Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why PC pwns PS3

I've always been a PC gamer. Yes I own both a PSP and a PS2, and plan on buying a PS3. But I started off with a 80286 and have been a loyal PC enthusiast for as long as I can remember. I remember when I played Flight Simulator on my dad's lap, learned English because of the CD-ROM talkie versions of Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max Hit the Road, spent hours playing 4 hour, dialup FFA Starcraft games (in which Racemaniac nuked me several times, and where backstabbing was hideously frequent) and was scared to death when that first headcrab jumped me in Half-Life. So many memories.

Starcraft. Starcraft..just saying it hits me with waves of nostalgia

Okay, I admit, PSP is the single best portable multimedia device ever (screw you, iPod bi***es) and PS2-3 has Final Fantasy (omg FFXIII).

Anime-faced girl elf with gunblade in Final Fantasy? Winner.

But right at the launch of PS3, nVidia and Intel come out with stuff that instantly debunk the XBOX360 and PS3 "next-gen" label. Pff, next-gen. PC invented that word! Next-gen graphics card: makes sense. Next-gen Nintendo? That's just Mario or Zelda looking better and you monkeying with a remote in front of a TV. But I'm missing my point.

The 8800 GTS/GTX are the two new graphics cards of nVidia, and the first to implement DirectX 10. This is the new API (application programming interface) of Vista, Microsoft's new reason to rob you of your Christmas bonus. While I won't delve into the technicalities of it (check here:, it means that future games will look better, and your current games will run smoother than reality in HD resolutions (1920x1440). Because one picture says more than a thousand words, here's a pic:

PS3 next-gen, my a**

Adrianne Curry ("Who'll be America's Next Supermodel") will grace nVidia's latest techdemo. Yes she's pretty hot. Yes this is a real-time render. Yes, I've already used half a box of tissues to dispense of drool (the other half is for..other usages).

Intel threw its bomb a few months ago, with the Core2Duo. Shedding the mistakes of the Pentium D series, they've integrated Centrino's mobile platform into their desktop line and strapped some afterburners on its back for fun. Ghz-wise, it's a step back. The midrange 6600 is 2.4 Ghz, but it's 100-250% faster than my (very old) P4 2.6, especially in games and video. Last spring, Apple decided to finally get real and get Intel processors. Perhaps Core2Duo blew them away.

Due to the AGP/PCI-X hoax, I'm reasonably screwed. I'll need to switch cpu, vga, motherboard ànd memory. But if spent wisely, I can get a killer system for 1000 eur - $ 1350. And ultimately, this is an alley I've been ever since I started playing on/using my pc, or even technology in general. The true bottleneck is not pixel pipelines, not transistor-amount, even not the IQ of the capi-de-tutti-capi egghead at the processor plant. It's the size of ones wallet.

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