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Console gaming is hardly different from PC gaming, and much of what people say about PC gaming to put it above console gaming is often wrong.
I’m not sure about you, but for the past few years, I’ve been hearing people go on and on about PCs "superiority" to the console market. People cite various reasons why they believe gaming on a PC is “objectively” better than console gaming, often for reasons related to power, costs, ease-of-use, and freedom. …Only problem: much of what they say is wrong. There are many misconceptions being thrown about PC gaming vs Console gaming, that I believe need to be addressed. This isn’t about “PC gamers being wrong,” or “consoles being the best,” absolutely not. I just want to cut through some of the stuff people use to put down console gaming, and show that console gaming is incredibly similar to PC gaming. I mean, yes, this is someone who mainly games on console, but I also am getting a new PC that I will game on as well, not to mention the 30 PC games I already own and play. I’m not particularly partial to one over the other. Now I will mainly be focusing on the PlayStation side of the consoles, because I know it best, but much of what I say will apply to Xbox as well. Just because I don’t point out many specific Xbox examples, doesn’t mean that they aren’t out there.
“PCs can use TVs and monitors.”
This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is the implication of one, and overall just… confusing. This is in some articles and the pcmasterrace “why choose a PC” section, where they’re practically implying that consoles can’t do this. I mean, yes, as long as the ports of your PC match up with your screen(s) inputs, you could plug a PC into either… but you could do the same with a console, again, as long as the ports match up. I’m guessing the idea here is that gaming monitors often use Displayport, as do most dedicated GPUs, and consoles are generally restricted to HDMI… But even so, monitors often have HDMI ports. In fact, PC Magazine has just released their list of the best gaming monitors of 2017, and every single one of them has an HDMI port. A PS4 can be plugged into these just as easily as a GTX 1080. I mean, even if the monitoTV doesn’t have HDMI or AV to connect with your console, just use an adaptor. If you have a PC with ports that doesn’t match your monitoTV… use an adapter. I don’t know what the point of this argument is, but it’s made a worrying amount of times.
“On PC, you have a wide range of controller options, but on console you’re stuck with the standard controller."
Are you on PlayStation and wish you could use a specific type of controller that suits your favorite kind of gameplay? Despite what some may believe, you have just as many options as PC. Want to play fighting games with a classic arcade-style board, featuring the buttons and joystick? Here you go! Want to get serious about racing and get something more accurate and immersive than a controller? Got you covered. Absolutely crazy about flying games and, like the racers, want something better than a controller? Enjoy! Want Wii-style motion controls? Been around since the PS3. If you prefer the form factor of the Xbox One controller but you own a PS4, Hori’s got you covered. And of course, if keyboard and mouse it what keeps you on PC, there’s a PlayStation compatible solution for that. Want to use the keyboard and mouse that you already own? Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Of course, these aren’t isolated examples, there are plenty of options for each of these kind of controllers. You don’t have to be on PC to enjoy alternate controllers.
“On PC you could use Steam Link to play anywhere in your house and share games with others.”
PS4 Remote play app on PC/Mac, PSTV, and PS Vita. PS Family Sharing. Using the same PSN account on multiple PS4s/Xbox Ones and PS3s/360s, or using multiple accounts on the same console. In fact, if multiple users are on the same PS4, only one has to buy the game for both users to play it on that one PS4. On top of that, only one of them has to have PS Plus for both to play online (if the one with PS Plus registers the PS4 as their main system). PS4 Share Play; if two people on separate PS4s want to play a game together that only one of them owns, they can join a Party and the owner of the game can have their friend play with them in the game. Need I say more?
“Gaming is more expensive on console.”
Part one, the Software This is one that I find… genuinely surprising. There’s been a few times I’ve mentioned that part of the reason I chose a PS4 is for budget gaming, only to told that “games are cheaper on Steam.” To be fair, there are a few games on PSN/XBL that are more expensive than they are on Steam, so I can see how someone could believe this… but apparently they forgot about disks. Dirt Rally, a hardcore racing sim game that’s… still $60 on all 3 platforms digitally… even though its successor is out.
See my point? Often times the game is cheaper on console because of the disk alternative that’s available for practically every console-available game. Even when the game is brand new. Dirt 4 - Remember that Dirt Rally successor I mentioned?
Yes, you could either buy this relatively new game digitally for $60, or just pick up the disk for a discounted price. And again, this is for a game that came out 2 months ago, and even it’s predecessor’s digital cost is locked at $60. Of course, I’m not going to ignore the fact that Dirt 4 is currently (as of writing this) discounted on Steam, but on PSN it also happens to be discounted for about the same amount. Part 2: the Subscription Now… let’s not ignore the elephant in the room: PS Plus and Xbox Gold. Now these would be ignorable, if they weren’t required for online play (on the PlayStation side, it’s only required for PS4, but still). So yes, it’s still something that will be included in the cost of your PS4 or Xbox One/360, assuming you play online. Bummer, right? Here’s the thing, although that’s the case, although you have to factor in this $60 cost with your console, you can make it balance out, at worst, and make it work out for you as a budget gamer, at best. As nice as it would be to not have to deal with the price if you don’t want to, it’s not like it’s a problem if you use it correctly. Imagine going to a new restaurant. This restaurant has some meals that you can’t get anywhere else, and fair prices compared to competitors. Only problem: you have to pay a membership fee to have the sides. Now you can have the main course, sit down and enjoy your steak or pasta, but if you want to have a side to have a full meal, you have to pay an annual fee. Sounds shitty, right? But here’s the thing: not only does this membership allow you to have sides with your meal, but it also allows you to eat two meals for free every month, and also gives you exclusive discounts for other meals, drinks, and desserts. Let’s look at PS Plus for a minute: for $60 per year, you get:
2 free PS4 games, every month
2 free PS3 games, every month
1 PS4/PS3 and Vita compatible game, and 1 Vita-only game, every month
Exclusive/Extended discounts, especially during the weekly/seasonal sales (though you don’t need PS Plus to get sales, PS Plus members get to enjoy the best sales)
access to online multiplayer
So yes, you’re paying extra because of that membership, but what you get with that deal pays for it and then some. In fact, let’s ignore the discounts for a minute: you get 24 free PS4 games, 24 free PS3 games, and 12 Vita only + 12 Vita compatible games, up to 72freegames every year. Even if you only one of these consoles, that’s still 24 free games a year. Sure, maybe you get games for the month that you don’t like, then just wait until next month. In fact, let’s look at Just Cause 3 again. It was free for PS Plus members in August, which is a pretty big deal. Why is this significant? Because it’s, again, a $60 digital game. That means with this one download, you’ve balanced out your $60 annual fee. Meaning? Every free game after that is money saved, every discount after that is money saved. And this is a trend: every year, PS Plus will release a game that balances out the entire service cost, then another 23 more that will only add icing to that budget cake. Though, you could just count games as paying off PS Plus until you hit $60 in savings, but still. All in all, PS Plus, and Xbox Gold which offers similar options, saves you money. On top of that, again, you don't need to have these to get discounts, but with these memberships, you get more discounts. Now, I’ve seen a few Steam games go up for free for a week, but what about being free for an entire month? Not to mention that; even if you want to talk about Steam Summer Sales, what about the PSN summer sale, or again, disc sale discounts? Now a lot of research and math would be needed to see if every console gamer would save money compared to every Steam gamer for the same games, but at the very least? The costs will balance out, at worst. Part 3, the Systems
Xbox and PS2: $299
Xbox 360 and PS3: $299 and $499, respectively
Xbox One and PS4: $499 and $399, respectively.
Rounded up a few dollars, that’s $1,000 - $1,300 in day-one consoles, just to keep up with the games! Crazy right? So called budget systems, such a rip-off. Well, keep in mind that the generations here aren’t short. The 6th generation, from the launch of the PS2 to the launch of the next generation consoles, lasted 5 years, 6 years based on the launch of the PS3 (though you could say it was 9 or 14, since the Xbox wasn’t discontinued until 2009, and the PS2 was supported all the way to 2014, a year after the PS4 was released). The 7th gen lasted 7 - 8 years, again depending on whether you count the launch of the Xbox 360 to PS3. The 8th gen so far has lasted 4 years. That’s 17 years that the console money is spread over. If you had a Netflix subscription for it’s original $8 monthly plan for that amount of time, that would be over $1,600 total. And let’s be fair here, just like you could upgrade your PC hardware whenever you wanted, you didn’t have to get a console from launch. Let’s look at PlayStation again for example: In 2002, only two years after its release, the PS2 retail price was cut from $300 to $200. The PS3 Slim, released 3 years after the original, was $300, $100-$200 lower than the retail cost. The PS4? You could’ve either gotten the Uncharted bundle for $350, or one of the PS4 Slim bundles for $250. This all brings it down to $750 - $850, which again, is spread over a decade and a half. This isn’t even counting used consoles, sales, or the further price cuts that I didn’t mention. Even if that still sounds like a lot of money to you, even if you’re laughing at the thought of buying new systems every several years, because your PC “is never obsolete,” tell me: how many parts have you changed out in your PC over the years? How many GPUs have you been through? CPUs? Motherboards? RAM sticks, monitors, keyboards, mice, CPU coolers, hard drives— that adds up. You don’t need to replace your entire system to spend a lot of money on hardware. Even if you weren’t upgrading for the sake of upgrading, I’d be amazed if the hardware you’ve been pushing by gaming would last for about 1/3 of that 17 year period. Computer parts aren’t designed to last forever, and really won’t when you’re pushing them with intensive gaming for hours upon hours. Generally speaking, your components might last you 6-8 years, if you’ve got the high-end stuff. But let’s assume you bought a system 17 years ago that was a beast for it’s time, something so powerful, that even if it’s parts have degraded over time, it’s still going strong. Problem is: you will have to upgrade something eventually. Even if you’ve managed to get this far into the gaming realm with the same 17 year old hardware, I’m betting you didn’t do it with a 17 year Operating System. How much did Windows 7 cost you? Or 8.1? Or 10? Oh, and don’t think you can skirt the cost by getting a pre-built system, the cost of Windows is embedded into the cost of the machine (why else would Microsoft allow their OS to go on so many machines). Sure, Windows 10 was a free upgrade for a year, but that’s only half of it’s lifetime— You can’t get it for free now, and not for the past year. On top of that, the free period was an upgrade; you had to pay for 7 or 8 first anyway. Point is, as much as one would like to say that they didn’t need to buy a new system every so often for the sake of gaming, that doesn’t mean they haven’t been paying for hardware, and even if they’ve only been PC gaming recently, you’ll be spending money on hardware soon enough.
“PC is leading the VR—“
Let me stop you right there. If you add together the total number of Oculus Rifts and HTC Vives sold to this day, and threw in another 100,000 just for the sake of it, that number would still be under the number of PSVR headsets sold. Why could this possibly be? Well, for a simple reason: affordability. The systems needed to run the PC headsets costs $800+, and the headsets are $500 - $600, when discounted. PSVR on the other hand costs $450 for the full bundle (headset, camera, and move controllers, with a demo disc thrown in), and can be played on either a $250 - $300 console, or a $400 console, the latter recommended. Even if you want to say that the Vive and Rift are more refined, a full PSVR set, system and all, could cost just over $100 more than a Vive headset alone. If anything, PC isn’t leading the VR gaming market, the PS4 is. It’s the system bringing VR to the most consumers, showing them what the future of gaming could look like. Not to mention that as the PlayStation line grows more powerful (4.2 TFLOP PS4 Pro, 10 TFLOP “PS5…”), it won’t be long until the PlayStation line can use the same VR games as PC. Either way, this shows that there is a console equivalent to the PC VR options. Sure, there are some games you'd only be able to play on PC, but there are also some games you'd only be able to play on PSVR. …Though to be fair, if we’re talking about VR in general, these headsets don’t even hold a candle to, surprisingly, Gear VR.
“If it wasn’t for consoles holding devs back, then they would be able to make higher quality games.”
This one is based on the idea that because of how “low spec” consoles are, that when a developer has to take them in mind, then they can’t design the game to be nearly as good as it would be otherwise. I mean, have you ever seen the minimum specs for games on Steam? GTA V
Actually, bump up all the memory requirements to 8 GBs, and those are some decent specs, relatively speaking. And keep in mind these are the minimum specs to even open the games. It’s almost as if the devs didn’t worry about console specs when making a PC version of the game, because this version of the game isn’t on console. Or maybe even that the consoles aren’t holding the games back that much because they’re not that weak. Just a hypothesis. But I mean, the devs are still ooobviously having to take weak consoles into mind right? They could make their games sooo much more powerful if they were PC only, right? Right? No. Not even close. iRacing
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, i7 or better or AMD Bulldozer or better
Memory: 8 GB RAM
GPU: NVidia GeForce 2xx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory / AMD 5xxx series or better, 1GB+ dedicated video memory
These are PC only games. That’s right, no consoles to hold them back, they don’t have to worry about whether an Xbox One could handle it. Yet, they don’t require anything more than the Multiplatform games. Subnautica
So what’s the deal? Theoretically, if developers don’t have to worry about console specs, then why aren’t they going all-out and making games that no console could even dream of supporting? Low-end PCs. What, did you think people only game on Steam if they spent at least $500 on gaming hardware? Not all PC gamers have gaming-PC specs, and if devs close their games out to players who don’t have the strongest of PCs, then they’d be losing out on a pretty sizable chunk of their potential buyers. Saying “devs having to deal with consoles is holding gaming back” is like saying “racing teams having to deal with Ford is holding GT racing back.” A: racing teams don’t have to deal with Ford if they don’t want to, which is probably why many of them don’t, and B: even though Ford doesn’t make the fastest cars overall, they still manage to make cars that are awesome on their own, they don’t even need to be compared to anything else to know that they make good cars. I want to go back to that previous point though, developers having to deal with low-end PCs, because it’s integral to the next point:
“PCs are more powerful, gaming on PC provides a better experience.”
This one isn’t so much of a misconception as it is… misleading. Did you know that according to the Steam Hardware & Software Survey (July 2017) , the percentage of Steam gamers who use a GPU that's less powerful than that of a PS4Slim’s GPU is well over 50%? Things get dismal when compared to the PS4 Pro (Or Xbox One X). On top of that, the percentage of PC gamers who own a Nvidia 10 series card is about 20% (about 15% for the 1060, 1080 and 1070 owners). Now to be fair, the large majority of gamers have CPUs with considerably high clock speeds, which is the main factor in CPU gaming performance. But, the number of Steam gamers with as much RAM or more than a PS4 or Xbox One is less than 50%, which can really bottleneck what those CPUs can handle. These numbers are hardly better than they were in 2013, all things considered. Sure, a PS3/360 weeps in the face of even a $400 PC, but in this day in age, consoles have definitely caught up. Sure, we could mention the fact that even 1% of Steam accounts represents over 1 million accounts, but that doesn’t really matter compared to the 10s of millions of 8th gen consoles sold; looking at it that way, sure the number of Nvidia 10 series owners is over 20 million, but that ignores the fact that there are over 5 times more 8th gen consoles sold than that. Basically, even though PCs run on a spectrum, saying they're more powerful “on average” is actually wrong. Sure, they have the potential for being more powerful, but most of the time, people aren’t willing to pay the premium to reach those extra bits of performance. Now why is this important? What matters are the people who spent the premium cost for premium parts, right? Because of the previous point: PCs don’t have some ubiquitous quality over the consoles, developers will always have to keep low-end PCs in mind, because not even half of all PC players can afford the good stuff, and you have to look at the top quarter of Steam players before you get to PS4-Pro-level specs. If every Steam player were to get a PS4 Pro, it would be an upgrade for over 60% of them, and 70% of them would be getting an upgrade with the Xbox One X. Sure, you could still make the argument that when you pay more for PC parts, you get a better experience than you could with a console. We can argue all day about budget PCs, but a console can’t match up to a $1,000 PC build. It’s the same as paying more for car parts, in the end you get a better car. However, there is a certain problem with that…
“You pay a little more for a PC, you get much more quality.”
The idea here is that the more you pay for PC parts, the performance increases at a faster rate than the price does. Problem: that’s not how technology works. Paying twice as much doesn’t get you twice the quality the majority of the time. For example, let’s look at graphics cards, specifically the GeForce 10 series cards, starting with the GTX 1050.
1.35 GHz base clock
2 GB VRAM
This is our reference, our basis of comparison. Any percentages will be based on the 1050’s specs. Now let’s look at the GTX 1050 Ti, the 1050’s older brother.
1.29 GHz base clock
4 GB VRAM
This is pretty good. You only increase the price by about 27%, and you get an 11% increase in floating point speed and a 100% increase (double) in VRAM. Sure you get a slightly lower base clock, but the rest definitely makes up for it. In fact, according to GPU boss, the Ti managed 66 fps, or a 22% increase in frame rate for Battlefield 4, and a 54% increase in mHash/second in bitcoin mining. The cost increase is worth it, for the most part. But let’s get to the real meat of it; what happens when we double our budget? Surely we should see a massive increase performance, I bet some of you are willing to bet that twice the cost means more than twice the performance. The closest price comparison for double the cost is the GTX 1060 (3 GB), so let’s get a look at that.
1.5 GHz base clock
3 GB VRAM
Well… not substantial, I’d say. About a 50% increase in floating point speed, an 11% increase in base clock speed, and a 1GB decrease in VRAM. For [almost] doubling the price, you don’t get much. Well surely raw specs don’t tell the full story, right? Well, let’s look at some real wold comparisons. Once again, according to GPU Boss, there’s a 138% increase in hashes/second for bitcoin mining, and at 99 fps, an 83% frame rate increase in Battlefield 4. Well, then, raw specs does not tell the whole story! Here’s another one, the 1060’s big brother… or, well, slightly-more-developed twin.
1.5 GHz base clock
6 GB VRAM
Seems reasonable, another $50 for a decent jump in power and double the memory! But, as we’ve learned, we shouldn’t look at the specs for the full story. I did do a GPU Boss comparison, but for the BF4 frame rate, I had to look at Tom’s Hardware (sorry miners, GPU boss didn’t cover the mHash/sec spec either). What’s the verdict? Well, pretty good, I’d say. With 97 FPS, a 79% increase over the 1050— wait. 97? That seems too low… I mean, the 3GB version got 99. Well, let’s see what Tech Power Up has to say... 94.3 fps. 74% increase. Huh. Alright alright, maybe that was just a dud. We can gloss over that I guess. Ok, one more, but let’s go for the big fish: the GTX 1080.
1.6 GHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
That jump in floating point speed definitely has to be something, and 4 times the VRAM? Sure it’s 5 times the price, but as we saw, raw power doesn’t always tell the full story. GPU Boss returns to give us the run down, how do these cards compare in the real world? Well… a 222% (over three-fold) increase in mHash speed, and a 218% increase in FPS for Battlefield 4. That’s right, for 5 times the cost, you get 3 times the performance. Truly, the raw specs don’t tell the full story. You increase the cost by 27%, you increase frame rate in our example game by 22%. You increase the cost by 83%, you increase the frame rate by 83%. Sounds good, but if you increase the cost by 129%, and you get a 79% (-50% cost/power increase) increase in frame rate. You increase it by 358%, and you increase the frame rate by 218% (-140% cost/power increase). That’s not paying “more for much more power,” that’s a steep drop-off after the third cheapest option. In fact, did you know that you have to get to the 1060 (6GB) before you could compare the GTX line to a PS4 Pro? Not to mention that at $250, the price of a 1060 (6GB) you could get an entire PS4 Slim bundle, or that you have to get to the 1070 before you beat the Xbox One X. On another note, let’s look at a PS4 Slim…
800 MHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
…Versus a PS4 Pro.
911 MHz base clock
8 GB VRAM
128% increase in floating point speed, 13% increase in clock speed, for a 25% difference in cost. Unfortunately there is no Battlefield 4 comparison to make, but in BF1, the frame rate is doubled (30 fps to 60) and the textures are taken to 11. For what that looks like, I’ll leave it up to this bloke. Not to even mention that you can even get the texture buffs in 4K. Just like how you get a decent increase in performance based on price for the lower-cost GPUs, the same applies here. It’s even worse when you look at the CPU for a gaming PC. The more money you spend, again, the less of a benefit you get per dollar. Hardware Unboxed covers this in a video comparing different levels of Intel CPUs. One thing to note is that the highest i7 option (6700K) in this video was almost always within 10 FPS (though for a few games, 15 FPS) of a certain CPU in that list for just about all of the games. …That CPU was the lowest i3 (6100) option. The lowest i3 was $117 and the highest i7 was $339, a 189% price difference for what was, on average, a 30% or less difference in frame rate. Even the lowest Pentium option (G4400, $63) was often able to keep up with the i7. The CPU and GPU are usually the most expensive and power-consuming parts of a build, which is why I focused on them (other than the fact that they’re the two most important parts of a gaming PC, outside of RAM). With both, this “pay more to get much more performance” idea is pretty much the inverse of the truth.
“The console giants are bad for game developers, Steam doesn't treat developers as bad as Microsoft or especially Sony.”
Now one thing you might’ve heard is that the PS3 was incredibly difficult for developers to make games for, which for some, fueled the idea that console hardware is difficult too develop on compared to PC… but this ignores a very basic idea that we’ve already touched on: if the devs don’t want to make the game compatible with a system, they don’t have to. In fact, this is why Left 4 Dead and other Valve games aren’t on PS3, because they didn’t want to work with it’s hardware, calling it “too complex.” This didn’t stop the game from selling well over 10 million units worldwide. If anything, this was a problem for the PS3, not the dev team. This also ignores that games like LittleBigPlanet, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4 all came out in the same year as Left 4 Dead (2008) on PS3. Apparently, plenty of other dev teams didn’t have much of a problem with the PS3’s hardware, or at the very least, they got used to it soon enough. On top of that, when developing the 8th gen consoles, both Sony and Microsoft sought to use CPUs that were easier for developers, which included making decisions that considered apps for the consoles’ usage for more than gaming. On top of that, using their single-chip proprietary CPUs is cheaper and more energy efficient than buying pre-made CPUs and boards, which is far better of a reason for using them than some conspiracy about Sony and MS trying to make devs' lives harder. Now, console exclusives are apparently a point of contention: it’s often said that exclusive can cause developers to go bankrupt. However, exclusivity doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the developer. For example, when Media Molecule had to pitch their game to a publisher (Sony, coincidentally), they didn’t end up being tied into something detrimental to them. Their initial funding lasted for 6 months. From then, Sony offered additional funding, in exchange for Console Exclusivity. This may sound concerning to some, but the game ended up going on to sell almost 6 million units worldwide and launched Media Molecule into the gaming limelight. Sony later bought the development studio, but 1: this was in 2010, two years after LittleBigPlanet’s release, and 2: Media Molecule seem pretty happy about it to this day. If anything, signing up with Sony was one of the best things they could’ve done, in their opinion. Does this sound like a company that has it out for developers? There are plenty of examples that people will use to put Valve in a good light, but even Sony is comparatively good to developers.
“There are more PC gamers.”
The total number of active PC gamers on Steam has surpassed 120 million, which is impressive, especially considering that this number is double that of 2013’s figure (65 million). But the number of monthly active users on Xbox Live and PSN? About 120 million (1, 2) total. EDIT: You could argue that this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison, sure, so if you want to, say, compare the monthly number of Steam users to console? Steam has about half of what consoles do, at 67 million. Now, back to the 65 million total user figure for Steam, the best I could find for reference for PlayStation's number was an article giving the number of registered PSN accounts in 2013, 150 million. In a similar 4-year period (2009 - 2013), the number of registered PSN accounts didn’t double, it sextupled, or increased by 6 fold. Considering how the PS4 is already at 2/3 of the number of sales the PS3 had, even though it’s currently 3 years younger than its predecessor, I’m sure this trend is at least generally consistent. For example, let’s look at DOOM 2016, an awesome faced-paced shooting title with graphics galore… Of course, on a single platform, it sold best on PC/Steam. 2.36 million Steam sales, 2.05 million PS4 sales, 1.01 million Xbox One sales. But keep in mind… when you add the consoles sales together, you get over 3 million sales on the 8th gen systems. Meaning: this game was best sold on console. In fact, the Steam sales have only recently surpassed the PS4 sales. By the way VG charts only shows sales for physical copies of the games, so the number of PS4 and Xbox sales, when digital sales are included, are even higher than 3 million. This isn’t uncommon, by the way. Even with the games were the PC sales are higher than either of the consoles, there generally are more console sales total. But, to be fair, this isn’t anything new. The number of PC gamers hasn’t dominated the market, the percentages have always been about this much. PC can end up being the largest single platform for games, but consoles usually sell more copies total. EDIT: There were other examples but... Reddit has a 40,000-character limit.
This isn’t to say that there’s anything wrong with PC gaming, and this isn’t to exalt consoles. I’m not here to be the hipster defending the little guy, nor to be the one to try to put down someone/thing out of spite. This is about showing that PCs and consoles are overall pretty similar because there isn’t much dividing them, and that there isn’t anything wrong with being a console gamer. There isn’t some chasm separating consoles and PCs, at the end of the day they’re both computers that are (generally) designed for gaming. This about unity as gamers, to try to show that there shouldn’t be a massive divide just because of the computer system you game on. I want gamers to be in an environment where specs don't separate us; whether you got a $250 PS4 Slim or just built a $2,500 gaming PC, we’re here to game and should be able to have healthy interactions regardless of your platform. I’m well aware that this isn’t going to fix… much, but this needs to be said: there isn’t a huge divide between the PC and consoles, they’re far more similar than people think. There are upsides and downsides that one has that the other doesn’t on both sides. There’s so much more I could touch on, like how you could use SSDs or 3.5 inch hard drives with both, or that even though PC part prices go down over time, so do consoles, but I just wanted to touch on the main points people try to use to needlessly separate the two kinds of systems (looking at you PCMR) and correct them, to get the point across. I thank anyone who takes the time to read all of this, and especially anyone who doesn’t take what I say out of context. I also want to note that, again, thisisn’t “anti-PC gamer.” If it were up to me, everyone would be a hybrid gamer. Cheers.
Want to invest in bitcoin but willing to accept more risk for more return? Maybe investing would be right for you!
As we all know, companies such as AsicMiner are currently kicking butt with their asics by releasing the eruptor blades and Erupter USB sticks for mining. This combined with their 28% or so of total hashing power for the entire bitcoin network is resulting in fantastic growth over the past few months, and their dividends are doing quite well. If you are interested in shares of AsicMiner , check out either Direct Shares or Pass Through shares, which is just one share of AsicMiner. You can find them in auctions on bitcointalk as well as sites such as BTCT.TO
There are other shares too, such as AMC which just recieved a few Avalons they purchased a while ago. Keep in mind that the owners relations with others on the forum is quite poor and very unprofessional, so I would still consider it rather risky.
There are also companies which are not based on bitcoin but experimenting with it as a source of capital, such as KenilWorth on bitfunder, who are a mining company which finds raw material deposits and then sells them to another company (I think). The people with that company are VERY responsive on bitcointalk and seem to be very professional.
You can even if you wish bet on funds which are reliant upon BFL's shipping, such as HaveLock's Investments Mining Fund. The owner of that fund is also rather response on bitcointalk and is a very down to earth person from what I have seen. For example, they just purchased a single Jupiter rig from KnCMiner in an effort to diversify so if BFL fails they will not be destroyed.
They are also other funds out there which are designed to represent an amount of Mhash/s per each share, for example RedStarMining which aims to have 180 Ghash/s eventually, with each share containing 2.818 Mhash/s.
Also, a very cool thing about these funds is that they are very present on bitcointalk in the securities section, so you can see up to date discussion about each fund. For example, for red star mining, here is their thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=63257.0 You can even get a fund in an exchange, such as Crypto-Trade! Though, they seem to be having some major issues with their site for a while now, which is unfortuntate.
There are tons of such securities available for lots of different styles people could choose, and because of bitcoin buying these shares is a very painless process. But do keep in mind that this is riskier than just holding bitcoin, and there are a good bit of scams prevalent in such securities, but if you keep an eye out and read their associated threads on bitcointalk you will be for the most part safe. Also, investing in companies like AsicMiner increases the network hash rate, making it even harder for a single entity to barge in and get more than 50% of the network hash rate, resulting in an even more secure network! These sometimes even hare shares which cost less than five dollars, so to get started you don't need much BTC at all. And here is the link to bitcointalk for anyone who wants to do more research and look at any other funds which might be of interest. Don't forget that there are some funds which are not exchanged on these sites, for example group buys where each buyer holds a certain percentage of proceeds from a very expensive miner they pool together to buy. As earlier though, be careful.
There is also a really good subreddit for discussing these securities as well as others on /BitcoinStocks ! Edit: Added in bitcointalk threads for each security I listed. Edit: It seems that there are nearly half as many downvotes as there are upvotes. Can anyone clarify?
Very new, and still figuring things out. Please read and let me know what you think. I'm thinking about getting into mining.
First of all, let me tell you that electricity is included in my rent. So the cost factor is already taken care of. My understanding is that there are many people out there that have built rigs that are using graphics cards, each capable of ~800 Mhash/sec, to successfully mine bitcoins. There is a hardware revolution on the horizon called Asics, which will bring the cost of hardware per hash WAY down. There's a gizmo called a "Jalapeno" that sells for about $165, that's capable of doing the same amount of work as as 5 or 6 graphic cards, but it's a chunk of hardware that's pretty much useless for doing anything but bitcoin mining, unlike a graphics card that can play games, etc. This hardware advance is groundbreaking, and threatening to make the GPU approach obsolete. As well, very soon, the reward for creating a block of bitcoins will be cut in half, from 50 to 25 coins. There are just so many variables, and it's all just a little overwhelming. So I am asking for a bit of advice.... Does it make any sense to invest ~$400 in two Jalapenos, hook up with a pool, and let the bitch run 24/7? What pool should I go with? What returns can I expect? What's a good pool for a newbie to play into, thinking pretty much a "fire and forget" approach? And lastly, I am having trouble wrapping my head around the creation of bitcoins themselves. In economic terms, value is usually created as the result of work performed. It seems to me that bitcoins are created as a result of processor cycles devised to arbitrarily "discover" a block of coins. To whom does this work, or processor cycles, have value? It looks to me that bitcoins are literally being created out of thin air. Help me to understand how this works.
BitCoin mining seems too good to be true, so I'm pretty sure I'm calculating this wrong or missing a huge step here... if I buy a bitcoin mining rig such as the KnCMiner Jupiter which comes out next month, and this gives me 400,000 Mhash/s, then according to the calculator at http://bitclockers.com/miningcalculator I should be getting over 300 grand a year?????? What am I missing?
Ian had started mining bitcoins with all his friends in high school, as a hobby. He had researched the concept and realized it would be a fun thing to get involved in. His interest in it had been perked by his econ professor, when they discussed the pro's and con's of different types of currencies / payment methods in history. With his after school job stocking shelves he had saved up a bit of money and all he had to do was convince his parents the extra electricity him and his friends would be using of theirs, with the computers running in the basement. To save on costs, he wanted to keep the computers as cool as possible, using as much "passive" cooling as he could get away with. At dinner he spoke to his father, Ted, who like most parents, not only didn't understand what he was talking about, but claimed it was illegal on some level. "You can't just make money from thin air! The answer is no". Begrudgingly Ian went to his room and logged on to his and his friends favorite IRC server to let them know of the answer. Luckily Ian's bestfriend, Sara, had gotten the go ahead from her parents, who were thrilled she was interested in computers. They knew that any employment opportunities in the future their daughter would chase, would involve a strong grasp of current computing technologies. Unlike Ian's dad, Sara's parents had asked her how Bitcoin mining worked, and after she had explained it, her parents realized their daughter and friends weren't going to be actually printing money from thin air, but employing hardware and software to work for it. And electricity. They all agreed to meet tomorrow to plan it. They met at lunch, outside, and sketched out the amount of money they'd need to spend in the start, as well as a monthly amount of cash they'd give to Sara to offset the cost of the electricity. They all were pretty amped about it, other then Ian. Ian returned home and decided that he'd do some mining on his own, regardless of what his father had said. He'd just sacrifice his own rooms electric power, so his father wouldn't ever notice it. This meant no more Xbox, no more air conditioning, and no more mini fridge. He built a small space in his closet, that had a hole for an air duct into the attic. With proper airflow achieved he began the process of transferring all his files from his desktop to his netbook. He had enough money for more graphics cards, but not an entire separate machine. He maxed out his computer with 4 HD 5830's after some research on cost/MHash, installed Ubuntu on the computer, started up cgminer on it, and configured the machine to mine with a few pools. He had them send bitcoins to a wallet he had made, in a truecrypt volume. Feeling pretty excited about it, he turned off his AC, and tried to fall asleep in the summer night. Weeks and months and then a few years passed by, with some of Ian's time being spent at Sara's basement with the rest of the group, building their mining rigs, powering them on, configuring their mining pool, and making sure everything was running properly. One of Ian's friends dad was an engineer, and they had been able to borrow an infrared thermometer gun to double check the temperatures of the cards. Things were going real well. And when things are going well, something bad is bound to happen. Ian began feeling more and more tired each morning. At first he thought it was because he was sleeping without the AC on, so he tried sleeping on the couch in the living room. Things only continued to get worst. Ian's mother took him to a doctor that accepted their health insurance, and after waiting a few weeks for blood tests, it turned out Ian had to have an MRI to verify a few things. The doctors soon saw the cause of his problems, which was a brain tumor that was causing elevated pressure in his head. Ian and his family went home to discuss what they would do, and how they'd pay for it. While Ian's parents figured out a way to pay for surgery, they heard a crash come from the staircase. Ian had feinted on his way up to his room. As they carried him to the car all they heard him mutter was "bitcoins". Figuring it was due to him feinting they rushed him to the emergency room at the local hospital, where Ian was put in to a chemically induced coma, to prevent any brain damage. Ian's friends came to visit him, but they visited less and less each week. One day, with only Ian's parents and Sara in the hospital room, the father mentioned to Sara the last thing Ian had said to him was something about bitcoin's, and he then told her about the fight he had had with Ian the year before. She smiled and told him about how they had ended up doing it at her basement, explaining what it was, and how most of their coins they had spent on pizza. She told him that the price of a bitcoin was rising, in U.S. dollars. The father smiled, realizing that his son may have been right all along, about the importance of a decentralized currency, and after Sara's explanation, it truly wasn't printing money from thin air. There was nothing illegal about it. A $20 dollar bill wasn't illegal because it could be used to buy drugs, so why should a bitcoin be illegal? Later that night, Ian's father was going over the family bills that seemed to keep stacking up, trying to figure out how to pay for Ian's surgery, when he saw the electric bill was much higher then usual. He had recently turned the AC on in Ian's room, and plugged his mini-fridge in after stocking it with his favorite soda's, in anticipation of the day his son would come home. He went up to Ian's room and heard a whirring noise coming from Ian's closet. Behind a stack of comic books and shoe boxes he found Ian's desktop. "What was it doing back here?" He decided to give Sara a call, though it was late, she lived across the street so it wouldn't be a problem. He showed her what he had found, and after some clicking and typing, she hugged him and screamed for joy. Confused he asked her what was she so happy about. She showed him Ian's Bitcoin wallet, which was still mounted, and explained that Ian had been mining privately Bitcoins for awhile now. His Bitcoin wallet showed 1803.78004 BTC. Before Ian's father could ask why this was good news, Sara showed him the current rate of a bitcoin on mtgox, and after some calculations, Ian's father realized enough money existed to pay for Ian's surgery! Sara spent the rest of the night setting up accounts on various BTC exchanges, transferring funds, and then trading bitcoins for U.S. dollars. The next day was spent going from bank to bank, to pick up wire transfers, and then it was time for Ian's surgery. When Ian recovered from the surgery, Sara explained to him what had happened, while Ian's father and mother held his hands. Ian's dad apologized and told him he'd support his bitcoin hobby. Sara interjected and caught Ian up on how GPU mining was soon being replaced with ASIC mining. Ian looked up at his father and casually mentioned "Well... my birthday is coming up..." |Just something that came to me on my bus ride this morning
Prices include shipping and discounts when available.
Edit: Forgot to add the optional mesh side panel with 4x 120mm fans I already have the motherboard, processor, storage and power supply. Remembering that these are Australian prices, how does this build look for a general purpose workstation / folding / gaming rig? It's main goal is for 120FPS on 120Hz monitors in eyefinity (Once you've gone 120Hz you can never go back), and compute (fold/mine) like a mofo, but I also work on it. (Autodesk suite, Premiere, 3DSM, SolidWorks, Inventor and more) I would have liked to have gone a little further here and there, but I have to draw the line somewhere. To be specific where I would have liked to not cut corners:
I really wanted to watercool the whole setup but I haven't decided on phase change or conventional radiators. Additionally, the waterblocks alone come to $660 ($165 each) before you factor in anything else, and while I'd love to spend the time planning the water loop, case mods and chiller, I can't delay putting this rig off much longer, so I'm leaving water for 'Stage 2' when I have the time and effort to modify the case.
On the SSD I would have liked a couple of units like the Corsair Force GT series but they're simply too expensive right now and the SanDisk extremes bench very well and are on a promotional offer that is too good to pass up.
Additional storage would be nice to have but right now I don't need it and I can buy it later when the time comes.
Additional RAM would be nice for having a large RAMDisk but the motherboard and excess cost force me to limit myself to 16GB which should still allow for a small RAMDisk. The Corsair Dominator GT series has that aesthetic appeal but not worth the cost in my opinion.
Individually sleeved PSU cables look gorgeous but the stores here only stock the ones for AX-650/750/850. The AX-1200 set is $106 + shipping and not necessary so I've left it out. I may get them anyway.
Speaking of the case, I really did want the Lian Li PC-X2000F as it just looks absolutely phenomenal to me but I can't justify spending $700 on a case. Secondary choice was the CoolerMaster Cosmos II but the bulk, lack of window and price has me choosing elsewhere.
The power supply will be pushed to its limit while running benchmarks overclocked (apparently can draw in excess of 1500W from the wall or 1200W system draw during Furmark/Prime95) but it's one of the best units on the market and is designed to handle even higher peak wattage (if only slight). I got a really good deal on it while I was planning for trifire and don't see a good enough reason to go to the effort of selling it for a higher rated SilverStone ST1500G when the Corsair unit is only going to be pushed near its designed limit in certain scenarios, and never past it. I have the equivalent of a Kill-A-Watt for Australia and if the unit proves inadequate I can still exchange it later. Downsides are I' going to have to use four of the peripheral power outputs adapted to 6-pin PCI-E as I'm two short. As a bonus, it looks really nice in the 650D.
The motherboard is fairly low-end but I already purchased it for a different build and may as well use it. I had planned for an Asus Rampage IV Extreme that I will go into detail below.
The quadfire dilemma I had not originally planned to go for quad 7970s, the aim was just trifire to push me near that 120FPS for eyefinity, well beyond in the most intensive games for a single monitor and reduce microstuttering. I did not like the idea of the cards trying to peel hot air off the PCB on its sibling card like they were suffocating and suffering from asthma, so I planned on using an Asus Rampage IV Extreme, using slots one, four and seven to allow a one expansion slot gap between each card, in a Raven RV02 (non evo). Then my buddy (who also does Bitcoin mining) pointed out that if I kept the gigabyte board I would only spending an additional $0~ to $200~ (depending if I sold the Gigabyte board) by NOT purchasing the much more expensive Asus board and getting a fourth 7970 instead. We worked out the math and the extra card's Mhash/s would pay for itself in two months. Noise and heat aren't a huge issue as it's only temporary until I sort out the water loop. I'll also be getting a bit more gaming performance (when it works) and my general workstation tasks like rendering (V-Ray RT, SW etc.) will also be happy with the extra GPU compute power. Displays I have a HighGrade triple 24" stand and had to return the monitor I just bought, and am still yet to decide 100% on which displays but I am leaning towards three BenQ XL2420T 24" 120Hz 1080P monitors. Unlike the 120Hz Samsungs, they have VESA mounts and unlike the 120Hz Asus monitors, I'm not paying a premium for Nvidia 3D Vision that I'm not going to use. Really looking for suggestions/recommendations here! The case The 650D can fit a thin 280 rad in the top & 120 on the rear. With the HDD cage removed, 200 in the front or 240 on the floor, perhaps a combination of both with some modification (though unlikely, I enjoy a challenge). I could make it nice and neat, but I think I still prefer a chiller under my house with lines routed through the floor. Thinking of using a quality 1/4HP or 1/10HP Aquarium chiller for the job (only a couple hundred more than a good radiator setup). I'm still not 100% set on the 650D and open to other case suggestions. I appreciate the functionality of the Switch 810 but I do not like its aesthetics or size at all. Caselabs are too expensive once optioned and shipped to Australia. Very open to suggestions here also. Thanks!
Hey /scrypt mining, I know everyone's favorite coin is doge right now, but I've been mining something else right now and its been very profitable. At 2.7 m/hash I've been mining about 40-50$ a day, and its only sold on one market. As soon as it hits cryptsy, it should soar in value as investors buy into it. Judging from past coins like doge, it should double to triple in value. It also has a long list of qualifications that make it better to mine than other coins. For one, the developers of the coin have remained heavily involved in the community and the further development of the digibyte market. They manage their own professionally designed website, a twitter page, a facebook page, the list just goes on and on. They also posted exactly where premine funds went, which is transparency that we don't see from many developers. Digibytes also has an incredibly fast transaction speed. And I mean REALLY fast. Like coin transfers take less than a few seconds. That makes digibytes a more likely candidate for use in the real world. Say you want to buy some coffee? The transaction only takes a second or two to confirm and then you're good to go. Digibyte's maximum number of coins is 21 billion coins or 1000:1 against bitcoin. That means each Digibyte in the future should be worth $1-$10, which is a sensible value. No one likes to deal in decimals, 1,000 digibytes is a lot more tangible. You guys should definitely check it out and mine a few coins. Once the net reaches 2000 mhash it should get put up on cryptsy, and we can bring this coin to the top! You guys can find more information on the /digibyte subreddit and on the official website at www.digibyte.co. Thanks for reading and happy mining!
Had a spare video card, and decided to put it to work. But I'm a bit scared now. (Newbie to much of this)
Hello /BitcoinMining, nice to meet ya. So I upgraded my video card recently, and I had an HD 5770 just lying around, not doing anything. Saw the BTC exchange rates going up again, so I figured why not put it back to work. Problem is, the other video card is an NVidia, and it doesn't seem like they are playing as nicely together in my one machine as I'd like them too. Also, when running GUIMiner for a while, the 5770 core temp is topping out at 107c, and I'm afraid of melting my machine. And to top it off, I'm seeing low MHash/s (around 33 average) through GUIMiner's estimation, but I read threads left and right about 5770s reaching up to 200 MHash/s. Am I doing something wrong, or is this because the hashes have become more difficult? Or am I misunderstanding a lot? Thanks in advance. EDIT: Heh, well I'm glad I decided to play with the hardware further. When I noticed that the GPU was resting at ~75c, I thought something might be wrong. So with the intent of changing out the thermal paste on the card, I discovered that during storage time my 3 year old son must have dropped a screw into the cooling system. It was keeping the fan from turning... So now I rest at a nice 30-40c. Now I just need to get a good driver set that works best for mining and I am solid.
Hi there, I just got into bitcoin this week after seeing it mentioned a few times over at buildapc. I have my 6850 running around 230 Mhash/s. Looking into other GPUs I found a really good deal on a Sapphire Radeon TOXIC HD 5850. I can pick one of these up for about $170. My question is, would it be possible to run this card at the same time as my 6850? I know I can't crossfire them but could I keep one card in there without running a display at all just for bitcoin mining?
How long until bitcoins aren't accessable to the average user?
This is a general discussion on the bitcoin market itself, but also has to do with mining. If a mod determines that it needs to be moved to a different sub-reddit such as the mining reddit, please notify me and I will do so. I'm not much of a genius when it comes to bitcoins, but I do know about the market and a good bit about how people think, since I'm a human myself. When I first looked into bitcoins, people still made profit CPU mining. This is possible today, but anyone in bitcoinmining can tell you that it probably isn't worth your power bill, or even the internet bandwidth you used to download the miner. Then there was a paradigm shift where everyone started buying GPUs to mine off of, which is what most people have been doing recently, as far as I know. With some of the newest tech, you can get hundreds of Mhash on consumer level (ok, maybe a bit higher) GPUs. But that's not enough. With new development in ASIC cards, mining is a lot faster. In BTC Guild, the ASICMiner account reaches over 7kGhash, which calculates to around 400BTC per day (not necessarily as profit, however). Anyways, back to non-mining spec talk. Because of these new cards being released, they will become the new standard for mining, the way that GPU overthrew CPU. This is natural, but could case obvious problems. As consumer level CPUs become obsolete in the mining world, and GPUs aren't seen as the standard because of development in ASIC technology, and with Moore's law providing the basis for cards like ASIC miners improving over time, will regular people lose interest in bitcoin? I've been seeing many threads in bitcoinmining titled "Just bought a new gaming computer, can I use it to mine?" followed by specs that aren't too shabby; multiple GPUs, 4.0GHz+ processors, very nice (yet expensive) computers. Your average Joe wouldn't buy this, and it's not even seen as very good for mining. This is just the start. When an ASIC is seen as "required" to start mining, people with high end PCs won't even try. Therefore, the only way that the average computer user will acquire bitcoins is through buying them, which brings up the issue of discovery. Sure, more and more businesses are accepting bitcoins every day. But will the acceptance of bitcoins by smaller stores move people to try it out? If someone is going to buy a product on Amazon, for example, and they have a credit card linked up with their account, how will a "Pay with Bitcoin" link motivate them to invest in what the media usually portrays as a "made up currency"? My overall thesis is that it seems as if the direction bitcoin is going in will cut off the entry of average users and restrict it to computer aficionados. This will have obvious effects on the market, which you can speculate on your own. But tell me, reddit, what are your thoughts on the issue? How can we reform this economy to be suited to entering, average users when currently it's aimed at people with very strong PCs? Do you think it should stay this way? Do you have an innovative way to prevent this new paradigm from occurring and reducing new potential bitcoin circulators? I'm open to all thoughts and conversation, for this topic really intrigues me. Who knows, tomorrow an ASIC for residential use could be released and soccer moms would mine their own currency.
This video card is nearing the end of its' lifespan and is getting to be quite hard to come by. Yet for what I want to do it still seems like the best of the best. I've tried all the local shops, and the major online ones and all either don't carry it or are out of stock with no known date to re-supply. Anyone got any good suggestions on where to get one in the ~$225 range?
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
So I've been looking into bitcoins lately, and my wonderful 460 that plays bfbc2 max settings over 100 fps so smoothly gets a sad, sad 65 Mhash. This rig is great for gaming, I have no issues with getting high framerates. The cooling situation isn't awesome, but plenty safe. Anyway, the meat of the question here I'm interested in getting an AMD card... maybe two. The board can do crossfire! I was originally planning to SLI but the board won't do that. Looking primarily at 20 popular mining cards, I'm interested in going with a 5850 (especially since it seems on par with the 460) and expanding to more down the road, but I haven't been able to find one for the price listed! I've seen a few up near $300, not worth it. Clearly, lots of miners have been buying these in bulk so the demand is high making the price go up. Lame. I know the 6950 is "the card" right now as far as buildapc references go, but what would be good for hashing ~$150/card? I thought the 6770 would be good as it's ~$100 (and there are lots of options at newegg, but I'm told it is last gen and not worth getting. I'm a bit worried as the Anandtech benches don't even list the 6770. While the 6970 isn't listed on Anandtech either, it is a similar price for the same amount of stream processors but at a faster 256 memory interface. Going up to the 6850 seems like 20% more processors for 50% more money. I'm teetering on the thought of just going up to a very pretty looking 6870, which feels like 50% more processors for 60% more money... better idea? Then I'm just inclined to go with one of the heavily rebated 6950s which is about double the processors for double the money. Now the weird part Can I run the new card and old together? Is it possible to have drivers for an NVidia card running the screens, and drivers for the AMD card just to hash? Thanks for taking a look! I'm interested to hear your opinions.
I currently get 619 MHash/s out of it maxed out My Asics 2682 MHash Bitcoin Mining Rig (Digital Currency) ... but once its working with the best hardware mix its pretty stable. Mining Hardware: ARCTIC Breeze Mobile USB-Powered 92mm Portable Fan ... Here is just a brief overview of what goes into building these monstrosities. I am no expert at Crypto Currency Mining but these machines do fascinate me and I haven't seen too many videos that ... Site Link – https://maxes.pro/?ref=4438 legit and paying bitcoin cloud mining new website 2020 Zero investment and get 200 free GH/s mining power Here is my ... Bitmain Antminer U2 (x6) (1.4 Ghash/s ~ 2.4 Ghash/s) Block Erupter (x4) (330 Mhash/s) Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (Raspbian, cgminer) 10-port USB hub (12V/5A, USB3.0) USB Fans (x2)