Do most PC users here have high-end gaming PCs? Is it more practical price-wise to invest in a gaming PC?

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#1 Posted by DandelionWine (100 posts) -

I've mainly been a console user and only really recently learned about high-end gaming PCs (I know, doy). Most times when I've played PC games, it's been on my laptop (which is generally supposed to be used for school and some misc fun stuff), and the games that I've run on it have always had frame rate hiccups, though usually not bad enough to ruin my immersion or fun. Plus I never like using a mouse or keyboard and was always more comfortable using a controller. (I know you can attach them to PCs, but by the time I learned this I had lost my USB cords for my PS3 controllers and had gotten one of those charger stands instead, and it didn't make sense to buy one when I mostly used consoles anyway). But the point is that for the longest time I was confused about people saying that PC gaming was the best option when it comes to gaming when in my experience consoles always did better, lmao.

So do most of you PC users here have high-end gaming PCs? And what does the cost of such hardware amount to? Would you say it's a practical investment?

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#2 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (23736 posts) -

Mine's mid-range bordering on low-end until i buy a new video card. I intend to keep my 4Gb GTX 770 so long as I can keep game detail levels at High (vs Very High and Ultra).

I wouldn't use the DS3. It's horrible enough on the PS3. I prefer 360-style controllers when I game on the PS3. I do a lot of content creation and other work on the PC. My reflexes are already geared to keyboard and mouse. Why ruin it with a controller?

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#3 Posted by memotron (32 posts) -

I just got one for around 500 dollars. Unless you are someone who is a hardcore gaming need and needs to have everything on max then you need a lot of money . Else , you can match all the consoles out now with a mid range machine

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#4 Edited by Coseniath (3183 posts) -

@dandelionwine: Well, usually most people don't have that high end PCs (over $1000), but a lot of people do have sweet spots PCs ($600-$800), which are far superior to consoles.

Consoles are nice at $300-400, but what happens when someone wants to spend some hundreds more for his entertainment? Here is where PC comes in, offering a superior option to people that want to spend more.

Also PCs can be cheaper than a console as a total purchase, depending on how many games you buy each year. Steam, HumbleBundle, etc etc (there are more) are your allies.

Now, if I believe its a practical investement?

I can play games better than consoles, I can watch movies/series, I can surf the web, browse youtube, use social networks, do work (with MS office or open office etc), use skype to call friends, listen music/radio, trolling at Gamespot forums, etc etc...

Yeap, I believe its a practical investement.

edit: @jun_aka_pekto: Lol, GTX770 4GB is barely mid-tier, since it has same better performance than GTX960, its mid to high tier and not bordering low end. xD

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#5 Edited by zaku101 (4638 posts) -

@dandelionwine: The thing is you're looking at about spending $600-$1000 depending on what settings you're trying to play on. The only thing you're going to be replacing down the road is the graphic card, so its got a high starting cost but it goes down as your only upgrading one part every few years. The PC has more games and it'll actually have them for cheaper than consoles via steam. It can also emulate any console up to last Gen. So think of any past console games you've played in the past and now being able to play them in full HD. Also if your a pirate it's a gold mine for free games, being able to get 90% of my games for free alone is worth the investment.

PC = Master gaming system

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZetWn98LUg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcN8S-xi6w4

They've also started full ps3 emulation.

http://kotaku.com/heres-a-ps3-game-emulated-and-running-on-a-pc-1756697682

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#6 Posted by Employee427 (489 posts) -

I use an 8 year old Mac to game. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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#7 Posted by neatfeatguy (4177 posts) -

It all depends on who you ask.

The last console I actually did any normal gaming on was my PS2. I still have it and my favorite PS2 game I played.

PC gaming is a hobby of mine. I stopped using consoles for games since the early life of the PS3. The handful of PS3 games I did own, I only beat one of them (Uncharted. I sold Uncharted 2 & 3, never played them) and I got rid of the others sine I never played them.

I started moving more and more to PC gaming since around turn of the century and stopped using consoles more and more along the way. My first true gaming PC was in late 2003 or early 2004. With PC gaming being my only real hobby, this is where my money goes. Granted, my computer isn't top-high end like others have, but it's still a powerful high-end gaming computer.

I justify my gaming PC by my needs and it being a hobby of mine.

  • CPU: i5-4670k
  • MB: ASRock Extreme 4
  • Cooler: Corsair H100i
  • RAM: ADATA 16GB DDR3 1600
  • OS Drive: 1 250GB SSD
  • Storage: 1 TB Black Caviar HDD & 1 500GB Blue Caviar HDD
  • PSU: 750W Seasonic
  • GPU: Zotac GTX 980 Ti AMP! Omega
  • Case: Fractal Design Arc XL
  • Monitors: 3 1920x1080 (run games at 5760x1080)

Without actually digging up the exact cost of this stuff, plus a few other things for my setup....I'd have to say everything together is around $2000. This is something put together over time, I didn't buy it all at once. I don't see myself upgrading anything for the next 4-5 years, unless something breaks.

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#8 Posted by intotheminx (2596 posts) -

It comes down to the individual and what you need. For example, I had a PC with a 9800gt+ I used for a few years and I mostly played TF2, L4D, and some other games here and there. That PC eventually took a big shit forcing me to build a new one. I knew I needed something that would play the games I love and I wanted to play SFV @1080p/60fps. I took to forums and asked around and in the end it only cost me around $500, but I was a smart shopper and waited for sales and such.

  • i3 4170
  • msi p33 h8m1 mobo
  • 16 GB Crucial Ballistix Sport Ram
  • MSI 2gb gaming gtx 960
  • EVGA 500 watt PSU
  • Cooler Master N200 case

Oddly enough, I'm able to play more demanding games then I thought. GTAV and TW3 run perfectly fine on high settings. I let Geforce Exp optimize my games. However, the more money you spend, the longer it will be before you need to upgrade. My PC is perfectly fine right now, but I will have to invest more money before say the guy above me.

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#9 Posted by Byshop (18707 posts) -

Well, to be fair you're asking in a video gaming forum so I'd say "yeah", probably most of the users here will have either built dedicated gaming PCs or upgraded existing PCs to be able to play modern AAA games. The majority of the forum users probably range from mid-range to high-end depending on budget. Here are my specs:

Intel i7-3770K CPU at 4.00ghz with Corsair HC60 Water Cooler
16 GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1866 MHz (PC3 15000) 4x4GB
G1.Sniper 3 Intel Z77 Chipset Quad SLI motherboard
Dual Geforce 980 EVGA 4GB Factory Overclocked GPUs running 2-way SLI
256GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD (Primary OS and some games)
128GB OCZ Vertex 4 SSD (Additional Games)
5TB Toshiba SATA 6GB/s 7200 rpm, 128MB Cache 3.5" HD (Most games and additional data) and a few other assorted extra platter hard drives.
Rosewill 1300W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Power Supply
Obuto R3volution Gaming Cockpit with Steering Wheel, Shifter, Flight Stick, and Speaker Mounts with optional Triple Monitor Stand
Logitech Z906 Surround Speaker System - Mounted to Cockpit
Three ASUS PG278Q ROG Swift 27" LED G-Sync Nvidia 3D 144hz 2560x1440 Monitors running in Nvidia Surround mode (7680x1440 combined resolution) - Mounted to Cockpit
Logitech G700s Wireless Gaming Mouse
Logitech MK550 Wireless "Wave" Keyboard
Logitech G13 mini-keypad
TrackIr 5 Premium Head Tracking Unit (turns your perspective to match head movement in flight sims)
Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) - Oculus Rift Consumer Version 1 (CV1) on order and arriving in first shipment wave

Swap in parts:

Saitek X52 Pro flight stick and throttle
Saitek Combat Rudder Pedals
Logitech G27 Force Feedback Steering Wheel with clutch pedal and sequential shifter
Plantronics Noise Cancelling Stereo Headset with background noise reduction microphone
Nvidia 3D Vision Glasses

Other stuff:

Multi-color LED Accent Lighting strips installed on the backside of the cockpit for background illumination behind the monitors
Thermaltake BlacX Duet 5G Hard Drive Docking Station (plug in loose hard drives and access them at full speed without having to install them)

Additional capability:

Gaming Rig is also hooked up to HC7900DW 3D Projector in second room via HDMI extension cables with USB Extender that runs to a second hub complete with additional mouse, keyboard, etc. The PC can be played directly from either my office or the "rec room" area that has it's own surround system with a Yamaha receiver and Klipsch speaker set.

-Byshop

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#10 Edited by JigglyWiggly_ (24620 posts) -

Not sure why you would even want a console besides maybe the Wii U if you have a PC. Much higher frame rates, graphics, significantly better controls, benefit of having a fast computer for other tasks. That and there's no reason to play games multiplayer on consoles when the experience is significantly better on PC. E.g: fps(generally cs:go with match making ranks + esea +faceit) + mobas (Dota, league), RTS (SC2), and mmorpgs.

Investing $800 or so in a PC is a significantly better investment than ever buying a console.

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#11 Posted by R4gn4r0k (28185 posts) -

The best advice I can give for going for a gaming PC is: go for high end, but not the highest end.

That way you won't have to upgrade much, and can keep costs in check by not going overboard on hardware.

The most expensive part of your PC will always be the graphics card. I always by a high end graphics card for about 300-400. I don't buy 2 for 400 as the better and more cheaper experience for me is to simply go for a new 400 dollar graphics card when the old one is outdated.

I currenty have an i7 4790K, 16GBs of RAM and a GTX970. It's certainly more expensive than a console, but it's also less expensive than an OCTA core and DDR4 RAM and a Titan. That would be a waste of money for me, and I'd rather put that money towards a new build in so many years. I can play all my games at excellent setting, and a smooth framerate at 1080p.

Going for cheaper or more expensive hardware has always been a worse experience for me, or simply ended up costing me so much money for nothing.

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#12 Posted by ShadowDeathX (11685 posts) -

If you are satisfied with the "good enough" experience then just stick with consoles.

If you want to be more immersed, want a much better experience, and pretty much just want MORE then move to PC.

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#13 Edited by NeoGen85 (4270 posts) -

A lot of people think the entry price to PC gaming is expensive. It can be, and a proper rig would cost more than $400. That's excluding things like keyboard, mouse, speakers, and a monitor. But if you're truly on a budget, gaming on the PC will always pay you back with the numerous sales throughout the year. Not to mention there are tons of free to play games. Your disposable income will determine what type of machine you can purchase or build. Many of us prefer to build our own PCs because its more cost efficient and it can be quite fun. And just like a few who have said before, it's a hobby we like to invest in.

My first real gaming rig that I build was back in 2006 and all I wanted to play was World of Warcraft[not to mention I was really big into MMORPGs]. At the time I had already invested money in consoles, but the PC just had a number of experiences you couldn't get elsewhere. My first upgrade was on the video card, and to see better performance out the games I was playing further hooked me into the platform. My first real run in with a game I really couldn't play because of system requirements was Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Then again, Vanguard was a technical mess but it looked absolutely amazing if you could run it. I eventually sold my PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. I have been without a console since then; but for a time I had an Xbox One that I received for Christmas but gave that away too.

The PC I built in 2006 was on the lower to mid-end range, but it still had power behind it in comparison to the consoles I owned. I remember I had The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on my Xbox 360 and purchased it again on the PC which was a even better experience. A lot has changed in my life since then. I've became more independent, found a job that paid decently, and had more money to spend. In 2015 I was able to build the PC that I've always wanted! It's on the high-end and the only thing that isn't of a premium value is my mouse pad and speakers. It's a PC that runs pretty much every game flawlessly in 1080p, but also runs games at 1440p(aka 2K) pretty well! I can even enjoy some games like Grand Theft Auto V in glorious 4K resolution! I've been a huge fan of single-GPU setups. Everything is centered around a watercooled i7 5820K overclocked to 4.3ghz, a Titan X, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 4K G-Sync monitor, and a 1080p monitor with 144hz.

Now I can spit out specs all night long, but the reality is nothing remains high-end forever. And in some cases you end up spending more money than you needed. When I bought the Titan X, the GTX 980ti came out the next month at half the price at almost equal power. Also, while I think 4K gaming will be a thing in the future, gaming in 1080p is still very good today. I know my system is over $3500 and that might be excessive. But I'm very happy!

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#14 Posted by jj-josh (266 posts) -

my pc build is medium to high settings

i5 3570k

8gb

gtx 770. I wont upgrade my video card yet the gtx 770 still keeps up for my needs.So it really depends how often people change video cards

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#15 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (23736 posts) -

@Coseniath said:

edit: @jun_aka_pekto: Lol, GTX770 4GB is barely mid-tier, since it has same better performance than GTX960, its mid to high tier and not bordering low end. xD

Nvidia seems to want the GTX 770 to be relegated to low end. Its performance seems to be getting worse with each driver iteration. That or Windows 10 seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I'm now getting framerate drops into the 20's in some games (mainly both FC3 and FC4) where there used to be none.

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#16 Posted by bluesunmerc (280 posts) -

@dandelionwine: Generally the price to get into pc gaming is a little bit more but with that price there are some pretty good benefits.

Games are generally smoother and a lot of games offer mod support through the dev or the community and can really bring an old game back to life.

If you do a custom build pc than you can customize it and give it a theme and really make it your own. Just because we have the same parts our pcs may look worlds apart.

With pc gaming you get a lot of head room for the future. You can by no means future proof a pc but you can tweak settings and play the latest AAA title even if you cant play it on maxed out settings.

Games will overall looks a whole lot better. To me battlefield 4 is a prime example on the console it looks weak compared to the pc. On that note some games like the elder scrolls and fallout series usually have grahical enhancement mods that can really make the game look gorgeous. Some of the skyrim mods made that game look like it was a completely different game from a different generation of hardware especially when compared against the console counterpart.

One thing dont be fooled by guys on youtube some of them go overboard because that is what they get payed and sponsored for and for triple A gaming at 1080p 60hz you should not need to spend more than a 6-8 hundred on your rig. Also no one ever referred to their console as a rig.

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#17 Posted by napo_sp (649 posts) -

I have a high end pc that cost me around $4,000

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#18 Posted by Coseniath (3183 posts) -
@jun_aka_pekto said:
@Coseniath said:

edit: @jun_aka_pekto: Lol, GTX770 4GB is barely mid-tier, since it has same better performance than GTX960, its mid to high tier and not bordering low end. xD

Nvidia seems to want the GTX 770 to be relegated to low end. Its performance seems to be getting worse with each driver iteration. That or Windows 10 seems to have taken a turn for the worse. I'm now getting framerate drops into the 20's in some games (mainly both FC3 and FC4) where there used to be none.

O.o

This is really stupid by Nvidia, if they doing this.

Are you sure that Win10 isn't just using more system resources? Cause fps spikes could happen when windows messes with your resources while you are gaming...

It would be interested to see results between win7 and win10 with people that experience fps spikes, while with their previous windows didn't...

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#19 Edited by skipper847 (7173 posts) -

Not sure but defo not buying a new PC until at least end of 2017. Can match all X1 and PS4 graphics and then some.

I7 3700k 3.5ghz

RAM 1600hz 8 GB

Asus h61m-k motherboard

asus strix 970 gtx

Windows 10 pro.

Think mine classed as between mid to high end. Already on my 2nd PSU and use to have z77x-ud3h mobo but think mobo went so got a cheap asus. Was getting system boot failure all the time and no for sure it wasn't SSD or anything but as soon as change mobo and PSU everything fine. I use to have the 670 gtx so its like a new PC now any way. Only thing I not change is RAM and CPU.

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#20 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (23736 posts) -

@Coseniath said:

O.o

This is really stupid by Nvidia, if they doing this.

Are you sure that Win10 isn't just using more system resources? Cause fps spikes could happen when windows messes with your resources while you are gaming...

It would be interested to see results between win7 and win10 with people that experience fps spikes, while with their previous windows didn't...

It could be Windows 10. It didn't happen last year though. I recall singing Windows 10's praises. Ha Ha! Perhaps, it was a recent patch. There was a bunch of them pushed out by MS recently.

I got both games to play better by enabling vsync. But, there are still occasional drops to go with the higher framerates. I still liked it better when the framerates were lower (40's to 50's) but steady with vsync off.

Nvidia isn't off the hook either. All my open-world games (FC3, FC4, GTA V, and TW3) all have the same symptoms. Crysis and Warhead are still okay. I guess that means they never were open-world. ;-)

Watch Dogs used to be the worst-running of the bunch. Now, it's the best-running among them.

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#21 Edited by Coseniath (3183 posts) -

@skipper847: Well, when you play all/most games at ultra settings or maxed, its still considered to be a high end.

And now that we mentioned GTX970, NVIDIA''s Most Popular Product In 2015.

So in the end, considering @dandelionwine's question, seems that a lot of people might have high end GPUs after all...

edit: @jun_aka_pekto: Well, since AMD dropped below 20% market share, Nvidia might go to Intel way, where the only opponent is Nvidia itself, so they might trying to reduce the performance of excisting hardware in order to push them to buy new products...

ps: The irony, Intel vs Intel: Intel halts cheap non-K overclocking by closing Skylake BIOS loophole

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#22 Posted by Random_Matt (3045 posts) -

You can always start budget and upgrade throughout the year. And too be honest, if you are content on staying at 1080p, then you do not have to spend a fortune to outdo the weak consoles.

Apparently consoles have longevity in terms of lasting a few years. Most strong PC's from a few years ago are still more powerful.

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#23 Posted by Dogswithguns (11359 posts) -

I have a Toshiba laptop with AMD A8, 16 GB.. to play some games.

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#24 Edited by Sokol4ever (6698 posts) -

You really don't need to start with a expensive PC, I was able to put my current setup for 450$ while getting free Win.10 upgrade and my old case/hard-drive power supply. around 600$ is a good start, surprisingly when I tune down few graphic options modern game play great. when you have extra money down the road you can always put extra horse power into your PC. Plus, PC does a lot of processes then just gaming, it's invaluable to have a decent PC.

To answer you questions, it's a absolutely worth while investment, do your research and have a budget. ;P

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#25 Posted by Dentalen (68 posts) -

My rig is mid range with an old cpu motherboard and ram and hard drive that's bottlenecking my gtx 970 at times. But ya its totally worth it to go for a high end system that will last you for years.

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#26 Edited by CWEBB04z (4875 posts) -

I play some games on my PC and mostly play on my PS3/4

I would say my PC is mid to high range? I have an FX8320, R9 290 and 8GB @1866 of ram (Ballistix Sports but only because they matched the color scheme), though it did cost me around $2000 total including the monitor, KB&M and speakers.

I actually suck with the KB&M on FPS games. SO really, the only games on PC I player are RPGs. But I think its worth it.

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#27 Edited by deactivated-579f651eab962 (5404 posts) -

I've been told my rig is high end. It may not be practical for some but for me...It's my only past time. I don't spend money on all the normal crap that normal people do so I spend it on my hobby/passion. That may change as I'm trying to get into photography more.

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#28 Posted by deactivated-59d151f079814 (47239 posts) -

mid range pc.. That being said the biggest bang for your buck are entry level machines now.. Something like my I3 Alienware Alpha (my desktop is a i5 2500k at 4.5ghz and 970 gtx) can play 99% of the games out there at medium to high settings at 1080p.. Beyond that it really just depends on how much importance you put on eye candy, what genres you plan on playing, if you plan to go VR (which you need a mid range or better), etc etc.

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#29 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (5753 posts) -

I was always a High end PC gamer... I went from a 8800GTS >HD 4890 > GTX 680 > GTX 780Ti. Until my GTX 780Ti died and then I got a temp card which is my current card the GTX 960 and realised that with the games I play that I don't need anything more powerful. I think it depends on your needs and budget but its always better to get the best you can afford.

@klunt_bumskrint said:

I've been told my rig is high end. It may not be practical for some but for me...It's my only past time. I don't spend money on all the normal crap that normal people do so I spend it on my hobby/passion. That may change as I'm trying to get into photography more.

As a photographer I can whole heartedly say that yes, yes it will change.

Recently bought a Fujifilm XF 56mm 1.2f APD along with a XF 35mm 2.0f for my XT10... And that's not even my work camera.

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#30 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (23736 posts) -

@Coseniath said:

O.o

This is really stupid by Nvidia, if they doing this.

After a bit more research, I think Nvidia is off the hook.

I just remembered that when Far Cry 4 first came out, people were having similar problems to mine. Editing the game profile cfg file helped fixed the issue. I had done a clean reinstall of Windows 10 and re-downloaded all my games. But, I had not applied the fix. I just did today and, voila! The framerate problems went away. I can almost max the game except AA being at SMAA (or TXAA x 2) and still get framerates in the mid-40's and higher with no stutter or framerate drops.

Now, I just have to remember how I configured Far Cry 3.

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#31 Edited by Coseniath (3183 posts) -
@jun_aka_pekto said:
@Coseniath said:

O.o

This is really stupid by Nvidia, if they doing this.

After a bit more research, I think Nvidia is off the hook.

I just remembered that when Far Cry 4 first came out, people were having similar problems to mine. Editing the game profile cfg file helped fixed the issue. I had done a clean reinstall of Windows 10 and re-downloaded all my games. But, I had not applied the fix. I just did today and, voila! The framerate problems went away. I can almost max the game except AA being at SMAA (or TXAA x 2) and still get framerates in the mid-40's and higher with no stutter or framerate drops.

Now, I just have to remember how I configured Far Cry 3.

Well, if the problem is solved and you are having the best gaming experience, this is what matters most.

:)

ps: I smell too much ubisoft crap in this problem, to be honest...

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#32 Posted by yonyz (646 posts) -

Mine is comprised of a decent Core i5 4570s and a GTX 960 4GB, plus 8GB of RAM. Nothing fancy, plays whatever I want at 1080P.

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#33 Edited by Ricardo41 (1046 posts) -

Spending 2 Grand on a gaming PC is a waste of money. You can play most current AAA titles on very high details on a $750 to 1,000 rig (excluding the monitor).

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#34 Posted by lordlors (6126 posts) -

I live in a foreign country with a very small room and do constantly travel back and forth between the country I currently live in and home if given the chance which is why I just recently bought a 15 inch Alienware laptop. Very expensive but worth the price for my situation. People always mock those who own gaming laptops but they have no idea how portability takes into account for others like me.

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#35 Edited by Dark_sageX (3043 posts) -

Your problem was that you are using a laptop as a benchmark, laptops are TERRIBLE and I personally put them in a different category than PCs, because their value per price is just terrible and its application is far too none ideal for gaming, so any time someone makes a statement about their "experience" in "PC gaming" and conclude that consoles are overall better i always immediately assume that they are either laptop users or worse apple users, if you belong to either of those groups then I will tell it very clearly so that you understand: "YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE IN PC GAMING, PC GAMING IS REFEREED TO DESKTOPS, NOT LAPTOPS, NOT MACS AND MOST CERTAINLY NOT TABLETS!"

Now with that said i'll answer your question:

- You do not need High end PCs to play modern games, low end PCs do that just fine, don't listen to the idiots that say you need to spend "insert insane 4 digit numbers" just to be able to play games, you can make yourself a kick ass gaming PC for as low as $400, go to forums or check out youtube for builds and benchmarks.

- PCs are a practical investment because they come with vastly more features than consoles, notably vastly more games

- PCs are fully modular meaning you can upgrade them for better performance when you crave it, getting tired of 30fps and want 60fps? the option is there for you, while on consoles games perform either the same or in due time perform worse in exchange for "better" graphics",

- Online services are free and function way better than consoles

- Games are far cheaper and look better (provided you have the hardware to run them, for current gen games a GTX 750 ti or equivalent will do)

- And just to get something out of the way most PC gamers have low to mid range PCs, high end PC gamers are the minority.

- If people buy high end rigs its because they have very high standards, I for example prefer 1080p and 60fps at near highest details on my games, something I will never get on consoles, which is why I invested on a GTX 970, if I didn't care about those things then I would have kept my 660 ti, and would have effectively spend €0 on this gen, and still out performed a PS4.

My PC is categorized as "mid high end", my specs are on my sig.