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Old 02-18-2011, 12:00 AM
Hooch Tan
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Default The Real Cost Of High Powered Gaming

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-consumption-graphics-cards,2849.html' target='_blank'>http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...cards,2849.html</a><br /><br /></div><p><em>"Our feeling was that the usual extrapolations and estimates using minimum and maximum power readings don&rsquo;t do justice to everyday operation. Therefore, we decided to measure the actual power consumption over a certain period of time and with different usage models, because most people do not just turn on their computers and play games without ever doing something else."</em></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/dht/auto/1297974883.usr20447.jpg" style="border: 0px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>While consoles are designed for a 5-10 year lifecycle, PC gaming, especially graphics-wise, advances much faster than that.&nbsp; New video cards coming out every 6 months (granted, some are just rubbing off serial numbers and putting on a fresh coat of paint) and those at the top end can cost more than your first born.&nbsp; With greater power comes greater power consumption and Tom's Hardware does a check to see just how much of a difference it makes in a real world situation.&nbsp; Electricity prices being what they are, that expensive toy you just bought may end up costing you far more than you originally thought.&nbsp; Time to reconsider just how important gaming is to you.</p>
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:26 AM
ptyork
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Thanks for sharing, Hooch! A topic of great interest to me at the moment.

I WISH they'd have compared these using a system with integrated graphics. To me, that's really the option. Why baseline with a Radeon 5450 instead of an integrated HD 3000 (or an earlier IGP) to give you the "true cost of discrete" instead of a "cost of higher-end discrete versus some randomly chosen lower-end discreet".

Today, would anyone actually buy a 5450 (or similar entry-level discreet) with a new machine versus an integrated option? Why? Honest question. Too dinky for any real modern gaming and it doesn't seem like you're getting any real advantage anymore over an IGP. Especially when compared with the new Sandy Bridge IGP's that more than hold their own (http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/t...2100-tested/11).
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 11:53 AM
jeffd
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Pty, I believe mother board options and cost. I am pretty sure intel has sandy bridge without IGP right? The majority of cost effective and well as high performance motherboards will be sold without intel graphics built in.

I think I am with you though, I would like to see more reviews compare video cards to IGP since alot of people who don't buy graphic cards can't see what they are missing because no one can go "See this is the score your PC has, and this is the score this new fangled card has".

That said, I don't know of a worse time (or is it?) for this article to be published. PC gaming is sitting at a low at the moment with barely any new eye candy to show off the many new cards we have seen lately. Thankfully crysis 2 and dragons age 2 are right off the bow, although RAGE seems to be out there a few miles away, but most people today are farting around playing older online games like cal of duty and warcraft, games that don't need more then a $150 video card to play.
 
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:30 PM
Lee Yuan Sheng
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Call of Duty looks fantastic though.

I think we're at a point where technology is not quite the limiting factor, but the art is. Good art direction in games now can really give a boost in eye candy given similar technology.
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