Build a Crysis 3 PC on a Budget

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TheOhmster

Hey Tom,

I finally got my government check and built this very same rig. I like it enough to use it as my main PC. I did double the RAM to 16 Gb, same memory as in the article, and doubled the SSD to 512, same Samsung as the article. And, I had to install a DVD drive. This rig is super sweet, but I cannot get the rig to push the 4.2 Ghz that you mention in the article. There is an "Easy Overclock" in the fancy BIOS, but when set at 4.2 Ghz, my rig only goes to 3.8 Ghz when stressed with the Pi test.

Can you tell us what settings were used to overclock the CPU to 4.2 Ghz, and is this constant or under load? I understand the danger of overclocking but with this Evo cooler, it really does not break a sweat, no matter what. Can you give the overclock settings used in the article build please? Loved the article and love the new rig, even more, and YES, it definitely plays Crysis 3 at high res, smooth as silk! Thanks!

Paul Baio

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iplayoneasy

Last year I built a PC with clearance parts and ended up with a 4.7Ghz 2600k system with 3way gtx 480's powered buy a 1050 watt corsair, with two 120 gig ssds in raid 0 and a 1tb storage. Mine cost $1,383.72. 3dmark11 @ 16,987. So in a sense it was more insane yet cheaper than your "budget" build

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EarthBoundMisfit

You totally lost your whole argument after point #1

"1. The X Factor

Admittedly, the lane thing is irrelevant for a single GPU. A Z77 or 990FX board will have plenty of room for every modern GPU, but we prefer an expandable system."

What you prefer is irrelevant. In making a 'budget' build, you have to remember that people in the real world actually have them (budgets). In short...what people can actually afford. As ObamaCare takes hold of our country...jobs will be harder and harder to come by
I'd think that Maximum PC should hire someone who has been on the economic 'wrong side of the tracks' to write these articles.
And before someone here points out that this is MAXIMUM PC, the point of the article is for building a Crysis 3 computer on a budget. I'd say someone somewhere has a twisted sense of what a budget is.

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LeithKemon

Gotta admit that after reading the title then reading the first components 'X79'...I got a bit confused. The terms 'budget' and 'X79' don't really fit together.

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EarthBoundMisfit

exactly.

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Engelsstaub

This case is freaking rad. I want one.

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TheOhmster

I built this rig and it is awesome. The case really is cool, kind of military looking with ammo can snaps, lots of room, fan space and fans, plus a really nice cable layout system with flat cables.

There is ONE downside to this case. The power button sticks out a little bit and is the farthest protruding object on the front of the case. I have a small space to put my rig so my leg sometimes hits the power button, then I watch two hours worth of email or document work go up in smoke as the machine shuts down. I had to disable this in the Windows 7 Power settings. The Reset button is setup well with a spring loaded flap over it so you must lift the flap and press the button to avoid an accidental reset press while working on something. But they totally ignored this great setup with the power button. Even recessing it a bit would have been better than letting it stick out the most from the front. Other than that, the case really is awesome!

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PCLinuxguy

to everyone commenting how $1,000+ "budget" builds, you have to remember that:
1.) this is Maximum PC.
2.) alot of enthusiasts feel that unless you have a $1,000 rig, you have a p.o.s. box that can't even run MS Word, let alone game properly..
3.) there are different levels of budget. This one is a low end enthusiast build, so for them it is budget.

So while it is misleading you have to remember that it is your peers that you need to speak with and discuss things rather than a website. I.M.O. you can game quite nicely on a $600-$800 rig just fine.

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Xenite

I'd go with a 7970 instead, prolly save a couple dollars and the game bundle is killer compared to the Nvidia card.

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tom_m

Yeah, the word "budget" was probably a confusing choice. Something like "Building a PC around Crysis 3" would have been clearer. When this article was originally published in the magazine, the game was still highly anticipated, and we had some fancy hardware around the office, and we wanted to see if we could put something together that could maintain high framerates with high settings. I was trying to say with the title of the piece that we could have spent a lot more, as in SLI or Crossfire.

And when the article was written, Haswell wasn't available yet, making X79 the only viable option, since Z77 would be obsolete soon. We were past the point at which I could recommend an Ivy Bridge system for Build It, but we were still waiting on its replacement.

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Granite

My son took one of my GTX 680's, added it to his system that has an i7-970 and 8GB ram and played Crysis 3 on max settings. Oh..that is on a 1080p monitor.

So...I don't know what his system cost him to build, but I don't think it cost him $1100.00. ($1600-$500 for the card)

Oh...and whatever MB he has...it's SLI capable, so I'll give him my other GTX 680 and I'm sure he'll be able to play Crysis 4 if or when it ever comes out.

But that case looks cool.

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Eoraptor

I LOVE that case... but like others, I still don't consider $1600 to be "a budget build." But then, I'm also not one who needs to run Crysis at nose bleed settings either. Considering my favourite games are five or more years old, I may be a bit jaded and/or biased though.

In fact, I'm sure you could get in under a grand and still run Crysis at very decent settings. That would still be a "budget crysis build" in my book.

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iheartpcs

$1600 for a low-end budget gaming rig?

No wonder PC gaming is dying.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

this is "budget" for Crysis. Not "budget" for a gaming rig by any means. you can easily build a respectable gaming rig on a budget for $400-500. Don't forget, this is MAXIMUM PC. The definition of 'Budget' is slightly different.

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jgottberg

I would love for you to post the specs of a $400 gaming PC (with sources). I'm not taunting you but just want to see what a $400 dollar gaming PC looks like.

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HiGHRoLLeR038

@jgottgerg
This video is from last year, but it just proves that you can build a $400 gaming computer that will compare with a next gen console as far as graphics go. The video shows an FM1 build, but now that it's 2013 you can easily do an FM2 build under the same budget.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6kFRalEq-M

It's pretty cool!

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jgottberg

@Highroller - Cool vid man - thanks for passing it on. There are only a few problems though. Since we are talking "budget" every dollar counts. At the end, the total for a pretty low-end system (said that BF3 would play at medium detail at about 24FPS) came out to be $470.

Lets assume I'm a high school kid building this and I've always played on a console but someone convinced me to build this. I would still need a monitor, right? So I would need to tack on say, $250 for a decent gaming display. Some could argue that I could use the TV that my console is attached to but according to just about everyone on here, using a console on a 60" TV is garbage.

They didn't mention buying an OS - I may have missed that. If they are using Linux, good luck with gaming on that, at least right now. So an OEM copy of Win7 retails for $100.

Now we are up to $820... But I still have no games. Sure, there are free ones but all my friends play BLOPS II and MW3 and I want to show off the graphical superiority that was promised to me by building this rig... At least Steam has sales now and then. So maybe I get both games for 80. Now the bottom line is $900.

This is the crux of the PC vs Console argument. Kids wanna play games and 9 times out of 10, parents are footing the bill. I could see where getting a console for $400 and $100 in games is attractive. I'm not even suggesting that is the route I would take - just sayin.

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vrmlbasic

There is no reason to buy a monitor in your scenario: if the hypothetical kid has only known gaming on his TV then why would he know that he "needs" a monitor? Clearly you know this.

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dgrmouse

Tom's Hardware builds a PC in the $400-$700 range every month as part of their System Builder's Monthly series, then benchmarks it in a bunch of games. I don't know how they'd fare on 1080p Crysis, but they tend to be decent - because they don't waste money on camouflage cases, needless aftermarket coolers, overpriced sockets, etc.

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iheartpcs

The game is irrelevant. My point is, it's too expensive for the average gamer to build (or order) a decent gaming rig. The prices are outrageous.

$500 for a top of the line console to play visually pleasing games or $5000 for a top of the line PC to play slightly more visually pleasing games? I know what the average family will choose.

You can't even use the argument that PC's do more than consoles anymore.

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Chad727

I wondering what you're basing your comment, "You can't even use the argument that PC's do more than consoles anymore." on? Last time I checked, consoles don't have the ability to run Office, stream recorded media to other PC's, and back up their data to another drive within that very same console for redundancy in case of a drive failure. You can't work as well as play on them. I'd continue down the list but it probably doesn't matter as you're obviously either trolling or ignorant.

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iheartpcs

You know what a troll is douche? Someone who jumps into a convo and starts insulting people for the reaction he may get.

I'm basing it on the fact that consoles can surf the web, play movies, play music, do facebook, twitter etc.

I'm surprised a guy who calls others ignorant doesn't know this already.

I also don't know anybody who builds a $5000 gaming rig to run office. Other than you, of course. The troll police!

PS: fuck you Chadwick

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Chad727

My apologies. I should know better than to use logic on the internet. Good day to you sir!

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iheartpcs

Considering you don't even know what logic is, that's probably a good idea.

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jbitzer

Dude, he outed himself at the $5000 for a pc ridiculous comment. He knows full well you can game on a walmart pc with a $50 graphics card just fine and have more graphic options than a console. He's a troll.

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iheartpcs

Haha you guys are idiots.

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jbitzer

Yep, says the guy extolling the virtue of console gaming based on graphical considerations. Because it's only graphics that set PCs apart.
Enjoy no mods, paying for online gaming, fewer players in multiplayer, higher costs, and ridiculous accessory charges.

I wish this site had an ignore button.

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iheartpcs

Apparently, you guys aren't capable of seeing the PC industry from any perspective other than your own inflated ego perspective.

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Chad727

It seems like we're falling back into the tired old "PC gaming vs. console gaming" argument here. Let me extend a olive branch. When it comes to initial price and simplicity consoles win hands down. When it comes to the machine that is more flexible in terms of it's capabilities, a PC built to run the latest games is going to win the bout. It's all about what you want and where your priorities lie. One machine will always be superior in ways that the other can't compete in. That's why they're both still around after all these years. However, when you make the statement "You can't even use the argument that PC's do more than consoles anymore." that tells me that you're either ignorant to what a PC can do or you're trolling. It wasn't meant as an insult, I honestly couldn't tell which category your statement fell into. If I'm wrong then by all means tell me what a console can do that a gaming PC can't be modified to do. Please use facts, as I was kind enough to do so. Also, if you can keep it classy and not resort to hurling vulgarities at me that would be cool too. It's completely unnecessary to escalate hostilities to that level. Thanks!

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iheartpcs

Wow. Where did I extol the virtues of console gaming? My original comment, which was quite simple and my follow up comment, which wasn't that complex either, quite clearly imply that I'm talking about how the average person/family is not going to pay $1000's of dollars to play PC games when they can spend $500 or less to play console games. And that's bad for PC gaming. I would think you guys would want more people playing PC games but I guess that would hurt your eliteness.

But go ahead and enjoy your eliteness. Pretty soon you will be paying $5000 just for a video card because there will only be 6 people buying gaming PCs.

PS: no ones forcing you to read my comments and reply, n00b.

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limitbreaker

Dont reply to every comment iheart, I see your point of view but you touched a sensitive nerve. A lot of people have this weak minded console vs PC attitude and its pointless to argue such feebleness.

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jbitzer

Actually, no. A lot of people are tired of the lame ass cop out "you need a $5000 Pc" bullshit imaginary costs console fanboys have been spouting off.

Let's play your game.

Xbox $500.
Extra controller you NEED - $50
2 play and Charge kits - $60
Xbox live over 5 years that my PC will be viable - $300
Oops, forgot you need a 60' 3d HDTV - $1200
Oh wait, Now my games are $60, you'll need 30 or so of them - $1800
Oh, I need a THX rated surround sound system - $2500
Oops, might want to play PS3 games too - $400

As you can see, the $6,760 you need for consoles is much more expensive than the $5000 imaginary PC you quoted that no one buys.

If you are going to assume we all game on a falcon northwest machine, I'll assume you are all idiots.

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Chad727

Chill jbitzer. It's all about preference and what your needs are as a gamer. Some people don't want a machine that can do it all so they pay $100/month for cable/internet and buy a $500 console, $600 TV, and $600 laptop. Others want a $600 TV and one $1500 machine that has gaming, DVR, Blu-ray/DVD/CD/downloaded media playback, internet browsing, office work, photo/video editing, file transfer and storage, media sharing with other PC's, use of multiple operating systems, and watching TV covered. See? It's all about choices and what you want.

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jbitzer

Dude, I'm totally calm about it. The thing is, console fanboys want to play the same kind of word games politicians like to, so they can be untruthful without straight up lying. Let's take the theoretical $5000 Pc. Show me a $5000 Pc that's not a custom paint job having, water cooled bohemoth. You do Titans in 3 way SLI with the top $1200 i7, 32 Gb of ram and 3 Tb hdds and it's still under 5k.

Now, show me how many gamers are using that rig.

The $400 off the shelf from best buy Pc with a $100 650ti is going to give you a better experience than the "next gen" consoles on a 1080p monitor. You spend the extra money your accessories and nonlinear gaming fee will cost you, and you can game across 3 monotirs at like 1920x6500 or something. I don't remember the exact resolution because my wife demanded her monitor back.

You want to argue the merits of console over Pc, fine. Quit trying to use the phony multiple thousands of dollars dream machine on a site dedicated to power users and gaming enthusiasts who know how full of crap you are. And my rude replies started after pcluvr or whatever started the name calling.

Ill agree with you, consoles ARE better for some people, like my 2 year old and other people to lazy or stupid to tweak their own rig, and the gaming retailers and media are thrilled to keep spreading the "it's too hard" mantra because it keeps people overpaying for inferior, locked down hardware that is tied to the manufacturer's own services and revenue streams. People capable of doing simple math should have no trouble doing the tco analysis. Ive never paid $1000 at a time to game on a desktop, but I can remember paying almost that much for the first time I plugged in and fired up a ps3 game after buying cables, an extra controller, a wall charger to avoid playing with the 2 foot long USB cable, and a couple games. Lets not forget the $100 Ms charges for a $30 wifi adapted and the $250 for a $35 250gb hard drive.

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jbitzer

Also, you can go on walmart.com right now and order a cyberpower gaming Pc for less than $500. It's probably cheaper on their own site, but I'm on a kindle in the bath and am too lazy to use the configuratir, so his, "its impossible for the average User to order or build" comment is utter trollbait.

Maybe he's one of warrior247's Alts, be aide the arguments are the same.

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limitbreaker

jbitzer, half the things you say are true but most of them are incredibly exagerated.

First of all, I want to point out that I'm a Tech enthusiast and I spend a lot of money on my pc and I'm very happy doing it so please do not pile me up in your US vs THEM.

All I want to say is that just because one person goes too far on one side of the argument that it doesn't mean that you have to state exaggerated fake statements to counter it.

A gtx 650ti won't come anywhere close to the performance of a ps4, no matter how you cut it... the ps4 will be sold at a loss and you're getting a lot for your money.

Games on the consoles are expensive but not any more expensive than PC games unless you're talking about steam sales which isn't fair because they never give rebates on just released tittles, the console games can be played with used games bought at a discount.

While I agree that the Xbox has a lot of hidden costs which is why I always thought that it was laughable when people said that it's cheaper than the ps3. The sony ps3 doesn't require anything extra to use and buying an extra remote is optional... if you want to use that as an argument then I would say that with the pc you have to buy an extra pc for the second player, not an extra remote lol Extra pc 700$, extra remote 50$. All you really needed extra on the ps3 was the hdmi cable and a game :-)

I am disappointed that Sony ps4 will require 50$ a year for the subscription even thought what they'll offer will by far out weight the cost, I personally will not use it often enough to not feel like i'm being ripped off. So on this I partially agree with you :-)

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PCLinuxguy

I disagree on the graphics. Despite the guts of the next gen consoles being better than the previous models, saying that a PS4 GPU will shame a 650Ti as far as performance goes is like saying a Radeon 4650 will smoke a GTX 780 in framerates, power consumption and overall performance.. sorry won't happen.
I agree that to each their own, but wholeheartedly disagree with this whole "consoles are better because tey're cheaper and you have to spend an arm and leg to game on some computer' BS that keeps floating around the web. Consoles are 'easier' to game on but when you want to do more than play CoD against foul mouthed 4 year olds on XboxLive or PSN, you go to the PC where you can run mods, bigger maps, and have more control over game features. One that I like is being able to kick/ban rude players from my server rather than deal with having to wait for Microsoft or Sony to take care of a problem.

Cost wise, PC and Console are roughly the same, as you don't need a powerhouse to game on unless you're going for bragging rights about the graphics, which seems silly to me.

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limitbreaker

okay, let's put aside the fact that Consoles are gaming machines inside out with fixed specs and efficient use of resources... let's pretend the ps4 had windows installed with directx11 and that resources are 1 = 1. The ps4 has the raw power equivalent to between a 7850 and 7870 but let's pretend it's a 7850 just to be very generous to the 650ti.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/549?vs=680

As you can see in a comparison to the 7850 and 650ti... the two don't even compare and I was very generous. Delude your self's as much as you want but I for one am very happy that consoles will have as much power as they will, it will only mean that we'll get better console ports :-)

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jbitzer

Are those systems running 3gb of ram? Because that's the total ps4 has after os overhead.

Quit deluding YOUR self; customized graphics card in a console means gimped.

Don't forget the all powerful ps3 had worse graphics in ever cross platform game because of its low ram allocation.

Lets see when all the games come out running at 30 cps which as ive said has been consideredd unplayable in the Pc world since the 90s.

Like I said when you're shooting for resolutions and framerates of PCs 20 years ago, you're not selling me on your system's power.

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limitbreaker

PS4 reserves up to 3.5GB of memory for the OS, leaving developers with 4.5GB, according to documentation. They can sometimes access an extra 1GB of "flexible" memory when it's available.

http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/ps4-vs-xbox-720-which-is-better-1127315

Because it is Shared ram between cpu and GPU with both of them having access to the same files, it isn't going to require same copies of the same file and will likely be used very efficiently.

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jbitzer

Unplayable frame rates. Low resolution. Lower multiplayer counts. Look at the track record.

Again, how many of the PS3 games (a system that was supposedly so much more powerful than PCs of the time) weren't even running at 720 let alone 1080p again?

inferior experience, you have yet to argue those points. They are such a powerful and "streamlined, unified" experience, yet they are always inferior.

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jbitzer

Actually, many games on PC are splitscreen.

And I wasn't directing any rudeness at you, just obvious troll boy.

You can't tell me that the Physx enabled games don't look better than that foggy crap in the ps4 vids.

Also, let's not forget that a LOT of console games run at 30 fps, that was considered borderline unplayable on PCs in the 90s.

Let's put graphical considerations aside, when have you even seen a console MP game supporting as many players as a PC? How many console games allow Mods? Where are you getting these rebates on Console games? Have you forgotten games bundled with video cards? This is one of the first times a console is going to be released with a game since the NES at launch, and that's for people with the $60 online bonus charge!

What console allows multiple screen gaming? Oh, that's right, Xbox 360, for ONE game (Forza), that makes you buy 3 consoles and 3 copies of the game, plus knowing MS, some crappy magic cable.

Like I said, I'm not really arguing with you, you've been pretty rational, its Iluvtrollin that's throwing around fanboy hyperbole. Let's not forget how the so much more powerful PS3 looked like crap on a lot of games compared to the weaker 360 because of the sassinine ram limitations. They are running a custom 7870, we don't know how they've gimped it. Remember the original xbox was a custom Nvidia chip only capable of pushing 720p. Don't forget the PS4 is doing 1080p, most games won't show that resolution, (google how many PS3 ones were 1080p) AND the 650ti is capable of driving 4 monitors or a max resolution of 4096x2160.

It's pretty easy to throw out numbers and pretend that one is the "best", but my argument is, and will remain that PC gaming is cheaper, or if evenly or slightly higher priced, STILL a better value.

Here, since I'm a big fan of actually backing up what I say, here's a quote from the maker of the new console's big push BF4, emphasis mine:

"We have a long heritage of PC, and PC is a platform that has been scaled very well over the years. Naturally we’re very excited now seeing consoles that actually close in on what the PCs of today can do - even though it won’t take long before the PCs can do even more

http://www.gamepur.com/news/11408-dice-comments-ps4-vs-xbox-one-comparison-says-pc-always-better.html

The consoles are always limited by their specs, they have about 5GB memory or so dedicated to games, My Pc has 16GB that cost me about $50, so it isn't like I went overboard spend crazy to triple what they are offering on my open system.

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Chad727

One point that hasn't been touched upon is that there are some really good PC games such as World of Tanks or Hawken that are free. Free to play, free to mod, and free to play online with your friends. All you need is internet access which most people already have anyway. And more titles are in the works that follow the same path. You might have to pay to access certain weaponry but it's not required in order to enjoy the game. Combine that with Steam sales and not having to pay to access online features when you're already paying for internet access then tell me that PC gaming isn't affordable. It clearly can be if the right choices are made. I do believe that was the intent of this article if I'm not mistaken. I guess some people are aware of what's available to PC gaming while others are in the dark about it. That's a bummer because they really don't know what they're missing out on. Come on over folks, we have FREE!

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limitbreaker

I have all of the above; 2000$ screen, 4000$ sound system and I bought them for watching movies. My ps3 just so happens to be a nice add-on next to my htpc/router/server. By that logic my pc cost me almost 8000$... Point is... You can play your console just as easily with a 23 inch monitor and headset as you can use on your pc but it doesn't make sense to count these in together. You don't want to know how much I spent on my primary pc.

Consoles are cheaper than the PC but not nearly as flexible (only because of steps needed for piracy protection). They both serve their own purpose and kind of need each other to help feed developers.
Stop getting so emotional guys.

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jbitzer

My PC cost less than $1000, it puts next gen consoles to shame. I'm just tired of the disingenuous math used to justify what is essentially the fisher price gaming experience. A console TCO is at lest even, if not more than a decent gaming rig, and you can upgrade a PC piecemeal, you don't throw away your whole investment when a more powerful part comes out, so when people start comparing apples to apples we can talk.

I can upgrade my processor Motherboard and Video card indefinitely, with an occasional ram purchase and spend less over the lifetime than buying consoles all the time, but dumb people are bad at math, that's why they think consoles are such a bargain.

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PCLinuxguy

100% agree. Not to mention that the PC can be repurposed into things that a console can't (like a media server with several hard drives of movies etc) extending it's use for even longer.

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jgottberg

+1

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exroofer

Gen 3 990fx, which I have. PCI-E 3.0

Big space between primary and secondary vid card for crossfire if you wanted to.

Just sayin'

I don't have crysis 3, but do play MWO, which is a Cryengine 3 game.
And a ways from being optimized.
50-60 fps @ 1080p, on a 975 BE, overclocked, and a 7870 Gigabyte OC card.

One wonders if your system is overkill for the results you wanted.

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vrmlbasic

MWO is a LONG way from being optimized. It runs horribly. It should not be considered comparable to Crysis 3; it is "honorarily" not a Cryengine game.

With your system you should be getting much higher FPS in a game with such low graphical quality, small maps, low-res textures and few moving models. A DirectX 9 game like that should be child's play for any remotely-modern GPU. Yet it isn't, and the FPS often drops when they release a patch.

I get 50-90 FPS in MWO with a mildly overclocked Radeon 6870/6850* setup with a stock-clocked AMD FX 8350 CPU @ 1080. With an AMD A8 trinity APU in his laptop one of my gaming bros only ekes out 20-30 FPS in MWO.

(*-I have to disable crossfire or the game will randomly crash, often to the point of requiring a restart of the PC)

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exroofer

V-sync on, dunno how far above 60 it goes to.
I do know that 50-60 fps is more than playable.
Pretty to watch, no lag.

Crossfire is not supported as yet.
Known issue