Where Is Your PC Gaming Hardware In 2010?

PC gamers have been getting less good excuses to splash out on a new video card or upgrade their CPU these days. With developers focused more and more focused on consoles, the PC is just another port of a game designed to run primarily on locked down hardware that is now five years old.

We're wondering how new most people's gaming rigs are, and whether you're planning to upgrade any components soon?

There's been some great hardware steps this year. The new Core line of Intel chips and ATI's 5000 series of GPUs mean there's a few genuine jumps in capability to be found. But most games of the past two years haven't exactly been crushing even a lower end Core2Duo, and even a $200 video card from a few years ago can deliver a cozy enough gaming experience today.

But this is a Crysis year, so there's at least one reason for the true believers to upgrade and see a real difference.

Will this matter to you? How old is your current rig, and are you happy? Or happy 'enough'? Or are you planning to pull the trigger again soon and grab new hardware — whether a new GPU, or a whole new system (whether desktop or 'gaming laptop')?


Comments

    I have a Core2Duo and a $200 GeForce 250. Plays most stuff. Not gonna go into the whole "PC Gaming" thing, but really, what high-end PC games are even worth upgrading your PC for these days anyway?

    I just bought at 5770 card, not a massive fan of it or its drivers. My CPU keeps up, Phenom II X3 720BE Overclocked to 3.4Ghz. No real reason for me to upgrade for a while now since I use my Ps3/360 much more than my PC.

    Crysis 2 isn't really a game I'd buy off the bat so my rig will probably sit where it is. Just under a year old so it'll probably handle almost everything thrown at it for the next few years.

    Although I am disappointed that games don't push the technological barrier anymore, I have to admit it's a nice relief on my wallet not having to switch out parts every 1 or 2 years.

      I think that's one of the love-hate factors making PC gamers OK with the current state of play. As much as we like to have our hardware tested, it's also kind of good to not feel the NEED to spend hundreds a year on keeping up.

        Well said, Seamus.

    E6600
    8800GTS
    4GB ram

    Runs well enough and I'm playing less PC games than I did 3 years ago. Last PC game I played was MW2 and it ran fine. No plans for an upgrade anytime soon.

    A few weeks ago I upgraded my home rig:
    AMD Phenom X4 955 3.2GHz
    9800GT SilentCell
    And other bits.

    I decided not to splash out on an expensive graphics card as I dont really play many PC games now. Gone are the days when Id waste hundreds of dollars on graphics cards.
    But, for what I play on the PC now, the 9800GT is more than enough.
    Most PC games are toned back graphically to make them more accessible for the average PC and, like you said, console ports.
    Those FarCry and Crisis moments are pretty insignificant.
    Yes, hardcore gamers will spend up big to run Crisis at max settings, but for most of us. . . who cares?

      I think that is less hardcore gamer and more hardcore PC hobbyist/ricer.

    When Crysis2 hits im gona upgrade to a top end gfx card more ram. atm i got e8200, 8800gt and 2gb of ram

    I personally had no plans to upgrade for a year or two, but I was lucky enough (if you could call it that) to have my motherboard die just out of warranty last year, so I took the leap to an i7 as no suitable board was available for replacement. I had a quad core before, and wasn't really expecting that much of a performance boost, as most of my games ran really sweet with my 8800GTX SLI.
    I have to say though, I was pleasantly surprised. What I thought was running sweet, turned out to be an illusion, as everything runs just that little bit smoother on the new system. I was quite prepared to sit on that system for quite a while, (as i tend to do) until one of my vid cards decided to pack it in. This time I was lucky enough to have it go under warranty, but due to a change in warranty policy with Leadtek, my card was replaced rather than repaired. To my good fortune, they had no 8800GTX's to replace it with, so I was told it would be replaced with a GTX275. Thanks again to the shortage of GPU's available from Nvidia, it was in the end replaced with a GTX285OC! SCORE! I'm extremely happy with my system the way it is now, and have no plans to upgrade for some time (unless of course something else dies - which knowing my luck will happen). The main issue for me with upgrading is, at present, there's no incentive to do so unless something does die. Game producers are too scared to embrace new technology (like DX11) for fear of missing out on a market of people who have older PC's. I mean, just look how long it took for DX10 games to start making an impact. As with DX10 when it first hit the scene, there's only 5 games that I know of that can even utilize DX11, so what reason is there for people to even consider upgrading yet. Until the games market catches up with the hardware market, I think more people will be upgrading out of necessity rather than desire.

    Running on a AMD 5000+ X2 64 CPU and a Gigabyte HD4670 (budget card back in the day) with 2GB of ram

    Will probably upgrade the Graphics card soon, but otherwise have got consistent framerates at low-med settings on most games ;)

    the only thing im going to upgrade this year is my graphics card (GTX260) to one of the new nvidia gtx4** cards. most people will see that as a waste but with battlefield bc2 just out (i got it) and other games i plan on buying such as metro 2033 and just cause 2 it seems as though its needed. im one of those douchebags who wants everything to run a max settings.

    Core i7-920
    4GB RAM
    1GB Radeon 5770

    Just got it the other day for my 3d animation stuff and some RTS'ing. Won't be upgrading for a while, I've got my 360 for gaming.

    I'm running core i7 920 that came out of warranty around christmas and 2x4850s which cos my monitor is only 1680x1050 has seemed like a superfluous upgrade cos nothing I play has seemed to change in speeds. I will need a new motherboard(I accidentally snapped a PCI-X slot in half when cleaning it the other day... still crossfiring fine though cos there were no contacts in that side of the slot that broke off), a 24" + HD monitor and some serious cooling gear so I can start pushing the ring out on the i7 just for fun...

    I normally upgrade my components fairly frequently but you are right the last 2 years i haven't needed too. I have a c2d 8400 with a 4870 1 gig card. Runs everything max res fine.I was tempted to upgrade but then i had to ask myself the question of why :/

    However having said that i played some BF BC2 and I wanted more out of it. However perhaps finding another 4870 and cross firing it will deliver that :)

    Currently have a Core i7-965 Extreme Edition Processor, Nvidia GTX280 and 6 gb of RAM.

    Can play every game currently released game on max settings with the exception of a couple of glitchy happy games. ARMAII springs to mind first. And for some reason World in Conflict still crashes once Soviet Assault is installed?

    Anyway I think Crysis 2 will be the first game to truly test my rig on max settings. One saving grace is that it's also coming to consoles so perhaps the specs won't be as high end as compared to the original Crysis. But I want Crysis 2 to test my system at the end of the day... becasue it's Crysis. :P

      You would have been better to save the difference in price and get a Core i7 920 and overclock it to beat a Core i7 965 and have bought a second GTX 280.

    Upgraded in October from a 4 year old pc.

    AMD Phenom II X4 965
    ATI HD5850
    6GB RAM
    2 x 24" monitors

    That'll probably keep me going for the next few years until the bar is lifted by the next gen of consoles.

    Upgraded in January after about 2 years with my core2.

    Now got an i7 820, 8GB of Ram and a 64GB SSD (for the OS).

    Still running on a radeon 4850 though. Plan to upgrade that sometime later this year. Damn thing was over heating during hot days over summer....

    The real impetus was that I could finally get a decent SSD for a not insane price. It'll probably be out of date by a lot in a year at the rate the SSD market is changing but I've been wanting one really badly for ages. It should be fast enough for the OS for a while yet anyway, when the better ones come along I can grab one then and move my games over (or grab 2, or 4 and RAID them mwahahaha)

    My old PC was running games just fine tbh (was struggling a bit with only 2gig of ram, but that could have been fixed with another cheap 2gig stick), but PC hardware is a hobby in and of itself for me, even without the games I'd be upgrading and messing around with my system.

      The single best upgrade for your money at the moment is an SSD.
      Sure, they are not cheap and won't increase your framerate, but a model with 200Mpbs+ read-rate breathes new life into any old system and shows what a new system is really capable of - the difference really is scary!

    E6600 @3.0 Ghz
    4gb ram
    512mb 4870
    Win XP

    Not really in a hurry to upgrade to a $600 dollar GPU where most games now are built for Console and ported over as an after thought. My Xbox gets more game time than my once game only PC.

    Saying that ill see how my system runs with BC2 and the up coming (hopefully) Valve releases.

    I haven't bought a new desktop tower since 2003... Oh how sad...

    I'll be looking to build a new rig this year with high-end parts and 3 monitors.

      I'll be doing some testing of a triple-monitor game rig in coming weeks. Can hardly wait.

    Just upgraded a week ago from my old system that was;

    AMD 5200
    9600GT
    4GB RAM

    To a new machine that is;

    i7 860
    HD5770
    8GB RAM

    And I'm very glad I did. I find it runs most games I play very well. COD:MW2 runs a dream at 1920x1200. I specifically bought a crossfire/sli capable board so I can buy another 5770 (or a card that rates better than it these crossfired and move the 5770 to the old machine) if a game comes out that I really want to play but can't quite handle.

    Also though I had to wait a week for my 5770 to arrive and using the 9600GT on this system I was quite impressed with the CPU scaling of the card.

    Having migrated to an iMac in mid 2007 when I was a WoW-addict I guess I turned my back on traditional PC gaming. Being an avid – but time starved - gamer I have managed to play Torchlight recently via Boot Camp but that isn’t saying much as that game promotes its “lowest common denominator” style hardware requirements as a feature.

    As I don’t intend to abandon OS X and head back to a Windows only world considering I get almost the best of both worlds. I am in the market for a new Laptop soon and with the pending release of both StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 from the ever Mac friendly Blizzard in the next twelve months along with maybe Steam support the prospect of the latest hardware MacBook Pro is even more appealing surprisingly on a gaming front.

    All in all I’m wrapped that PC gaming developers have shied away from the latest and greatest tech in order to bring their software to more desktops.

      i actually threw up a little in my mouth after reading this...

      Macs are great man, but if you want to play games, buy a PC...

        I guess I should have mentioned I have a 360 and PS3 but won't disagree with where you are coming from.

        Was just my take on this topic...

    I just bought a new rig early last year, so I think I'm pretty right ATM.
    I have an i7 920, a gtx295 and 6gig Ram, it plays pretty much everything on max.

    still using my i7 920 + 6GB RAM + GTX275 and I have no problems playing games in max quality at 1680x1050 (22" monitor) :)

    although I've had more than enough of these console to PC ports, with lack of lan support. stop it! you're killing PC gaming.

    Got my new PC just 4 days ago,

    i3 530,
    4gb dual channel DDR3,
    260 Super OC edition,

    Not a mighty beast like some other systems but I was relieved to make it to the 1156 socket board when my E6300 died on me after about 4 - 5 years of faithful service.

    Of course all my gaming is done on the 360 but I like to being able to play crysis for the first time with decent frame rates :D

    I'm running an i7 920 clocked 4.02ghz, 12 gig of Corsair Dominator 1866 and a GTX285 (however i will be switching to a 5870 or GTX 480 setup depending on the results from NVIDIA when they finally launch. It's water cooled with a 3x120mm rad and setup inside a Corsair Obsidian 800D. I used a 32" Samsung LED 6 Series as a monitor.

    I've also got a Q9550 rig which is the missus uses, and a Q6600 rig in the lounge room for media purposes. Both are running 8800 cards but the 8800GTX in the Q9550 will be swapped out for the GTX 285 gets replaced.

    I'm something of an enthusiast...

      how FANTASTIC is the Q6600? Fairly cheap, and more than gets the job done!

        Yeah still going strong even through it has long since retired from my primary rig when I built it 3 years ago.

        In fact that lounge room box is pretty much identical to your rig in your post bellow.

    Currently running E8400, 2GB RAM and a Radeon 4850, with a finely tuned XP install.
    Just upgraded to a 24" monitor, but with the 19" one I had prior to that, I could run nearly every game at the highest settings (well except AA, that I normally set to 2x) without a problem.

    Planning on an upgrade mid year though, to an i5-750 system and Windows 7. Hanging out to see what Nvidia's Fermi cards are like first.

    My desktop is an Intel Q6600 quad core, Nvidia 8800GT, 4 gig DDR2 ram. I built it about 3 years ago, and it still runs most games admirably (at high settings most of the time, with little framerate hits).

    This computer probably would have done for me until the end of the year, or maybe the end of next year, HOWEVER, i splurged on a gaming laptop due to going to Malaysia to study this year, and it's specs are:

    Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce GTS 250M and 6 gig DDR3 ram. It is a BEAST of a laptop, and i doubt i'll have to upgrade for at least another 3-4 years.

    Seamus, you don't understand the mind of a PC gamer. PC gamers LIKE upgrading their rigs, even if they don't have to. For me, the joy of buying a brand new stick of ram and installing it myself, is comparable to the joy of a console gamer getting a new game! PC Enthusiasts like to do everything themselves, and don't give me this 'no payoff, games designed for 5 years old hardware' bullcrap, try running a game like Dragon Age or Mass Effect 2 on my beast laptop and an xbox side by side, and you can see the difference.

      Steven, with an i7 and 6Gb of ram, why did you skimp on the card? GTS250 is a budget line card?

      I myself am running an older rig. Q6600, 4GB DDR2 Ram, 8800GT.

      I was planning on looking into getting a new Graphics card, but im not sure... Nvidia taking their sweet time, and rumours ive heard say their next cards don't even compete with Radeons current offerings. Also im worried the Q6600 may be starting to show its age, if I put in a hd5970 would i just be bottle necking most of my performance gains?

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