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Kchrpm
December 17th, 2014, 09:35 AM
The only real reason I want a PS4 or an XBox One is for the next Battlefront game. It has crossed my mind that I could just buy a gaming PC for that one game, hook it up to my TV and then use it for other things a stationary computer might be convenient for.

So what's the path for someone who wants better than console performance for less than console money?

thesameguy
December 17th, 2014, 10:05 AM
Really, no such thing. For the power, consoles are an excellent value. Between a highly optimized OS and a very specific hardware profile that games are hard-coded to you end up with a very efficient box often sold very near cost. In order to get console-level performance you're going to need a ~$120 video card and an $80 OS. Throw in a shitty hard drive ($40), a very modest amount of RAM ($40), and the crappiest case you can get ($30, with PSU) and you're $40 away from an xbone and you still don't have a motherboard, CPU, or input device. An alternative would be to buy a prefab machine (Dell, whatevs) which you could probably score for $300 this time of year, but you'd still need that $120 video card and maybe a power supply to run it. You're already $100+ over an xbone. A third approach is to buy used (which isn't a bad idea) - you can probably get a 2-3 year old gaming rig for around $300 or $400 - but then you have a used machine that isn't actually better than an xbone for the same price as a new xbone. If you can stomach the notion, you can save some money by going with SteamOS, but IMHO the real value in a computer is its flexibility, and SteamOS isn't all that flexible. It's not a way I'd go, personally.

Now, if you want to commit to the PC gaming environment and can throw $700 at this, you can end up with a machine comparable to a current-gen console. It'll be a pretty competent, fairly flexible machine that to a large degree can grow with you for many years. I built my current computer in 2006 or 2007, and throw about $100-$150 at it annually - sometimes I skip a year and go big the next, but on average, $100-$150/year. It's a much nicer pill to swallow than $700 all at once ever again - but you still have that initial hurdle (although you can spread it out over weeks or months).

I like computers better than consoles for their flexibility, but consoles are a much better value for gaming for sure. Others may have had different experiences (I'm kind of out of the gaming PC loop), but I think this is fairly representative.

Kchrpm
December 17th, 2014, 10:11 AM
Oh. Well damn :(

TheBenior
December 17th, 2014, 10:36 AM
...and that's why I think that PC gaming fanboys are full of it when they say that PC gaming is cheaper than console gaming ("I can build a gaming PC way more powerful than a PS4/XBONE for the less money!"), while leaving out that they have to cannibalize parts from an existing rig for that to be true.

I also often see the claim that PC games drop in value much faster, which isn't as true as it used to be anymore. Amazon had Shadow of Mordor for $30 for PS4/XBONE during holiday sales, and the PC price was $26. I remember I bought the 2013 Tomb Raider for PS3 for $42 two weeks after it came out. What is still true is that PC games tend to bottom out at lower prices once they're 2-3 years old. However, plenty of the same people who think they're saving money by buying during Steam sales end up spending money on games that they'll never have time to play.

That being said, I'd still like a small living room PC that I could game on; there have just been other things I'd like to spend that several hundred dollars on (like motorcycle gear and parts).

thesameguy
December 17th, 2014, 10:36 AM
You know, I just thought of another approach - Dell Outlet. They typically have XPS 8700s in the ~$600 range, and these are fairly high end machines. A common configuration is like an i7-4790, Win8, 1TB HDD, 12GB RAM, and a GTX 745. The video card is kind of a letdown, but it's a great starting place. The trick is to catch these machines when there is a discount and those come and go. If you are patient you can reliably find these machines this type of year for 30-40% off. You end up with a $1500 machine via the outlet for $1000 and then discounted another 40%. It's not cheaper than a console, but it's a lot of computer for barely more.

21Kid
December 17th, 2014, 11:44 AM
However, plenty of the same people who think they're saving money by buying during Steam sales end up spending money on games that they'll never have time to play.

That being said, I'd still like a small living room PC that I could game on; there have just been other things I'd like to spend that several hundred dollars on (like motorcycle gear and parts).
Guilty... :( Some day I'll get around to playing all of those sweet XCOM and Fallout games though.

I'd also like to have a living room gaming/HTPC some day as well. With how easy it is to connect TV's via HDMI & use a wireless mouse/keyboard now, it makes a lot more sense. I'll probably wait until win10 comes out (and I have more money;))

Reynard
December 17th, 2014, 05:16 PM
So what's the path for someone who wants better than console performance for less than console money?

Crime!

Serious though as other have said what you want doesn't exist if you're starting from scratch. I would figure on at least $600 to get a basic pc to be able to play current gen games at 2k on a single monitor these days. Or you could be extremely patient & disciplined (budget wise) and snipe quality used parts for cheap on ebay. That said as someone who's had their pc connected to their tv from day 1... it is a good thing.

and off subject a bit...

Kid, if you're talking about the new XCOM reboot and you got Enemy Within, head straight here:

http://www.nexusmods.com/xcom/mods/88/?

and install the Long War Mod. Absolutely fantastic if you like turn based strategy and so much better then the "vanilla" game.

Alan P
December 17th, 2014, 05:34 PM
As has been said, unless you're looking to spend more than the cost of a XBone or PS4 then you'll struggle to beat it. But the upfront cost isn't the main deal breaker. Once you've made the initial outlay (and buy well and it'll be incremental upgrades every 2-3 years rather than a whole new machine) then you can be saving $20-$30 on games each time and when the Steam and Origin sales come round you can get recent games for incredibly cheap, often less than $20 for newish games and $10 for games even just a year old, not to mention the hundreds of games that are cheap anyway. There are loads of games on Steam for less than $10 even without a sale and some are excellent but of course some are garbage too! Not sure about US prices but Battlefield 4 is 10, Titanfall has been as low as 10 as well. These savings add up but you usually end up buying more games!

If you don't want the latest games then a fairly decent machine to run games 2-3 years old can be had for not much but then you'll be disappointed if you buy a new game.

Yw-slayer
December 17th, 2014, 06:22 PM
Of course, the main point of a PC is that it is a multi-purpose machine. You can't run Office, Lightroom, etc. on a PS4.

Kchrpm
December 17th, 2014, 08:34 PM
I am like Ross, I just remember all the people saying they could build a gaming PC better than the consoles for cheaper.

Steam sales don't matter to me, I'm really only interested in a couple games that won't be on Wii U, and I was hoping to not spend $400 - $500 just to get a system that won't even run them at 1080p60. I already have a laptop powerful enough for the kind of image editing I do, so unless I get into video creation/editing there's not much to justify a static PC besides gaming.

So now I'm back to square 1: hoping Nintendo buys EA and makes Battlefront a Wii U exclusive.

thesameguy
December 17th, 2014, 08:58 PM
The "next gen" consoles really screwed up the cheap PC comparison. In 2013 the X360 was eight years old and had pretty pathetic horsepower. There were still a lot of sub-1080P displays out there. You could reasonably build a computer capable of X360-esque feats (720p60) for $400. The next-gen stuff has a lot more horsepower, and matching it costs more money. Give it 3-4 years and PC tech will be light years ahead of the xbone and it will be back to doable again. It's really not the feasibility so much as your timing. :)

Rare White Ape
December 17th, 2014, 10:24 PM
Don't forget that consoles have switched to PC-based architecture now, which is a lot cheaper to make than what they used to run, especially when the PS3 and X360 were new.

So these days beating console specs with cheaper hardware is almost impossible.

Kchrpm
December 18th, 2014, 03:18 AM
It's really not the feasibility so much as your timing. :)

Hmmm...maybe when Battlefront comes out (late 2015) and is patched to a playable state (2017).

Yw-slayer
December 18th, 2014, 03:55 AM
By which time we will all be running Core i7-7xxx CPUs.

Kchrpm
December 18th, 2014, 05:57 AM
Which you'll need for your 4K displays, and I'll still just be running 1080p!

Of course, if I get on an FPS on a PC, I'll end up playing against mouse and keyboard players...this is a bad idea :(

21Kid
December 18th, 2014, 07:25 AM
I'll probably wait until I have a 4kTV and run a 4K HTPC/gaming console. screw the monies! We're going all in! :hard: (Besides, it'll be 8 years before consoles get up to 4k detail.)

and off subject a bit...
Kid, if you're talking about the new XCOM reboot and you got Enemy Within, head straight here:
http://www.nexusmods.com/xcom/mods/88/?

and install the Long War Mod. Absolutely fantastic if you like turn based strategy and so much better then the "vanilla" game.
I read (http://www.wired.com/2014/11/mod-absolute-best-way-play-xcom/) about that a bit ago. I don't have that kind of time. :( I still haven't played through enemy within. Maybe I'll re-restart it since I just restarted it again to play EW, and play it with the mod. :) Although, I would probably play the Not-so-long war, that has all of the same benefits, in a shorter time frame.


One of my favorite aspects of Long War is an option called The Not So Long War, which lets you play a campaign with all of The Long War’s class and item changes but without quite as much of a stretch on everything’s completion time. Things still take much longer to complete than vanilla Enemy Within—I could finish EW‘s campaign in five to 10 sittings, while in that same amount of time I barely made a dent in TNSLW’s alien assault—but it’s definitely more forgiving than the full Long War experience. Going all in is a significant commitment, but a rewarding challenge if completed—one that truly feels like battling against a mighty invasion force with every scrap of humanity’s being.

Kchrpm
December 18th, 2014, 08:35 AM
Hmmm, I don't know that I'd want to play a game that requires every scrap of humanity's being.

thesameguy
December 18th, 2014, 10:54 AM
I'll probably wait until I have a 4kTV and run a 4K HTPC/gaming console. screw the monies! We're going all in! :hard: (Besides, it'll be 8 years before consoles get up to 4k detail.)

You can do 4k gaming in PC land right now. It is not outrageously expensive.

21Kid
December 18th, 2014, 11:22 AM
Yeah, but I don't have the money, yet...

Around the time Win10 comes out, the 4k prices should be more reasonable, I'm thinking.

Alan P
December 18th, 2014, 02:30 PM
You can do 4k gaming in PC land right now. It is not outrageously expensive.

True, but to do well it really is. You're looking at Dual top end cards, 980's at least to get even close to 60FPS in most games @4k and some games won't even give you that with 1k/$1.2k in graphics cards alone.


This may be of some help for those considering PC'ing it up. Apparently we have cookies on our side but I've never seen them!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jDXbYuNf_s

thesameguy
December 18th, 2014, 02:54 PM
True, but to do well it really is. You're looking at Dual top end cards, 980's at least to get even close to 60FPS in most games @4k and some games won't even give you that with 1k/$1.2k in graphics cards alone.

Nah - a pair of R9-290Xs will reliably do 4k at 60fps for $700. You'll pay handsomely if you want to go with Nvidia - AMD delivers 4k at a much lower price. Spend $100 more, get a 295x2 and you're set for 4k in one physical card.

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/amds-r9-295x2-makes-smooth-4k-gaming-a-reality-but/1100-6422139/
http://www.extremetech.com/computing/180043-amd-r9-295x2-review-500-watts-of-cool-running-4k-gaming-goodness-with-a-price-tag-to-match
http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/amd-radeon-r9-295x2-review,17.html

etc.

Reynard
December 18th, 2014, 05:05 PM
Yeah but wouldn't a Maxwell GPU save you the extra $$$ over 2 years worth of PG&E bills? :assclown:

Alan P
December 18th, 2014, 06:28 PM
With AMD cards you'll never need the heating on again!

thesameguy
December 19th, 2014, 09:01 AM
That's a weird thing to say, as I've always found Nvidia cards to produce way less heat than AMD cards. I always build HTPCs with AMD cards because they run cooler in confined spaces. The 290 is a hot card, but it's also doing a lot.

Alan P
December 19th, 2014, 11:01 AM
AMD cards always have a reputation for requiring more power and running hotter than the equivalent Nvidia card.

thesameguy
January 20th, 2015, 09:15 AM
Saw this, thought I'd mention it:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1863960

There is $45 worth of rebates taking it down to $477. It's a pretty solid entry level gaming machine. in time, a CPU & GPU upgrade would yield a totally decent machine for about $600 (assuming you sell the displaced stuff).

21Kid
January 20th, 2015, 09:44 AM
Ah, that looks like a good deal. I don't see a DVD or BD drive. Are they just not even including those any longer?

thesameguy
January 20th, 2015, 10:03 AM
A what?

:lol:

21Kid
January 20th, 2015, 11:58 AM
What if I want to use it as a HTPC also. :p

thesameguy
January 20th, 2015, 12:10 PM
Hop back in the DeLorean, set the clock for 2015, and stream content like a civilized human being?

:P

21Kid
January 20th, 2015, 12:10 PM
:lol:

21Kid
January 20th, 2015, 12:44 PM
So... Dumb question. :( It looks like that link is just for parts. If this doesn't come with Windows, I'm guessing... How would one go about getting a copy of it?
Download it on a different PC and load it onto a USB drive?

You know what. I should probably just look it up instead of wasting your time. Never mind. :lol:

:(

thesameguy
January 20th, 2015, 02:24 PM
:lol:

USB is what I'd do, yeah. :) I think it's rare these days that a person doesn't have a computer, or at least have someone nearby that does. OTOH, a DVD drive is like $10, so that's an approach too. If your DMC is broken.