Posted by GERALTITUDE (2984 posts) 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: What do you mean when you say "Current PC"? (100 votes)

The most powerful PC and components available 12%
The average PC 21%
An average I feel is right for "gaming PCs" 62%
Something else! 5%

"Current PC" is showing up everywhere on the internet as peeps react to the PS4 announcement. I've been told everything it can do can be done on a current PC. This surprises me, considering what I see when I turn on my computer.

What does this term really mean to everyone?

Wouldn't an "average" PC be even less powerful than current-gen console?

Please, drop knowledge on me.

#1 Posted by Grimluck343 (1148 posts) -

Obviously if you drop $400 on a Dell it isn't going to compete with these new consoles. But you get closer to parity once you start talking about the $800 to $1000 PC. Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

#2 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -

Talking about "the most powerful PC and components around" is so subjective. You can run triple SLI Titans if you want to, but it'll run you around 3000 USD just for the cards alone. I think most people simply mean a computer capable of running modern games without issue, so the 700-1000 range usually.

#3 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

a 2 year old mid-high range system that I will upgrade in another 3 years.

#4 Posted by Mirado (992 posts) -

About a grand of PC parts. Perhaps a bit less. It's an arbitrary distinction but one I've always used. Most people bug out after the $1k mark.

#5 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

I refer to my current PC. The great thing about PC gaming is that it scales to your budget and interest. You can go low-end and have console-ish experiences. You can go high end where you don't even worry yourself about whether you can crank every bit of eye-candy up to the top at high resolution with 60+fps for the next two years. You can go insane and have a four GPU watercooled setup with a ridiculous 7680 display where you demand 100fps out of BF3 with everything cranked up to the highest setting. It just depends.

It also depends what your goals are. I use my PCs for hosting VMs. Compiling code. Encoding video. Playing games. Some just use them for surfing the web. Some just play games. Some just work on them.

Probably the most reasonable description of "current PCs", however, would be to find the current bang-for-the-buck price-point-break hardware. If the hardware you're looking at scales from $50 to $70, $90, $110, then $250 -- the $110 point is the bang-for-the-buck price-point. Going above that is fine if you have the money and inclination, but it's the point of truly diminishing returns. For "current PCs" generalization, I think it is a very reasonable consideration. Of course, that also means the hardware we're talking about for "current PCs" then shifts rather quickly, about a month or so at a time.

#6 Posted by Andorski (5203 posts) -

If we go by the usual low, medium, high, ultra threshold of settings that PC games usually have, I say that the phrase "current PCs" are rigs that play games on the preset "high" graphic setting.

#7 Posted by Dauthi693 (130 posts) -

I would say a "current PC" in the context your using is a high specced computer with the 2nd most powerful single GPU graphics card ala 570/7950 so about a PC box that can usually be made for ~$1000

#8 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@grimluck343 said:

Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

and for good reason, it's not worth it. I don't know why Sony are going forward with it, it's kind of crazy and is just going to make it uber expensive.

RAM speeds make absolutely fuck all difference to gaming. You gain like 2 FPS by having the fastest vs. the slowest DDR3.

At least it makes for fancy tech demos.

The absolute highest end PC hardware is quite insane. You can have triple 680s I believe, that's probably enough to run BF3 on ultra at 200+ FPS at 1080P. I think current hardware just means current high-mid to high end, not highest, because highest is insanely expensive.

#9 Posted by hidys (1029 posts) -

A PC that can be used to play modern video games at decent settings.

#10 Posted by mrcraggle (1837 posts) -

In the context of say "the PS4 compares to current PCs", I'd say high from what was shown off today. I've also seen the same thing said about Crysis 3 but the opposite by saying it won't run on current PCs(max settings) because realistically speaking, most people aren't running dual 690s.

#11 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

@sooty said:

@grimluck343 said:

Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

and for good reason, it's not worth it. I don't know why Sony are going forward with it, it's kind of crazy and is just going to make it uber expensive.

RAM speeds make absolutely fuck all difference to gaming. You gain like 2 FPS by having the fastest vs. the slowest DDR3.

At least it makes for fancy tech demos.

The absolute highest end PC hardware is quite insane. You can have triple 680s I believe, that's probably enough to run BF3 on ultra at 200+ FPS at 1080P. I think current hardware just means current high-mid to high end, not highest, because highest is insanely expensive.

I'm not a circuit designer or anything of the sort, but I assume the RAM is shared with the GPU, in which case using DDR5 (the same as current GPUs) would be beneficial.

Also, you can do quad-sli with current GTX cards. :)

#12 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@branthog said:

@sooty said:

@grimluck343 said:

Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

and for good reason, it's not worth it. I don't know why Sony are going forward with it, it's kind of crazy and is just going to make it uber expensive.

RAM speeds make absolutely fuck all difference to gaming. You gain like 2 FPS by having the fastest vs. the slowest DDR3.

At least it makes for fancy tech demos.

The absolute highest end PC hardware is quite insane. You can have triple 680s I believe, that's probably enough to run BF3 on ultra at 200+ FPS at 1080P. I think current hardware just means current high-mid to high end, not highest, because highest is insanely expensive.

I'm not a circuit designer or anything of the sort, but I assume the RAM is shared with the GPU, in which case using DDR5 (the same as current GPUs) would be beneficial.

Also, you can do quad-sli with current GTX cards. :)

That would be pretty nutty, at the same time though I find it really hard to believe any game could possibly need that much, the amount of VRAM we need for PC games hasn't really changed in such a long time, 512 was fine for like 4 years and then 700-1GB cards started becoming standard in the mid-high end space. I don't see these new consoles coming out and making it so all PC versions of games require a 2GB video card or anything.

Unless they are aiming to go beyond 1080P, in which case nifty, but fuck I'll need another new TV.

#13 Posted by Grimluck343 (1148 posts) -

@sooty Depends really. If they're going to try to stretch the cycle for these new consoles another seven to eight years than having fast ram could be very beneficial towards the end of the cycle.

#14 Posted by Kidavenger (3512 posts) -

Any system that plays current games at 1080p & high settings & 30+ fps minimum.

#15 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@grimluck343 said:

@sooty Depends really. If they're going to try to stretch the cycle for these new consoles another seven to eight years than having fast ram could be very beneficial towards the end of the cycle.

RAM speeds and timings (fast vs slow, low vs high) make a pretty much irrelevant difference to game performance though, there's plenty of PC benchmarks to back up that, but if what Branthog said is true and they can allocate system RAM to the video card then that's definitely going to give developers more flexibility.

#16 Edited by StarvingGamer (8031 posts) -

@sooty said:

@branthog said:

@sooty said:

@grimluck343 said:

Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

and for good reason, it's not worth it. I don't know why Sony are going forward with it, it's kind of crazy and is just going to make it uber expensive.

RAM speeds make absolutely fuck all difference to gaming. You gain like 2 FPS by having the fastest vs. the slowest DDR3.

At least it makes for fancy tech demos.

The absolute highest end PC hardware is quite insane. You can have triple 680s I believe, that's probably enough to run BF3 on ultra at 200+ FPS at 1080P. I think current hardware just means current high-mid to high end, not highest, because highest is insanely expensive.

I'm not a circuit designer or anything of the sort, but I assume the RAM is shared with the GPU, in which case using DDR5 (the same as current GPUs) would be beneficial.

Also, you can do quad-sli with current GTX cards. :)

That would be pretty nutty, at the same time though I find it really hard to believe any game could possibly need that much, the amount of VRAM we need for PC games hasn't really changed in such a long time, 512 was fine for like 4 years and then 700-1GB cards started becoming standard in the mid-high end space. I don't see these new consoles coming out and making it so all PC versions of games require a 2GB video card or anything.

Unless they are aiming to go beyond 1080P, in which case nifty, but fuck I'll need another new TV.

Yeah, there's no reason for them to be using DDR5 ram unless they're going to use it to supplement GPU performance.

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#18 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2984 posts) -

Ok, so the comment "current PCs can do what the PS4 does" is actually a pretty big compliment.

Seems to be some back and forth about the value of the DDR5 but I'm with the post that reminds us this console will probably be around for many years. If the current PC graphics card is at 1GB today, where will it be an eight years? If TV resolution today is 1080P where will it be in five, ten years?

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#19 Edited by Branthog (7342 posts) -

@sooty said:

@branthog said:

@sooty said:

@grimluck343 said:

Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

and for good reason, it's not worth it. I don't know why Sony are going forward with it, it's kind of crazy and is just going to make it uber expensive.

RAM speeds make absolutely fuck all difference to gaming. You gain like 2 FPS by having the fastest vs. the slowest DDR3.

At least it makes for fancy tech demos.

The absolute highest end PC hardware is quite insane. You can have triple 680s I believe, that's probably enough to run BF3 on ultra at 200+ FPS at 1080P. I think current hardware just means current high-mid to high end, not highest, because highest is insanely expensive.

I'm not a circuit designer or anything of the sort, but I assume the RAM is shared with the GPU, in which case using DDR5 (the same as current GPUs) would be beneficial.

Also, you can do quad-sli with current GTX cards. :)

That would be pretty nutty, at the same time though I find it really hard to believe any game could possibly need that much, the amount of VRAM we need for PC games hasn't really changed in such a long time, 512 was fine for like 4 years and then 700-1GB cards started becoming standard in the mid-high end space. I don't see these new consoles coming out and making it so all PC versions of games require a 2GB video card or anything.

Unless they are aiming to go beyond 1080P, in which case nifty, but fuck I'll need another new TV.

I think people are overlooking a lot of things, here. When everyone was telling me that my obsession with consoles having a ton of RAM was insane, I kept pointing out that new consoles are not going to be just playing games. They're going to do a lot more, simultaneously, as PCs do. And I was right. You're going to need a lot of memory to run a game, an OS with an interface overlay, all the social networking stuff in the background, live streaming of your game to other people, recording of fifteen minutes or more of your live game content to the hard drive for recording. That is a lot of stuff that console is doing and, frankly, I'm surprised they can make a go at all that with only 8gb.

As for the DDR5, if for no other reason, it's likely because it made more sense to go with all DDR5 than break it apart so that there is dedicated VRAM which is DDR5 and then DDR3 for system memory (which, who knows, may age poorly over the next five or ten years).

For a ten-year cycle, you need to do as much future-proofing as possible, so developers don't hit a wall two years down the road, like many complaints with the last generation of consoles and they're already clearly doing a lot from day one with this hardware, when you factor in all the additional functionality around and beyond just the actual game playing (even recording high quality HD at 30fps to an SSD on a PC while playing a game consumes significant resources).

I think their hardware sounds reasonable and I'm impressed that they're being ambitious. I don't think it's overkill, at all. (Again, I'm not a hardware guy, primarily but a software guy -- so to a degree I'm just spouting mildly-educated opinion form my armchair and nothing more).

@sooty said:
@grimluck343 said:

@sooty Depends really. If they're going to try to stretch the cycle for these new consoles another seven to eight years than having fast ram could be very beneficial towards the end of the cycle.

RAM speeds and timings (fast vs slow, low vs high) make a pretty much irrelevant difference to game performance though, there's plenty of PC benchmarks to back up that, but if what Branthog said is true and they can allocate system RAM to the video card then that's definitely going to give developers more flexibility.

I believe this is how both existing consoles already do this (shared RAM with a dedicated chunk of it allocated to VRAM, like onboard motherboard graphics typically do).

#20 Edited by Branthog (7342 posts) -

Ok, so the comment "current PCs can do what the PS4 does" is actually a pretty bigcompliment.

Seems to be some back and forth about the value of the DDR5 but I'm with the post that reminds us this console will probably be around for many years. If the current PC graphics card is at 1GB today, where will it be an eight years? If TV resolution today is 1080P where will it be in five, ten years?

The memory and vram will be flat-out beneficial, but I'm not sure that it will contribute toward higher resolution gaming at all. Granted, higher amounts of VRAM are generally necessary for extreme resolutions -- but 2k and 4k displays (not to mention 8k) will also require high speed HDMI connections. I do believe they'll still use HDMI connections, but I don't think standard HDMI cables will carry 4k. If the PS4 uses a high speed HDMI port, then I think this would be entirely possible (though I'd welcome an A/V expert to clarify this for us). The amount of data we start pumping at 4k and 8k is ridiculous. What is 4k, 800% the number of pixels of 1080? And 8k is like 1,600%?

I'm also not sure what the "current PC GPU memory" really is, today. My 670s are 4gb, each and I believe the newest NVIDIA or ATIs are 6gb. There isn't a direct linear correlation between "more vram and better performance" and I don't know enough about in-depth GPU architecture to understand how else that memory is utilized by the GPU for general functions or if the only real reason for more VRAM is higher resolution . . . I know that 4gb is reasonable for 2560x1600 and I suspect that 6gb is very beneficial if you're running multiple 2560x1600 displays at once. The 1920x1080 resolution of televisions wouldn't, in and of itself, justify a high VRAM need, so I assume it serves other internal GPU fancy tessellation mumbo-jumbo and all.

#21 Edited by Dauthi693 (130 posts) -

We are talking about a console here not a PC where the GPU has its onwn RAM the consoles have pooled ram. The main beneift of GDDR5 is its increased bandwidth which can give the GPU more data per second for more detailed frames and/or more FPS. AA for example eats alot of bandwidth and RAM plus those background processess you know will be running on the PS4 will also use bandwidth.

#22 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2984 posts) -

@branthog: Man. I totally forgot all about cables. As for the PC GPU memory I guess I was thinking of common minimum requirements for games. Off the top of my head I'm not really familiar with any PC games that require more than 1GB. Do they exist? I don't pretend to be know all PC games but shit, I play games!

I think what you said just above your last post, about all the multiple processes going on, is really the why behind the DDR5 question. And I have to imagine the system will be able to play 2/4/8k blu rays if not games that are designed for that resolution, so maybe there's something to be said about that too.

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#23 Edited by Dauthi693 (130 posts) -

@branthog: . As for the PC GPU memory I guess I was thinking of common minimum requirements for games. Off the top of my head I'm not really familiar with any PC games that require more than 1GB. Do they exist?

No because minimum requirements on the box will be for like 640x480.There are games that use over 1GB ram at high resolutions and high levels of AA.

#24 Posted by wemibelec90 (1563 posts) -

I've always built my PCs at around $800 USD, so that's usually the price point I set "current PCs" at. The hardware you can get for that much money is usually upper-average end and can last for a good couple years (which is when I build a new PC).

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#25 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Most Powerful

#26 Posted by Andorski (5203 posts) -

I'm have no knowledge of PC architecture, but isn't the 8GB DDR5 RAM meant to support the always-on video capture that the PS4 is going to have?

#27 Edited by lebkin (330 posts) -

For me, I tend to look at what the equivalent cost gets me. Comparing a $200 Xbox to a $1000 computer isn't really fair - they are two completely different beasts. For the PS4, I'd say comparing it to a $600 computer seems fair (assuming the high end of the potential price range).

#28 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I feel like "average PC" has always meant something leaps and bounds above current-gen console hardware but nowhere near the bleeding edge of PC components.

#29 Edited by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

Looking at the steam hardware survey, 21% of PC's have 8GB of system ram, 34% have 1GB of VRAM, 41% have 4 cores and 30% have a CPU speed of more than 2.7GHz.. seem like a pretty good benchmark to me.

#30 Posted by MAGZine (436 posts) -

Looking at the steam hardware survey, 21% of PC's have 8GB of system ram, 34% have 1GB of VRAM, 41% have 4 cores and 30% have a CPU speed of more than 2.7GHz.. seem like a pretty good benchmark to me.

I was actually going to say whichever Steam hardware spec is a) most popular and b) using non-integrated graphics.

"current pc" is subjective, but here I think its' pretty safe to say that HERE it refers to the average current gaming pc.

#31 Posted by Binman88 (3684 posts) -

My current PC set me back some cash in late 2008, but is still going strong. For example: Sleeping Dogs at 1920*1200, everything maxed out, runs at 50 - 60 fps on it. A PC purchased today or within the last few years with gaming in mind easily surpasses what a console can do, in spite of the outliers with an old Pentium 4 box with an fx5200 agp card.

#32 Posted by pyrodactyl (1892 posts) -

@sooty said:

@branthog said:

@sooty said:

@grimluck343 said:

Unless we're talking about the 8GB of GDDR5 which would be kind of crazy expensive and isn't commonly available for home PCs.

and for good reason, it's not worth it. I don't know why Sony are going forward with it, it's kind of crazy and is just going to make it uber expensive.

RAM speeds make absolutely fuck all difference to gaming. You gain like 2 FPS by having the fastest vs. the slowest DDR3.

At least it makes for fancy tech demos.

The absolute highest end PC hardware is quite insane. You can have triple 680s I believe, that's probably enough to run BF3 on ultra at 200+ FPS at 1080P. I think current hardware just means current high-mid to high end, not highest, because highest is insanely expensive.

I'm not a circuit designer or anything of the sort, but I assume the RAM is shared with the GPU, in which case using DDR5 (the same as current GPUs) would be beneficial.

Also, you can do quad-sli with current GTX cards. :)

That would be pretty nutty, at the same time though I find it really hard to believe any game could possibly need that much, the amount of VRAM we need for PC games hasn't really changed in such a long time, 512 was fine for like 4 years and then 700-1GB cards started becoming standard in the mid-high end space. I don't see these new consoles coming out and making it so all PC versions of games require a 2GB video card or anything.

Unless they are aiming to go beyond 1080P, in which case nifty, but fuck I'll need another new TV.

Saying stuff like ''That kind of hardware doesn't make any sense, no game will be able to use it to its full extent'' is dumb. PC games don't need that kind of hardware, true, but PC games all need to be downscalable (not a word I know) to current gen console so they can make money. Ask crysis 1 what happens when you try to push gaming tech only on PC.

I'm confident we will see some mindblowing games that need all that horsepower to run in 2 or 3 years. Don't forget, the lifecycle for the PS4 will probably be even longer than the xbox 360 and I'm sure sony is counting on that to recoup their investment.

#33 Posted by MikkaQ (10269 posts) -

To me it's the $1500-ish computer that comes with 8GBs of ram, a quad-core i5, and either a 660 ti or 670 video card.

#34 Edited by GERALTITUDE (2984 posts) -

@branthog said:

@geraltitude said:

Ok, so the comment "current PCs can do what the PS4 does" is actually a pretty bigcompliment.

Seems to be some back and forth about the value of the DDR5 but I'm with the post that reminds us this console will probably be around for many years. If the current PC graphics card is at 1GB today, where will it be an eight years? If TV resolution today is 1080P where will it be in five, ten years?

The memory and vram will be flat-out beneficial, but I'm not sure that it will contribute toward higher resolution gaming at all. Granted, higher amounts of VRAM are generally necessary for extreme resolutions -- but 2k and 4k displays (not to mention 8k) will also require high speed HDMI connections. I do believe they'll still use HDMI connections, but I don't think standard HDMI cables will carry 4k. If the PS4 uses a high speed HDMI port, then I think this would be entirely possible (though I'd welcome an A/V expert to clarify this for us). The amount of data we start pumping at 4k and 8k is ridiculous. What is 4k, 800% the number of pixels of 1080? And 8k is like 1,600%?

I'm also not sure what the "current PC GPU memory" really is, today. My 670s are 4gb, each and I believe the newest NVIDIA or ATIs are 6gb. There isn't a direct linear correlation between "more vram and better performance" and I don't know enough about in-depth GPU architecture to understand how else that memory is utilized by the GPU for general functions or if the only real reason for more VRAM is higher resolution . . . I know that 4gb is reasonable for 2560x1600 and I suspect that 6gb is very beneficial if you're running multiple 2560x1600 displays at once. The 1920x1080 resolution of televisions wouldn't, in and of itself, justify a high VRAM need, so I assume it serves other internal GPU fancy tessellation mumbo-jumbo and all.

Don't know if you saw this but Sony's come out and said PS4 supports 4K resolution, just not for games. Here's something fun too. I had to quote this sentence from the article because it just speaks to so much of the ignorance surrounding this launch and all the websites dying for clicks: "Much to the chagrin of gamers everywhere, that (4k) doesn't include games currently being made for the PS4, ceding the higher resolution playback to less-interactive media such as feature films."

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#35 Posted by Dauthi693 (130 posts) -
@branthog said:

The memory and vram will be flat-out beneficial, but I'm not sure that it will contribute toward higher resolution gaming at all. Granted, higher amounts of VRAM are generally necessary for extreme resolutions -- but 2k and 4k displays (not to mention 8k) will also require high speed HDMI connections. I do believe they'll still use HDMI connections, but I don't think standard HDMI cables will carry 4k. If the PS4 uses a high speed HDMI port, then I think this would be entirely possible (though I'd welcome an A/V expert to clarify this for us). The amount of data we start pumping at 4k and 8k is ridiculous. What is 4k, 800% the number of pixels of 1080? And 8k is like 1,600%?

4K will 4 times as wide as 1080p but to keep the aspect ratio be 4 times as high meaning (4x4) 1600% more pixels than 1080p and by the same logic 8k would be (2x2) 400% bigger than 4k so 6400% more pixels than 1080p. Hence why ram useage goes up exponentially compared to texture/resolution size.

#36 Posted by TrafalgarLaw (1059 posts) -

According to Epic Games CEO in the aftermath of the Playstation meeting 2013, laptops with integrated chipsets. BOOM

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#37 Posted by ajamafalous (11868 posts) -

The average gaming PC built within the last two years, so $700-1200 running games on at least high at 1080p and 60 fps.

#38 Edited by Fattony12000 (7093 posts) -

I'm personally more interested in currant PC.

Definition of current

adjective

  • belonging to the present time; happening or being used or done now:keep abreast of current eventsI started my current job in 2001
  • in common or general use:the other meaning of the word is still current

noun

  • 1a body of water or air moving in a definite direction, especially through a surrounding body of water or air in which there is less movement:ocean currents
  • 2a flow of electricity which results from the ordered directional movement of electrically charged particles:this completes the circuit so that a current flows to the lampmagnetic fields are produced by currents flowing in the cables
  • a quantity representing the rate of flow of electric charge, usually measured in amperes:at high currents there is wasteful power dissipation
  • 3the general tendency or course of events or opinion:the student movement formed a distinct current of protest

Origin:

Middle English (in the adjective sense 'running, flowing'): from Old French corant 'running', from courre 'run', from Latin currere 'run'

Do not confuse current with currant. Current means 'happening now' (current events) or 'a flow of water, air, or electricity' (strong ocean currents), whereas currant means 'a dried grape' (currant cake).