Oblivion: $400 graphics card, or $400 XBox 360

Title says it all.

A64 3700
1 GB Ram
5.1 Surround
Bonus: Current video card (Radeon 9600 XT) moves into the Mame cabinet.

The Xbox would be plugged into a 60" HDTV with DVI in. (Computer has 21" Dell LCD) But only the built-in stereo speakers on the TV.

I imagine that performance would be quite similar: I’m looking at an ATI x8xx or a GeForce 6800 at that price, right? And this would be about equivalent to an XBox 360, right? To mod, or not to mod? That is also a consideration.

Caveat: card must be AGP (unless PCI-x version + new mobo is cheaper, naturally)

Thanks in advance! I know threads like this can be useless and often get repeated.

I think you can get a Geforce 7800GT for $400, not sure if they come in AGP flavors. For me, I would get the Xbox because it would let me play a wider variety of games. MY PC time is limited to co-op titles, mostly NWN, flashpoint, Icewind Dale (finally beat that in co-op a few weeks ago), and now dungeon siege 2. That’s mostly all I play on the PC. On the xbox, I get a lot more variety in.

No 7800 AGP, according to the articles I can find. More interesting to me is the question of performance - is a $400 video card going to give me better visuals than the Xbox 360, and by how much? If not, then I can simply take advantage of Microsoft’s business model and get the same performance with a free hard drive, DVD player, 2 controllers, etc.

I’ve seen interviews with Pete Hines wherein he’s rather strongly suggested that unless you have a real top-of-the-line PC you’re not going to be able to crank the visuals up. How that relates to the 360’s performance with the game is up for pure speculation.

I’ve got another Q&A in with Bethsoft, this time a more technical one that’ll be published at Beyond3D (last one was with Elitebastards.com, which has some interesting dual-core CPU comments in it).

I think its more of the matter of dedicated resources and a graphics chip that is 1/2 a generation ahead of what is on the pcs.

I’ve also wondered how many similarities there are between ATI’s R520 (X1800 chip) and their Xenos part. Enough to give the X1800s a slight performance edge in the PC version?

So, what you’re all telling me is:

$400 =

x850 video card for PC + the ability to mod my game


x1800 equivalent video + 2 nice usb controllers + DVD player + xbox live + external hard drive + extras.

It seems kind of mad. As in, anyone who plans to spend more than $200 on a video card this xmas might as well get an xbox 360, or they are mad.

EDIT: someone just told me it’s delayed until next Summer, so all this is moot.

Whats delayed?

I’ve also wondered how many similarities there are between ATI’s R520 (X1800 chip) and their Xenos part. Enough to give the X1800s a slight performance edge in the PC version?[/quote]

I’m pretty sure that the chip in the 360 has some shader technology that will not be available in pcs videocards till next fall.

Oblivion, until next summer.

Yeah I just saw that :(
I thought you might have been talking about some hardware. Man thats a pisser oh well.

I asked Dave Baumann at B3D about this and he suggested that there were some similarities, though in Dave’s usual sly way he didn’t go into detail. I haven’t read up on the Xenos part since I’m quite frankly not “into” consoles at all, so I’m wondering if the similarities are ALU functionality, tile sizes, the memory controllers, shader threading, dynamic branching, ad nauseum.

Take 2 were referring to fiscal quarters, which would put Oblivion on a Feb-Mar schedule.

You probably won’t see large numbers of Xbox 360 games looking significantly better than top PC games for a while, at least until the developers have a chance to figure out the hardware. Many of the launch games look like high-end PC games.

Regardless, the decision should be based more on software than hardware. If you’re talking about one game, it seems you’d want to go the PC route. Whatever videocard you end up with will also help your other PC games, assuming you have any.

If a 360 is the Oblivion box, that seems a bit pricey. But if there are other 360 games that interest you, that should be your choice.

I need to be careful. I bought both an Xbox and a PS2, and I have a sum total of 5 games across both systems, about 2 of which I played for more than an hour. My wife and nephew love them though, so good deals, all in all.

My PC or 360 will certainly be “The Oblivion box.” I don’t even know of a single other title forthcoming on the XBox, and am only considering it because it looks to be cheaper than a similarly-priced video card that will actually be crappier.

On PC, I play one game at a time, and sell, give away or trash the game immediately after getting done with it. I once had a stack of 100 or so games in a closet and it caused chronic and ongoing gamer Taoism in me.

I’d go with the PC just for the mods.

I think it’s safe to say you’re better off just waiting. There’s no way of knowing whether or not the 360 version will look better than the PC version, or how the latter will perform. Even if it does look better, is that the most important part of your gaming experience? Do you want to play it with a mouse/keyboard, or gamepad? Do you want mods or not?

And it’s not like it’ll be a fair comparison anyway. The 360 version will be running at 1280x720, or whatever the HD resolution is. PC gamers will likely be bitching if it performs crappy at 1600x1200, which is a whole lot more pixels to move. It’s highly unlikely it’ll be built in such a way that a $400 videocard can’t handle it at 1024x768 or that HD resolution.

Well, I’m one of those types who only thinks they need 1600x1200. As in, I’ll put it on, then get annoyed at how small the UI becomes and the performance hit, and then set it back to 1028. These Dell LCDs interpolate OK.

Heh, and here I was hoping for 1680x1050 or maybe even 1920x1200. :P

I wouldn’t even think about it yet. The game is months away and it’s hard to say just how much money the 360 will be, let alone a new video card.

If the 360 has a horrible launch the price might drop a bit early. If NVidia releases a new 7800 UltraXtremeUber video card prices on the 7800 GT should drop.

Has it been confirmed yet that the 360 version will be able to download and run mods created on PC’s? That would be a big deal.

I’d wait until a week or so after release, myself.