Are computers just not getting faster for games?

Todayat the popular hardware sites they have the latest round of Athlon 64 cpus up for review. They contrast with high end pentiums as well.

When they take a game and run it at any resonable resolution, I noticed something odd. Even the top of the line, spend more money than god has system is only ~20% faster than mine. My system is almost 2 1/2 years old. A 2 ghz northwood pentium 4. I have a recent video card, Nvidia 5900TX but it wasn’t top of the line when it came out and its a few months from its birthday as well.

I really expected at this point for systems to blow what I have away. Is there anything coming out that will?

I know what you mean. I haven’t analized performance gains in the past, but have just relied on doubling the rated clock speed as a metric for needing to upgrade. But now things seem to have leveled out. You can spend money for the latest CPU, but it’s not really a given that you’re going to see huge performance gains. My old metric may still be a good rule of thumb, but it’s not clear to me when we’ll hit 4 GHz machines. In the past, I’ve always been sure I was going to need to upgrade every 18 months.

i use to upgrade every 18 months like clockwork. (sometimes sooner. heh) I’ve been jonesing for an upgrade for a good year and nothing has some out.

I’m in the same boat. I’ve got an XP2400 and a Radeon 9600, with a gig of memory.

I look at the faster CPUs, newer vid cards, SATA, etc. and I salivate. But the performance boost just doesn’t seem to be there. I upgraded to this box from a P3 600, and that was a significant jump… Right now, well, not so much. :(

I think you’ve got it backwards. Games aren’t demanding enough on computers.

What point is there to upgrade to an Athlon 64 3400+ and Radeon X800 XT when even the newest games run fine on an Athlon 2600+ with a Radeon 9500 Pro, unless you do go to 1600x1200 with 4x FSAA and 8x anisotropic filtering?

Hardware has been outpacing software by a huge margin. Now with the hardware spread being so wide, software developers are also holding back on system requirements (a lot of people still game on a P3 1GHz with a GF3, but how many did you know who played on a P2 333 when a P3 1GHz was available? Heck, that’s a generous comparison, we’re seeing much more than a 3x spread in performance now.)

Sorry, that would be me. I’m planning on upgrading in a month or two, honest.

my Athlon xp1800 is still running games just fine. I could use an upgrade on my Geforce3ti500, but even there I am doing ok. I haven’t tried FarCry though…

Sorry, that would be me. I’m planning on upgrading in a month or two, honest.[/quote]

Me too. My system will be 4 years old in August. I would have upgraded a couple of years ago (roughly at the 18 month mark) when Morrowind came out, but it ran OK so I didn’t. Not much has come out since that would justify upgrading; I’m not a big FPS fan. Now I need the upgrade, but I want to await the new hardware.

I wonder if part of it is that as games become more and more expensive to make, the developers have to make them playable by a larger and larger potential audience? Which would naturally tend to hold down hardware utilization.

Computer upgrades definitely seem to be slowing down. My athlon 1900 XP seems to be handling everything quite well. Though I’m almost ready to upgrade, it won’t be the typical double speed boost that I aim for every couple of years.

Just took the pre-Doom plunge. Got a 3 year old P4 1.4 that is dying an agonizing death everytime I spend too long playing BF 1942.

P4 3.2 800mhz frontside hyperthreading blah de blah
1 gig ram
GF 5950 256. the 6800 added 7 weeks to the build time…ah well…the ATI 9800 was no longer available because of the X800 and that had a month added to the build time.
SB audo whatever its a soundcard.
THX speakers klipsh I think, don’t remember. 5.1 not 7.1
No monitor- sony 19’’ still kicking ass
74 gig ATA at 10000rpm! We use these at work for video -they scream. cheap fast do it.

Now the waiting is the hardest part…

Yeah, my Athlon XP 1800+ still handles everything, with only minimal problems with extremely processor-heavy tasks. And this machine is two and a half years old…

It’s good stuff though. Within the past six months, I built similar machines to mine for my brother and sister that came in at ~$400 each, with monitor. I intend to do it again for my girlfriend’s sister at the end of the summer.

The thing is, software system requirements are growing at the same rate they always have, but processor speed is growing much, much faster, thanks to that time in 1999 when AMD finally proved that Moore’s Law was an economic one.

I was kinda thinking the same thing just the other day. I’ve been on an 18 month upgrade schedule for what feels like the last 10 years. My system is 15 months old right now so I decided to check out whats new in preperation for a late summer upgrade and I was suprised to see things just don’t seem to have jumped ahead to far.

My AMD 2500 is still running everything just fine. I did upgrade my video card to a 9800 Pro a few months back form my old GeForce 4 and with that I’m getting great performance even out of Far Cry. Unless Doom III drags my system to a crawl I may actually make it a full 2 years without building a new system.

Hell, if Doom III dosen’t drag me down, I may even make it to 3 years without building a new computer. I’m not expecting anything within the next year and a half to be more punishing on my system than Doom III.