NVIDIA 9500 GT: Mainstream Graphics Update

by Derek Wilson on 9/5/2008 10:15 PM EST
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  • ThermoMonkey - Wednesday, October 08, 2008 - link

    Don't you think this card is better Suited for HTPC???

    I mean it has an SPDIF input to pass audio over HDMI and that wasn't even mentioned! Wouldn't that provide 8-channel SPDIF (dependent of the sound card)

    Sure its a nice budget card that can game a bit. But I would never use this card for gaming when I can still buy a 8800GTS 512 G92 for $150 that games much better.

    Maybe I missed something in the article, anyone have any comments?
    Reply
  • BernardP - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Simply because it is the most powerful card that fits in my case. It's true that price/performance is much better wih ATI HD3850 and NVidia 9600GT, but these cards are too long to fit in a smallish ATX case with all three hard-disk slots filled-up. As a casual gamer, I have to choose between getting a short video card or taking one of the HD's out...I get the shorter card. Reply
  • nubie - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    That is one choice, if all or some of your drives are 250Gb you can upgrade to 500GB for ~$75 and then choose a better card.

    An argument could also be made for getting a bigger case (if you need 3 drives now you are maxed for space already) or using a 5.25" to 3.5" adapter for your other drive.

    I can see your point, but if you are going to get a video card at all you might as well solve your case problem and then get a video card that delivers a good value for the price you pay.

    Your case sounds poorly designed, for example, this PC http://sportcompactpc.com/web/">http://sportcompactpc.com/web/ http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/gt3/">http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/gt3/ and an external dual HDD enclosure* can handle a Dual Slot 8800GTS (any card up to 235MM, it will supply 150watts for the video card) and 3-4 HDDs.

    I would bet that setup takes up less volume than your current case (it can also hold a second hard drive or a PCI card)

    If you don't want to change cases you can choose to pay more money for an inferior card based on your situation, or simply buy a card that will fit your case and delivers the same performance for less money.


    *(Like a WD 1TB book for example, or one using Firewire or SATA/eSATA)
    Reply
  • BernardP - Tuesday, September 09, 2008 - link

    Thanks for these thoughts, At this point, I am not willing to spend much on a two and a half year old machine. As soon as the new ATI HD46xx is out, prices should fall on the 9500GT. I want to go with NVidia as I currently have NVidia integrated graphics and NVidia drivers offers better scaling options at non-native resolutions, a must for me. Reply
  • Kougar - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Hi guys.

    I know you get plenty of these, but even if not all the errors can be caught out the gate, certainly they should've been fixed three days after release. I'd use the quote option but it won't function on this PC with either browser, sorry. Such as:

    "People who don't already know what is and is not possible aren't going to buy into the hype."

    Following the context of the paragraph, they're one to many negatives in here. Ya just said the reverse of what you intended.

    "Alternate" was meant to be "alternately" on page 3.

    And worst of all, your specifications chart on page three is labeled "9600GT", when clearly it should have been labeled 9500GT. ;)

    This is not Dailytech, and I know y'all both love to dictate through voice recognition software, but that just makes the issue of Editing the articles afterwards all the more important. I didn't have time to read past page 3 so there are likely more errors to be found...

    Cheers



    Reply
  • Megaknight - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I really hope AMD does a better job than Nvidia with the 46xx series. 9500GT has almost the same performance as 7600GT, 2 generations older! Reply
  • toyota - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    I hate to tell you but even though the 9500gt is wimpy, its still about twice as fast as 7600gt in modern games. Reply
  • psybience - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    There is a mistake on this article on page 3. The 9600 GT actually has:

    64 stream processors
    1625 mhz shader clock
    16 ROPs
    650 mhz core clock
    256bit memory bus width
    1800 mhz memory clock
    Reply
  • toyota - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    well it is anandtech and they are not known for their proof reading... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    While you are correct on the 9600 GT, this article is about the 9500 GT. That's part of the *huge* problem with NVIDIA right now. The G9x parts never should have been called 8000 series GPUs, but at launch the 8800 GT 256/512 didn't get the 9000 name because they weren't universally better than the 8800 GTX/Ultra. Now we have 8600 and 8800 parts renamed to the 9000 series just to make them seem like they aren't two generations old.

    9800 GT == 8800 GT 512
    9600 GSO = 8800 GS (a limited release 8800 GT with 96 SPs and 12 ROPs)
    9500 GT = 8600 GT Overclocked

    If you look at the mobile world, things become even worse. http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.aspx?i=335...">Here's a quick overview. 8700M = 9600M, 8600M = 9500M, 9800M = 8800M ... just change a few letters on the end.

    Honestly, I think NVIDIA has somehow come to the conclusion that obfuscation and confusion in their part naming is a good thing. Maybe not good for the consumer, but apparently it helps their partners and their bottom line. If not, why do they keep doing it? ATI at least seems to have calmed down on renaming and overlapping names. Not that performance is always clear when we're comparing stuff like 2600, 2900, 3600, 3800, and 4800 parts.

    The real failure, however, is what Derek indicates in this article: the huge gap between the entry-level $75 parts and the $100~$150 parts is inexcusable. Last-gen parts that sell for $100 are still twice as fast as "new" parts selling for $75. These $75 parts are really only worth $50 if you look at the performance offered.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, September 09, 2008 - link

    Is it a failure from the GPU maker side though? Take the 3850. It launched as a ~$170 part, and sold well there. They have probably earned back their development costs, so any profit over the manufacturing cost is gravy now. So if they can convince the buyers to go for the $100 last-gen part instead of the $75 current-gen, they make more money and can spend less in development on the low end. Not great for the consumer, but good for their bottom line.

    What I want to know is how some of these cheaper cards perform outputting video to an HDTV or something. I built a computer for my brother-in-law a few months ago. He had no need for extensive 3D capability, but wanted to be able to run stuff on the TV from the computer. I ended up putting a 9600GT in the system, but couldn't really find any info on these cards in non-gaming scenarios.
    Reply
  • toyota - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    well Jarred the 9500gt is a completely different core than the 8600gt but yeah its pretty much the same specs. Nvidia loves to have those big numbers. look at most of their very low end parts because they are recycled for several generations. Reply
  • kevinkreiser - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    cards like these are great for htpc owners who need a little bit of graphics performance but not the huge heat and power requirements of a bigger card. i wonder if these new cards play well with the newest htpc motherboards. i just got the asus p5q-em and dropped in an 8800gt to see what would happen. after trying out a billion graphics driver versions i found out the that newest nvidia drivers don't work with that configuration. i had to settle for the 169.02 version drivers. lets hope nvidia debugs the drivers for the htpc crowd by testing on typical htpc mobos like the asus p5q-em. Reply
  • djfourmoney - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    Yeah but you can be HTPC use out of the upcoming 9400GT or HD4450 which will be out before Thanksgiving...

    As was mentioned before, now that the online media has gotten around to testing this card, its too late! The HD4670 will be this coming Wed and I plan to pick up maybe one or two just for giggles and offer to send one out to a web site if they haven't gotten their boards yet. Or I might upgrade to a Phenom, 790GX and two HD4670's

    Somebody already Crossfired some engineering samples that Diamond sent him as reward for a raffle he won. Check out Overclock.net and search "HD4670"

    http://www.madshrimps.be/vbulletin/f22/ati-hd-rade...">http://www.madshrimps.be/vbulletin/f22/...0-perfor...

    The HD4670 beats it by at least 40% its not even close. If AnandTech was looking for a card that could be a game changer for the PC gaming market this could be the start. PC programers should not require somebody to spend $200 on a card just to get good performance. Crysis is the perfect example. Experienced Console programers like Codemasters has done much better with GRID. It will run on Midrange hardware as was proven in the game review on here.

    Even if you turn down the detail its no worst than a PS3 or Xbox 360. I ran it at 1920x1200@60hz and got upper 50+fps and it was more than playable, I noticed NO slow down or stutter, gliches, nothing. It could have been a console game save for it crashing to BSOD which only PC's do!

    You could Crossfire two HD4670's and play anything on the market. Maybe not at the Ultra or Very Highest detail setting but at the very least at default which is usually high.
    Reply
  • wicko - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    Exactly... there is no need for the 9500, when you have the 9400 or 4450, or AMD's 780G platform. If you want a good HTPC, you should be buying one of those, not a 9500GT. Much less heat and noise, as well as power consumption, you won't be playing many games on them but then again who games on an HTPC?

    You might say, well the 9500 is good for media stuff but then I can also game with it! Well, just like everyone else is saying, you can get the much faster 4600 when it comes out to your region, or the 3800 now. The 9500GT is definitely pointless, and I think nVidia is hoping people will buy it without doing research.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    sry -- i had originally left this table out. Reply
  • Finally - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    [quote]It is possible that Larrabee could be a disruptive technology in this market. If Intel is able to deliver a top to bottom launch on day one with volume on all parts, the way graphics hardware is addressed could see a fundamental shift. We might just see the competition realize that they need to change their ways and address the all important low end space with new generations as quickly as possible.[/quote]

    Would you kindly refrain from whipping out your Intel-appreciation crystal ball each time you review hardware that's completely unrelated to Intel's could-bes, might-bes and ifs?
    Thank you.

    PS: Review the cr*p out of it, once it is released, but for this time, if the topic is completely different, why? WHY?





    PPS: Oh, the paycheck... I see.
    Reply
  • DerekWilson - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    it's just frustrating to see neither nvidia nor amd really pushing performance in this segment. i think after seeing the crappy performance of the 9500 gt in this space that the unknown factor that intel brings to the party might be what we need to get nvidia and amd in line.

    tbh, i don't care so much about how larrabee performs (though it'd be nice to have another solid competitor in the market). what i do care about is nvidia and amd not writing intel off ... i want them to be afraid and to really push the envelope next year.

    my speculation was not for the benefit of intel (they'll sink or swim on their own merit) but for the benefit of the consumer at the response of nvidia and amd to the possibility of competition at the low end.
    Reply
  • djfourmoney - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    AMD pushed it, wait and see, faster card you can buy for under $100 no rebate needed!

    It beats the 9500 by 40% in all the samem resolutions they tested. Its also slower than a HD3850 but only by a tiny margin and given you don't need an external connector, draws only 75w under load and it perfect for the pre-built PC, HTPC PC crowd that might game on occasion is just fine. You can run games at 720p and frames rates will be more than exceptable.

    Reply
  • nubie - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    FAIL!!

    This card is a failure, nevermind that ATI/AMD can spank it all the way to town and back with an HD3850, Its own siblings the 8800GS/ 8800GSO, 9600GT and 9600GSO simply mop the floor with it, and for around $10-20 more.

    I am so sick of seeing posted in a forum: "I got a new video card and payed $120 for it, but the 8600GT won't let me play [insert any game from last 2 years] properly".

    The "street" price of these cards is well north of $100. The web price may be in the $50-70 range, but the card is sold retail.

    I wish nVidia would simply give up on this price point pushing. The market is saturated, no need to fill a point that you will need to unload your high-midrange cards into in a few months.

    I don't see a reason for this card. Really. I could be biased, but why spend money on a card that will need a few driver revisions to be as compatible as the 8600GT already is?

    I suppose that you generate 2 sales by releasing this card, but one of them may be to the competition if they are really disgusted.

    I notice that nVidia go to interesting lengths to hide the stream processors and memory bus widths of their products. Nowhere on their site are there specifications for their product, you must go to a third party for the information most likely to determine if a certain product is likely to be fast enough.

    Forget educating their customers either. I hope that Intel does shake things up, because this is nuts.
    Reply
  • djfourmoney - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    HD4670 crushes it and its already available in Europe for 67-77 Euro depending on website. That's under $100-105US and while the 9600GT is around $150 online (before rebate) I don't ASSUME rebates will happen and I don't purchase based on rebates.

    For people with say Dell 530's like my mother's PC, most people can't afford to spend more than $100 or aren't willing too.

    Hardcore PC gamers should not confuse themselves with "average" PC users, you aren't one of them and they aren't one of you. If feel spending $200 on a card is justifted, I for one don't. I am a console loyalist that occasionally plays games on the PC. Now that my PC and Console and connected to the same monitor, I don't have to leave the room to play either. I plan on combining both, but I still have a PS2 and I haven't moved on to a PS3 yet and price really as nothing to do with it.

    I priced it out and its much cheaper for me to buy a few PC titles and a decent video card, than a PS3 used or new. MS just reduced the cost of the Xbox 360 to $199 and I recently talked a co-worker into buying a new PC and he gave his old one to his son. Great, however he wants to play Rock Band and ummm the current GPU won't cut it. I suggested a 9600GT at first, but I'll tell him to pick up a HD4670 and while it won't run quite as fast as the 9600GT, its close enough and the price is right. He was about to buy his son a Xbox 360, but I told him he could get a good card and that's one less thing he'll be buying his son for Xmas, since many Games For Windows titles are Xbox 360 titles too.

    The PC game market needs better titles more accessable games, accesable graphics. They should also look into selling bundled video cards with a few included titles, not just one. Most PC owners may only have one game, maybe too. As more people are connecting there PC's to HDTV's and using there PC's at Media Centers, this is yet another chance for the PC Game market to captialize on this.
    Reply
  • frozentundra123456 - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    Another way to improve graphics upgradability on consumer PCs would be to build OEM computers with a better power supply. Almost any computer you buy from a best buy type store will have a power supply that is only around 300 watts. This limits upgrades from integrated graphics to an HD3650 or 9500GT type card, and even then the power supply is still marginal.

    I agree that spending 50 to 100 dollars more on the graphics card will give much better performance per dollar, but one then has to upgrade the power supply which adds another 100 dollars or so to the price. Also upgrading the power supply is something most non-technical users might not want to attempt, while simply dropping in a graphics card is something almost anyone can do.

    Since the manufacturer has to include a power supply anyway (obviously), how much more could it cost to make it 400 to 500 watts instead of 300?? The user would then be able to upgrade to a mid-level card instead of the low end without having to upgrade the power supply anyway.

    Reply
  • GaryJohnson - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    The OEMs don't really have any incentive to do that. It would decrease profit and the average computer user wouldn't know the difference. Besides, they'd much rather you come back and buy a whole new PC from them when you decide you need an upgrade. Reply
  • idealego - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    You can buy passively cooled 9500 GTs for about $70, maybe less. This appeals to some people for a number of reasons: it's cheap, it's silent, it has a low power supply requirement and some people simply don't play newer, demanding games.

    For example, I have a friend who plays nothing but WoW and has a crappy, big-brand computer with the stock power supply. For him this video card is perfect, as it's cheap, it's silent and and he can be fairly sure his power supply isn't going to have a problem with it.
    Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    You summed it up well.

    There are many people out there who only play World of Warcraft and web games.
    Reply
  • feelingshorter - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    Strengths? ATI is already in the works to release their 4670, which beats the 9500GT by a very large margin. It was benchmarked on some chinese website. Infact nvidia is already in the works to also release a 9550GT in response. Reply
  • idealego - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    I could have also said "the strengths of this class of video card". I don't care who has the best $70 card--the point is simply that these video cards fill a niche for some people. Reply
  • feelingshorter - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    Unbelievable what nvidia is doing, releasing so many cards. 9400gt/9500gt/9600gt/9600GSO/9800gt/9800GTX. I was looking for a sub 100 video card but i think ill just put out more $ and buy a 4850. Reply
  • tacoburrito - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    I think most of the low end cards are OEMs only. I'm guessing that the machines that churn out these GPUs are not reliable in producing chips capable of the same specs. This could be why Nvidia have to repackage them into a low end and sub-low end. Fuuny thing is that I don't see AMD with the same dilemna with their Radeon HD lineup.

    It is hard to even justify paying $70 for a card when a mere $50 more would net you a sub-high end 9800GT.
    Reply
  • Clauzii - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    Nice article. It -looks- like nVidia need to up their midrange even more, since the prices keep them from doing much at the moment. Reply
  • poohbear - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    I think your first paragraph in the article sums up how alot of us feel about graphics hardware: we want to see the boundaries pushed and see what the next gen brings in terms of graphics. The 9500gt hardly does anything in that regards for most of your audience. I was hoping the low end would get a nice boost in performance but its depressing to see it has the same performance as the 8600gt, and the 8600gt had the same performance as the 7600 it replaced. Is this segment of the graphics market even moving forward!?!?

    seriously, u should just recommend people spend the extra $40 and pick up a 8800gt which obliterates these low end cards. just my 2 cents.
    Reply
  • epyon96 - Friday, September 05, 2008 - link

    It has just enough sarcasm, cyncism, and content to captivate the audience in a boring release.

    The thesis of improving $100 graphics cards in order to induce more developers to PC is interesting. I respectfully disagree that it will actually induce the developers to PCs. The simple reality is that PC games do not sell anywhere near as well. There are other factors pushing console sales that are completely beyond the control of graphic card manufacturers. Granted, they are not helping the situation by creating an unbalanced performance/value curve on the lower end. However, even if the situation is improved with the $100 cards improving, it is simply too late and not enough.

    Too many people and too many system builders are already set on releasing computers with integrated GFX and they are simply pathetic. Furthermore, with the recent rapid shift to laptops from PCs, integrated gfx I imagine will only increase since integrated gfx hsa much better battery life. Mobility seems to be the future of PCs. People no longer regard the PC as a entertainment device for games but a tool for business or home enterntainment where they can connect their XBox, Wii, and PS3.

    Furthermore, piracy is such a big deal with PCs that developers are using that as a reason when it isn't. It is a catch 22 phrase with developers when their product launches fail and they automatically blame piracy. It has gotten to the point where developers will automatically shy away from PCs in favor of Consoles. The classic genre of FPS that PCs are known for are even shifting to consoles. Developers would much rather develop an elaborate and expensive new control interface to cater to the hardcore ex-PC gamers if it means sticking it to a console. Look at Gears of War, Halo franchise, and Metal Gear Solid; all games that would have benefited from the keyboard-mouse PC. What we have left are the premium tier 1 developers like Blizzard with WoW. EA sports is a joke if you look at their track record for developing actual original games. They rely on purchasing other smaller shops like Westwood and Take Two for C&C and Grand Theft Auto. However, those great smaller shops are disappearing. The trend does not seem to stop.

    If Intel Larrabee succeeds in creating better value in the integrated graphics (we are talking about 30-40x improvements over current at the same price point), I see it only benefiting developers and professional graphics engineers. Other factors that are pitted against PC game developers are the costs. It seems that the game development costs have skyrocked exponentially ever since developers equated eye-candy for game sales. Some may argue that they enjoy gameplay and point towards the Wii as an example of gameplay over quality argument. However, the correlation between eye-candy and game sales is undeniable. Prettier games with good marketing will sell; just not a top seller. It is an easy way out for lack of innovative gameplay for some developers.

    Without major shifts in consumer behavior that is not currently evident in the 5-year marketing plans of the industry leaders, the PC gaming industry seems to be on a downward spiral without much hope in recovering. However, the glimmer of hope is that the likely result is that the games that are actually left on PCs will likely be a higher calibre. It is a feeding frenzy where inferior developers will only develop for easy-sell consoles while the remaining developers for PCs are the Blizzards, id, Valve, etc. It raises the average quality of PC games.
    Reply
  • poohbear - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    oh, and nice post epyon96. its great to read an articulate post like that. cheers for the info. Reply
  • whatthehey - Saturday, September 06, 2008 - link

    Yet another doom and gloom "PC gaming is dying" commentary that is, as usual, completely off the mark. Gaming platforms are cyclical, and there are too many advantages to PCs to totally ignore them. GoW and Halo (and Megal Gear) have always - ALWAYS - been console titles. Halo and GoW were both 360 exclusives, which means Microsoft paid big money to keep them off other platforms in order to entice people to the 360. EA Sports? Don't make me laugh. Sure, the latest copy of Madden will sell like hotcakes on consoles, but sporting games have never been a huge seller for PCs... at least not in the past 10+ years.

    The costs of developing games is so high that to eliminate platforms totally is a terrible decision. If it costs $10-20 million (or more) to make a game, it typically costs a small fraction of that to port the game after it's tested. The reason certain ports sell poorly on PCs usually has more to do with them being available on consoles for months or even years prior to the PC release. Halo 2 is the perfect example: not only was it 3 years late, but MS made it a Vista exclusive. Gee, I wonder why it didn't sell?

    PC gaming might be in a down cycle right now, but PCs are fast outpacing the current consoles (again), so as the gap widens we will start to see more devs return to PC in order to showcase the latest and greatest. 40 years from now, we'll still have pundits claiming the latest consoles are the death of PC gaming, but until PCs stop existing there will always be a large market.
    Reply
  • wicko - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    I agree with quite a few things said here, like piracy being an "issue" but not really.. but I disagree with PC gaming doing poorly. Actually, PC gaming has apparently been as great as ever, however the difference is that PC gaming is not just for the hardcore anymore. A lot of casual games exist for the PC and its been a very successful venture. Sure, there have been less shooters for the PC, and when some come out they tend to be utter shit ports (mercs 2), late (halo 2) or buggy (GoW). But the MMO's and the RTS games have made up for that, I mean look at WoW for crying out loud, HUGE amount of people playing that (with a monthly fee no less, I do not understand that really..).

    I think there is a major convenience with consoles, and that is that the games are guaranteed(99% of the time) to work. You don't have to worry about how good your console is, because they're equal. But going off cost is bullshit. The cost for a console + TV is relatively equal to the cost of a game capable PC + monitor. For instance, a 360 and a 32" tv is likely to cost (300+600) 900 before taxes. A decent gaming PC and 20" monitor is going to cost 900 as well (700+200), and you could even build a cheaper PC without sacrificing much power.
    Reply
  • JPForums - Monday, September 08, 2008 - link

    Another thing to consider is the fact that many people will buy a PC anyways. So all you really need to do is take the cost difference between that PC and a gaming PC. Most systems I've upgraded to be game capable only really need a video card. With 8800GTs under $130 and 9800GTX/4850s under $180, it isn't very expensive to make a perfectly game capable PC. (Assuming you don't use a 24+ inch monitor)

    Crysis was mentioned in another post. I run Crysis on Athlon 64 X2 processor with a single 8800GTS on a 22" monitor. Sure I can't crank the graphics settings to the absolute max, but I can easily get them high enough to compare to current consoles. Athlon 64 X2s are selling in entry level systems. Most people (gamer or otherwise) get a system with a Core2 Duo or better processor anyways, so they have even more headroom.

    Further, the cyclic upgrade cycle argument for a console over a PC is a load of crap. I don't have to upgrade my PC at all to maintain this level of performance. The graphics don't get worse, there is just a larger disparity between what a PC is capable of and what the game can do. If a PC can outperform a console, it will always be able to unless it breaks. You only need to upgrade if you want more. The advantage of the PC is that you have that option where you have to wait another 5 years with a console. Case and point, I bought a Radeon 9700 back in the day. It served me well for 7 years. (Still fine, just not so good for new games) Naturally, I upgraded my primary system long before the 7 year mark, but the card was still very useful in my secondary system for LAN parties and the likes. Oh, and for the price of the new consoles when they first come out, you can upgrade to an upper midrange or lower highend video card 3 times, or upgrade the video card, CPU, and memory with some cash to spare. Doing this, you can maintain an increasingly large advantage over the console. Finally, consoles are sold at low or nonexistent profit margins because they make back the money by charging a (up to 50%) premium on games. Big title releases are usually $40 - $50 (Retail) on PC where they are $50 - $60 (Retail) on the Xbox360/PS3.

    That said, I respect the advantage that consoles have in lack of install and games just working. However, the lack of install linits one of the best features of PC games: the ability to modify or add to the game. While consoles are picking up on this, they aren't at parity yet.

    I also agree with the fact that many PC titles are buggy upon release. For me, it isn't a big issue, as I hardly ever buy games (PC or console) directly on release. They few PC games that have been appealing enough to actually buy on release haven't actually been that buggy. (I.E. C&C 3 Tiberium Wars: 1680x1050 + 16X AF + 4X AA produced artifacts so I had to move down to 2X AA ... fixed in a graphics driver update about 2 weeks later) However, these issues are a big deal to many people. (especially technically disinterested people) It should be noted that some so called "bugs" are actually hardware issues in particular systems. As consoles have their own share of hardware issues (RROD) and PCs are much easier and often cheaper to repair (if you know someone who can do it), I'm inclined to excuse a small number of these.

    So what it really comes down to is whether or not you are willing to put up with the PCs quirks for the additional power and flexibility it will give you. For most people it seems the answer is no. However, there will always be a crowd willing to put in extra work to get extra benefit.
    Reply
  • mmntech - Sunday, September 07, 2008 - link

    The convenience part sums up why I abandoned PC gaming. I got sick of buying games that were essentially pubic betas and I got sick of sinking money into a system just to play them at a reasonable frame rate. With my PS3, I just pop the disc in and it works. No endless patches to download, no intrusive DRM to worry about, and the graphics are better than what my current PC can deliver.

    The biggest mistake PC developers have made is that they've spent far too much time catering to the hardcore crowed. Thus you get games (*cough* Crysis *cough*) that require high end, $1000+ systems to run on. By doing this, they've developed themselves into a corner. There's a reason why EA has been successful with titles like the Sims. They're accessible to causal gamers and don't require a Core 2 Extreme and Quad SLI to be properly enjoyed. Hardcore gamers only account for a small proportion of PC gaming. Staying on the cutting edge doesn't matter to most gamers. If you don't target these people, games aren't going to sell. Hardware cost is a huge thing. What you forget is that with a console, you're guaranteed at least five years of stability where as a gaming PC may only get half that lifespan, if that. For example, over the PS2's lifespan, I've had three separate gaming systems and have made countless upgrades to them. Games should be developed from a middle up perspective, rather than top down as they currently are. I should expect more advanced features with higher end hardware. However, I should be able to buy any midrange system off the shelf at Best Buy (equipped with GPUs such as this one being reviewed here) and expect to be able to play any game at a reasonable frame rate and detail level. In other words, 30fps at medium settings at at least 1024x768. Only Enemy Territory was able to accomplish this.
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