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If You Love Great Graphics, You Better Get A Gaming PC Next Generation

Posted on Monday, November 5 @ 09:53:05 Eastern by Jonathan_Leack
Those are some mighty fine visuals you have there, Mr. PC.
Those are some mighty fine visuals you have there Mr. PC.

Everybody enjoys good graphics. If you could play a game you’re interested in with even better visuals, why wouldn’t you? That’s exactly why the PC has recently re-emerged as a dominant platform for core gamers, and is growing in popularity after a couple generations of console prevalence. Judging by the specs of unreleased consoles, it appears that this trend will continue heading into the future.

Although the next PlayStation hasn’t been announced, recent rumors claim that it utilizes an AMD APU. These rumors line up perfectly with what you’d expect after watching trends with overheating and high manufacturing costs posing huge consequences for Microsoft and Sony respectively. In contrast to previous hardware, an APU would offer a low heat signature to prevent significant failure like Red Ring of Death, and would also make it much easier to deliver an attractive price point to consumers.

Using an APU isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a radical departure from the high end Nvidia 7000 series equivalent that the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 employed. Even the most powerful APUs on the market don’t come close to matching what discrete graphics are capable of. Sure, 1080p and 60FPS will be possible, but the quantum leap we've seen from one generation to the next will be missed making it even more challenging for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to push their latest gaming solution.

The Nintendo Wii U is releasing this month and uses an embedded chip based on the Radeon HD 5000 series, a line of cards that appeared in 2009. It’s certainly a step up from what the Wii offered, but it’s already dated by PC standards. It even raises questions as to whether or not it’ll be multiplatform capable once Sony and Microsoft release their competing hardware.
 

Meanwhile, PCs are continuing to evolve at a dramatic pace. Nvidia and AMD release a new generation of cards every year and each time they show major benchmark improvements. Similarly, new CPU archictures and PC exclusive features such as tesselation, Eyefinity (3 monitors to create one massive resolution), and PhysX (see above video) are constantly being improved.

Due to the fast cycling of PC technology, prices have become more reasonable than ever. A gaming PC that can run absolutely everything out there with visuals that even the next generation of consoles likely won't even be able to compete with with can be had for fewer than $600. Oh, and backward compatiblity definitely isn't a problem considering you can play over 30 years of industry-defining games from one machine.

Consoles are great for local cooperative experiences and a few noteworthy exclusives, but those of us who enjoy visual excellence and technological evolution will have only one choice next generation, and that choice is PC.


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