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

There is 0 chance of me waiting a week to buy oblivion. As soon as it’s available, it’s mine. If the xbox360 version turns out to be better, I’ll just buy another copy, with an xbox360.

For sure, I do that too. Those ginormous LCDs make you wish every game could run natively.

Civ 4 does 1920x1200 very nicely. FRAPS says it never goes below 25FPS, and for a turn-based game… who cares?

Strangely enough, Civ IV is the one turn based game I care a lot about performance. I would play Civ II at great speed with the numerical keypad, but with Civ IV, I have to drag units because the game runs too slow, and I hate waiting for city screens to come up, etc. Civ III was really bad in this regard for some reason, running slower than a disabled, stoned sloth indecisively wading around in glue.

It all has to look like one of those perfectly responsive UI’s in the movies, because I know what I’m doing and I want to do it, pronto!

Maybe Firaxis could do an alternative text-based interface for Civ4. With block graphics in the OEM character set.

Buy the graphics card. Not because PC is better than Xbox 360 or the way around, but for another much better reason…

[size=7]Plug-ins[/size]. Lots of them. As Morrowind has ably proved, the PC is a superior platform to play TES on because you can easily install all of the plug-ins and then get a much, much better experience in terms of replayability. I know I downloaded some like banks, better strongholds, more monsters, just to name a few.

For the Xbox 360, you don’t know for sure if they will bother making it work with plug-ins officially at all, and even if they do…

Expansions. You can buy them for $20-$30 if you are using[size=7][/size] the PC version, but to get Bloodmoon+Tribunal you had to buy the more expensive Morrowind Gold edition which meant buying Morrowind twice :).

I think an EGM article or somethnig mentioned beth selling the official mods to the 360 crowd over live, which I can understand, but fuck you, I’ll take better looking fan man horse armor for my pc version, thanks.

$249 from Best Buy currently. Shopping is offline at the moment but that’s the advertisement.

$249 from Best Buy currently. Shopping is offline at the moment but that’s the advertisement.[/quote]

Pretty good… Makes me want to get something even better :)

So, does anyone know exactly what the fastest AGP card is right now? I think that whatever it is will stay so permanently, as GeForce has apparently given up totally on AGP while ATI is only going to have it on low-end cards.

6800 Ultra Extreme or X850XT (that’s the Pro at Best Buy, not sure of the difference but I’m sure it’s google-able ad nauseam) would be my guesses (and exactly which of those might depend on your games).

I’ll buy whichever is cheapest at the point of sale. The difference will only be discernible by benchmarks anyway, I just wanted to make sure I knew the model numbers to go for. It’s the “Ultra Excrete XL XT Platinum Erection” crap I cannot mentally engage with, and I thank you dearly for identifying the particular variations I’m looking for.

The “Pro” generation of x800/850 Radeon cards are slower than the 6800 GT generation of Nvidia cards. Buyer beware.

ATI cards go from “vanilla”, pro, XL, XT. Also if the card has a 6 in it somwhere from ATI don’t buy it cause it will suck price/performance-wise.

Also is it necessary to buy now? Can’t you just wait for Oblivion?

I should, but Christmas brings with it a certain festive atmosphere in which poor financial decisions are permitted. And there is no poorer financial decision than “blow enough money to feed The Sudan for 6 weeks on a video card

One thing to consider: since Oblivion is also being made for the 360, it might be better optimized for ATI videocards since the 360 uses an ATI chipset. (This would be similar to NVIDIA cards doing better with something like Splinter Cell.)

Well, the Splinter Cell games were made using the Unreal engine, right? Doesn’t that make them run better on Nvidia cards independant of what console they were made for?

I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Newegg is once again having a combo deal on the Nvidia 7800GT and an EVGA SLI capable, PCI-Express motherboard for $399.

I’ve heard that the mobo is only “fair”, but if you don’t plan to overclock, I suspect it will run fine. If you have DDR400 memory, and your CPU is socket 939, you can just slide your components over.

Alas, I need a 7xx mobo.

Personally, whenever confronted by the “upgrade my PC or buy a new console?” question, I always start by trying to figure out where I expect to spend the majority of my game time. E.g., would I rather play Condemned or NWN 2? When it comes to consoles: am I content to wait until the hardware and games get cheaper after a year or two before buying?

In your case: let’s presume playing Oblivion on a high-end PC is preferable to the Xbox 360, if only because of mods (though that does sound like a sweet TV you’ve got). What else would you choose to play on a tricked-out PC vs a 360? Which has more games that interest you coming out in the next year or so?

That’s the decider, and I spend at least an hour or two in front of my PC a day, but no more than an hour or two in front of the consoles a week. Made it pretty easy to decide.

Alas, I need a 7xx mobo.[/quote]

You could get a 7800GT and a Socket 754, PCI Express mobo for about $430.
Just sayin’… I’d personally wait until I could throw a new CPU into the mix and go Socket 939, but 754 & PCI Express is an option.

Alas, I need a 7xx mobo.[/quote]

You could get a 7800GT and a Socket 754, PCI Express mobo for about $430.
Just sayin’… I’d personally wait until I could throw a new CPU into the mix and go Socket 939, but 754 & PCI Express is an option.[/quote]

I got a good offer on a used card, which I think will take me through to 2007 and the next upgrade: an Intel “G6” Mac :)