TechSpot

PC vs CONSOLE gaming

By DonNagual
Sep 21, 2005
  1. compres

    compres TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Each one's best to different people, depending on what they like. for me the PC is kind, just can't imagine not having Star Craft, Diablo 2, Unreal Tournament, Quake 3, Emulators of my oldies, and the new games of course.

    But for other people, it would be consoles. To be honest I am considering getting the revolution as I only like Nintendo consoles and it is supposed to emulate all.

    compres
     
  2. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,851

    but the question to that is, will your TV be able to display such a good image?

    PC monitors all ready are in 480p and 1080i (HD) where as my tvs are not (480i)

    Those nice looking pics you see in gaming mags, would not look so nice in my tv.
     
  3. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    In the end that's absolutely true, but I believe that I was responding to the question of whether the technology was more advanced on a PC or console. On that front, nearly every time a new console is released it has the most superior technology on the market. The problem is that it remains static. In order to upgrade you need a whole new console. The technology that is in the 360 and will be in the PS3 will end up becomming a part of pcs well before the next round of consoles come out. Personally, I think Microsoft and Sony are both jumping the gun. I think that the most innovative thing to come to video games in years is the Physics card. Let's face it - the only technological innovations lately have mostly been focused on making the games look prettier. Well, for my money, the games on an xbox look fine to me (certainly not as good as a good pc, but good enough to satisfy). Give me some other kind of innovation. Let me interact with the world more. That's what the physics processor will make possible.
     
  4. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    There will never be a physics processor in the mainstream... It's already obvious that physics will be handled by one of the cores on a conventional CPU. With Intel and AMD both planning quad and octa core CPUs before decades end, and Sony's chip in the PS3 supporting 8 cores, the physics chip would be a $150 addon card that would be completely useless.

    Physics is handled by the CPU, always has, always will be, with dual core, it's just starting to get good.

    And as always, when a new console is released, and people see the first pictures of the next generation graphics, they will call for the end of the PC as the gaming format. The fact is, that consoles are the falvour du jour for a while, and then the gaming enthusiasts will run back to their PCs when the consoles can't cut the mustard anymore.

    BTW, all those glorious high res shots you see are on HDTVs which people so convieniently forget to factor into the price of a console when saying they best the PC at a lower price. Seeing those shots on a normal 640x480 TV would make you feel ill, they are not as good as advertised.

    A year from now, PC Gaming will be back on top, mark my words.
     
  5. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Yeah, and sound cards are dead too, right? Anything that take processing power away from the cpu will increase game performance and will be embraced my gamers.


    Who's calling for the end of the pc as a gaming format? It's, largely, two different markets.


    While it's true that the shots you see in the magazines won't match up to what you'll see on your tv, itsn't that the case with the pc also? I've got a 6600 and an Anthlon 64 3000+. My gamer buddy has an X850 with an Athlon 64x2 4200+. Unless you have the money to spend on the top components, you'll never see that kind of quality, even on your pc.

    "On top" of what? Like I said, they're two different markets.
     
  6. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Anyway, I prefer to use consoles. I play a lot with my PC, but i use more a console.
    Consoles are ready to play out of the box without any special configs, patches, etc.
    And with a console, you donĀ“t worry about the requirements of a game.
    Everything depends on the manufacturer of the game.
     
  7. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    Audio processors are a little different then a physics chip, the same way graphics processors are a little different. With good quality onboard audio, you're looking at roughly a 2fps drop. The poorer ones, admitedly, take a much greater chunk of processor power. But on a quad core or octa core system, the processor draw would still be next to nil.

    The only reasons I have a high end soundcard are for the front drive bay (hook in a guitar), the better SNR (no interference from the Mobo) and the better software suite that comes with it (effects for the guitar).

    Physics chips would offer nothing of that sort, and I debate whether routing physics data through a 33Mhz PCI bus would even be worth it, when a CPU can have bus speeds greater then 1Ghz, and in the near future, the physics thread could have a dedicated core.

    You say you have a lower end system, so you obviously are on a budget. So you'd go with a 6600GT and a physics card instead of a 7800GS?? What would net you more performance? Physics chips will only help (if they oculd help at all) when you're not GPU bound, and lets face it, 95% of systems out there are GPU bound, yours included.

    Physics chips WILL NOT fly, mark my words, CPU technology will be able to handle physics with no problems. The fact that the first I heard of a physics chip was in 2002, and I still have yet to see one come to market should be evidence enough. If there was a market for it, wouldn't they have tried to fill the demand?

    I also don't agree that PC/Console gaming are two different markets, they are two segments of the same market. I know precious few people who have the money for a gaming PC + console + titles for both systems. And when I said 'on top' I meant on top of the technology curve, i.e. best looking graphics/sound.
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    The fact that they are different markets is proved by the existence of QuakeCon and similar contests, where consoles do not figure. Also, games such as World Of Warcraft, NeverWinter Nights and Half-Life: Counterstrike are only available on a PC and BF2, even though available on a console, is still better looking and more playable on a PC. Plus, consoles are designed only for gaming, while most PCs are designed(but not limited to) to play games while encoding videos or downloading movies(on dual-core CPUs). So they are different markets, linked only by the fact that an improvement in one affects the other. The latter is also only true for the PC->Console relationship and not vice-versa.
     
  9. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    I disagree, I still think that they are two parts of the same market, and while there is some uniqueness to each platform, there is a great deal of overlap, some of which you pointed out. There are cross platform games and improvements in technology can improve both platforms, this is evidence OF a link, not against it.

    Simply put... they all cater to the same population of people, those people who play video games, that is their market, and within it they compete for your gaming dollar.

    The fact that there are certain demographics within the market (RPG FPS and MMO are more popular on PC for example) doesn't prove anything... The successes of these titles is simply the result of good market research, and shows an understanding of the demographics within the market.

    Just because there are contests where one type of format is excluded doesn't really prove anything either. An example, there are Rally Races and there are NASCAR races, both compete for the attention of Racing fans, there are those who prefer Rally, there are those who prefer NASCAR, but they all come from the general population of automoblie racing fans.

    Same goes for soft drinks, there are some who prefer Coke, others prefer Pepsi, but they're still all from the soft drink market.

    Lets look at it from another angle, Lets say Chevy introduces a new pickup truck and at the same time, Coke releases a new flavour of soft drink. Wether or not the new pickup sells well has absolutely no bearing on whether the new flavour of Coke does well. People will not opt for one over the other, because they fufill completely different needs.

    And alternatively, Microsoft releases the Xbox 360, and at the same time, Nvidia releases the 7800 GTX 512Mb graphics card. Now is it safe to assume that at least SOME gamers refused to buy the new Nvidia card (or any other PC upgrade for that matter), and instead opted for an Xbox 360? Of course it is, in fact I know people that made that exact choice. Now, that would indicate to me that Microsoft and Nvidia are in competition for the same peoples money, and therefore, they are catering to the same market.

    Edit: and your argument about PCs being built for things other then gaming, it is not relevant either, we're strictly speaking of the PC gaming market, not PCs in general.
     
  10. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    The physics card would be a pci-e x1 or x4. Much fast than a standard PCI.


    No, of course I would get a 7800, but what about the hardcore gamer? There was once a time when graphics card were a nitch market, only for hardcore gamers, too. Graphics are getting so good now that I hear a lot more interest in better physics than better graphics. The gamers drive the market. If there is a significant number of gamers out there that will buy it (and there is), it will come.


    .
    But what if the CPU didn't HAVE to handle the physics? What could the game designers do with that extra processing power? It takes time to develop these things, and it sounds like they're getting really close to getting it on the market now. Probably within the year.
     
  11. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57


    There is overlap in every market. What about expresso machines and traditional coffee makers? Same market or different? They both do coffee, so are they the same? But I have one of both and wouldn't really want to give up either. If they were the same market, I should be forced to choose one or the other, shouldn't I? Isn't it the same with gaming? I have a computer and an Xbox. I really wouldn't want to give either up. There are always choices about where you want to spend your money. You said you play guitar. If you're looking at magazines and you see a guitar magazine you really want and a video game magazine you really want, you have to make a choice. Are they the same market because they're both magazines? If you had a choice between a case of soda and a case of beer, what would you choose? Are Pepsi and Coors really direct competitors? Just because people had to choose between spending their money on a 360 or a 7800 doesn't make them the same market.
     
     
  12. djleyo

    djleyo TS Rookie Posts: 46

    ja i laugh at consoles

    consoles are good they have amazing graphics and games but pc are far superior they are faster better graphics avery 3 to 5 monts a new video card is out a new processor beeing developed and new motherboards***you dont need to buy expensive add ons and you can use it for various things not just gaming
    i have a 360 its awsome for 6months and then pc burn it :hotouch:
     
  13. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    All of those examples you gave are examples of competition within the same general markets, they're not direct competitors granted, but buying one of the two would satiate your inherent desires, whether they be for information, beverages, or video games. They cater to certain parts of their respective markets, just like PC and Consoles cater to their respective niches within the market. It doesn't mean the markets are seperate... I do understand where you are coming from, there is room for both in someones life, but understand mine, I'm saying that for those on a budget, they most definately do compete. Directly.

    You can of course, break the overall Gaming market down into PC market and Console market, I'm willing to concede that, because there are those that will stick with one format regardless. But they are part of the same larger market, as you cannot deny that they compete for the same portion of a person's budget.

    As for the physics chip discussion we had, may as well merge the threads to keep it easier to reply too. I really don't think that it's going to fly, whats the point of offloading physics calculations to an add-in board when your processor can handle it without a hitch. Look at how well physics works on a single core design (HL2, Doom 3 etc...)

    Now imagine putting it on dual core, physics and a few other threads can run on one of the cores, leaving the other for AI and other threads. Granted, at this point, maybe a physics card COULD help.

    But now go quad core, which will be here well before the end of 2007. Suddenly you have your physics on one core, and you have 3 cores left to handle everthing else. This all ran on one core, and ran well, and when quad cores fly, we're definately looking at 45nm manufacturing, which means higher clocks to boot. Suddenly the extra physics chip doesn't seem worth the extra money, because it will net next to nothing in gains.

    And then Octa, which is on Intels roadmap for 2008-2009, physics on one, or two, dedicated cores, and there would still be 6 cores left to handle everything else.

    And maybe I'm wrong about performance, who knows, maybe they can add refinements to a physics specific chip the way they do graphics cards, and it could out perform a single core on a processor. There is still the problem of actually getting developers to use your special physics API in their games, and making sure they spend enough time using it that they implement it properly for both those with and without the cards.

    I just don't think its a viable business approach, there would need to be a healthy list of games to support it, and benchmark proven gains from doing so before enough people would purchase the product to make it profitable. In comparison, a developer could just set their physics thread to have affinity for core #2 (or #4, or #7 and #8) and be done with it. I think the simplest approach will be adopted here.
     
  14. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    The main reason I consider PCs and consoles different markets is that PCs are used for so much more than just gaming. I know there are a handful of hardcore freaks out there (probaby in here, actually!) who have a dedicated gaming rig that they don't use for anything else, but for vast majority of people thier computer is used for everything. It's just not a fair comparison, in my opinion. I get your point, but I think you are defining the term "market" too broadly.



    The physics in Half-Life 2, while outstanding by today's standards, are still largely triggered animations. The best example i've heard of this is a bridge. In today's game, shooting a rocket at a bridge triggers a pre-rendered animation of the bridge collapsing. There is usually a number of free objects that give it the impression of being realistic, but most of it is just animation. With a dedicated physics processor (built for physics calculations, just like a graphics card is built for graphics calculations and a sound card is built for sound calculations) if you shot the top of the bridge it wouldn't cause much damage, but if you took down a main support it would crumble. Right now, if a game developer wants to do something like that he has to write it in the game (if the missle hits here, then this happens; if it hits there, that happens). With the physics processor, he just has to define the bridge. There are already some game developers beginning to support a physics processor. Check out http://www.ageia.com/index.html
     
  15. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    Or you did :p I was talking about the PC specifically as a gaming platform, in the video games market, of course a console is never going to replace a PC for all the other functionality they offer. That is what gets the PC through the lulls when consoles have the hardware advantage. If you're looking at it that way, then I agree 100% with you, and we've essentially been arguing two sides of the same coin :p

    I don't think there were too many triggered animations in HL2 at all, the only one that immediately comes to mind is when you're in the airboat, and the giant smokestack collapses.

    All the props, weapon drops, grenades, bodies and vehicles are governed by a simple implementation of newtonian physics. I completely agree with you that HL2 could have been done better with a physics processor, as it is a single threaded (single core) game.

    My argument is that, as dual core and beyond becomes prevelant, that it won't be neccessary, as there will be more then enough horsepower to run all the games major threads on seperate cores. The videos you see on that site you provided seem to support that, they definately aren't impressive, especially the castle video, I'd expect more from a physics processor then that. Although if U3 is onboard, maybe it could make a profit, I guess we'll have to wait and see what the benchmarks reveal. If it does manage to make it to market, I definately don't see it lasting long.
     
  16. paul05

    paul05 TS Rookie Posts: 85

    PC is have the best control over a game, while on console you have to get use to new control movement.
    Thats all I have to say....since im bored...... :rolleyes:
     
  17. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Interesting. If you're talking about the PC vs. console as strictly gaming platforms, it would almost seem flat-out insane to buy a PC, wouldn't it? If I wanted to play Doom 3 and I had a choice between buying a $1000+ PC or a $150 Xbox to play it on, wouldn't it be silly to choose the PC, even if the graphics are a little better (how much better could they be on a $1000 PC!?) and a mouse and keyboard provide better control? It's precisely the additional functionality of a PC that makes it worth it, and that's why I consider PCs and consoles to be different markets.



    I agree that game developers are doing a great job with the little stuff (ragdoll physics, etc.), but where you'll see the biggest difference with a dedicated physics processor is the big stuff - explosions, car wrecks, etc.. BTW, keep going down that list - Ubisoft, Mythic, Cryptic, Sega, Atari, Obsidian . . . that's a pretty impressive list of names. I understand your argument about dual-core, quad-core, etc., but since when have game developers had TOO MUCH processing power? Hell, when Doom 3 came out there wasn't a normal desktop configuration that could even run it at it's highest graphic level. What makes you think game developers will have trouble using those other cores for something else?
     
  18. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    I could see it as flat out insane, if you just wanted Doom 3 or other cross platformers, but what if you wanted WoW, Civ 4 or NWN... Those options are only available on PC, as they are niche titles and only available as a PC title. Like someone also said earlier, the contests and events are also much more prominent within the PC portion of the market, and these are other draws for staying in the fold.

    Also, PC Gaming has the unique element that through upgrading your hardware, you can increase your abilities artificially. This is another driving force keeping the PC Gaming market afloat and healthy.

    If you're strictly interested in mindless shootemups, racing and fighting, then consoles are they way to go as that is where they have carved out a place for themselves in the market. If you're also interested in strategy, competetive FPS, or MMORPGs, your options are mostly limited to the PC (well, a few MMOs are out on console) as that is where they have their niche in the market.

    I watched all the videos on the Physix site, unless I missed something, I didn't see their hardware as capable of handling the big stuff. All I saw were some fluid dynamics and a guy smashing a castle wall and turret down with some artillery, and when he knocked down the wall, the roof of the turret didn't even collapse. I'll admit, the fluid dynamics stuff has potential, but I can't see myself buying an add-on card to support it.

    Well Unreal 3 was the only title that caught my eye, and was one of the only titles on the list, sure developers have received their API and promotional materials, but that doesn't mean they're definately going through with using the functionality.

    Plus, When Doom3 came out, no system could handle it at Ultra Quality because it used uncompressed hi-res texture formats, and the textures were so large that 256MB of VRAM wasn't enough in most situations. It had nothing to do with the core (or the physics engine) bogging the game down. It ran however, at low quality(i.e. no video bottleneck), on my Athlon XP 2x00+ (can't remember the branding) at well over 100 fps. So the processor load was minimal. When I see a multithreaded game that runs at 15 fps on low detail because the physics engine is bogging it down, then I'll consider a physics card, no sooner.

    In all, my biggest problem with a Physix chip is that its just Math, lots and lots of FP math... It doesn't do anything other then what a normal processor does, unlike sound or video cards, which use specialized architectures to speed complex calculations. I think when quad and octa cores hit the market, developers are going to be hard pressed to use all the cores, because to use them all, the game would require a complexity never seen before.
     
  19. aikepah

    aikepah TS Rookie

    I just want to say that, When Cartz is talking about them, they are indeed the same market, because he is talking about Gaming only. Sure, on a computer you can do a lot of stuff other than games. As far as value... the computer is a better deal. If you think about it, the xbox 360 cost as much as a lower end computer that you could buy at walmart. But on the PC, you can do so much more, where as the console, you payed the same price, but you can only play games! Also, when a game is released on a console first, then later on, released on the PC (like halo) It will be better on the console. And if a game was released on the PC, and then on a console (like say... starcraft) it will be better on a PC. Games generally are better on the system they were made for. And a console is a social gaming system. A computer is an anti-social gaming system. Sure you may play some games online with your friends, but for the most part you are playing with strangers over the internet. Personally... I only play console when I'm with friends. And it isn't always about the graphics, it's also about the gameplay. Some games like Counter-Strike or Starcraft, are pretty old for games. And yet... they are still some of the best games ever. I like the computer better, because I dont just play games all the time. I do some web design, some programming, go on forums like this and read random posts... :p. But I also like the computer better for gaming because I am a fan of FPS and RTS games. I think that CS is better than Halo, and I've played halo and halo 2 a lot. blah blah blah k i'm done rambling on about useless stuffs :)
     
  20. Akio

    Akio TS Rookie Posts: 262

    I'd say the PC has more power... with the console though, you don't have to worry about it getting a virus. There's also no need to upgrade the software/hardware, or go out and buy new stuff inorder to impress or even beat friends. So I guess you could say, the PC is like a pizza. With a Pizza you always have to upgrade it and order new stuff along with it. For example you start off with a Pepperoni Pizza, then you upgrade it to the Ultimate Meatlovers Pizza. Your sittin there thinking to yourself, this isn't enough! So then you order Cinna Stix and a 2 Liter Coke along with it. This is when your friends get jelous! Now the Consoles turn... Ya see the console is like a girlfriend. There's no need to upgrade your looks just for her. You also don't have to get her anything, she hates it when you get stuff for her.... wait.... no.... CRAP! I mean the girlfriend is like pizza and the.. no! Ughh.... I'm dead.

    But seriously, I do believe the PC has more power. Although it does seem like the console is getting pretty close. I don't doubt that we won't be seeing upgrades for Consoles soon, like having to buy a new soundcard for your XBox Millennium!!
     
  21. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    Absolutely. I agree with all that. I'm certainly not saying that consoles are "better" or "worse." Just different. Perhaps I shouldn't have used a cross--platform game as an example. You can broaden it to genre. There are only a few genres that are really only good on either a console or PC (ex. fighting games aren't very great on PCs and I have yet to see a decent RTS on a console). Even if you're just a fan of FPS, would it justify spending $1000+ on a PC when you could buy an Xbox for $150, or even a 360 for $400? If you're only looking at them as gaming platforms, that's the choice you're forced to make. The fact that a PC has the added functionality is what makes it worth the price.


    That's the point, though. The turret WOULD'T have collapsed in real life.


    That was a list of developers that have said they are going to use it, not just who have recieved the API and promo materials.


    That's right. My point was that the game was made at such a high quality that no system could handle it at ultra because the hardware wasn't there to support it. The software that makes the physix processor works by determining whether or not you have a physix processor. If you do, it sends the physics calculations there. If you don't, it splits the calculations between the CPU and GPU. If game developers are implementing this already, it's going to start taking a bite out of your fps before too long. Pretty soon we should be seeing games that won't be able to be played at their highest levels because the physix processor isn't here.


    Have you ever studied physics? It's much more complex math that a processor normally deals with. It is, in fact, a physics accelerator.
     
  22. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    Uh, have you watched the video? The player knocks the entire side off the turret, the reason it doesn't collapse is because it's very obviously divided into certain static objects, and dynamic environment objects (the bricks that collapse)

    Why, in a tech demo, would they not have the entire castle collapse, that would have impressed me, if I saw it fall apart, the wood supports splinter realistically under the weight of the mortar, and collapse into a heap, I would have been impressed. Instead, I saw a bunch of cubes fall over....

    Currently, the physics videos on google from the HL2 engine are way way more impressive.

    Strategic Partners could mean pretty much anything, we'll see how many games come out with it included...

    I guess this is where we differ, AMD and Intel both announced Quad Core for 2007 within the last few days. I think that these quad core CPUs will not suffer a frame rate drop due to performing massive amounts of physics calculations, even if they're restricted by not using the most effecient means of doing the calculations. I judge this based on my current impressions of HL2s implementation of physics in a single threaded game. You can't deny it's good... Now give the physics engine in HL2 2 dedicated cores as opposed to sharing one core that also handles AI, Graphics Preamble, and keeps the rest of your OS in line. I think you see where I'm going.

    I'm well aware that physics is a pretty complicated topic, I'm also aware that 99% of it won't apply to gaming for quite some time. Newtonian Physics and Fluid Dynamics are all I'm seeing here, and its all we as gamers need. I haven't heard anything about the chip dealing with the physical properties of light, relativity or any of that jazz. So to suggest that study of Physics is required to comment is a little broad, since the chip doesn't deal with all of the various aspects of the discipline.

    If these chips do come to light, and are required, it's going to suck for PC gamers, It's just one more stupid add in card that we have to pay $200 bucks for. I hope they bundle them on grahpics or sound boards or something, I wouldn't have such a hard time justifying the purchase if that were the case.
     
  23. kens8

    kens8 TS Rookie Posts: 57

    What you appear to be looking for is cool special effects. What they're trying to deliver is a realistic world.


    There has actually been talk of that. We'll see what happens. I still think you're being a little short-sighted when talking about dual- and quad-cores. Game developers will use any and all resources they have available (or forsee that they'll have available - that was the point of the Doom 3 illustration).


    I think that, in the end, we're going to have to agree to disagree, and sit back and watch what happens
     
  24. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 97

    Well no, what I was looking for was something to justify spending $150-$200 bucks on a physics card. What I saw was a pile of bricks stacked up to resemble a wall, fall over without the things they should be supporting being affected.

    I watched the more recent video, the one with the plane crashing into the hangar, and that I'll admit, was pretty freaking cool. Still I don't see it being anything out of reach for conventional processors.

    I could only hope it's not a seperate board, and that it doesn't demand a premium on the boards with which it's included. I would consider upgrading to it, if that were the case.

    I on the other hand, don't think that you quite understand the impact of developing within a truly multithreaded environment. I'm doing a Masters program related to high performance computing, and let me tell you, that when you've seen what's been done so far, its an insult to what even todays dual cores are capable of, much less tomorrows technology.

    Multithreading doesn't just make things 'faster', it can be used to make things much more effecient. Say it takes a single core 4 ns to complete a certain physics calculation, with proper coding techniques applied, a dual core COULD, (i stress COULD, because we're no where near that yet) finish the same task in 1.5 ns or even lower. Performance is not on a linear scale.

    I agree though, that we must agree to disagree. We are obviously on exact opposite sides of the fence on this argument. And it appears we are both too thickskulled to change our minds, so lets see how the next year unfolds.
     
  25. maxbb1

    maxbb1 TS Rookie Posts: 63

    erm.. i dont really see how the last few posts really relate to pc vs console gaming.....
     
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