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What made the PC advance?


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#1
rev_olie

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Ok, I was having a discussion with some friends the other day about PC's.

The one question that came up that caused a debate was "What hardware has made the gaming PC advance so much?".

I think every bit of hardware popped up in the process, some saying more RAM has allowed the PC to become faster, multiple cores have made the PC quicker at processing while someone else was talking about graphics giving the greatest boost.

But what do you think has had the greatest impact on gaming?

This will hopefully be interesting :)

Edited by rev_olie, 24 October 2009 - 06:16 PM.

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#2
mpascal

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Probably the GPU, taking graphics load off of main processor and having a separate processor to deal with graphics.
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#3
rev_olie

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Yeah see that was a topic that popped up a couple of times.
We were trying to workout when that actualy occured, you wouldn't happen to know would you?

Someone said around the 1990's but others though the Amiga possibly had the first separate chip or maybe even the Atari.
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#4
mpascal

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No, I'm not really sure when the first GPU was actually implemented on a PC, but I do know that it was probably way before my time :)

Edited by mpascal, 26 October 2009 - 01:50 PM.

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#5
Ferrari

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I think this video will help. I follow 3DGameman on youtube, he does some pretty good videos and excellent Q&A videos.

And from some research I did, here is a link I found about GPU History... http://wapedia.mobi/...ocessing_unit#1.

The IBM Professional Graphics Controller was one of the very first 2D/3D graphics accelerators availble for the IBM PC. Being released in 1984, 10 years before hardware 3D acceleration became a standard, it's high price (~$4500 USD @ 1984 currency), it's slow processor (8088-2 running at 8MHz), and it's lack of compability with comercial programs generally doomed it's future in the mass-market.

The Commodore Amiga was the first mass-market computer to include a blitter in its video hardware, and IBM's 8514 graphics system was one of the first PC video cards to implement 2D primitives in hardware.


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#6
rev_olie

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Ferrari that wass just what I needed :)

Fantastic stuff, thought I had look everywhere but obviously not :)
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#7
Troy

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If you're talking specifically about gaming, then definitely the graphics card would be the key component, although in my opinion all components are equal.
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#8
Ferrari

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Oh yeah, thanks Troy. I forgot to add that in my last post. What I wanted to say is...

You are only as good as your weekest component. So all components are important. For example, a slower cpu can hold back your graphics card, or having a fast cpu with slow memory can be a bottleneck. For most, the hard drive is the area where they need improvement. Even me, I have a HDD and I need a SSD to really equal the rest of my rig.

Troy is going to buy me two to put in a RAID configuration for Christmas though, so I'm really happy about that.
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#9
mpascal

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Troy is going to buy me two to put in a RAID configuration for Christmas though, so I'm really happy about that.

Two shiny new 250GB SSD, no doubt? :)

These look pretty nice, and Christmas is just around the corner..
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#10
rev_olie

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Troy is going to buy me two to put in a RAID configuration for Christmas though, so I'm really happy about that.


Haha :)

Does Troy know about your plan? :)

You are only as good as your weekest component. So all components are important. For example, a slower cpu can hold back your graphics card, or having a fast cpu with slow memory can be a bottleneck. For most, the hard drive is the area where they need improvement. Even me, I have a HDD and I need a SSD to really equal the rest of my rig.


Indeed I totally agree on this. I am one of those people :). The whole of my system is on 7.5 but my actual Windows base sacore is only 5.9 because like you say the hard drive just isnt up to standard...Do you think Troy can offord 4 SSD's? :)
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#11
Troy

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It was expensive enough grabbing 4 hard drives and the Promise TX4650 controller for my RAID 5 setup. It's going to be quite a few years before you get your drives mate - if at all. :)
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#12
dinotech

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Modularization of components: you can have the same processing within a smaller space as you can in a mainframe (not as powerful, but it can calculate a spreadsheet quickly).

The GPU advancement notwithstanding, if it wasn't for IBM's pet project, the PC would have given way to the Mac.

Once people started to see the benefits of using a smaller machine to do work, they wanted that technology. It was expensive at first, but then came the 486 and mainstream media (PC Magazine, PCWorld) to light the innovation fuse.

I think the gaming industry is keeping the PC active because the Mac is certainly a better system, and it would dominate if there wasn't a true PC gaming industry.

A good book to read on the advancement of the PC is Scott Mueller's PC Upgrade and Repair book.

Dino
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#13
Troy

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the Mac is certainly a better system

Good post, but I disagree with the above quote. :)
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#14
Ferrari

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I've never owned a mac, but I do try to keep up to date on them, and I would like to purchase a macbook or some sort of mac tower at some point in my life. They seem pretty cool, but I always like to take into consideration the price vs. performance/what you get ratio.

For what Macs cost vs. what I get for my system (i7/X58 technology) the PC wins hands down. Simply put, they just cost sooo much. If you don't count cost, I'm definitely willing to say Macs give the PC a run for their money.

Also, I looked into seeing if I could actually build a Mac once, and it turned out there seem to be ways, but it is very difficult. So I don't really like the fact that I can't completely customize my Mac. As my PC I can choose color, size, components, everything. So the PC is 100% better there.
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#15
Troy

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Exactly!
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