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Budget PC Gaming is dead! [Byte Size Tech]

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Seems we are past the era of viable "budget gaming PC". Interesting commentary.


They're back... about "future proofing" for AAA gaming.


And about "many-core" CPUs.
 
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CP5670

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Jun 24, 2004
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I think PC gaming is becoming more of an enthusiast option to begin with, even though it's more popular than ever. If you're on a tight budget and not specifically into PC exclusives (RTSs, mods, indie, VR, etc.), a console makes more sense these days. The argument in the video is exaggerated though since games are not becoming more demanding every year anymore, especially at medium settings without RT and things like that.

In the future I think the consoles are actually more at risk. I could see gaming split into the phone market (casual and cloud gamers, with a far bigger audience) and the PC market (high end enthusiasts), and the consoles don't really fit into either category.
 

Stg-Flame

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Mar 10, 2007
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My buddy spent around $650 for his PC and has no problems running damn near everything perfectly fine at 1080 (with obvious brand new game exceptions). After skimming the video, I have to say I really don't agree with the nonsense clickbait title of this thread, especially considering my buddy's PC plays games like GTA V, BF4, and Tarkov just fine at high settings. I'm guessing it's getting a lot more difficult with prices skyrocketing due to scalpers, but that doesn't mean that budget PCs are dead. I'm guessing this is more targeted towards people who think they can buy a budget PC and play the newest games at 2K or 4K, but anyone who is buying a gaming PC should already know that won't be happening.

Edit: I should also mention that my PC is over ten years old and I can still play anything I want at 2K settings at maxed or near maxed settings (again, barring brand new game exceptions). Budget PCs are far from dead.
 
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VirtualLarry

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again, barring brand new game exceptions
But I think that you're actually proving his point from the video. That if you DO want to play NEW games, a "classic PC gaming rig with an Intel quad-core"... doesn't cut it any more. Unless you want to live in the past.

Skylake rigs should almost be relegated to "retro gaming" (let's call them "classic PC gaming", to differentiate between them, and XP or older era PC gaming) rigs, at this point.
 

Maxima1

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Jan 15, 2013
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But I think that you're actually proving his point from the video. That if you DO want to play NEW games, a "classic PC gaming rig with an Intel quad-core"... doesn't cut it any more. Unless you want to live in the past.

Skylake rigs should almost be relegated to "retro gaming" (let's call them "classic PC gaming", to differentiate between them, and XP or older era PC gaming) rigs, at this point.
Developers are still targeting even now the older consoles, too, with jaguar.... Console gens lasts for several years. If you play at 1080p and don't use raytracing, then you'll be able to keep playing. Also, with AMD back in the mobile market, better hardware has gotten cheaper. Open box laptops with 5600m can be had for $600 or even less. That's already reaching parity with the consoles i.e. Xbox Series S targeting 1080p. A lot of games aren't really unplayable either if they go below 60 and there are a lot of ways to gain fps without a big hit to graphics fidelity. Improvements in CPUs are coming back, but that's not going to really hurt people who have first gen or second gen Ryzens. Consoles got by with jaguar....
 

VirtualLarry

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Hmm, I suppose that this issue is inherently intertwined with the capabilities of consoles. Last-Gen (console), sure, those ports COULD mostly run on a 4C/4T or in extreme cases 4C/8T Skylake and friends CPU family on PC.

But given the newest consoles have an 8C/16T Ryzen CPU proper, it tends to mean that PC ports are going to overwhelm anything short of at least a 6C/12T Ryzen or 6C/12T Intel 8400F/9400F or higher. (Not all of the console's CPU cores are available to the game's engine.)

AFAICS, 4C/4T PC gaming desktops ARE "dead", unless all you want to do is play Minecraft/Fortnite/Roblox. AKA relegated to a "kid's PC".
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
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it really depends on which games you are playing. i would bet >>50% of people ONLY play 1 game: Minecraft, WoW, PoE, CS, Fortnite, OW etc' etc'
none of these game require a cutting edge rig to play.
it reminds me of when my 10 year old cousin showed me how he plays Fortnite...every setting on Low and WINDOWED just to get playable framerates. i'm saying the kids are willing to suffer for their addiction.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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4C/4T gaming desktops can still manage to play somewhat modern games without many issues. You're going to the far extreme by listing a ton of "kids" games when they are still perfectly viable for games like Grim Dawn, GTA V, and even some of the older Call of Battlefield games. I believe this discussion of modern games overshooting what is affordable to the average consumer has been done damn near every time a "cutting edge" game is released (Far Cry, Crysis, Battlefront, Cyberpunk, etc.). I just don't see it happening where people are going to be forced to buy new hardware monthly like they talk about in the video.

Besides, I rarely go after the AAA games and I know they have fairly large playerbases, but if you look at how many people still play older games, there isn't a huge demographic for people to be chomping at the bit to buy brand new PCs just to stay current with the 4K maxed AAA game crowd. The whole video feels like they're talking about a select group of PC enthusiasts and generalizing it to everyone. Similar to saying the caviar industry is going to die out because your average middle-class income family cannot afford to eat it every night. Budget gaming PCs can still play literally thousands of PC games without any issues. Even games like Fallout 4 have a minimum requirement of 4C/4T CPUs which you said would be relegated to only playing "kids games".
 

Maxima1

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2013
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Hmm, I suppose that this issue is inherently intertwined with the capabilities of consoles. Last-Gen (console), sure, those ports COULD mostly run on a 4C/4T or in extreme cases 4C/8T Skylake and friends CPU family on PC.

But given the newest consoles have an 8C/16T Ryzen CPU proper, it tends to mean that PC ports are going to overwhelm anything short of at least a 6C/12T Ryzen or 6C/12T Intel 8400F/9400F or higher. (Not all of the console's CPU cores are available to the game's engine.)

AFAICS, 4C/4T PC gaming desktops ARE "dead", unless all you want to do is play Minecraft/Fortnite/Roblox. AKA relegated to a "kid's PC".
Remember 1600AF or the newer 3500X? I suspect we'll still see some steals in the future like that. Also, getting a 4 core isn't really a bad idea with the return of CPU progress. Notice how 1700/1700X absolutely tanked in value? A 4 core from either Intel or AMD could still play A LOT of games, and then just 3 years later, you will see 40%+ IPC CPUs with Zen 5 and beyond, so you could use the money saved to buy a CPU that crushes previous gens. The developers will still be targeting Zen 2 at lower than desktop frequencies..... Budget gaming still exist.
 

quikah

Diamond Member
Apr 7, 2003
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I couldn't get through the video, why are they focusing on CP2077 benchmarks at 4K ultra /w RT and talking about budget gaming?

Budget gaming is currently dead because pretty much ALL GPUs are going for 2x+ MSRP. A 1650 is $300-$350, a ridiculous price for a card that launched at a price of $150.
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Budget gaming is currently dead because pretty much ALL GPUs are going for 2x+ MSRP. A 1650 is $300-$350, a ridiculous price for a card that launched at a price of $150.
This too... (!)

Crazy to think that GTX 1650 cards are going for $300-400. Such is the days that we live in...

(They're not even THAT good at mining, since they can't mine actual ETH, because the current DAG size is too large to fit into the card's VRAM buffers. And most other mineable CCs pale in comparison to ETH, currently, in terms of profitability. The other major contenders are BeamV3, and KAWPOW (RavenCoin).)
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
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People have gotten so used to the PC market being stagnant that they think its normal. They think that a $300 GPU that's 4 years old should still be able to play on ultra for some reason. That said, budget PCs aren't dead until the ps4 and xbox one get dropped. Even budget PCs are way faster than a potato. Some combination of settings is going to exist for those and core gameplay choices that would exclude 'budget' PCs would also exclude the potatos. I happy to finally see some advancement. Finally seeing games that start to challenge potatos and budget PCs is amazing.
 
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GodisanAtheist

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Nov 16, 2006
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I couldn't get through the video, why are they focusing on CP2077 benchmarks at 4K ultra /w RT and talking about budget gaming?

Budget gaming is currently dead because pretty much ALL GPUs are going for 2x+ MSRP. A 1650 is $300-$350, a ridiculous price for a card that launched at a price of $150.
- I think this is the primary reason one could say budget gaming is *on hold*. If anything, cards are more capable than they ever were and long console lifecycles have the side effect of keeping PC specs stable for a longer period of time, all things that are good for budget gaming.

Additionally, "Close to Metal" APIs like Vulcan and DX12 are keeping CPUs relevant way past their traditional prime. Nothing is going to make up for an outright lack of cores, but the difference between Vulkan and DX11 on some of the games I've played on my aging 6600K makes a world of difference.
 

SteveGrabowski

Diamond Member
Oct 20, 2014
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My buddy spent around $650 for his PC and has no problems running damn near everything perfectly fine at 1080 (with obvious brand new game exceptions). After skimming the video, I have to say I really don't agree with the nonsense clickbait title of this thread, especially considering my buddy's PC plays games like GTA V, BF4, and Tarkov just fine at high settings.
Honestly that's not saying much. The PC I built for $800 in 2014 (Xeon E3-1231v3 + GTX 970) could blast through those kind of old games back when they launched. I would hope a $650 PC today could do that.
 

Stg-Flame

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Mar 10, 2007
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Honestly that's not saying much. The PC I built for $800 in 2014 (Xeon E3-1231v3 + GTX 970) could blast through those kind of old games back when they launched. I would hope a $650 PC today could do that.
His PC can, but he only has a hand-me-down 1080 monitor. Technically speaking, his specs are better than mine, so he should be set up to play even the newest games just fine but we haven't tried so I just went with what I know for fact. I had other examples but I was pretty annoyed by the alarmist and overly-dramatic click bait title Larry chose and decided to reign it in before going on a huge rant.
 

SteveGrabowski

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Oct 20, 2014
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His PC can, but he only has a hand-me-down 1080 monitor. Technically speaking, his specs are better than mine, so he should be set up to play even the newest games just fine but we haven't tried so I just went with what I know for fact. I had other examples but I was pretty annoyed by the alarmist and overly-dramatic click bait title Larry chose and decided to reign it in before going on a huge rant.
I didn't watch the video since that Tech Deals is kind of annoying, always saying just buy a 5900X and a 3080 or you're a dirty poor who can't afford PC gaming. But man it's undeniable PC gaming has gotten way more expensive. 2011 king of the hill gpu (GTX 580) was $500, or about $565 in today's dollars. Now $500 is a fake MSRP for the 3070 while that 580 equivalent is now the $1500 3090. Then we just had AMD's hexacores go up 50% in price this generation too.

PC gaming is a hard sell to me in 2021. It was awesome in 2014 when I could build a system for twice the cost of PS4 that played the games at twice the framerate at slightly better settings, but now I gotta pay twice as much just to get console parity, assuming I could find the parts at MSRP.

That's why I didn't bother going higher than 1660 Super when I bought a new gpu to replace my dead 970 a year ago, because I really only wanted to play the PS4 gen games like RDR2 at 60 fps and knew nothing I could buy was going to age very well into the now current console gen unless I went overboard and paid $500 for a 2070 Super at the time. And then I'd have to do a platform upgrade with $120 for board + $330 for cpu + $70 for RAM to keep up with such a card. Think I'd rather just buy a PS5 and wait out PC gaming until it becomes a good value again.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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I should probably clarify, what I understand "budget gaming" to be.

Anything i5 Skylake or below for CPU, and let's say, a GTX 970 or below for GPU. Coming in at a rig cost of $500 or less.

If you have a 6C/12T Ryzen, and a GTX 1660-family or better GPU, this thread isn't talking about YOU.
 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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If you shop around, you can buy decent parts for pretty cheap which would still be considered a budget build. Still, the subject of budget gaming being dead does not coincide with what they are talking about in the video because they refer to AAA games and 4K - neither of which would be considered if you're buying a budget PC. I think a more appropriate title would have referenced future proofing being a lot more expensive than what it used to be.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
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If you shop around, you can buy decent parts for pretty cheap which would still be considered a budget build. Still, the subject of budget gaming being dead does not coincide with what they are talking about in the video because they refer to AAA games and 4K - neither of which would be considered if you're buying a budget PC. I think a more appropriate title would have referenced future proofing being a lot more expensive than what it used to be.
You nailed it. That is his whole schtick now. While some tech tubers may not be willing to
"change their editorial direction" to help companies push their products, Tech Deals is ready and willing. I will give credit where it is due. He does a good job of testing hardware by actually playing games, instead of just a 60 second custom in game run, or built in benchmark. But, even if he is praising budget kit he is testing, he will hit that spend more now for futureproofing meme.

And 4c may be budget if buying new, but the X79 and X99 platforms say hi. When it comes to budget gaming with the cores and threads to handle the job, then- X gon' give it to ya, it gon' give it to ya. :p
 

DigDog

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i think the issue is that the market's perception of what is "moderate" has changed; now everyone wants their 10900K and 3090 and they cry if they can't get them, so a 10600k is considered the lowest you should really go on a gaming build. Please explain to cyberpunk that i'm running a 4670k, because it hasn't noticed yet.
You could use a 10400 and the cheapest mobo on the market, and everything would work fine aside from your ego. But noooo, people have to buy $500 mobos designed for LN2 for their "gaming build" and then they drop a 10900k in it and use the auto-overclock function in BIOS.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Then again, threads like this one, basically prove the "point" of the video in the OP:

 

Stg-Flame

Diamond Member
Mar 10, 2007
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The "point" of the video is to stir up fear like prices won't eventually come back down again. As I said before, this has happened before, it's happening now, and it will happen again. Prices go up and hardware becomes scarce whenever something big comes out or there's some kind of shortage. Remember when bitcoin farming became a huge thing? You couldn't find any decent card for under $1,000. Remember when Crysis came out and everyone said you're going to need tri-SLI configurations just to max it?

There's also another factor nobody has mentioned yet - covid. Due to the pandemic, many people lost their jobs or were working from home or working reduced hours in all facets of employment. I can't imagine that the GPU manufacturers kept their people working like normal through 2020 so that puts a strain on supply. With more people staying home and doing nothing (those with money), a lot of people have been jumping into PC gaming which caused demand to skyrocket. High demand, low supply... you do the math. Videos like the one you embedded serve no purpose other than give people cause to freak out and think the end of PC gaming is nigh simply because prices are high and some people are saying it's impossible to have a budget PC anymore.

Give the world time to rebound from the pandemic and get everything as close to normal as it once was and give companies like eBay and Amazon time to figure out how to deal with the scalpers (other than using bots to auto-inflate the scalper's prices). I agree that it really sucks that prices are so high right now because I had fully planned on having a new PC by December of last year, but that's life. I wish it was different, but waiting a little longer to build my PC won't kill me and by the time I get around to building it, I'll be happy I didn't spend $1,500 on a single GPU.
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
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I upgraded a lot of hardware last year because I had a lot of free time for games, but previously had a 4790K/1080ti setup that was perfectly good. I would use medium settings at 4K (which often looks nearly identical to ultra) or a lower resolution, which wasn't a big deal. Older games were great at max settings, and some look just as good as recent ones.

However, for someone just getting into games today, the consoles seem to make more sense than a budget PC at marked up prices.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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However, for someone just getting into games today, the consoles seem to make more sense than a budget PC at marked up prices.
Where can you get a PS5 or X series for a decent price? Consoles are as difficult to find in stock at MSRP/RRP as CPUs and GPUs. Prebuilt PC deals keep popping up though, and they come with the newest GPUs and CPUs for about the same or less money than it cost to build using scalped parts. With the bonus of not wasting time trying to find stuff in stock, or get bent over by, and consequently, support, and encourage, the Ferengi.
 
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