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Gamer Value: Average PC Beats Console

Opinion: A Gaming PC Isn’t Out Of Reach

Computer games arrived on the scene shortly after tic-tac-toe came bundled with the first computer, the Eniac. Of course, early computers were made of enormous vacuum tubes and could barely fit inside a small warehouse. Because of this inconvenience, enterprising gamers invited the concept of the gaming console: a small, simple computer that the general public could afford. Eventually, actual computers shrank in size and availability and became suitable gaming platforms, too. This brought about a debate for the ages: which is the better gaming platform?

PC gamers argue that their platform’s graphics quality is undeniably superior. Console gamers do stubbornly concede this fact, but they inevitably point out that a true gaming PC costs more than $1,500, which looks extremely pricey when compared to the $300-$400 console platforms, such as the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and the Xbox 360.

Yes, it is true that building a powerful gaming PC from scratch can cost $1,500. But why start from scratch? What about that average desktop PC that’s already sitting in your house, doing low-key tasks like Web browsing and word processing? We argue that this humdrum machine can be affordably upgraded and made over into a respectable gaming PC. Further, the upgrade can usually be accomplished for less than the cost of a gaming console.

  • momcilosystem
    Yeah, considering that you already have PCI-e and DDR2 machine it is really cheaper and, imho, better. But if you don't have PCI-e, it becomes way expensive, not to mention that you need to replace the core of your PC (read: buy new PC).
    To get PCIe you need new mobo, hence new cpu (you probably don't have AM2 and AGP or 775 and AGP) hence new RAM (even rarer AGP and DDR2) and at last that PCIe GPU... Which leaves you with most inexpencive parts: case, optical drive and hdd...

    So, you need to have a decent PC already to make it a gaming PC.

    Cheers

    P.S. I am PC guy not console guy, just in case you got that impression.
    Reply
  • matchboxmatt
    What about the Wii?
    Reply
  • quantumrand
    matchboxmattWhat about the Wii?
    While the Wii's retail price is somewhat cheaper than the 360 and PS3, the Wii's strategic unavailability makes it fairly pricey. Then there's the cost of extra controllers plus the specialized controllers for each game. If anything, the Wii costs more than the other consoles.

    Now, I didn't really include the Wii because it's an entirely different gaming platform. The games on the Wii are either very casual, or aimed at the younger, less serious gaming crowd.

    momcilosystemYeah, considering that you already have PCI-e and DDR2 machine it is really cheaper and, imho, better. But if you don't have PCI-e, it becomes way expensive, not to mention that you need to replace the core of your PC (read: buy new PC).To get PCIe you need new mobo, hence new cpu (you probably don't have AM2 and AGP or 775 and AGP) hence new RAM (even rarer AGP and DDR2) and at last that PCIe GPU... Which leaves you with most inexpencive parts: case, optical drive and hdd...So, you need to have a decent PC already to make it a gaming PC.CheersP.S. I am PC guy not console guy, just in case you got that impression.
    The article does actually cover AGP solutions as well. Even with an AGP system, an Intel P4 at 2.8GHz will provide a strong enough core to run today's games with your $150 vid card and RAM upgrade. Granted, AGP costs slightly more and is a bit less cost effective since the core system is a bit slower.
    Reply
  • dingumf
    This article is a waste of time. The main difference is the simplicity of console gaming.

    12 year old kids on Xbox/PS3 obviously can't afford a $1000 computer or maintain it so they ask for a console.

    That way they can play GTA IV and beat prostitutes.

    Reply
  • dingumf
    Another comment, more than 50% of current console owners DON'T have HD televisions so that makes this article even MORE a waste of time and effort.
    Reply
  • beninchi
    Good article.

    Even though I prefer PC gaming, ideally, a person would have both a console and PC because there are serious advantages to both.

    PCs are still really the only platform to use for strategy games. They are vastly superior in graphics (Don't believe me? The Playstation 3 GPU is the Nvidia RSX, which is a Geforce 7800, which is about the same performance as a current $60 9500 GT for a computer) And the build-it-yourself aspect is fun and does not have to be expensive at all. (Newegg has dirt cheap deals all the time)

    But consoles provide a great in-room multiplayer experience and easy of use.


    Reply
  • Bloodblender
    It's about time; tons of my fellow console gamers have argued that, in both graphics and gameplay (fine I'll give them that), the consoles are greatly superior. I'm glad I found this article, can't wait to show it to them!
    Reply
  • In your article you try to argue that you must include the cost of a television as part of a console package. I am not exactly sure what the author views PC games on, but you need a computer monitor if you want to see anything. Therefore, to be fair, you need to add in the cost of a comparable computer monitor as part of the PC cost. I am not sure where you go shopping, but I can find 32" HDTV/monitors for less than $600. So, the whole cost of what you view games on is moot since you need to add the cost to both. If you try to argue that, 'well I have a computer so I have a monitor.' Then the same reasoning goes that if I have a console gaming system I have a TV. Duh!
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  • Well try playing wow on a console :-)
    Reply
  • rtfm
    dingumfAnother comment, more than 50% of current console owners DON'T have HD televisions so that makes this article even MORE a waste of time and effort.
    Where did that statistic come from? I would argue that the majority of people who will spend £300~ on a console will have enough savvy & money to have a hd tv (they're cheap enough these days). Though I do agree the article is a bit of a no brainer.
    Reply