled, whiny, moron who needs to STFU.

  • Stop playing the latest video games. Only play 4 year old stuff. Then any crummy whitebox you buy will be able to run them just fine, and all the games and drivers will have reached their final patch levels by the time you bother with them.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      Stop playing the latest video games.

      Last year's AAA title for $60 may be available for five bucks at Steam's Black Friday sale. I haven't paid full retail for a video game in 10+ years.

  • I was planning to just mod up some comments about how stupid and wrong this all is, but I can't believe that someone actually seriously wrote this.
    First of all, you don't need to constantly upgrade. I bought mine 3 years ago for less than $1000 (including monitor and SSD) and I'm still playing new games at 60FPS.
    Then there is the whole thing of not having to put it together yourself. You can buy ready made gaming systems.
    More costly than a console? Yes. But it's a PC. If that's not a plus for you, by all me
  • To bad that apple is all about thin and they under power the GPU's a bit for the screen size. And they have 5400 RPM HDD's in 1K+ systems.

    Also it's said that mac pro had to be cut down as well. The old one had dual cpu and took full size video cards + ATI / NVIDIA put out drivers for newer cards as well.

    The sad thing is in the past few years they have talked about gameing on the mac but there hardware was a bit lacking and now it's even thiner with higher end stuff taken out. Like my desktop really needs t

  • People fetishize PC hardware. Do you NEED to play Crysis at 4K at 90 FPS? No. But people get enjoyment out of trying to get more and more performance. The problem here is that the author is lumping the fetishists in with the regular game players.

    Let the fetishists spend their money. Let the rest of the world play at 1080 resolution at 30 FPS.

    Oh - Macs don't have three year old hardware. Don't be daft.

  • Motherboard has an article in which it argues that car driving is still way too hard. The author of the article claims that for one to build a car, they need an "unreasonable" amount of disposable income, and also have an unreasonable amount of time to "research, shop around, and assemble parts" for their car. The author adds that a person looking into making one such gear also needs to always have to keep investing time and money in as long as they want to stay at the cutting edge or recommended specificat
  • The guys says "Apple has 3 year old components", is that actually the case? When I look the iMac 27 inch on Apple's website under "technical specs" it mentions the i5 and i7 and just speeds (3.3GHz i5 turbo boost up to 3.9GHz) and when you finally put it in your the cart and go to "Check Out" it gives you the option for a 4GHz i7 Turbo boost up to 4.2GHz but no where does it say what chip you are actually getting. If I select the 4GHz i7 and 16GB model it totals $2,749 but it never really says what you're g

  • Is it just me or does this read like a giant piece of bait? An article decrying the "difficulty" of getting into PC gaming when in the same article praising various sub reddits for their willingness to help?
  • Compared to what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @05:48PM (#52492293) Homepage Journal

    Indulge yourself in an automotive hobby:

    - Honda CRX, $1500
    - Initial fixes, $1000-2000
    - Improvements such as clutch, suspension, intake/fuel, $1200-2000
    - Cosmetics, $200-$500
    - Tires and wheels, $1000-3000
    - Additional tools, $500-2000

    Total, $5,400-$11,000.

    Try this with a 2005 Impala SS, similar money. Jeep CJ, similar with a higher max. Classic US muscle car, double the top figure maybe. Mangle your existing daily driver, plan on being close to he bottom unless you've chosen something without many options, and you've just chosen the equivalent of a $500 gaming rig, never really that much fun. Cost of tires to learn to drive quick, priceless.

    Or, maybe, woodworking:

    Uplevel Table Saw, $250-750
    Drill Press - $150-500
    Planer - $250-1000
    Band Saw - $125-500
    Work Bench - $100-400
    Oscillating Sander - $100-250
    Router and table - $125-300
    Dust Collection - $100-500

    Total, $1,200-2,950. A lathe would be the next investment. Cost of lumber to learn proficiency, priceless.

    Both requiring similar amounts of space dedicated to the hobby... More than gaming.

    Maybe you'd prefer to take up elk or deer hunting?

    - Big game rifle, $500-1800
    - Scope, $150-700
    - Ammo for practice, $250-450
    - Ammo for hunting, $150-450
    - Cold weather gear, $300-1000
    - Travel expenses for a weekend hunt, $200-1500
    - Assumes you already posses a vehicle. Cost of trips to learn proficiency, priceless. Actually killing an animal, superlative.

    Total: $1350-4400

    Bowhunting expenses would be similar.

    Or maybe you would, as I do, prefer flyfishing?

    - Trout rod, $75-$500
    - Reel, $35-200
    - Backing and floating line, $40-100
    - Spare spool, Backing and sinking line, $65-150
    - Basic fly collection, $45-200 (an ongoing expense)
    - Waders, $45-250
    - Vest or jacket, $25-200
    - Tackle, boxes, accessories, $100-500
    - Travel expenses for weekend trip, $200-1800

    Total: $620-3700 (Can be cheap). Cost to learn proficiency, priceless. Actually catching a fish, immaterial A day fishing is a good day, catching a fish is a GREAT day.

    Hunting and fishing also requires physical exertion and time from home.

    You could get into metal working, but plan on adding a zero to the woodworking hobby to approach the same level. Welding requires not just space, but careful examination of your homeowner's insurance coverage...

    I see decent gaming rigs built from $500-1500, and all-out rigs topping $2500. Seems like an affordable hobby, and the added benefit of having a functional PC for all those other uses. If there's a notebook game rig that doesn't burn the graphic chip and your thighs, you got yourself a hobby that can be indulged on a cross-country flight, maybe, if inflight WiFi latency doesn't make you dead. I'm jaded, of course, since everything is either a twitch game, tedious leveling and learning the story, or IGP.

    Expensive? Feh.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @08:06PM (#52493155)

    Most games on Steam still run fine on XP and old Intel laptop integrated cards. If you want game of the year at 4k resolution and 120Hz, that's entirely your choice. There are hundreds of great titles with reasonable system requirements, Many are not available on consoles, or at least the particular console you have at home. "The town of light" is the latest PC-only game I played that rocks.

  • by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @08:38PM (#52493321)

    Apple reduces friction to the point where even my mom could upgrade the RAM on her iMac, and it can do this because it controls everything that goes in that box.

    Yes, but you can *only* replace the RAM in an iMac. If you want to replace the SSD/hard disk or CPU, as a true "gamer" might want to do, then you're going to have all sorts of fun pulling it apart (a specialist pizza cutter to remove the adhesive behind that pretty glass screen, specialist screw drivers to un/refasten everything inside, depending on the model a specialist temperature sensor/SATA dongle to stick on the new SSD/hard disk, and new adhesive strips to stick everything together). And you'll never be able to upgrade the "video card" it's integrated into the motherboard!

    Now try to game with your shiny new and upgraded iMac, whose warranty you've just invalidated... most games on Steam are Windows-only, especially AAA games, and of those that are "OSX compatible" many don't perform well on high resolution Retina displays.

    Just buy an Alienware gaming machine if you're too delicate to build one from scratch.

  • by Cruciform ( 42896 ) on Monday July 11, 2016 @09:22PM (#52493577) Homepage

    You can build a "budget" gaming rig these days for $550, which will play most games except the very latest at high/ultra quality settings.
    And shops like NCIX will send one already built and tested to your door and save you the headache of picking it out yourself.
    So for the price of a console you get a rig with the potential to upgrade a couple of parts before you get around to replacing it.

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