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It's 2010, But A No-Go For GNOME's 10x10 Goal

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  • #31
    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
    Actually it's more like laptops are meant for light duty tasks such as doing taxes or balancing your check book, web tasks, etc. When you want to run true intensive tasks, gaming, multimedia creation, etc the desktop is a far more satisfying experience and this is the exact scenario that popular netbooks are targeting. Netbooks/notebooks are there to either supplement the more power hungry and act as a secondary device or provide a solution for less demanding users.
    Indeed, few people could argue against the likes of multimedia being at least somewhat popular in the era of youtube and similar sites. I find my laptop use to either be when i'm in bed on a weekend browsing, for work related tasks or as a quick portable device for internet access.

    I understand that some people get "desktop replacement" laptops but these are easily capable of most games at 720p (higher specced than normal laptops). Infact having to shift the discussion of PC vs Console gaming to the corner-case of people who buy low powered laptops as desktop replacements (instead of getting desktop replacements) on the subject just shows how weak the argument of reduced cost of consoles is compared to a desktop PC.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Hoodlum View Post
      I understand that some people get "desktop replacement" laptops but these are easily capable of most games at 720p (higher specced than normal laptops). Infact having to shift the discussion of PC vs Console gaming to the corner-case of people who buy low powered laptops as desktop replacements (instead of getting desktop replacements) on the subject just shows how weak the argument of reduced cost of consoles is compared to a desktop PC.
      What?

      A desktop replacement laptop is easily 4x-5x the price of a console. Buying a netbook + console is much better value than buying a desktop replacement or even a netbook + gaming desktop.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
        What?

        A desktop replacement laptop is easily 4x-5x the price of a console. Buying a netbook + console is much better value than buying a desktop replacement or even a netbook + gaming desktop.
        I don't know what you're disputing. I never said a desktop replacement laptop was cheaper.

        My original point was that a desktop pc (like the one I used as an example with a processor from 2003) can run games at 720p (a higher resolution than a lot of console games) at 30fps or higher with a modest 7800GS which is similar to the graphics card used in the PS3.

        With that fact in mind you can easily add a graphics card to even a low end machine and have a gaming pc. This is cheaper than buying a console, I stated as such.

        Other people mentioned laptops being used as desktops as an exception. If you want to use a laptop as a desktop machine you buy a desktop replacement. If you buy a low end laptop and expect it to be a desktop replacement, you will be disappointed. This is a very small subset of people where the general rule does not apply. Most people in first world countries own a desktop PC.
        Last edited by Hoodlum; 01-03-2010, 10:00 PM.

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        • #34
          Just to throw this out there...

          The "Big" PC titles from the 90s were all made by studios that we would consider small today. Even EA was tiny back in those days (80s/early 90s). Companies didn't need to sell millions of copies to be successful then.

          I think a lot of indie studios are taking up the slack in the (I hate to say "low end") of the market. And IMO, they are making some of the best games.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Hoodlum View Post
            I don't know what you're disputing. I never said a desktop replacement laptop was cheaper.

            My original point was that a desktop pc (like the one I used as an example with a processor from 2003) can run games at 720p (a higher resolution than a lot of console games) at 30fps or higher with a modest 7800GS which is similar to the graphics card used in the PS3.

            With that fact in mind you can easily add a graphics card to even a low end machine and have a gaming pc. This is cheaper than buying a console, I stated as such.
            Sorry, but a 2003 processor (AthlonXP; Athlon64; Pentium4) is below minimum specs for many recent games, including console ports. You cannot build a gaming PC with such a configuration. You can build something, but that won't be a gaming PC.

            It's true that you can generally upgrade a recent desktop to a gaming machine for less than the cost of a new console. However, this assumes that (a) you have a recent desktop and (b) you want to game on it (and pay the price in noise and power consumption).

            Neither is true in the general case.

            Most people in first world countries own a desktop PC.
            Do you have evidence for this?

            Laptops have been outselling desktops since 2005 and the new netbook fad has only helped widen the gap. In fact, most of my acquaintances don't even own a desktop any more, and the few that do prefer to use their laptops/netbooks instead. Even the company I work for has retired desktop workstations in favor of laptops and docking stations.
            Last edited by BlackStar; 01-04-2010, 09:34 AM. Reason: drunken writing

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            • #36
              Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
              Sorry, but a 2003 processor (AthlonXP; Athlon64; Pentium4) is below minimum specs for many recent games, including console ports. You cannot build a gaming PC with such a configuration. You can build something, but that won't be a gaming PC.
              Those arbitrary requirements are largely irrelevent, you can still play at 720p no problem, more than comparable with a console. (I used MW2 as the main example). Those requirements are never applicable to the real world. At low resolutions they are far too high at high resolutions they are far too low.

              Hell if you're not happy with that example let's go with the A64 X2s? which only needs a 5 year old machine. Those easily handle 720p.

              Remember we're not comparing a pc to a gaming pc. Just a console, which is easy to match.

              It's true that you can generally upgrade a recent desktop to a gaming machine for less than the cost of a new console. However, this assumes that (a) you have a recent desktop and (b) you want to game on it (and pay the price in noise and power consumption).

              Neither is true in the general case.
              You can turn almost any desktop into a comparable system to a console that was made in the last 6 years. Most people fit this requirement.

              I was simply pointing out the "cost" argument in favour of consoles is false in the case of any home with a desktop pc (pretty much every family home in the first world). This almost covers the entire console market.


              Do you have evidence for this?
              If you want I can provide statistics on how the majority of laptops are second or third PCs? Mostly they are only portable secondary machines. Though I admit *some* people do use desktop replacement laptops now (where almost none did a few years ago). Luckily desktop replacement laptops can also pull off gaming at 720p!

              Laptops have been outselling desktops since 2005 and the new netbook fad has only helped widen the gap. In fact, most of my acquaintances have don't even own a desktop any more, and the few that do prefer to use their laptops/netbooks instead. Even the company I work for has retired desktop workstations in favor of laptops and docking stations.
              This is going way off topic and is just ancedotes.
              The only case where updating a PC is actually more expensive is when you have a low-powered laptop (but not a desktop replacement) as your only PC, or a netbook, or a desktop so old that it can't run anything at even 720p smoothly (Likely an old low clocked P4 or P III). For a start a lot of power supplies often do not even last that long in PCs these days (and the whole pc gets replaced).

              All of these are pretty special cases and I never argued that consoles weren't cost effective in some cases but, in general, no they aren't cheaper because most people have a PC that is within 5 or 6 years old *somewhere*.

              Geez, You'd think you hadn't thrown a relatively decent graphics card into an old pc before!
              Last edited by Hoodlum; 01-04-2010, 09:53 AM.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Hoodlum View Post
                Those arbitrary requirements are largely irrelevent, you can still play at 720p no problem, more than comparable with a console. (I used MW2 as the main example). Those requirements are never applicable to the real world. At low resolutions they are far too high at high resolutions they are far too low.

                Remember we're not comparing a pc to a gaming pc. Just a console, which is easy to match.

                You can turn almost any desktop into a comparable system to a console that was made in the last 6 years. Most people fit this requirement.
                Sorry, but this 720p argument is completely arbitrary. You don't build a gaming PC in order to match a console. You build a PC in order to play games.

                New games simply won't be enjoyable on your 2003 PC example. Many won't even run on such a system (PES2010, Assassin's Creed 2, Mass Effect 2 to name a few "easy" console port examples.). You *do* need a fairly recent PC and you *do* need to upgrade it fairly often in order to meet the system requirements of new games.

                If you want I can provide statistics on how the majority of laptops are second or third PCs? Mostly they are only portable secondary machines. Though I admit *some* people do use desktop replacement laptops now (where almost none did a few years ago). Luckily desktop replacement laptops can also pull off gaming at 720p!
                Desktop replacements were all the rage 5-6 years ago: 17'' laptops with powerful graphics cards and 45' battery life. However, this is the 2010 where smaller and lighter is better. Why do you think Apple is advertizing thinness and 6+ hours battery lives on their new systems?

                Moreover, yes I'd like to see this evidence that laptops are being bought as secondary systems. Netbooks certainly but laptops?

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                  Why do you think Apple is advertizing thinness and 6+ hours battery lives on their new systems?
                  Apple has never promoted their systems for gaming. Apple is however the perfect example of a line that is full of supplementary products. The Macbook Air for example is not advertised as a desktop replacement neither is the Macbook nor the Mac Mini then there is also items like iPod / AppleTV / Airport. Bad example of a company on your part as they are probably the king of "to go with" marketing.

                  Moreover, yes I'd like to see this evidence that laptops are being bought as secondary systems. Netbooks certainly but laptops?
                  With many notebooks being cheaper or around the same price then netbooks nowdays many of them are being used for netbook tasks. There is a reason why a large majority of laptops out there have IGP solutions and sell around the $300-$500 price point and a simularly priced desktop usually crushes them in performance and specifications.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                    Sorry, but this 720p argument is completely arbitrary.
                    They are at a similar resolution. I'm not going to compare apples to oranges to suit your argument, that's completely illogical.

                    You don't build a gaming PC in order to match a console.
                    My posts are directly comparing consoles and PCs based on price for a similar graphical experience, so in that context, yes you do.

                    New games simply won't be enjoyable on your 2003 PC example. Many won't even run on such a system (PES2010, Assassin's Creed 2, Mass Effect 2 to name a few "easy" console port examples.)
                    Many like MW2 - the big game of christmas 2009 - *still* run fine at 720p. Admittedly I'm sure you could find some that won't so I'll give you those (I haven't tried so i'm assuming this is true).

                    You *do* need a fairly recent PC and you *do* need to upgrade it fairly often in order to meet the system requirements of new games.
                    They all easily work on an A64 X2 without a hitch 5 years old is not "recent" to me. To make that claim requires a very loose definition of "recent".

                    Desktop replacements were all the rage 5-6 years ago: 17'' laptops with powerful graphics cards and 45' battery life. However, this is the 2010 where smaller and lighter is better. Why do you think Apple is advertizing thinness and 6+ hours battery lives on their new systems?
                    I get the impression you're just trolling here. I don't for a second believe you're ignorant of current hardware.

                    Pretty much anything with a Core 2 duo, i7 or a Turion II processor and a dedicated ATI or Nvidia card is capable of being a "desktop replacement" these days. Which covers almost anything above the "budget" range, basically. The ultra thin notebooks are actually the worst selling of any segment. People just buy netbooks instead.

                    In-keeping with your apple example, see mac air vs macbook sales figures for example:
                    Source here

                    On this subject, see those Macbook Pros (which replaced Powerbooks) massively outselling the Air's? Yep, all by far powerful enough for comparable gaming to a console.

                    If people intentionally buy underpowered "budget" laptops (usually in the 399 range in the uk) then this is one instance that it's cheaper to just get a console. I have already stated as much. Desktop replacements aren't that bad battery wise at all anymore. A some have 3-4 hours battery life, which is decent but not amazing. Lastly even most apple laptops don't live up to those battery life claims (currently claiming 7 hours according to www.apple.com).

                    Moreover, yes I'd like to see this evidence that laptops are being bought as secondary systems. Netbooks certainly but laptops?
                    Interesting...
                    Although I could find no statistics on secondary computer use at all after 2005 (this is why I should bookmark things) - in either way - I did find your earlier claim of laptop sales being higher since 2005 to be completely false.

                    I also found statistics backing up everything else I've claimed throughout, with sources.

                    Sales Statistics:

                    "The third quarter of 2008 was the first time when notebook PC shipments exceeded desktops, with 38.6 million units versus 38.5 million units."

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laptop#Sales .

                    "Notebook PC Shipments Exceed Desktops for First Time in Q3

                    Global notebook PC shipments exceeded those of desktops on a quarterly basis for the first time ever in the third quarter, marking a watershed event in the history of the industry"
                    Source - isuppli

                    "FOR years, portable computers were second-class citizens in the Republic of Computing. These were the auxiliary machines, adjuncts to the muscle machines on or below the desk. They were expensive, underpowered and, in the early years, much too large for anyone then to call them “laptops” or “notebooks.”"
                    Source - NY Times

                    Meaning there are more significantly more desktop pcs than laptops. As we are barely out of 2009 this is very up to date.

                    Related Statistics:
                    http://www.myvoice.co.jp/biz/surveys/10409/index.html

                    This is a translation for those that do not read japanese:
                    http://whatjapanthinks.com/2007/04/1...ip-statistics/
                    A large percentage of PCs bought in japan in 2007 showed their primary use to be "entertainment" - 86.2% which games are a part of.

                    As Japan has a history of leading the technology industry in many fields this is a good example.
                    Last edited by Hoodlum; 01-04-2010, 12:55 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                      drag, that's a very long way to say "jack aims to transport audio streams between applications with low latency and without modification, while pulse aims to mix (modify) and transport audio streams to hardware sinks transparently (the sinks may even be on a different network machine)".

                      If there is no need to remix/resample audio to make it work with your audio card then Pulse Audio won't do it. I believe.

                      As you probably know most audio cards only support certain PCM (uncompressed) formats. There are different audio rates (like 41000 vs 48000 vs 96000) and different bit rates... like 16bit audio versus 24bit audio and so on and so forth. And there is big endiness and little endiness PCM formats, too.

                      If the format outputted by your application is the one that is being used by your sound card then it should not have to change it. But often it does.

                      This is not terribly different then Jackd.. After all in Jack you have to select what audio format your sending to your sound card, right? You have to select if you want to 48Khz vs 96Khz and so on and so forth. And if your using something like a typical Audio cdrom then your going to have to resample it anyways, one way or another. (unless you've configured everything to use 44.1khz and PCM 16 LE format all the way through. And if your going to have multiple applications playing sound at the same time then it's simply going to have to remix it all, one way or another. I am not sure about all the details (I've used jack in the past, but I never really looked closely at how it works). I guess it must happen in the application or something if Jackd is not doing it itself.


                      (EDIT:

                      Oh, I looked it up. Jack depends on Libsamplerate for it's resampling needs. So there is definitely cases were Jack needs to resample/remix stuff.)

                      This brings out another major difference between Jack and PulseAudio. Since Jack is designed for optimized performance it depends entirely on all applications being very well behaved. A single badly behaving application can take out your entire audio system; so if your using it then it's critical that you have to have everything properly configured and tested before you use it in production. Where as with PulseAudio is designed to work with badly behaving applications... which is very typical on the desktop. so if your have a application crash or crap out it is not going to kill everything else playing sound. (at least in theory)


                      This is a good thing and a bad thing for both systems. It just goes to show how different their focuses are.


                      ---------


                      On a side note:

                      As far as PulseAudio versus Alsa's Dmix versus Hardware mixing...

                      Most people did not use Jack prior to distros pushing PulseAudio. Instead they either depended on the hardware mixing features in their sound card or used Alsa's dmix plugin.

                      Alsa's dmix plugin was always a bit stop-gap. It provides a effective way to remix audio, but the algorithm it uses is rather low quality.

                      With Pulseaudio, by default, it uses a much higher quality way to remix audio then Alsa's dmix plugin does. It uses different algorithms sourced from different applications.. by default it uses 'speex-float-3' which is pretty decent. The trouble is that using higher quality resampling method uses more CPU. You can configure higher and lower quality if you want... I like to use 'ffmpeg' method for older computers. If you want to use the same algorithm as 'dmix' then you can select 'trivial' resample method; which is the lowest quality and fastest method used by PA.


                      As far as PulseAudio versus hardware mixing goes... This is harder to choose.

                      Hardware mixing usually 'just works' so you don't need to fart around with dmix or PA or whatever. The trouble is that hardware mixing is very fixed... it may or may not be high quality, but it is not configurable and with software mixing you can do all sorts of fancy things that are not possible to do at all with hardware.

                      Some hardware does suck really bad. For example my old Sound Blaster Audigy sound card automatically remixing everything no matter what you did. It was part of the hardware mixing and could not be disabled; even if the audio did not need it. Meanwhile you can disable remixing for PA if you want and it only does it if you need it (I think).

                      I switched up to a 'M-Audio Audiophile 2496' 'prosumer-style' sound card. It had zero remixing capabilities built in, , but had much lower latency and much better sound quality then my Creative Audigy did.

                      (this was a old original Audigy, not anything newer so I don't know how modern Creative cards compare or if they still force remixing and such)


                      This also leads to a major traditional problem with Linux audio. Alsa had a lot of broken drivers... Alsa applications depend on Alsa drivers to report what audio formats the sound card supports. If the Alsa driver is incorrect then it will cause bad system performance, spotty audio performance, and could even cause it not to work at all. The traditional work around was to setup custom asoundrc/asound.conf 'dmix rules' to resample all audio to a format that is supported by the audio card.

                      So a lot of Linux users had to go and google around and often use trial and error to make proper asound.conf files to get their audio working and then just left it at that.

                      Meanwhile PA is meant to replace all that and it depends on the Alsa driver to give correct values and otherwise work correctly. So a lot of people ran into lots of issues with PA because of broken audio drivers. And instead of using kludges like custom configurations to work around this the PA folks fixed the drivers.

                      Of course PA is much better now then it used to be. Especially on distros that don't fuck around with it to much. (Ubuntu is kind of bad about this)
                      Last edited by drag; 01-04-2010, 01:55 PM.

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