Hardware Articles / PC's Gaming Performance: What really matters... (Introduction)
Date: 2011-11-09 15:40
If you ask me who's the most talented person in the world, you're not going to hear LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Lewis Hamilton, Roger Federer, Quincy Jones, nor Lady Gaga.
My answer is... the PC. What ? You disagree ? PC's are really multi-talented... "entities". They can do a hundred of things, sometimes things that go beyond our imagination and our thoughts on what's possible and what's not. A PC can be a work machine, where you can write essays, design products, use it to control various machines, it can also become a multimedia center, used to watch movies on your TV or your projector, push your music to your hi-fi equipment, serve your collection to one or more multimedia stations or Hi-Fi's, etc. Another thing computers are very good at is... GAMING. With a good setup, a keyboard, a mouse, a steering wheel and pedals, and a gamepad ( or more ) and a few decent games it can fulfil all your entertainment needs, whether you game on your own, with your friends locally or over the internet.
And this is the theme of today's article, Gaming. The hardware aspect of it to be precise, what makes a good gaming computer, what makes your computer handle resource-hungry games better, which component upgrade will give you a better gaming experience, what overclocking can do for you, if a faster memory ( RAM ) kit will increase your fps, if this, if that.
Today we'll try to answer all your "What Ifs" in this... short ( yeah right ) article.
Do I need a CPU with more cores ? Does HyperThreading help or slow down my PC's gaming performance ? Do I need to overclock my processor beyond 4GHz ? Do I need to add more RAM or faster RAM ? Will a better add-on sound card allow my computer to run my games at a higher setting or increase my fps at my current settings ?
Is my "old" processor limiting the performance of my graphics card ?
Those are some of the questions we will be covering today.
If you are a gamer, this is an article that you MUST read, and I'm being humble here :-D
Let's move on to the next page now, it's going to be a long read, gotta move on to the next page, time's a valuable thing...
2. Motivation, The Basics and some Basic Theory
3. Gaming PC Hardware, Upgrade Paths
4. Test Systems Configuration: Hardware Specs, Software & Drivers, Settings & Testing Methodology
5. Games Settings: nVIDIA GeForce GTX 480 & GTX 580 2-way SLI
6. Games Settings: nVIDIA GeForce 9800GT 1GB
7. How we test
8. Results: Core Count a.k.a. How Many CPU Cores we need to... score!
9. Results: BaseCLocK tests
10. Results: PCI-Express BUS Frequency tests
11. Results: UnCore Frequency tests
12. Results: X58 LGA-1366 Platform - Core i7 980X Memory Frequency tests
13. Results: Z68 LGA-1155 Platform - Core i7-2600K Memory Frequency Tests
14. Results: HyperThreading: On vs Off
15. Results: Creative X-Fi vs On-Board Sound Card
16. Results: Core i7 980X CPU Frequency Scaling with an overclocked GTX 480
17. Results: Core i7-2600K CPU Frequency Scaling with an overclocked GTX 480
18. Results: Pentium Dual-Core E5300 CPU Frequency Scaling with an overclocked GTX 480
19. Results: Core i7 980X CPU Frequency Scaling with a GeForce 9800GT 1GB
20. Results: Core i7 980X CPU Frequency Scaling with GeForce GTX 580 SLI
21. Results: Core i7-2600K CPU Frequency Scaling with GeForce GTX 580 SLI
22. Results: 16x-16x SLI vs 8x-8x SLI ( aka X58 vs Z68 )