PC games are getting harder and harder to tackle, and it sucks
It shouldn’t be that hard to get started with PC gaming. In fact, it hasn’t been that difficult to get into PC gaming in a long time. From fervent bots and silicon shortages, to a promising operating system that demands your PC that you probably didn’t know existed, there is apparently no escape from the newly installed barriers blocking the way to the PC gaming nirvana.
Whether you’re upgrading, replacing, or rebuilding your own PC, or have been forced to listen to one of your many friends complain about their various struggles in Discord, you know only too well the annoying and unfortunate drought of the graphics card. It crept into the PC game like dust on a tempered glass side panel. And the shockwaves of this drought were no more felt than in the entry-level market.
Or should I say his absence.
Where have all the low budget GPUs gone?
It’s not like PC gaming has always been short on budget options. AMD’s Polaris line really did wonders in its price range just a few years ago – think the Radeon RX 580 could be found regularly for under $ 200, and don’t even get me started on the RX 570. Surprisingly affordable at times, the competitive value of these cards has driven Nvidia to launch competitive lines of budget GPUs for years, and vice versa, and we assumed at the time that this would continue for a long time into the future.
But these budget GPUs have run out of steam in recent years. So much so that neither AMD nor Nvidia offer a single discrete graphics card for less than $ 300 in any of their current generation lines.
There is probably an article that explains why there is such a shortage of cheap silicon today, but it inevitably comes down to the same supply issue that is wreaking havoc in the supply of graphics cards that actually exist. And capitalism. If you have a limited number of GPUs you can make and all of the more expensive ones you’ve released are selling out in record time, why would you be making cheaper ones?
If one of the key components of affordable PC gaming were lost, the well-maintained hobby second-hand market would usually come to the rescue. Yet it has been undermined by those profiting from a roller coaster cryptocurrency boom and bust cycle.
So forgive me for believing that under such circumstances Nvidia might be right to resurrect the RTX 2060, a decision not yet confirmed but often talked about. Much like the 16 series was compared to the 20 series, the RTX 2060 could also be a budget alternative to spending the RTX 30 series. This time, with DLSS support to help it on its way to higher frequencies. ‘higher images in 2022. However, it all depends on the price of the old graphics card that we often talk about. And if it, too, is recovered for mining.
Tips and advice
How to buy a graphics card: Tips for Buying a Graphics Card in the Arid Silicon Landscape of 2021
In the meantime, there is the option of an AMD APU, such as the $ 359 Ryzen 7 5700G, which represents a moderately more affordable way to play on PC if you never plan to add a discrete GPU to the mix. Such a chip, which combines both a processor and a smooth-running GPU under one heat sink, will at least allow you to run on a slimmer budget.
However, we haven’t yet seen AMD make a worthy opponent of their own console SoCs, especially those found in the $ 300 Xbox Series S. And it’s incredibly frustrating to have to admit it as a PC gamer.
That said, we’re only talking about gaming performance here. Everything else you might need a PC for (work, editing, browsing, etc.), so yes, the APU is the perfect fit for a machine. uncluttered. Likewise, when it comes to software accessibility, the PC has a lot to offer.
Which brings up a point about the duality of PC gaming today: While PC hardware has sadly fallen in price versus performance, the pendulum has swung completely the other way for PC gaming software. Steam sales, free games, and services like Games Pass provide the flexibility to spend less on your games, assuming you don’t get addicted to filling a library of games you’ll never play or letting your membership run all the way. the month without ever using this.
Windows 11 puts pressure on PC gamers to upgrade potentially still decent processors
There is no software more essential than your operating system and we are on the verge of moving to Windows 11, a brand new operating system for the modern age.
Well, some of us are. Turns out Windows 11 is extremely picky about what it’s installed on, and it just won’t work on all current Windows 10 devices. The official cut is something before 8th gen Intel processors and AMD’s Ryzen 2000 series processors, with some weird exceptions.
Simply put: a lot of gaming PCs don’t. You can still choose to install the Windows 11 ISO file on such a machine, but then you might not be online for security updates, which might be more of a problem for you than sticking to Windows. 10 normal.
Additionally, you might be blocked by anti-cheat software, such as Riot’s Vanguard.
But an unsupported processor doesn’t make a bad PC. I still consider a Core i7 6700K to be a decent chip for a modern PC. I’ve used the same processor for three of the past five years, and now it’s on my partner’s PC, which she uses for work, games, and streaming. Granted, it’s not the flashiest chip out there, but it’s wrong to erase it right away when it’s adequate, at least.
And especially during a silicon shortage.
Maybe I’m betting too much on people’s desire to upgrade to Windows 11. But we all want the shiny new thing, as the massive demand for the latest technology proves, and barricading the flashy new operating system feels quite another. boost the teeth for gamers without the budget to initiate a desirable upgrade.
Not to mention, we’ve already seen Microsoft questioning whether a new feature like Direct Storage is coming to Windows 10 or being exclusive to Windows 11. What does it look like if more features and game support are tied together? to the new operating system after launch?
I don’t necessarily want to blame anyone’s door – the world can’t build enough chips and safety is important. But, damn it, if it doesn’t feel like PC gaming has slammed the door on what it really means to be a PC gamer beyond the passionate and painfully expensive side of the market. .
So what’s the advice for gamers on a budget then, better start saving or buy an Xbox Series S? Well, at least there are gaming laptops you can get your teeth into at a not-so-high price. Still, it still feels like a step back when it really feels like the hitherto inclusive world of PC gaming tech has been on the right track for so long.