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Gaming PC future proofing


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1 hour ago, Benny said:

The most disappointing thing I found when I got an XboneX is that the CPU in it is still so shit it can't manage a stable 60fps in something like Sekiro. My modest gaming laptop can manage it at 1080p with no issues, so to be honest the CPU upgrade will probably be what finally gets the consoles up to the level of PC hardware for a lot of situations. I can't imagine PS5 getting much more complex than what a 2070 Super or something can manage at the moment in the first few years.

 

Every gen I've thought "yes, more power means more games at 60fps" yet developers would go for shiny-30fps. And whilst there are more games running at 60fps on consoles I would put money on the next gen going for fidelity over performance and maintaining that 30fps console gamers are very much used to now. Obviously there are exceptions, and when i read reviews of console games where, even now, they'll be delighted and amazed at one running at 60fps, it just confirms my belief. 

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24 minutes ago, Treble said:

Separate debate, but I own all the current gen consoles now (bog standard Switch, super-cheap PS4 slim, expensive Xbox One X) along with my gaming PC, and both Switch and PC are by some considerable margin the speediest to go from, "I want to play" to "I'm playing a game".

 

How do you do this on PC? I'm fairly new to PC gaming and, for me, the time between wanting to play and playing has been the biggest con so far compared with console gaming. I (and my wife) use the PC for non-gaming stuff, so to play a game I have to turn it on, log into my Windows user account, boot up Steam, boot the game and then load the save before I'm 'in'. The whole process takes about 90 seconds, which I know isn't a lot but is certainly a lot longer than the 5 seconds it takes to so the same thing on Switch, or the 10 seconds on my PS4 Pro when waking them up from suspend mode.

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5 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

How do you do this on PC? I'm fairly new to PC gaming and, for me, the time between wanting to play and playing has been the biggest con so far compared with console gaming. I (and my wife) use the PC for non-gaming stuff, so to play a game I have to turn it on, log into my Windows user account, boot up Steam, boot the game and then load the save before I'm 'in'. The whole process takes about 90 seconds, which I know isn't a lot but is certainly a lot longer than the 5 seconds it takes to so the same thing on Switch, or the 10 seconds on my PS4 Pro when waking them up from suspend mode.

Switch though tends to be on standby and you basically start where you left off, you don't have to boot a Switch. I don't think PCs take that long at all, from hitting Play in Steam even big games running off an SSD will take less than 30 seconds to get to a point where you are playing. 

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Just now, Vimster said:

 

Every gen I've thought "yes, more power means more games at 60fps" yet developers would go for shiny-30fps. And whilst there are more games running at 60fps on consoles I would put money on the next gen going for fidelity over performance and maintaining that 30fps console gamers are very much used to now. Obviously there are exceptions, and when i read reviews of console games where, even now, they'll be delighted and amazed at one running at 60fps, it just confirms my belief. 

 

The thing with 60 frames is that if you've only played games exclusively at 30FPS, which is what the majority of console games run at, it's only once you play a few games at 60 that you notice the difference and find it difficult to go back to 30. Sony and Microsoft, with the next gen, are banking on the fact that the majority of their prospective customers won't be used to 60FPS and therefore won't be expecting it. They will, however, be expecting something new and shiny, which is why Sony and MS are plumping for 4K and ray tracing.

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2 minutes ago, Vimster said:

Switch though tends to be on standby and you basically start where you left off, you don't have to boot a Switch. I don't think PCs take that long at all, from hitting Play in Steam even big games running off an SSD will take less than 30 seconds to get to a point where you are playing. 

 

It doesn't take long, no, but Treble's original post seemed to suggest that booting games from PC was slower than booting them from PS4/XB1X, which is what I didn't understand. Maybe he's referring to the time it takes to load a game from the consoles being off completely, as opposed to in suspend/standby mode, which is what I thought he was referring to.

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5 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

It doesn't take long, no, but Treble's original post seemed to suggest that booting games from PC was slower than booting them from PS4/XB1X, which is what I didn't understand. Maybe he's referring to the time it takes to load a game from the consoles being off completely, as opposed to in suspend/standby mode, which is what I thought he was referring to.

 

Currently the time is easily made up in loading times off a fast SSD in comparison to console hard drives. With next gen consoles I think they'll take the edge there being equipped with such fast SSD's and streamlined OS in comparison to windows.

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I’d certainly be wary of next gen console games being churned out at decent resolutions with ray tracing but at 30fps. That would be a backwards step for me, even though ray tracing looks phenomenal.

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36 minutes ago, Vimster said:

The 4k target for the consoles is the crucial thing here. I get the impression most people here would be happier with a 1440p or even 1080p at 60+fps than a 4k at sub-60fps. There's this view with the hardware manufacturers that 4k is the be all and end all and the logical next step in fidelity, but frankly I'd much rather have a fast and smooth experience than a hi-res pretty one. And for anyone going PC this will probably be the biggest factor in keeping your current system worthwhile for a good while yet.  

1440p is where it's at for me. It seems more noticeable going from 1080 to 1440, than 1440 to 4k in actual looking at the monitor with a game in motion. The jump to 4k isn't worth the fps trade off in my opinion.

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I’m in the process of upgrading my coal powered i7 2600k. Actually it’s been amazing but I’m running into issues that are either CPU or motherboard related so I decided to take the plunge on some new kit.

The Ryzen 5 3600 looks to be a good upgrade, I’ve paid a bit extra for an X570 mobo so I can install a Gen4 PCIe m.2 drive and I’ve gone for 3600mhz RAM.

My trusty Vega 56 will tide me over until next summer.
Whether this means I don’t “need” a Series X, I’ve no idea, but it should offer a big jump over what I’ve been using, both in PC terms and my Xbox One X.

 

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47 minutes ago, Vimster said:

The 4k target for the consoles is the crucial thing here. I get the impression most people here would be happier with a 1440p or even 1080p at 60+fps than a 4k at sub-60fps. There's this view with the hardware manufacturers that 4k is the be all and end all and the logical next step in fidelity, but frankly I'd much rather have a fast and smooth experience than a hi-res pretty one. And for anyone going PC this will probably be the biggest factor in keeping your current system worthwhile for a good while yet.  

 

This is a good point.  I dont think the benefit of going for 4K is there on PC I'd rather spend the power silly framerates whiles using AA or other less expensive graphical options to increase fidelity. These consoles are going to aiming for 4K everything at the expense of framerate. 

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29 minutes ago, Jamie John said:

 

It doesn't take long, no, but Treble's original post seemed to suggest that booting games from PC was slower than booting them from PS4/XB1X, which is what I didn't understand. Maybe he's referring to the time it takes to load a game from the consoles being off completely, as opposed to in suspend/standby mode, which is what I thought he was referring to.

 

Yeah, no, I wasn't talking about suspend mode. Comparing like for like PC vs (say) Xbox One X, from full boot to game is faster, and from suspend to game is faster on PC. I'd even like to try comparing PS4 suspend vs. full boot > Steam > into game, as I reckon it'd have a good chance of winning still :D

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The other thing about 4K is that, I'd wager, the majority of console gamers simply don't sit close enough to their TVs to see the benefit of it. I'm not sure on the exact figures, but don't you have to sit about 4ft from a 43inch tv to notice the difference between 1080 or 1440 and 2160p?

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You can definitely tell the difference between 4K and 1080p on my TV. The Switch actually looks a little fuzzy to me by comparison now, which I never thought I'd be saying.

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8 minutes ago, Mogster said:

You can definitely tell the difference between 4K and 1080p on my TV. The Switch actually looks a little fuzzy to me by comparison now, which I never thought I'd be saying.

 

How bit is your TV and how close do you sit to it, though?

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1080p is horrible these days (without a great AA/upscaling solution) - its 1/4 the res on a 4k screen and it shows. 1440p definitely takes the sting out of it

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Just now, Jamie John said:

 

How bit is your TV and how close do you sit to it, though?

 

43", and I probably sit about 2 metres away.

 

I quickly adjust to 1080p when I play at that res, but there's a clear difference. Then again I thought the difference between 1080 and supersampled 4K made a big difference on my old 1080p TV too.

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Having your Operating System on a SSD makes a huge difference to boot times on PC. If i was to recommend a quick upgrade to anyone is to get a 256 or 512GB SSD and install windows on that. It really does make a huge difference, maybe not in gaming performance, but to enjoyment and instant usability.

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I did upgrade my data drive to an SSD recently, and replaced my OS drive with a 500GB one to replace my original 120GB drive. I want to upgrade my game drives, but at 2TBs each I think I'd better wait for a price drop. :P

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Just been reading through the specs on my mainboard. Looks like I can go upto 3rd Gen Ryzen processors on socket AM4. However only PCI 3.0 for the graphics bus. 

 

Should be fine though.... So guess I'll go upto a 3rd Gen Ryzen 9 at 12 cores and pair that with a GTX 2080 Ti with another 16GB of DDR4 Seems a good upgrade path. Good thing about PC everything you use a PC for benefits from an upgrade so may seem expensive but it does more than just play games.....

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3 hours ago, SozzlyJoe said:

I'd say the best strategy is just get the most future proof motherboard you can, and upgrade CPUs and GPUs as the fancy takes you. Buying the best of everything right now seems expensive, I think you can lag a few revisions and still be up for all the latest games.

 

It's always been the most effective method in the PC space for GPU and CPU hasn't it?   See what the top spec is, then buy one level down.

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Next generation will be a great time for 1080p PC gamers, as the consoles will all be pushing 4k or 1440p upscaled. I have a few friends who have upgraded recently and I've told them they're mad, wait for the new consoles to arrive and see what the requirements of multiplat games are like, because I've got a funny feeling it's not going to be as much of a jump as we think due to the 4k factor and the fact that most engines are well established. It'll be business as usual for me - playing 4k 30fps console games at 1440p 60-165hz,

 

I'd also wait for Ryzen 4000 and Geforce 3xxx before buying anything at the moment.

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I've been meaning to get a new gaming PC for quite some time now, but with the new consoles at our doorstep I think I'll wait another year as 90% of my gaming is still done on the Switch. The main reason I want to wait is that each new generation of consoles seems to have pushed the PC a bit further but that might not be the case this time round as the up and coming consoles are basically made of off the shelf PC parts. Afaik the days of custom chips in consoles are far gone and apart from the SSD in the PS5 there's little to suggest we'll see something substantially different on the consoles anymore. I'm sure we'll see even faster SSDs available on PC before long anyway. 

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7 minutes ago, Moz said:

I'd also wait for Ryzen 4000 and Geforce 3xxx before buying anything at the moment.

 

This is likely what I'll be doing.  See what those look like price performance wise and then either buying those or one level down.

 

I'm currently on an i5 with an flakey 970 that cuts out when I try to play games on it longer than 5 minutes.  I should post in the PC folder about trying to work out what the hell is going on there.

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19 minutes ago, MattyP said:

Just been reading through the specs on my mainboard. Looks like I can go upto 3rd Gen Ryzen processors on socket AM4. However only PCI 3.0 for the graphics bus. 

 

Should be fine though.... So guess I'll go upto a 3rd Gen Ryzen 9 at 12 cores and pair that with a GTX 2080 Ti with another 16GB of DDR4 Seems a good upgrade path. Good thing about PC everything you use a PC for benefits from an upgrade so may seem expensive but it does more than just play games.....

 

PCI-E 3.0/4.0 makes no difference for graphics atm - only SSDs

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21 minutes ago, rafaqat said:

 

This is likely what I'll be doing.  See what those look like price performance wise and then either buying those or one level down.

 

I'm currently on an i5 with an flakey 970 that cuts out when I try to play games on it longer than 5 minutes.  I should post in the PC folder about trying to work out what the hell is going on there.

 

Try using a different video out port on the GPU - the displayport/dvi/hdmi whatever you're using could be getting loose - or if it is consistently a few mins could be the cooling is fucked and the temps are rising and it is overheating

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1 hour ago, rafaqat said:

 

This is likely what I'll be doing.  See what those look like price performance wise and then either buying those or one level down.

 

I'm currently on an i5 with an flakey 970 that cuts out when I try to play games on it longer than 5 minutes.  I should post in the PC folder about trying to work out what the hell is going on there.

Sounds like it's overheating. Sadly I fear you may be due for an upgrade a little sooner than you thought. 

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1 hour ago, Rayn said:

Afaik the days of custom chips in consoles are far gone and apart from the SSD in the PS5 there's little to suggest we'll see something substantially different on the consoles anymore. I'm sure we'll see even faster SSDs available on PC before long anyway. 

 

Maybe this is the SSD to rival PS5's

 

https://www.pcgamer.com/samsung-ssd-980-pro-august-release/

 

Quote

The new Samsung 980 Pro SSD is set for release before the end of August, at least that is the latest from a well-known leaky Samsung Twitter account. That's where all the best leaks come from, right? I mean, it's not like you can just say anything online, with no supporting evidence, and have it reported as fact from just anywhere.

But that potential August launch tallies with what we've heard from our own sources recently too. Unveiled at CES in January, we would have expected to see the newest Samsung solid state drive generation by now. Back at the start of the year Samsung was suggesting that more information on the drive would arrive in Q2, but we're rapidly approaching the end of that particular window.

The new suggested launch timing has come from @UniverseIce (via HWBattle), a noted source of other Samsung rumours, and claims that it will mark the arrival of "the super performance of real PCIe 4.0 SSD." The Samsung 980 Pro is the Korean giant's first consumer PCIe 4.0 SSD, and is promising storage performance ahead of anything else around right now. That much was announced back at the Las Vegas show in January, with sequential read and write speeds of 6,500MB/s and 5,000MB/s respectively. 

Samsung 980 Pro SSD will be released within two months, you will see the super performance of real PCIe 4.0 SSD.June 10, 2020

The only PCIe 4.0 show in town right now belongs to the Phison E16 controller, the same SSD storage silicon that forms the basis for pretty much all the Gen4 drives on the market at the moment. In something like the Sabrent Rocket or Addlink S90, both SSDs we're putting through their paces right now, you're looking at peak sequential read/write performance of 5,000MB/s and 4,400MB/s, which would put them behind the upcoming Samsung drive.

Coupled with the fact that the Pro line of Sammy SSDs tends to utilise its own more expensive, but speedier 2-bit MLC NAND, and is able to 100% tune everything owing to creating the controller silicon itself, you can expect the 980 Pro to top the performance lists of the best SSDs for some time to come.

Well, until Phison unleashes its own new E18 controller later in the year anyways. That should already be out with SSD manufacturers to create their own firmware and drives as I type, for a prospective launch into the market in Q3… or just after the 980 Pro. 

Generally Samsung likes to launch its more mainstream EVO drives around the same sort of time as it's Pro line of SSDs. They're often a touch slower, use 3-bit MLC (AKA TLC), but are far more affordable. Those will likely offer higher performance than the current Phison drives, but likely with a similar price tag.

The upcoming Phison E18 controller, however, is supposedly capable of offering up to 7,000MB/s of throughput over the PCIe 4.0 interface, getting dangerously close to maxing out the theoretical limits of a M.2 x4 socket.

For reference the SSD inside the upcoming PS5 is promising uncompressed throughput of at least 5,500MB/s, though is expected to be able to use some compression algorithm trickery to hit 9,000MB/s for some workloads. Early rumours suggested Sony were going to use a 980 QVO SSD, with 4-bit MLC, so Samsung could be winning whatever happens.

 

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1 hour ago, rafaqat said:

 

This is likely what I'll be doing.  See what those look like price performance wise and then either buying those or one level down.

 

I'm currently on an i5 with an flakey 970 that cuts out when I try to play games on it longer than 5 minutes.  I should post in the PC folder about trying to work out what the hell is going on there.

See if the fan on the GPU card is operating? Sounds like it might be a heat problem? Also is the PC dusty inisde? Open the case up and give it a good clean. Another thing to try is to maybe take the card out and re-seat it. Worth trying.....

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I expect Sony will be using some bespoke solution to leverage some additional bandwidth out of the PS5's SSD solution. However it will be interesting to see how well that works in practice when its out the in the wild. I expect Digital Foundry will get plenty of mileage out of comparisons between PS/XsX/PS5 when the the two new consoles get a release.

 

My guess is that it will obviously be quick but it won't be a huge gamechanger and it also won't make for any unique experiences that can't be done elsewhere. Happy to be proved wrong though.

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