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Age of Empires III Heaven » Forums » General Discussions » My take on game graphics... not just aoe3, PC games in general
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Topic Subject:My take on game graphics... not just aoe3, PC games in general
Chief_Thunder_
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 11:43 AM EDT (US)         
Have you ever asked yourself why you have to spend a million dollars to get the best out of every game that comes out every year? Every year there's another number w/ more digits and more letters at the end w/ Gforce in front of it. It's got more power, it's faster, it's got tons of ram, etc. You have your 3.0 Ghz processor, and your 2 gb of ram, etc. etc. etc. Your computer is top-of-the-line for gaming... or is it?

Something that puzzles me to no end (well I know what the problem is, I don't know why nobody solves it...) is that my gamecube can play games like Soul Calibur II with graphics my computer could only dream of. There is no setup, no downloading new drivers, no configuration settings, no this, no that--you just put the disk in and IT WORKS! A gamecube that can play SC2 costs like $80 max off Ebay. A computer that could generate similar graphics would cost a small fortune! If I had a computer with Gamecube's specs, it'd look something like this:
300 Mhz processor (not 3.0 ghz...)
128 MB ram (not 2 gb...)
64 MB video card (not 256 904583059q8354+ Pro v.3)

If I put that up as my computer specs, people would laugh at me. But yet evidently 300Mhz and a 64 mb vid. card is all that is really necessary to get great graphics from a game. So why do you have to multiply all the stats by 10, modify all the drivers, etc. etc. just to play something the exact same on a computer? I've asked this question a lot, and I
never really get a straight answer. Some people say "Well, the game is optimized for gamecube..." I say well, perhaps--it's also on Ps2 and Xbox, but still--optimized or
not, a computer w/ sky-high specs SHOULD be able to outperform a 300Mhz processor--optimized or not! The second answer I get a lot is one word:

"Windows"
Sad, isn't it, that all our graphics problems perhaps aren't the developer's fault but M$'s? You may disagree w/ me, but keep in mind that the 300Mhz processor is still getting better results than most high-end PC's I've seen...

AuthorReplies:
Ceres629
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 11:57 AM EDT (US)     1 / 15       
Well I don't know about you but my computer produce graphics far better than anyo gamecube can, and it is just a mid range system.

Consoles are designed solely for games, PCs play games and more

Does a gamecube have a harddrive? No
Does a game cube have multiple CD/DVD drives? No
Can you surf the internet on a gamecube? No

This list could go on forever.... that is why a PC will always cost much more than a console. However to make an existing PC a gaming powerhouse costs far less, and lets face it, most of us have pc's now.

The amount of ram on a graphics card has nothing to do with the perfomance of console graphics cards. Console games (last gen consoles that is) run at low resolutions, 640x480 with no AA, this does not need much ram. This looks acceptable on a TV screen only because the imperfections of a non HD TV screen hides flaws such as jagged edges and makes the low resolution look decent.

All you have to do is player your gamecube or PS2 on a HD TV or PC monitor to see how the graphics really stack up to a computer.

Also obviously consoles don't have full scale OS's installed on them, don't suffer from spyware, viruses etc so there is no annoying windows to steal CPU cycles (tho this isn't the main reason, just a minor one)

In addition, the MHZ of a processor is only an accurate way to compare processors of the same type. You can safely assume a P4 3.0 Ghz is faster than a P4 2.6 Ghz processor. But just look at AMD processors, or PowerPC processors. AMD consistantly produces lower clocked processors than Intel yet any gamer knows that the AMD processors are faster.

Clock speed isn't everything...chip design is. You will probably find that the "300Mhz processor" in the gamecube costs a LOT more to make than a 300Mhz Pentium 2.

I must admit I thought the same as you a few years ago, but after learning more about chip design I understand at least the basics now and I'm sure most people will agree with me.


*note this post is about last gen consoles, I know next gen consoles will have HD and the likes, but that is why they will cost more than previous consoles*

[This message has been edited by Ceres629 (edited 09-10-2005 @ 12:06 PM).]

schildpad
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:01 PM EDT (US)     2 / 15       
and gamecube ps and xobox make their profit with selling games, they lose money on the console
Ceres629
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:05 PM EDT (US)     3 / 15       
Yeah I forgot that too! Console games cost more than PC games for this very reason.

You are still paying for your console with every game you buy!

Doesn't sound so cheap when you think of it that way.
Every game you buy means your console costs you an extra $15US or so!

Chief_Thunder_
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:06 PM EDT (US)     4 / 15       
My point was that you couldn't buy a computer for $80 that could play solitaire, let alone any of the higher-calibur console games. Let me change "gamecube" to "console":
Xbox does have a harddrive
Xbox, GC, and ps2 all have online play to some extent. Online play will not be seen to it's full extent in the console world until 2006 is my prediction, when revolution, ps3, and xbox 360 all hit with huge games. Super smash bros. online is gonna have more players on it than most pc games, IMO.
schildpad
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:07 PM EDT (US)     5 / 15       
xbox doesnt cost 80

you can only use it for games, nothing more.
games are more expensive for consoles

Ceres629
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:07 PM EDT (US)     6 / 15       
Did you even read my post? Console only play games.

And the games add to the price of consoles since console games almost always cost more than pc games.

You can't just compare a base console with a base PC. Though thats what the console companies want you to do, so it seems much cheaper.

Also I am not talking about online play only, there are tons of things you can do online with a PC that a console can't (or will suck at)

Do you see your self posting on these forums using a PS3?

[This message has been edited by Ceres629 (edited 09-10-2005 @ 12:10 PM).]

Rich8511
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:32 PM EDT (US)     7 / 15       
"Have you ever asked yourself why you have to spend a million dollars to get the best out of every game that comes out every year? Every year there's another number w/ more digits and more letters at the end w/ Gforce in front of it. It's got more power, it's faster, it's got tons of ram, etc. You have your 3.0 Ghz processor, and your 2 gb of ram, etc. etc. etc. Your computer is top-of-the-line for gaming... or is it?"

Actually, I only spend about 300-400$ every year on a new video card (and about every 2-3 years a new computer). This is still a lot, but it's not "a million dollars." And the only reason why I spend so much is because I want to run games with their settings maxed and at higher resolutions.

"Something that puzzles me to no end (well I know what the problem is, I don't know why nobody solves it...) is that my gamecube can play games like Soul Calibur II with graphics my computer could only dream of."

Just to let you in on something.. All PC Games look better than console games and when properly ported to a PC, console games look spectacular. Example: Halo, GTA: San Andreas, and Fable: The Lost Chapters.

""Windows"
Sad, isn't it, that all our graphics problems perhaps aren't the developer's fault but M$'s? You may disagree w/ me, but keep in mind that the 300Mhz processor is still getting better results than most high-end PC's I've seen..."

I think your problem is you keep thinking computers are around for just gaming. Ceres629 was dead-on with his posts. Computer's can do just about anything - downloading last night's favorite tv show you just missed, getting new music, browsing the Internet, writing your research paper, editing music, videos, and photos. The list goes on and on.

With a console, you spend roughly $300-500 on the console and the controllers, and the internet adapters, and the extra dinky add-ons that the console makers suck us dry for.

Don't get me wrong, I own all the 3 consoles out right now, and have enjoyed some quality time with them all. It's just PC games are funner and look better (at least to me). And with PC gaming, there are so many different type of games out there- RTS, FPS, RPG, MMORPG, etc.etc.etc.

And here are my comp specs if you'd like to know:

3.0 GHZ P4
1gb ram
Sapphire x800 Pro
140 GB harddrive
and a Lite-on dvd burner drive

The price of all that wrapped up in a Shuttle Case was about $1300-1500 (custom built).

Granted, the console market will change a lot when the XBOX 360 is released, but even then within a few months computers will jump ahead of it in terms of performance, as they always have in the past.

Ceres629
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:39 PM EDT (US)     8 / 15       
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813186025= $38
Sempron 2300 (CPU): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819104202= $55
512MB ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820161633= $35
DVD ROM/CDRW: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827151062= $30
Case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811164040= $20
Power Supply http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817152020= $20
80 GB HD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822162004= $50
ATI 9600pro: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814102408= $75

Total cost is $323 USD for a system that is far superior to an XBox, which although can be bought for about $150 USD can't even do half the things the PC can.

Sure I neglected the OS which will cost you another $100, but this is just a hardware comparison and you can counter balance that with the fact that console games cost more than PC games, but even then $400 for a computer that will easily more than twice out perform a console that can only play games is by far the better deal.

Plus you can burn CD's and get a much bigger HD. 80GB vs 8GB on the Xbox.

Heck this system will even run AoE3 quite well I would bet on Medium settings.

[This message has been edited by Ceres629 (edited 09-10-2005 @ 12:43 PM).]

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 09-10-05 12:47 PM EDT (US)     9 / 15       

Quote:

Total cost is $323 USD for a system that is far superior to an XBox, which although can be bought for about $150 USD can't even do half the things the PC can.

Xbox is 4 years old. In Novemember this year the Xbox 360 will come out, I bet you can't make a computer as good as the x360 for 300 bucks . (3x 3.0Ghz processors, ATI r520 [actually, a higher powered model] and the games cost as much as PC games).

Consoles are the best for gaming, they are made for that. But if you want to do more than gaming, then PC is where you want to be.

There used to be a time where PC games were a thing of their own, right now that line is blurry and I believe RTSs are the major savior of PC Gaming.


Slickman_G
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:49 PM EDT (US)     10 / 15       

Quote:

and I believe RTSs are the major savior of PC Gaming.


Not half! Witout rts games there would not probably be any pc gameing, i have never played any other game than an rts on my pc.

(`.`....`.)
(.`Slick G`.)
(`.`....`.)
Andrewvl
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:53 PM EDT (US)     11 / 15       
It's true. And let's not forget that PCs also allow you to connect with anyone from around the world. My brother is half way around the world (in Korea) and through MSN I can talk to him cost-free. Compare that to a nasty telephone bill.

Through a PC, you can unlock every digital experience possible. It's your connection to the world. It's like a vision; make PCs do the unimaginable. And Microsoft has done that. So yes, M$ you say slows down our machines... I, for one, don't consider my machine to be a gaming rig. Let the consoles do that for you.

Yes, PCs can do pretty much everything... even play console games through emulation.

Elpea
Hal
(id: lp_usa)
posted 09-10-05 12:53 PM EDT (US)     12 / 15       

Quote:

Not half! Witout rts games there would not probably be any pc gameing, i have never played any other game than an rts on my pc.


That's what I said...

Ceres629
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 12:55 PM EDT (US)     13 / 15       

Quote:

Xbox is 4 years old. In Novemember this year the Xbox 360 will come out, I bet you can't make a computer as good as the x360 for 300 bucks

A PC will never ever be able to match a console of the same price in terms of raw gaming power, simply by virtue of the fact that a console is a specialised piece of equipment. It plays games... and it plays them well.

The Xbox360 which has a Hard disk and support online play will cost $400 US not 300 (that is the core system).

I am sure at the time of release you can build a better PC for twice the price. My post was never intended to show that a PC is cheaper than a comparable console. Just that a PC is not as bad a deal as it seems compared to a console.

If you want a PC that can match a console, you will have to pay just about twice the price, but you will get something that can do much more.

Also to those that hate windows, don't forget Xbox has a version of windows as its OS!

Quote:

Not half! Witout rts games there would not probably be any pc gameing, i have never played any other game than an rts on my pc.

RTS games, Simulations, (the Sims) FPS games, MMORPGS like world of warcraft these games are inherently better on PC. Do you really want to be staring at fuzzy text on your tv screen while chatting with your friends on World of warcraft? Not to mention how you would handle the interface with just a controller?

PC gaming is here to stay!

[This message has been edited by Ceres629 (edited 09-10-2005 @ 01:00 PM).]

Darkling_Thrush
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 01:49 PM EDT (US)     14 / 15       
One little factor to consider is the application of computer-based variety to gaming. Imagine, if you will, a world in which Half-Life never came out for pc, but was doomed to some console for the duration of its existence (insert editorial shudder here). Half-Life, introduced in 1998, has lasted a very long time as a result of an incredibly active modding community. Sans this community and the innate multiplayer capabilities it inspires, HL would have been played merely for its great campaign. The result? The loss of one of the greatest aspects of one of the greatest games in history. Consoles aren't great for gaming. They limit it.
Venti
Skirmisher
posted 09-10-05 02:26 PM EDT (US)     15 / 15       
Consoles being more powerfull than PC's is a bunch of bs. Sure by spesializing on one set of hardware you get certain performance advantages. A PC with same hardware as XBox will get owned by XBox but then again there is a lot of variety and different retailers for PC parts so a PC that is better than XBox doesn't cost all that much more. Ok so you're now facing an endless update cycle but it's same thing with consoles. The difference is that with a PC you can still play the games you had 10 years ago (Monkey Island with dos emulation etc.), with most consoles, no such luxury. (and no backing up those games eather, you evil pirate, arrrrr)
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