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    Old 01-17-2012, 04:15 PM
    BetaWolf47 BetaWolf47 is offline
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    Default FAQS and myths about PC gaming

    [SIZE="2"]Do not ask for advice on a custom build here. Make a separate thread and our awesome forum members will be glad to help [/SIZE]


    I'm making this thread to discuss some of the most asked questions on here, and to correct a few misconceptions. If all goes well, I should learn a few things myself.

    I. PC gaming is an expensive hobby. I will need a $1500 PC to be able to run games well.
    A. An $800 PC (self-built) will be able to run almost anything on high. People who spend $1500 fall into an enthusiast category that enjoys getting the maximum framerate. To be able to get 45-60 fps, you don't need a $500 graphics card. While still nothing to scoff at, much of the costs are first-time costs, such as your power supply, case, and hard drive. From then on, the main things you will be changing are your CPU, motherboard, RAM, and video card.


    II. Building a PC is difficult. I should stick to prebuilt computers due to my lack of knowledge.
    A. It's easy to see why it could be intimidating to handle $800+ worth of electronics which you have little knowledge about. I've been there before. However, there are many guides available which will walk you through the process. Only one step (connecting front-panel headers) requires much thought. The rest is simply plugging things into where they fit.

    Building your own PC has several advantages. First and foremost, it feels extremely satisfying to use a machine you built with your own hands. You can choose your own case, processor, video card, etc. and you can feel accomplished having built it.

    Second, a properly built self-build is cheaper and more durable. Companies like Dell (Alienware) often hike prices and use cheap parts. They cut costs in power supply units and other components, which in turn can cause system failures. When self-building, you can pick and choose parts from reputable manufacturers, ensuring that your computer will last a long time.

    Third, and often overlooked, it better prepares you to fix your computer should it have problems. Having built your own computer, if the video card is on the fritz, or if the RAM is causing blue screens of death, you will know exactly how to replace it, and what kind to replace it with. If your prebuilt Acer starts crashing 18 months down the road, then what? How about if you decide to stick to PC gaming, and then need to upgrade your graphics card for the next Crysis, Battlefield, or Metro?

    I should mention here that, for newcomers bent on buying a prebuilt rig (Alienware, iBUYPOWER, etc.), we're firm on trying to convince people to build, for reasons stated above. It may sound like arrogance, but we're trying to prevent people from getting scalped by builder price hikes. If you really feel intimidated, try seeing if any of your friends can help you, as you'll never know who you'll run into that can build.



    III. I already have an HP/Dell/Gateway/other computer. I can just stick a GTX 560 in here, and I'm good, right?
    A. As mentioned before, prebuilt computers often have cheap power supplies in them. You'll often see them with 300 Watt power supplies of an unknown brand. Not only is 300 Watts not enough for a high-end gaming system, actual power draw is sometimes significantly lower than specified on these power supplies. Your best options are to either use a lower-end graphics card, such as a Radeon HD 6670, or upgrade your power supply along with your graphics card.


    IV. Integrated sound is just as good as dedicated sound.
    A. This is a personal pet peeve of mine. Many people jump to this conclusion without having experienced a dedicated sound card. While onboard sound is good enough for gaming, it suffers from a flaw called "crosstalk". Crosstalk is a phenomenon in which an electronic circuit interferes with another one in close proximity. In audio circuits, this can cause a buzzing noise at high volumes.

    Since dedicated sound cards have their circuitry seated above the motherboard, away from the bridges and other integrated peripherals, it doesn't suffer as much from this problem. In addition to this, dedicated sound cards offer additional features such as OpenAL support. (On a sidenote, I've seen people mention a night-and-day difference between onboard audio and budget-priced sound cards. While not necessary, a dedicated sound card is recommended.)



    V. I still plan on playing console-style games on here. I'm planning on getting a gamepad. I'm going with an Xbox 360 controller, since many games support it exclusively.
    A. This is somewhat true. Games support a newer controller interface called XInput. The Xbox 360 controller uses this interface, but is not the only controller to do so. The Logitech F310, F510, F710, and Cyborg V.5 (I believe, as it is an Xbox 360-styled controller) all support this interface. Some of these have advantages over the Xbox 360 controller, such as better dpads and the option to use different interfaces.


    VI. That Intel CPU you guys suggested to me looks nice, but AMD has one with the same frequency for half the price. AMD also has one with more cores for the same price. Shouldn't I go with one of those?
    A. In CPU terms, frequency doesn't matter as much as it used to. At the time of writing, Intel CPUs are able to do much more per hertz than AMD ones. Games also do not use more than four cores. For a more accurate measurement of a CPU's performance, check benchmarks.


    VII. I need to upgrade my internet bandwidth in order to play games online. This modestly-priced broadband is nice, but I'd like a lower ping.
    A. While ping and bandwidth are two factors of internet speed, they are unrelated to each other. Upgrading your bandwidth should not have an impact on your ping. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted or received at any given time. Ping determines how long it takes for the data to reach there after a request is sent. Online gaming typically won't be bottlenecked by your bandwidth if you have a broadband connection. I need help wording this better.


    VIII. The graphics card does most of the work. If I have a good dual core CPU or any kind of quad core CPU, I should focus on upgrading my graphics card.
    A. This is true to an extent. This highly varies from game to game. If you have a dual core CPU and are getting less than playable rates at very low settings, there's no way a simple graphics card upgrade will remedy that. The CPU must be capable of getting decent frames on its own, or else it will bottleneck your graphics card.

    Please feel free to add some. I could use some help with this.
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    Last edited by BetaWolf47; 09-05-2013 at 01:38 AM.
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    Old 01-17-2012, 04:31 PM
    Mafia Cleaver Mafia Cleaver is offline
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    Great thread, this deserves to be stickied. I don't see anything to add. Great job BetaWolf! Mods, sticky this thread!
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    Old 01-17-2012, 05:12 PM
    BetaWolf47 BetaWolf47 is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mafia Cleaver View Post
    Great thread, this deserves to be stickied. I don't see anything to add. Great job BetaWolf! Mods, sticky this thread!
    I'd like someone to add stuff about SLI and CrossFire. It often gets asked whether it's better to just upgrade your single card, or add a second one of the same type.

    <EDIT> Here is a list of stuff we need:
    1. Ping vs. connection speed.
    2. Elaboration on SLI and CrossFire vs. single graphics cards.
    3. Budget-priced hard drive speeds. It is often asked if one should get a WD Caviar Green, since they're cheaper than the WD Caviar Blue of even capacity.
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    Last edited by BetaWolf47; 01-20-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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    Old 01-17-2012, 05:30 PM
    Mafia Cleaver Mafia Cleaver is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    I'd like someone to add stuff about SLI and CrossFire. It often gets asked whether it's better to just upgrade your single card, or add a second one of the same type.
    Yeah, that seems like a good idea.
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    Old 01-18-2012, 01:14 AM
    M3RV M3RV is offline
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    First off, awesome thread, well written and easily readable, good job.

    Secondly, I could of sworn there was a tread about this, but I believe it got buried, either way this may turn out to be a useful thread..

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BetaWolf47 View Post
    I'd like someone to add stuff about SLI and CrossFire. It often gets asked whether it's better to just upgrade your single card, or add a second one of the same type.
    Should I Crossfire/ SLI my current card or buy a brand new, faster single card?
    Well that depends and it basically coming down to doing a lot of googling and checking out benchmarks of the multi-gpu setup you're thinking of going with and comparing it with benchmarks of the single fast card you're thinking of getting. Or, at least that's how a majority of us would do when you ask us for an answer. Though keep in mind, there are still many games out there that do not play nicely at all with multi-gpu configurations.
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    Old 01-18-2012, 01:18 AM
    Tr4656 Tr4656 is offline
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    I would say "Headsets sound just as good as headphones for a similar price" as a myth but some people are going to disagree with me.
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    Old 01-18-2012, 02:51 AM
    BetaWolf47 BetaWolf47 is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tr4656 View Post
    I would say "Headsets sound just as good as headphones for a similar price" as a myth but some people are going to disagree with me.
    I'm very interested in this. The headset I use is quite nice, but it'd be informative to hear about better-sounding headphones for a cheaper price. That aside, aren't headphones and headsets supposed to sound different? Headsets are built for games, emphasizing frequencies generated by footsteps, gunfire, explosions, and clashing blades. Headphones are built for music. Or am I wrong?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by M3RV View Post
    Should I Crossfire/ SLI my current card or buy a brand new, faster single card?
    Well that depends and it basically coming down to doing a lot of googling and checking out benchmarks of the multi-gpu setup you're thinking of going with and comparing it with benchmarks of the single fast card you're thinking of getting. Or, at least that's how a majority of us would do when you ask us for an answer. Though keep in mind, there are still many games out there that do not play nicely at all with multi-gpu configurations.
    That's a good answer: benchmarks of the single card vs. the SLI/Crossfire setup. I'd like to add in that the person should research whether the games they're playing and planning on playing support SLI/Crossfire, and whether their PSU/motherboard can handle it. There's no "one size fits all" answer for this.
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    Old 04-06-2012, 07:40 AM
    jon_hill987 jon_hill987 is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tr4656 View Post
    I would say "Headsets sound just as good as headphones for a similar price" as a myth but some people are going to disagree with me.
    Agreed, for the price you pay for what is a cheap mic attached to some cheap headphones with a bit of plastic you can go out and buy some nice headphones and a mic that sits above your screen that will be much more effective.
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    Old 04-06-2012, 11:32 AM
    Pearsoap Pearsoap is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tr4656 View Post
    I would say "Headsets sound just as good as headphones for a similar price" as a myth but some people are going to disagree with me.
    I have a pair of Skullcandy Hesh headphones and on Counter Strike: Source I can practically pinpoint were someone is within decent radius.
    For the mic I just use my laptops built in mic, it works just as well as any other.
    I have used a headset before, I found that otherwise having a microphone simply attached, it wasn't all that impressive. Also with headsets I couldn't exactly walk down the street listening to songs that require nice sound quality to enjoy.
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    Old 04-08-2012, 08:50 PM
    Logical_AND Logical_AND is offline
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by M3RV View Post
    Should I Crossfire/ SLI my current card or buy a brand new, faster single card?
    Just as a quick note, I recently compared the performance of two overclocked GTX 570 GPUs (running @ 950 MHz with water blocks doing the cooling) vs. a stock GTX 580, and the GTX 580 won hands down on all tests.

    It is still possible that one highend card can crush two lower-end cards, especially if your system has other bottlenecks removed.

    I'm not saying this is always the case, but depending on what is being compared to what, you can get a "nice surprise" from some of those more expensive puppies!
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