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#21 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:11 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 01:23 PM, said:

Until windows popsnizzles the bed. Like. It. Always. Does. Looking at you windows 10 box that was running gr8 up until you weren't and then you were again while i took a popsnizzle. WAT R YOU DOING WANDOWS.



FWIW Lastpass imports safari passwords, is 12 bucks a year, and cross platform. It was recently bought by logmein which is frightening, but so far there have not been any "logmein"esc changes to it so I'm sticking with it for now. IMO it's not only the best password manager out there but the most reasonably priced. Plus I got a couple years premium left. I bought like 10 years wayyyyyy back cuz I thought they would eventually raise their price but they have stuck with the reasonable pricing.

Am really keeping an eye on them after being bought by logmein tho. Those guyz can be sketchy.


My concern with them is a recollection about being hacked into and it surfacing that they were storing user info in plain text form on their servers. That's just a second hand memory and I realize it may be somewhat or even completely inaccurate, particularly with you telling me that you use it. What was the deal with that anyway? There was some negative news about them a while back, that much I remember but I do not recall the specifics as you can probably tell. I did notice them and the great pricing but was wondering if it was a case of getting what you pay for.
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#22 macdude22

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:15 PM

View PostCougar, on 10 February 2016 - 05:16 PM, said:

Wow, this thread got dark, fast.


It's not really dark IMO, at least not my view. I think it's more that it's only now that Apple is able to truly actualize their vision of the computer as an appliance. They have been supremely successful with this with mobile devices and I speculate that is going to become an increasing focus on OS X and associated hardware. I'm getting to be old and don't view this particularly negatively. But the hungry era where the Apple Power User was king is over, that much is clear.
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#23 macdude22

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:28 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:11 PM, said:

My concern with them is a recollection about being hacked into and it surfacing that they were storing user info in plain text form on their servers. That's just a second hand memory and I realize it may be somewhat or even completely inaccurate, particularly with you telling me that you use it. What was the deal with that anyway? There was some negative news about them a while back, that much I remember but I do not recall the specifics as you can probably tell. I did notice them and the great pricing but was wondering if it was a case of getting what you pay for.

It was mostly media fear mongering. If you have 2FA and/or a long password, complete non deal. Both recent "incidents" were relatively benign compared to many breeches, and to a large extent Last Pass's security mechanisms did what they were supposed to do. Secure the user data in the event of an attack.

In 2014, they announced some security vulnerabilities they had found, but there was no evidence they had ever been used. The company has a history of disclosing routine security vulnerabilities and incidents in an open manner. The media ran with this as some sort of major issue. Most companies find things like this all the time and simply wouldn't disclose anything.

The second "major" event was worse but still a non starter if you had 2FA or a reasonably sized and entropic password. Even with a weak master password the risk is low that an attacker could eventually guess your password (FYI YOUR MASTER PASSWORD SHOULD HAVE HIGH ENTROPY, you only have to remember one password make it a good one). Even if they guessed your password they still couldn't gain access to your data vault without also having access to your email because a new device location access triggers either an email or a 2FA event.

https://blog.lastpas...ty-notice.html/

Given the gravity of the breaches at many other companies, and the quick and professional manner Last Pass dealt with these incidents I have had no qualms in using and recommending their service. The logmein purchase gives me some pause these days but as long as Joe Siegrist is with them I'm confident he'll steer the ship in the right direction. If he eventually leaves that would decidedly change.

1password has had some pretty rad security issues, nobody is particularly immune to these incidents. What matters to me is how the company deals with it. Last Pass owned up.

http://arstechnica.c...-for-end-users/
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#24 Cougar

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:32 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 03:15 PM, said:



It's not really dark IMO, at least not my view. I think it's more that it's only now that Apple is able to truly actualize their vision of the computer as an appliance. They have been supremely successful with this with mobile devices and I speculate that is going to become an increasing focus on OS X and associated hardware. I'm getting to be old and don't view this particularly negatively. But the hungry era where the Apple Power User was king is over, that much is clear.

Well, that's exactly why I see it as dark. I don't want the computer to be a locked-down appliance, and I also don't think it's necessary to achieve ease of use. It's a false choice. But I agree that's the direction Apple is going.

#25 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:49 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 03:28 PM, said:

It was mostly media fear mongering. If you have 2FA and/or a long password, complete non deal. Both recent "incidents" were relatively benign compared to many breeches, and to a large extent Last Pass's security mechanisms did what they were supposed to do. Secure the user data in the event of an attack.

Thank you for that and all the additional detailed I snipped out just now. I saved that link at the end to my reading list and will check it out later on and go have a look at their site, etc. My current way of doing things has never been a problem yet but that's just popsnizzle luck as my way of doing things is shamefully bad. I need to fix that before I am sorry I put it off for far too long.
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#26 macdude22

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 03:55 PM

My fingers are getting tired but I generally agree. I can piece together a box for under 500 bucks that will game real decent. (dem UI sir plus sales). Your average joe/joette isn't going to. I think $800 is a more appropriate target for a new, decent gaming PC with all new parts/OS (assuming joe is not reusing any parts).

Also the cost really balloons with multiple people. I've got 2 kids, one is getting pretty into gaming. Assume the other one will once they are not 2 years old. A couple extra 250 dollar bottom line xbox ones or Wii U's is a heck of a lot cheaper than decking everyone out with gaming PCs. And they all have TVs in their rooms, easy, really easy.

Big Picture is decent, and I was really bullish on it at first but Steam OS hasn't really panned out as well as I would have hoped and Big Picture on top of windows is still on top of windows with all that entails. It just never seems to work as well as I would like. And so many games have "partial" controller support so you've still got to dick with a KB/M for this and that. I've spent a lot of time dicking with it and I really really wanted it to be the holy grail but I just don't think it is.

tl;dr: Is PC gaming "better". Yis. Is it more convenient. probably not.

I do get entertained by the PS4 vs. xbone graphics battles on Facebook and reddit and all over. For all intents these boxes have near identical performance. Perfectly passable identical performance. Depending on title optimization things may look better or worse and perform better or worse. There's no argument, graphically popsnizzlebox sir plus machine with a 750ti or better will look as good or better than either console. Comes down to convenience and title selection. My killer app is Crackdown 3. If they announced it on the ouya I'd pull that thing out of storage to play it. *shudder* there was a real popsnizzle box. Made a nice portable ROM cube though.
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#27 Frost

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:03 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

I've often noted people say this but in reality I have to disagree. You aren't going to get a complete PC with a 1 TB hybrid drive complete with operating system and a high quality controller as well for 500 bucks which is what an XBox One Elite will run you at full retail and no assembly is required for the XBox One which instantly means it wins for a large number of people who do not build their own computers.

Yes you can. Let's just grab the $450 Alienware Alpha as an example case (there are more options). There you go, more powerful than an Xbox One Elite, costs $50 less, and you don't have to assemble a single part yourself. About the same price as an Xbox One Elite if you add a controller.

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

I mean, how many people are gaming on a Falcon Northwest with a Titan X in it, you know? I don't think very many at all are in contrast to the entire installed base.

The fact that you can spend more to do more in PC gaming is totally irrelevant to price-performance comparison between a console and a similarly-priced entry level PC.

(For the record, lest people think I'm an opulent slob, I run my own small business... and I generally invest almost everything I make back into it. The two exceptions I allow myself are A. my "Kestrel" computer, and B. my SRT Charger. You gotta have some fun somewhere to make it all worth it.)

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

To beat the XBox One experience you'd need a PC that can deliver HD graphics to a screen as big as the typical living room television at stable frame rates with settings on high all of the time.

Except the Xbox One is usually delivering sub-HD resolution content upscaled at what is the equivalent to medium settings on a PC. It couldn't even run Destiny at 1080p at 30 FPS, which is not exactly an overly-impressive game graphically, without Bungie and Microsoft specifically working to disable the Kinect and devote its resources to the game. Prior to that Destiny ran at sub-HD resolutions. The bar is set so low that you can be in the price basement and still beat the current crop of consoles. This isn't the era of the PS3 and 360 where you get enormous value for your money and a few hundred bucks gets you a CPU and GPU on par with a significantly more expensive gaming PC anymore. I would've argued on your side all day like ten years ago, but those days are long gone and that's simply not accurate anymore.


View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

I honestly think that is a pretty tall order. Even a midrange video card is going to eat half that budget instantly. How much is a 1 TB hybrid drive going for nowadays I wonder? You'll need a good enough PSU for whatever GPU, etc. you get. You need a case. You need a mouse and keyboard and I'm sure you don't want popsnizzlety ones I would hope. They don't have to be gaming gear but crappy ones I don't think count either. Then there is the memory, today I think 8 gigs is the minimum and is not expensive but not free either. Naturally one needs a motherboard with onboard ethernet at least and a decent CPU to stick in it along with the other stuff. I forget now if I already accounted for a case to put these top shelf components into. Then there is fun of assemblage and hoping it all works first try and we don't want to forget the cost of an OEM copy of Windows too.

A $110 750 Ti beats the PS4 handily, nevermind the Xbox One, which is slower than the PS4. A 1TB SSHD will run you $80. An i3-4130, again faster than the Xbox One, runs about $120. You're only at $310 and all your high dollar components are taken care of.

And again, that's if you want to build your own. There ARE prebuilts available, and yes, they come with Windows, and yes, they're faster than both consoles.

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

Are you sure that even at the minimum performance specs you can really pull this off for 500 bucks? What about the monitor you'll need for it?

As stated above, you can not only meet it, you can beat it. As far as a monitor, what monitor or TV does the $500 Xbox One Elite come with? None? Then that's irrelevant. A good prebuilt PC will use your existing monitor or HDTV just like a console.

Let's take the Witcher 3 on comparably-priced systems.

Xbox One - 900p, 30 FPS <-- can't even run at your HDTV's native resolution
Playstation 4 - 1080p, 30 FPS
Alienware Alpha - 1080p, 60 FPS


View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

By the way, I picked the most expensive console option I am aware of for this comparison to the cheapest PC option which I cannot imagine being capable of the same performance and user experience at all. The thing is, I could go down and forego the hybrid drive and I think go with 500 gigs local storage and then I am at $350. I believe which is even harder to beat considering that it still provides the same performance overall as the more expensive option other than initial loading times. Subtracting the controller, how are you going to home build a PC with a $200. GPU in it minimum and $150 for everything else and you still have nothing to display it on. You can't manage a PC just using Steam's Big Picture so far as I know. You are gonna need a monitor sometimes too, like to install Windows for openers.

If you want to build a $350 computer, you can. There are builds you can do for $350 or less and you even keep the discrete GPU. Or you can go the AMD APU route like the PS4 and Xbone, except use a better one, and still stay at or under $350.

Your argument makes sense because you're unfairly weighting it against a PC. You're adding a cost of a monitor, nevermind that you get no HDTV or monitor with a console either. You're setting the GPU bar at $200, nevermind that that is buying you WAY more GPU horsepower than either console has when even a $100 budget GPU will surpass the consoles. You're assuming these all must be built when in actuality there are prebuilts in that price range for consumers who don't want to build their own (obviously the majority).
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#28 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:10 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 11 February 2016 - 03:05 PM, said:

I've often noted people say this but in reality I have to disagree. You aren't going to get a complete PC with a 1 TB hybrid drive complete with operating system and a high quality controller as well for 500 bucks which is what an XBox One Elite will run you at full retail .....

A few things:
  • Hybrid drives cost barely more than normal hard drives and in my experience working IT at a medium sized company (300 employees) hybrid drives are one of the worst things you can buy. They slightly faster than a normal hard drive, but they die so often. We have something like a 30% failure rate for hybrid drives compared a 1% failure rate for SSD's and a <5% failure rate for standard hard drives (over a 3 year period).
  • A windows license costs money, but so does an Xbox Live (or Playstation+) license. Windows costs around $100 for an OEM license, where as Xbox Live costs $60/year, which obviously is going to add up over time.
  • A high-quality controller is nice, but it's also something that is completely unnecessary to many PC gamers. I vastly prefer keyboard and mouse. I know that not everyone like KB/M and there are those that want a controller and that is perfectly fine. However, to say that a budget PC build must include a controller in its price is simply making the comparison biased towards the Xbox. I could just as easily say "A PC comes with a keyboard and mouse, which are vastly superior to a controller for entering text and browsing the web, therefore, please include a nice mechanical keyboard and ergonomic mouse with the Xbox purchase". That would obviously bias the comparison towards the PC.
  • A PC can be used for literally everything. Virtually everyone highschool age and up these days as their own computer. Certainly nearly everyone college-aged and up. A gaming PC can be used for both gaming and  getting their productivity done. An Xbox cannot. If we assume that they are spending $500 on an Xbox and then $500 on a popsnizzlety laptop then their cost of entry for gaming AND productivity is $1000.
  • Xbox One games do not run at the equivalent of 1080p/High Settings/60fps for modern demanding games like Just Cause 3, Witcher 3, Fallout 4. Not even close, it struggles to maintain 30 in those games at what is the roughly the equivalent of low/medium settings, 1600x900 res, with some anti-aliasing. It is perfectly fine to play games like that, but the burden shouldn't be put on a $500 PC to play games at 1080p/high/60fps since the Xbox doesn't come close to that.

Here's a $565 gaming PC that I threw together in 5 minutes on pcpartpicker: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/K9Kpyc

This will play games at 1080p, medium-high settings, 60 fps. If you were willing to spend slightly more money you could upgrade to an SSD, or get a much better GPU. This build is will play games as-good or better the both the xbone and ps4.
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#29 Frost

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:20 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 11 February 2016 - 04:10 PM, said:

A few things:
  • Hybrid drives cost barely more than normal hard drives and in my experience working IT at a medium sized company (300 employees) hybrid drives are one of the worst things you can buy. They slightly faster than a normal hard drive, but they die so often. We have something like a 30% failure rate for hybrid drives compared a 1% failure rate for SSD's and a <5% failure rate for standard hard drives (over a 3 year period).

So much this. I used to be a SSHD proponent, but over time they're not panning out and reliability leaves a lot to be desired. NVIDIA, for example, suspended Shield Pro console production for nearly 4 months and had a recall due to the exact same SSHD the Xbox One Elite uses. It's better to just use a regular HDD, or if you really want the speed, invest in a SSD.

Which, I'll point out, you also can't do with the Xbox One. You swap the drive, you void your warranty and get a console ban. Your only option is externals over USB, which is silly. Although I'll give a point to the PS4 on this front as Sony is much less draconian and couldn't care less what you put in a PS4 and even makes it easy for you. The only requirement is it is at least 250 GB and compatible with SATA-II. So being able to upgrade the drive is only an advantage in PC vs. Xbox One, not PC vs. PS4.
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Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#30 macdude22

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:22 PM

Your PC doesn't include a copy of windows. I have a retail copy of 7. Most people don't.

Xbox Live/PSN are a wash IMO. You get a lot of value for your money with both services. Granted they are designed to keep you coming back to the trough. But what service isn't. TV. Cell Phones. Those blood thirsty membership drives at IPR (I didn't mean it IPR, don't pull my river to river)

And. No. Fkn. Crackdown 3. I feel like everyone is missing the "my blood is 40% crackdown" effect.
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#31 Frost

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:26 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 04:22 PM, said:

Your PC doesn't include a copy of windows. I have a retail copy of 7. Most people don't.

Every pre-built I've seen has Windows 10 Home included in the price. Not really relevant unless you're building your own.
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Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#32 macdude22

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:32 PM

View PostFrost, on 11 February 2016 - 04:26 PM, said:

Every pre-built I've seen has Windows 10 Home included in the price. Not really relevant unless you're building your own.

Not yours you damn dirty texan hobo. The one snakey sneak posted. Don't they teach you how to read Iowiagan in Texas! I thought it was standard curriculum. The Iowa Basic Language Test. Iowa as a second language.

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#33 macdude22

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 05:08 PM

View PostFrost, on 11 February 2016 - 04:20 PM, said:

So much this. I used to be a SSHD proponent, but over time they're not panning out and reliability leaves a lot to be desired. NVIDIA, for example, suspended Shield Pro console production for nearly 4 months and had a recall due to the exact same SSHD the Xbox One Elite uses. It's better to just use a regular HDD, or if you really want the speed, invest in a SSD.

I have a couple Seagate SSHDs and a toshiba in use and have had no issues. Mind you 3 HDs is not a representative sample. One Seagate was DOA initially but the way Newegg and Amazon ship drives these days is abhorrent. I'm not sure how all my drives don't arrive dead from them.

Speaking of SSHDs what the BLOODY HELL happened to OWCs transwarp technology. I WANTED IT IN MY DIGITAL BELLAH.

http://blog.macsales...se-with-any-hdd

I think I probably know the answer to that and the name is SIP.
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#34 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 06:34 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 05:08 PM, said:

Speaking of SSHDs what the BLOODY HELL happened to OWCs transwarp technology. I WANTED IT IN MY DIGITAL BELLAH.

http://blog.macsales...se-with-any-hdd

I think I probably know the answer to that and the name is SIP.

Not transwarp, but Intel has had their own SSD caching tech since the Z68 platform (which came out in 2012 i believe?). I enabled it to have a 2 TB 'hybrid drive' with a 60GB OCZ Vertex 2 as the cache. (RIP OCZ)

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 04:22 PM, said:

Your PC doesn't include a copy of windows. I have a retail copy of 7. Most people don't.

I forgot it, well here's thje updated build: http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/4YZw99

Also, I didn't notice this the first time, but this build is in CDN pricing, which means it's significantly more expensive than what you yankees would pay for it. The Canadian Peso isn't doing so well these days.

Updated Build with American Pricing (way cheaper):

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qcsLhM

FX-6300
750 Ti 2 GB
8 GB RAM
500 GB SSD
Windows 10 Home

This build will curb stomp both consoles in performance and costs $600. You could easily shave off $80 by getting a normal HDD instead of an SSD.
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#35 Frost

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 08:59 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 11 February 2016 - 05:08 PM, said:

I have a couple Seagate SSHDs and a toshiba in use and have had no issues. Mind you 3 HDs is not a representative sample. One Seagate was DOA initially but the way Newegg and Amazon ship drives these days is abhorrent. I'm not sure how all my drives don't arrive dead from them.

I haven't had any SSHD I've owned personally fail either, but... industry versus anecdotal, industry wins every time. I learned that lesson with the 3TB Barracudas. Ugh.
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#36 Janichsan

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 01:46 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 11 February 2016 - 06:34 PM, said:

This build will curb stomp both consoles in performance …
Well, technically, sure. Realistically, you'll probably quickly find that the upcoming (and probably many already released) games run more smoothly on the consoles than on this PC: traditionally, developers put less effort in optimising the PC versions.

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#37 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 04:46 AM

View PostFrost, on 11 February 2016 - 08:59 PM, said:

/ snipped stuff because lazy me does stuff like grab latest post to reply and offer a generalized to response to earlier stuff...

The $450. Alienware Alpha has a 500 GB traditional 7200 RPM Hard disk. The ability to upgrade the system is limited including critically by not being able to upgrade the GPU which is soldered to the motherboard. That GPU is a mobile GPU by the way which makes sense given the system’s tiny size. This model has an i3 dual core CPU. It only comes with 4 GB of system RAM at this price. It does not include a controller or display that a desktop PC needs whereas a console is typically going to take advantage of an already existent television in one’s living room or perhaps bedroom so yes, the lack of that is relevant. The real price for this with a discounted 24” (cheapest option) display and a 50 dollar controller brings the real price up to 770 bucks to sit this on your desk and be able to use it. This is an entirely valid comparison because we are comparing a desktop computer to a console or at least I was. If you want to compare the Alpha to a console we could get into the areas it fails to be a good console but I don’t really want to bother with that and hopefully you don’t care either.


Would anyone here want to buy one of these and play PC games on it given these specs and Apple-like throwaway design? I am guessing the answer would be a resounding no! So how is this even worth considering really? How long will something like this last before you have to throw it away and buy another one which instantly doubles you cost basically in contrast to some console still going strong over the same time period.


Another key consideration when comparing costs here is to keep in mind cost over time. The console cost remains fixed over time. It never needs upgrading. Releases when it launches and AAA near end of life all run well on it as a rule. In contrast in the PC world, performance decays over time and game requirements rise over time. This is a real problem for a small system with a soldered on mobile GPU which means if you were to buy one of these at the same time a console launched (just for comparison) during that console generation you’d have to buy at least another one then doubling your cost, etc. because umm, I have a bad habit of repeating myself. No wait, it was for emphasis, yeah, that's why.

Raw hardware performance comparisons have some validity but they are not necessarily a 1:1 thing when requirements of the software for the two systems are not the same, particularly over time as i mentioned just now. For example, let’s say the current generation of consoles is good for at least another 4 years or so. Now, let’s say some demanding AAA game releases for console and Windows. The console gamers get a decent experience across the board without worrying about it. They don’t need to be concerned with if their system can run it. It can. For PC gamers using a 3 year old dual core Alpha with 4 gigs of RAM and a mobile GPU that could not max a lot of games at 1080p when it was new this is probably going be a problem. Wouldn’t you agree that this scenario in the PC world is just approximately pretty much the way it goes?


I am not trying to do an Apples to Apples hardware comparison here. It is not that simple. Over time there is just no way you can ever spend a total of 350 bucks for PC gaming that includes current AAA on release with good performance for your system whatever it is versus a console exactly because they are not the same thing and that extends beyond the hardware to the software. Yes, PC games have plenty of settings and are scalable but that will only take you so far over say a five year period of time where it is of no concern at all in the console world and this is the kind of thing I am also considering when I am talking about costs to play in total on one platform vs another.


By the way, please don’t think my reference to Falcon Northwest meant anything at all about you or was directed toward you personally in some way. It was not. In fact after I wrote that I thought I remembered you own one and looked at your sig to verify you do. Lucky you! Well not really as I am sure you worked hard for that. I mentioned it because I have known about those systems in particular for a very long time as a if I ever hit the lottery kind of thing and have typically mentioned the brand when making some point about high end PC gaming as they are certainly the high end.

I want to add that I am well aware of and appreciate the ways in which PC gaming is by virtue of its more powerful hardware the ultimate video gaming experience many times depending on the title (in my opinion) but my whole point all along here was for that it is going to cost you and cost you plenty. That’s awesome if you can. More power to you. I’m okay with less than that whether I want to be or not and fortunately it is by no means terrible in this day and age so I think at the low end if you will playing on console vs the real PC high end you still can enjoy a really good experience too and over time for a lot less money. The key there again is - over time.

I forgot to give this much attention I think but it is also worth noting that visual perception up close and from a distance is not the same, like when you view a painting for example. So this is something that helps 1080p or even less look quite good on a television viewed from the couch compared to looking at that exact same display two feet in front of your eyes. In other words, to some degree clarity is even more important with desktop PC gaming than I think it is in the living room although naturally better is always better ultimately. I do think this contributes to some of what consoles sort of get away with if you will compared to PCs when it comes to playing games and as such is yet another variable that is very hard to quantify.

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#38 Frost

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 06:56 AM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 12 February 2016 - 04:46 AM, said:

The $450. Alienware Alpha has a 500 GB traditional 7200 RPM Hard disk. The ability to upgrade the system is limited including critically by not being able to upgrade the GPU which is soldered to the motherboard. That GPU is a mobile GPU by the way which makes sense given the system’s tiny size. This model has an i3 dual core CPU. It only comes with 4 GB of system RAM at this price. It does not include a controller or display that a desktop PC needs whereas a console is typically going to take advantage of an already existent television in one’s living room or perhaps bedroom so yes, the lack of that is relevant. The real price for this with a discounted 24” (cheapest option) display and a 50 dollar controller brings the real price up to 770 bucks to sit this on your desk and be able to use it. This is an entirely valid comparison because we are comparing a desktop computer to a console or at least I was. If you want to compare the Alpha to a console we could get into the areas it fails to be a good console but I don’t really want to bother with that and hopefully you don’t care either.

Would anyone here want to buy one of these and play PC games on it given these specs and Apple-like throwaway design? I am guessing the answer would be a resounding no! So how is this even worth considering really? How long will something like this last before you have to throw it away and buy another one which instantly doubles you cost basically in contrast to some console still going strong over the same time period.

The price of the PC isn't up to $770 unless the price of the console is up to $1500 because you have to count the HDTV. If you're going to push the point that you can't just game on your TV with a PC using a controller, I'm going to never acknowledge that as valid because I do that all the time. Yes you can.
  • Plug HDMI cable into TV
  • Press the Xbox button or PS button or equivalent on your controller of choice to launch Steam Big Picture
  • Play
If you set Steam to run at login and start in Big Picture mode you've essentially just turned your PC into a console.

No, the GPU is not upgradeable, but literally everything else on it is and it's easy enough for a non-technical person who owns one screwdriver to do it. You can upgrade the drive, the RAM, and the CPU. That's three more major components than an Xbox One, on which you can't even so much as upgrade the drive if you wanted to.

As far as having to throw it away... why? PCs get weaker over time while consoles don't? If that's true, why can you still play, say, Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 4 at higher detail and faster on an 8800 GTS (released about the same time as the PS3) than a PS3 could after the same amount of time? Consoles don't have magic hardware in them that gets better over time. As long as a PC has hardware equivalent to, or a little better than (to make up for less work going into optimization) a console, it's going to be able to easily have the same longevity. Okay, maybe you can't max out a game at 1080p in 4 years, but hey, consoles can't even do that now, so why is that a requirement of the PC?

Hell, if you went with one of these instead, then in two or three years, instead of spending $120 on two games, you could spend $120 on whatever the budget GPU of the day is, throw it in there, and you'll have performance probably 5x the level of the consoles if not more. Since you're not shelling out an extra $60 a year per player for online services and games drop in price quickly on Steam, you can afford to buy and play more games for the same price, or play the same number of games much more cheaply, or afford to upgrade a component here or there.

I'm not saying gaming on a console is a bad idea or you shouldn't. I'm just saying the arguments for why they're better than PCs are really hollow these days. You get a LOT more for your money for a comparably priced PC.

As far as the RAM... that's not as cut and dried an argument as it looks like. The Xbox One uses that 8GB pool of DDR3 for both the graphics and system. The Alpha has 4GB DDR3 for the system and another 2GB of fast GDDR5 for the GPU. Considering the Xbox One's system already is blowing through 3GB of that due to the strange frankenstein OS layering they're doing, that leaves them close to parity in numerical totals, and it leaves the Alpha far ahead since it's using GDDR5 for the GPU like a modern computer instead of DDR3 like a GPU from 2005. Regardless, if you're bothered by the RAM... upgrade it. I just stuck 16GB in my MacBook Pro for $60. It's not like you're breaking the bank there if you hit a ceiling with the RAM.

We've already covered the hard drive. If you really want that 1TB SSHD so badly... spend the extra $30. There, you're done, advantage gone.

And again, there's no reason you can't use a controller. You can even use the controller of your choice. Miss the Xbox 360 controller and don't like the new Xbone controller? You can use either. Hate both? Plug in the current fan favorite DualShock 4. Don't want either? Grab something from Logitech or MadCatz. They all work.

Hell, while we're at it, if you have more than one location you want to game in, throw in one $50 SteamLink per TV and you can play whatever in up to 1080p60 off that PC over ethernet without moving any hardware around. What I do these days in the new place since hooking up the PC over HDMI isn't feasible anymore as it's too far away on the other side of the house. I have NVIDIA's Shield console hooked up to the TV, and it'll wake the PC and fire up whatever game on demand using nothing but a controller.
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Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#39 mattw

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 07:09 AM

I'm sure there will be less and less options to swap parts in future and not just with Apple. The whole industry has been moving that way.

I'd perhaps be OK with it if there was an affordable way to keep up to date but if I'd had an iMac back in 09 and kept upgrading it every couple of years it would have cost far more than this Mac Pro which I've been able to upgrade many times with little outlay.

When you add a new GPU you can sell the old one etc. and old internal storage can become backups and archives.

I'd rather reduce my personal IT spend over time than pay more for less.
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#40 macdude22

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Posted 12 February 2016 - 07:20 AM

View PostFrost, on 11 February 2016 - 08:59 PM, said:

I haven't had any SSHD I've owned personally fail either, but... industry versus anecdotal, industry wins every time. I learned that lesson with the 3TB Barracudas. Ugh.

Call me superstitious but I don't like odd numbers in my storage. I didn't like 1.5GB HDs and I don't like 3 and 5TB HDs. Give me red blooded 'Murican even numbered storage.
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