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Op Ed

The Tech Report - Improving the PC as a gaming platform: the hardware.
The new spec would clearly involve some compromises, since you can't simply step up and demand that every new computer feature a Radeon 7970, 32GB of RAM, and a six-core CPU with Hyperthingamabobs. However, let's take a page from our own System Guide's Econobox. MPC-HD could set the bar at, say, a Radeon 7770 graphics card ($120 or so) and a Core i3-3220 processor (around $130). Those components provide solid gaming performance at 1080p in the vast majority of titles, even with anti-aliasing enabled. They would be a perfectly reasonable baseline to aim for—one that provides many times the horsepower of current-generations consoles.

Setting a baseline would make life easier for developers, as well. Let's imagine MPC-HD has multiple levels, and when publishing your game, you can simply state that the minimum requirement is MPC-HD Level 1. That's easy for developers to code for, easy for buyers to follow, and easy for manufacturers to advertise and profit from. One can only wish.

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17. Re: Op Ed Dec 29, 2012, 23:21 Kitkoan
MisterBenn wrote on Dec 29, 2012, 22:21:
We have a rating system now, the Windows Experience Index

Sorry, but that rating system is garbage. It was a neat idea, but its garbage.

According to it, my laptop is rated 5.1 when I first got it (I think, I'm on Linux now so can't check). So, I had 6 gigs of RAM, and I decided to upgrade it to 14 gigs of RAM. With this speed boost, my laptop has the blazing score of... 5.1 No change and this is what kills it. It keeps telling me my laptops score is 5.1 because of my HDD isn't the fastest R/W speeds (compared to a SSD). This doesn't really hold much difference on games though.

What would really help make an improvement is a standard software checker that each digital store can freely use (since almost all software is now bought digitally). What it could do is check all of your hardware and use it as a filter to filter out all games that wouldn't run on your computer at an acceptable level (and stop using this "bare minimum" BS that means if you turn off/minimum setting of EVERY thing in game it might run at 20FPS... might...) Kinda like how the Android market works, if your specs shouldn't be able to run it, then it doesn't show up for sale. (Yes, I know that it isn't always the simple, some people are just greedy and will lower their requirements for a quick buck).

And of course, have an option to show games that your system can't run so you can look and what not, see what specs you might upgrade, giftable objects, etc... but with a warning in like red on the game screen that you can't run this game (like Steam does with games you already own).
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