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PC Gaming Thread

Old 05-22-15, 08:29 AM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by RocShemp
I have Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and it plays most my games beautifully. The only games with which I had issues were the two Knights of the Old Republic games I got from Steam. I can't seem to get past the title screen (if I get there at all).
I think those games were buggy on release. Here's a guide to troubleshooting issues with those games:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/32370/...5934138386212/
Old 05-22-15, 08:47 AM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by RocShemp
Saw no benefit to getting Windows 8 but am planning to take advantage of the free upgrade to Windows 10.
I have heard Windows 8 is better for a HTPC than Windows 7. I have read that 5.1 audio on Netflix is only available in Win 8.

A HTPC is what I am actually considering. I want an "all in one" box that can play video games as well as Netflix and other streaming video to my TV.
Old 05-22-15, 08:52 AM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Look up user comments for users of the Alienware Alpha HTPC.

ie: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/...qqzfykuks6vqqv

And see what kinds of issues they've run into.

(The low end core i3 model was $330 last week, sort of wish I bought one for the sake of testing it myself.)
Old 05-22-15, 02:28 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
I have heard Windows 8 is better for a HTPC than Windows 7. I have read that 5.1 audio on Netflix is only available in Win 8.

A HTPC is what I am actually considering. I want an "all in one" box that can play video games as well as Netflix and other streaming video to my TV.
Win8.1 is actually pretty great from a consumer standpoint. As a development environment I don't care for it though. Win10 should be superior for HTPC and consumers in general.
Old 05-23-15, 09:17 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

This is probably a really noobish question, but what is the difference between AMD and Intel CPUs and AMD and Nvidia GPUS?

AMD seems cheaper, but do they have much worse performance?
Old 05-24-15, 10:45 AM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

AMD CPU performance hasn't been competitive for a few years. They're basically only useful if you're either looking for a budget system, or want a good integrated CPU/GPU in one package as their onboard graphics is a good deal better then what Intel has to offer. If you're building something for gaming, Intel is basically the only way to go.

On the GPU front, Nvidia has the performance crown currently at the very top of the line, but AMD is releasing new cards in a week or so with some cool new technology given recent rumors and presentations from AMD which should shake up the existing lineups from both vendors. I'd also say AMD has the better price/performance options then Nvidia in the "mid-range" $200-300 area. That said, the GTX 970 might be the most popular card out there at the moment.
Old 05-24-15, 02:41 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by fumanstan
AMD CPU performance hasn't been competitive for a few years. They're basically only useful if you're either looking for a budget system, or want a good integrated CPU/GPU in one package as their onboard graphics is a good deal better then what Intel has to offer. If you're building something for gaming, Intel is basically the only way to go.

On the GPU front, Nvidia has the performance crown currently at the very top of the line, but AMD is releasing new cards in a week or so with some cool new technology given recent rumors and presentations from AMD which should shake up the existing lineups from both vendors. I'd also say AMD has the better price/performance options then Nvidia in the "mid-range" $200-300 area. That said, the GTX 970 might be the most popular card out there at the moment.
Thanks. I just discovered the Alienware Alpha earlier today. That looks like a pretty decent gaming PC in a console form factor. It can't run the latest games at ultra settings 1080p/60 fps, but I watched some youtube videos of it running Witcher 3 at medium settings 1080p/30 fps.

I also read on logicalincrements.com that hard drives larger than 1 TB have a high chance of failing. Something about larger hard drives having more than one platter which makes them more susceptible to failure. I don't know what a platter is, so I don't understand it, but is that true?
Old 05-24-15, 03:45 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
Thanks. I just discovered the Alienware Alpha earlier today. That looks like a pretty decent gaming PC in a console form factor. It can't run the latest games at ultra settings 1080p/60 fps, but I watched some youtube videos of it running Witcher 3 at medium settings 1080p/30 fps.
Are you looking for something to connect to a TV? Because the small form factor is the main thing the Alienware Alpha has going for it. If you have room for a desktop tower, that's going to get you better performance for the money.

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
I also read on logicalincrements.com that hard drives larger than 1 TB have a high chance of failing. Something about larger hard drives having more than one platter which makes them more susceptible to failure. I don't know what a platter is, so I don't understand it, but is that true?
It's not true.

First off, a platter is the actual "disk" in a hard disk drive, it's where the data is stored. HDDs can stack multiple platters in order to increase capacity, depending on the size of the drive.
http://www.hdd-tool.com/hdd-basic/ha...components.htm

The capacity of the drive is dependent on the capacity of each platter. As such, I don't think a definitive statement like "all 1TB drives are single platter" is possible (it could be made of 2 x 500GB platters, or 4 x 250GB platters). What's more, there's no definitive evidence that multiple platter drives are more failure prone than single platter drives:
http://superuser.com/questions/82007...isk-of-failure



Edit: it looks like 1.2TB is the highest capacity for a 3.5" drive platter currently. So while one can't say that a 1TB drive is definitely single platter, and drive with more than 1.2TB capacity has to be multiple platter.
http://uk.pcmag.com/opinion/36955/op...ity-20tb-drive
today mainstream drives have an aerial density of 650 Gbit/sq. inch, allowing 500GB per platter on a 2.5-inch drive and 1TB per platter on a 3.5-inch drive. (Most hard drives have multiple platters, which are written on both sides.)

A few drives have taken this a bit further, moving up to 1.2TB per platter, allowing for 6TB on a five-platter, 3.5-inch drive.

Last edited by Jay G.; 05-24-15 at 03:55 PM.
Old 05-24-15, 03:50 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Yeah, I want a PC to connect to my TV. I basically want a HTPC that can play games, stream Netflix/Hulu, and play Blu-ray movies. Basically I want an Xbox One, but something just a little bit better. The Alienware Alpha seems to fit that bill, but one problem I see with it is that it doesn't have a Blu-ray drive. Standalone Blu-ray players are cheap though, so that's not a huge problem.
Old 05-24-15, 05:14 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

I don't think i've worried about any mechanical drive failure rates in some time, they're all low enough that it isn't anything to fret about unless a particular product line suddenly has some widely reported issues.

The Alpha looked pretty neat, I was tempted when it was on sale for $330 as a secondary system thinking that worst case I could try one of the streaming options with the high end games.

Last edited by fumanstan; 05-24-15 at 05:23 PM.
Old 05-24-15, 08:17 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
Yeah, I want a PC to connect to my TV. I basically want a HTPC that can play games, stream Netflix/Hulu, and play Blu-ray movies. Basically I want an Xbox One, but something just a little bit better. The Alienware Alpha seems to fit that bill, but one problem I see with it is that it doesn't have a Blu-ray drive. Standalone Blu-ray players are cheap though, so that's not a huge problem.
Just buy a slim USB Blu-ray drive for it. Tho PC Bluray software is $$
Old 05-26-15, 12:54 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

For those that are using GOG Galaxy, the Telltale games are coming to that platform, with things like achievements, auto updating, game time tracking, etc. Game of Thrones is available at 40% off, and the other series are coming soon.

http://www.gog.com/news/telltale_games_coming_to_gogcom
Old 05-26-15, 01:21 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Part of me wants to finally get Game of Thrones, the other part will be annoyed that all the other Telltale series I have are on Steam.
Old 05-26-15, 02:05 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
Yeah, I want a PC to connect to my TV. I basically want a HTPC that can play games, stream Netflix/Hulu, and play Blu-ray movies. Basically I want an Xbox One, but something just a little bit better. The Alienware Alpha seems to fit that bill, but one problem I see with it is that it doesn't have a Blu-ray drive. Standalone Blu-ray players are cheap though, so that's not a huge problem.
Just build your own home theater PC. They make some really nice cases, and if you aren't concerned about having a small form factor, you can still have a lot of upgrade options. There are even some smaller case options that you can still fit a high end GPU in.
Old 05-26-15, 02:24 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

I am leaning heavily towards buying an Alienware Alpha. I have seen youtube videos of it playing Witcher 3 at medium settings and 30 fps at 1080p. That is good enough for me. I don't particularly care about maxing everything out and keeping 60 fps.

I have read that the Alpha was recently on sale for $300. I really wish I would have been aware of that sale. I would have definitely bought it then.
Old 05-26-15, 02:31 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
I am leaning heavily towards buying an Alienware Alpha. I have seen youtube videos of it playing Witcher 3 at medium settings and 30 fps at 1080p. That is good enough for me. I don't particularly care about maxing everything out and keeping 60 fps.

I have read that the Alpha was recently on sale for $300. I really wish I would have been aware of that sale. I would have definitely bought it then.
There are a lot of models and modifications to the Alpha. Be sure you get the right one.
Old 05-26-15, 02:31 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
I am leaning heavily towards buying an Alienware Alpha. I have seen youtube videos of it playing Witcher 3 at medium settings and 30 fps at 1080p. That is good enough for me. I don't particularly care about maxing everything out and keeping 60 fps.

I have read that the Alpha was recently on sale for $300. I really wish I would have been aware of that sale. I would have definitely bought it then.
You say that now, but what about in a year when you are stuck running new games at even lower settings? Frankly, being able to only run Witcher 3 at medium settings and 30 FPS is pretty pathetic. That's barely even a mid-range system at that point. You are better off just getting a console then.
Old 05-26-15, 02:35 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Wow, the i7 model is $900, and only includes a 2GB GTX 860M... that's pretty terrible. That GPU is going to be the bottleneck for pretty much any game played at 1080p. It doesn't even come with an SSD. For $900 you could build something that can play any newer game at max settings at 1080p60.The only downside is it won't look as small and sleek, but personally I'd take the upgradeability over form factor. I mean, don't most people already have various other boxes sitting in their home entertainment centers? What's one more? Unless you just don't have the room.
Old 05-26-15, 02:36 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

He said his main goal was backwards compatibility, play some old games as well as new.

I don't see the issue, especially if he can get the system for $300 - $330 again.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8LBRw29HYNc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Not everybody has the same demands, and for a cheapie box that actually fits inside most entertainment systems, it doesn't seem like a bad solution for him. Just have to be aware of limitations. It's simply a budget HTPC for people that don't want to fuck with it.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J_5PB73ZdV8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Last edited by RichC2; 05-26-15 at 02:42 PM.
Old 05-26-15, 02:43 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

I guess I missed the fact that they can be found for $300, because they show up as $600 on Dell's site. For $300, yeah, I'd say it's worth it for a low end HTPC.
Old 05-26-15, 02:49 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Understandable. If you can find them at about $300 they're pretty stacked for what you get (even includes HDMI-input).
Old 05-26-15, 02:50 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by RichC2
There are a lot of models and modifications to the Alpha. Be sure you get the right one.
I want the $499 base model. From what I have seen the i5 and i7 are pretty much bottlenecked by the GPU, and so they add only a few fps, so they're not really worth it. I might upgrade the RAM to 8 GB and the HDD to 1 TB, but that's pretty much it.


Originally Posted by flashburn
You say that now, but what about in a year when you are stuck running new games at even lower settings? Frankly, being able to only run Witcher 3 at medium settings and 30 FPS is pretty pathetic. That's barely even a mid-range system at that point. You are better off just getting a console then.
I'm a very casual gamer. In fact, I haven't even played any new release game at all since Arkham Origins came out two years ago. There are only two next-gen games I want. Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight. There really isn't anything else in the foreseeable future that interests me.


Originally Posted by flashburn
Wow, the i7 model is $900, and only includes a 2GB GTX 860M... that's pretty terrible. That GPU is going to be the bottleneck for pretty much any game played at 1080p. It doesn't even come with an SSD. For $900 you could build something that can play any newer game at max settings at 1080p60.The only downside is it won't look as small and sleek, but personally I'd take the upgradeability over form factor. I mean, don't most people already have various other boxes sitting in their home entertainment centers? What's one more? Unless you just don't have the room.
The small form factor is important to me. My entertainment center is small and even a small tower case won't fit in it. I don't ever plan to upgrade it. I will play it for 4 or 5 years or however long it lasts me, and then just buy a whole new computer. The computer I am using now I first bought in 2008 and it has never been upgraded...


Originally Posted by RichC2
He said his main goal was backwards compatibility, play some old games as well as new.

I don't see the issue, especially if he can get the system for $300 - $330 again.

Not everybody has the same demands, and for a cheapie box that actually fits inside most entertainment systems, it doesn't seem like a bad solution for him. Just have to be aware of limitations.

Yeah, backwards compatibility is VERY important to me. I go back and replay older games far more often than I play new games. The Alpha seems to be able to play last-gen games at high settings near 60 fps. It's only next-gen games that it seems to struggle with, and that doesn't concern me too much. Medium settings at 30 fps is fine with me for next-gen games. It's pretty much what the PS4/Xbone are... medium settings at 30 fps.

Has there been any news if Alienware plans to release a newer model with a 960m GPU anytime soon? If so, I think I may want to wait for that one.

Last edited by kgrogers1979; 05-26-15 at 03:05 PM.
Old 05-26-15, 03:06 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

The 960m looks like it's exactly the same as the 860m with just slightly higher clocks. The difference seems negligible.
Old 05-26-15, 03:09 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by fumanstan
The 960m looks like it's exactly the same as the 860m with just slightly higher clocks. The difference seems negligible.
Okay. So it's not comparable to the desktop 960? I have seen videos of the desktop 960 running Witcher 3 at 40 fps on high settings.
Old 05-26-15, 03:16 PM
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Re: PC Gaming Thread

Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
Okay. So it's not comparable to the desktop 960? I have seen videos of the desktop 960 running Witcher 3 at 40 fps on high settings.
It's off by a little.

Here's a comparison of the 960, 960M, and 860M (ignore the 860M SLI)

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