Theoretical PC/Console Hybrid thoughts.

This is topic about the hardware of gaming itself. I ask this here and not on a gaming forum because of a higher population of techies who know the hardware. What are the motherboard hardware limitations that would have to be changed to not bottleneck PC gaming? Bring it to near or quasi console efficiency without being gpu locked? Honestly CPU and RAM havent been a real issue in upgrading for gaming since first gen i5 i7 so only the gpu would have to be changeable every "generation".

A secondary question under that same theme is how much could you make a PC streamlined for gaming without requiring completely new hardware(other than maybe a special GPU)? I am talking about more gaming focused motherboard design, but still using the most regular PC parts as possible.

Software isnt a question as I would think it would just dual boot into either the gaming OS with low overhead or full windows.

Lastly I know this would be a niche thing, but I am working on the premise that the public would not mind spending 1k on a gaming machine that has most of the benefits of consoles efficiency(why developers give it priority) and the modularity or a PC with no peripheral being proprietary.

Also thought about a Steam store/kiosk to download games directly into storage since people complain about digital gaming(bandwidth limitation) even though its cheaper than physical disks.
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More about theoretical console hybrid thoughts
  1. basically what you are proposing is a $1000 console. this is pretty much like what we already have except a little more powerful. brand new consoles are equal to perhaps low to low-middle ranged gaming desktops. any $1000-1500 machine is going to blow them completely out of the water.

    realize that consoles like the xbox are very similar to computers already. even the new ps4 is going to be much like a computer.

    windows does not pose much overhead unless you have alot of background tasks up. remember even consoles have an OS running in the background.

    developers do not give console a priority since they are efficient... they give it a priority because it is a large market share and its easy since you do not need to up the graphics to current pc standards. its also easy since you know the hardware requirements of the whole market and it does not vary like pc tech does.

    realize that the steam store has also pissed of many people over the years (such as me) by having rediculous practices like needing to download 2gb of data from steam because it wasnt on the disk in order to play a pc game in completely offline mode (well to even install the game). oh and needing to be online to play offline mode is a joke as well. i absolutely abhor steam. digital gaming over the internet is also a complete joke. gaming should always be on the system in front of you with physical media. the games are not cheaper because of physical media since at most this costs a few dollars. they are cheaper for other reasons.

    ----------------------------------

    the whole reason why we do not have a playstation network OS for pc or a program which runs under windows is because of varying hardware across systems. playstation games do not have different graphic setting modes as all the hardware is the same. all the devices are the same which makes performance the same and gameplay the exact same which is fair. this is the whole premise of consoles.

    making them upgradeable goes against this

    i'd love to see a merger where PSN runs on windows.... and where ps controllers work better on pc but you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than to see that happen.
  2. ssddx said:
    basically what you are proposing is a $1000 console. this is pretty much like what we already have except a little more powerful. brand new consoles are equal to perhaps low to low-middle ranged gaming desktops. any $1000-1500 machine is going to blow them completely out of the water.


    I understand that it would cost around 1k, but I am mostly asking about physical limitations rather than cost as the cost could be mitigated over time with the ability to upgrade and the lack of proprietary peripherals.

    Gaming machines blow them out of the water due to brute force not efficiency.(I like PCs over consoles but this is just fact) PCs have to deal with hardware communication limitations that are designed out of consoles, but are made up for through much more powerful individual parts in PCs. I am trying to find a middle ground that would nullify the appeal of a modern console, while still maintaining most of the power and versatility of a gaming rig.

    ssddx said:
    realize that consoles like the xbox are very similar to computers already. even the new ps4 is going to be much like a computer.


    It is much like a computer but there are key differences that restrict longevity and customization on a basic level. The limited OS, non replaceable GPU, proprietary hardware, no modding at pc level, no overclocking, etc. These are issues I would like to discuss along with the hardware issues.

    ssddx said:
    windows does not pose much overhead unless you have alot of background tasks up. remember even consoles have an OS running in the background.


    ssddx said:
    developers do not give console a priority since they are efficient... they give it a priority because it is a large market share and its easy since you do not need to up the graphics to current pc standards. its also easy since you know the hardware requirements of the whole market and it does not vary like pc tech does.


    Thats the entire point. The root of it all aside from money is the efficiency. It being efficient makes it cheap and accessible to the masses. It also affects the coding experience as you do not need something on the level of DirectX to be the middleman between hardware and software since you know exactly what the hardware is. At the same time though it limits functionality and consoles have taken it too far. My issue with PC is that the variety has gone too far because people are trying to make a quick buck. The variety in GPUs are unnecessary if a single company just makes the best one possible within the concept of low, mid, high, rather than a 6+ GPU chips per gen for nvidia and amd then the actual retail GPUs across all the manufacturers.

    ssddx said:
    realize that the steam store has also pissed of many people over the years (such as me) by having rediculous practices like needing to download 2gb of data from steam because it wasnt on the disk in order to play a pc game in completely offline mode (well to even install the game). oh and needing to be online to play offline mode is a joke as well. i absolutely abhor steam. digital gaming over the internet is also a complete joke. gaming should always be on the system in front of you with physical media. the games are not cheaper because of physical media since at most this costs a few dollars. they are cheaper for other reasons.


    It has, but its an option not a rule. You do not NEED to buy from steam, or whatever marketplace is used. If you want a cheaper game you can go the digital route and deal with the potential issues that come with it. If you do not you can just get the physical media. They do not understand that people will actually buy and not pirate in many cases just out of respect if the product is good. On the other hand you have gaming companies still afraid of the "Sega Dreamcast Effect" so they want things locked down. I also was under the impression that you can play offline without an internet connection for at least a few days at a time now in Steam. Maybe I am wrong.

    ----------------------------------

    ssddx said:
    the whole reason why we do not have a playstation network OS for pc or a program which runs under windows is because of varying hardware across systems. playstation games do not have different graphic setting modes as all the hardware is the same. all the devices are the same which makes performance the same and gameplay the exact same which is fair. this is the whole premise of consoles.

    making them upgradeable goes against this

    i'd love to see a merger where PSN runs on windows.... and where ps controllers work better on pc but you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than to see that happen.


    I am not talking about a program that runs under windows. I am talking about an OS in and of itself for gaming, but the system itself is capable of dual booting to choose which OS you want to use when you turn it on. So this theoretical system could both have a gaming optimized OS and full windows OS. Also this system would have all the same parts across all platforms aside from maybe 2-3 different GPU options per cycle of 3-5 years. I am trying to figure out what would be necessary to bridge the gap with the least amount of drawbacks. Fair isnt taken into account as we all deserve to game on some level, but people dont deserve to have their experience limited because of what someone else cant afford. This is why I hate to see how some games are neutered when ported to console(Battlefield) and other simply shouldnt exist(with current hard and soft limitations) on console(Halo Wars).

    Actual hardware would be something like this.(equivalent performance not exact)


    ~K series i5

    ~8GB DDR3/4 ram

    ~gtx 660. 670, and 680 level options with at least 3GB gddr4/5 .(iono about having sli/xfire as an option yet until I can grasp the basics)

    ~Hard drive is variable based on user.(hybrid drive or ssd for best minimum usability but it would have a dual 2.5mm bay)

    ~All on a mainboard that fits within PC form factors so as to facilitate usage in a tower if the user wants to have more space for other parts that operate in windows mode or water cooling/extra fans.

    ~It would also feature a gaming OS that has a "easy mode" to make it as simple as possible for some people but an "advanced mode" for people who want to install their own updates and mod without any automation.

    The issues I am mainly asking about are how to redo the motherboard of said machine so it wouldn't face the latency normally found in a PC motherboard when these parts communicate with each other. Everything excecpt the GPU and Hard Drive can be non removable.(almost like a laptop)

    Yes this would be expensive but I would buy it over a console on principle at this point. Keep in mind I am still deferring to superior knowledge on the hardware and software difficulties I am just trying to clarify what I envision so I can get the best answers. I appreciate all constructive input.
  3. Quote:
    I understand that it would cost around 1k, but I am mostly asking about physical limitations rather than cost as the cost could be mitigated over time with the ability to upgrade and the lack of proprietary peripherals.

    Gaming machines blow them out of the water due to brute force not efficiency.(I like PCs over consoles but this is just fact) PCs have to deal with hardware communication limitations that are designed out of consoles, but are made up for through much more powerful individual parts in PCs. I am trying to find a middle ground that would nullify the appeal of a modern console, while still maintaining most of the power and versatility of a gaming rig.


    perhaps you completely missed the part where i said making the unit upgradeable was detrimental to the whole console system.

    computers need to be able to work with a variety of parts also. a console already knows what parts will be inside unless of course you tried to upgrade it which was one of your points hence it would lose any such efficiency.

    Quote:
    It is much like a computer but there are key differences that restrict longevity and customization on a basic level. The limited OS, non replaceable GPU, proprietary hardware, no modding at pc level, no overclocking, etc. These are issues I would like to discuss along with the hardware issues.


    the whole point for using proprietary hardware is so that you cant modify it. this is done on purpose.

    you mentioned before that you liked the os to be lightweight. well... limited is what you get when you do this. you need to either pick one or the other you dont get both.

    Quote:
    Thats the entire point. The root of it all aside from money is the efficiency. It being efficient makes it cheap and accessible to the masses. It also affects the coding experience as you do not need something on the level of DirectX to be the middleman between hardware and software since you know exactly what the hardware is. At the same time though it limits functionality and consoles have taken it too far. My issue with PC is that the variety has gone too far because people are trying to make a quick buck. The variety in GPUs are unnecessary if a single company just makes the best one possible within the concept of low, mid, high, rather than a 6+ GPU chips per gen for nvidia and amd then the actual retail GPUs across all the manufacturers.


    did you miss the part where i stated that at least the ps3 is sold at a loss? the first gen was sold hundreds below the actual cost to make them and this only improved as time went on and the newer generations came through.

    yes you know what hardware is in the ps3 however if you make it upgradeable that changes it so that you might not know what is going into it.

    what you are proposing is essentially a monopoly and in case you've never seen one before... it means that they can charge whatever they want and you as the customer get bent over royally. having competition is good and the market at large is good currently. all we need is a bit more collaboration when it comes to standards like 4k, usb, the next version of hdmi, the next generation of pci-e and motherboard improvments. the whole idea of pc is that you can buy a pc to fit your particular needs and budget. this makes coding more difficult but it provides a customized product instead of a one-size-fits-all that is a console.

    Quote:
    It has, but its an option not a rule. You do not NEED to buy from steam, or whatever marketplace is used. If you want a cheaper game you can go the digital route and deal with the potential issues that come with it. If you do not you can just get the physical media. They do not understand that people will actually buy and not pirate in many cases just out of respect if the product is good. On the other hand you have gaming companies still afraid of the "Sega Dreamcast Effect" so they want things locked down. I also was under the impression that you can play offline without an internet connection for at least a few days at a time now in Steam. Maybe I am wrong.


    no... that is exactly my point it IS required in some cases. i purchased a disk from a retail store which had absolutely no indication on the exterior that it required a steam account and a huge download. this is why i hate steam. if i actually had a choice about it then it wouldnt be so bad as i would just avoid steam and register my game how it has been done for 10+ years prior to steam even existing. wow so i can play for a few days offline? thats a load of crud and they know it. what happens if i actually travel with a laptop and do not have an internet connection but i want to play a game to be entertained? i'm royally screwed that is what. my point is that game developers are trying to shove it down our throats instead of making it an option. if it was an option i would feel much more favorable towards it.

    Quote:
    I am not talking about a program that runs under windows. I am talking about an OS in and of itself for gaming, but the system itself is capable of dual booting to choose which OS you want to use when you turn it on. So this theoretical system could both have a gaming optimized OS and full windows OS. Also this system would have all the same parts across all platforms aside from maybe 2-3 different GPU options per cycle of 3-5 years. I am trying to figure out what would be necessary to bridge the gap with the least amount of drawbacks. Fair isnt taken into account as we all deserve to game on some level, but people dont deserve to have their experience limited because of what someone else cant afford. This is why I hate to see how some games are neutered when ported to console(Battlefield) and other simply shouldnt exist(with current hard and soft limitations) on console(Halo Wars).


    essentially what i said about psn creating an os for pc.

    keep in mind that having such variety pretty much kills all of the good points of console. basically all you are suggesting is a pc with extremely limited hardware choices running the psn os. it doesnt work out so well with alot of the points you had above either.

    Quote:

    Actual hardware would be something like this.(equivalent performance not exact)
    ~K series i5

    ~8GB DDR3/4 ram

    ~gtx 660. 670, and 680 level options with at least 3GB gddr4/5 .(iono about having sli/xfire as an option yet until I can grasp the basics)

    ~Hard drive is variable based on user.(hybrid drive or ssd for best minimum usability but it would have a dual 2.5mm bay)

    ~All on a mainboard that fits within PC form factors so as to facilitate usage in a tower if the user wants to have more space for other parts that operate in windows mode or water cooling/extra fans.

    ~It would also feature a gaming OS that has a "easy mode" to make it as simple as possible for some people but an "advanced mode" for people who want to install their own updates and mod without any automation.

    The issues I am mainly asking about are how to redo the motherboard of said machine so it wouldn't face the latency normally found in a PC motherboard when these parts communicate with each other. Everything excecpt the GPU and Hard Drive can be non removable.(almost like a laptop)

    Yes this would be expensive but I would buy it over a console on principle at this point. Keep in mind I am still deferring to superior knowledge on the hardware and software difficulties I am just trying to clarify what I envision so I can get the best answers. I appreciate all constructive input.


    again... basically a very limited version of a pc with a psn os.

    there is no point to make a special pc/console hybrid as a pc running some sort of console os would do the exact same thing but cheaper and better.

    ultimately it goes against the whole point of console (which is an equal playing field, easy coding since it is for the same hardware, etcetera) so this wouldnt happen.

    lets say for a moment that it is created...

    -games would need multiple graphical settings (hence no more easy coding) since you would have different gpu
    -if you kept the same settings the high end users would be paying extra for no gain (as the devs would use the lowest gpu to code for)
    -people using controllers would be even more mixed in with people using mouse and keyboard which has proven to be very unfair (controllers are inferior for fps)
    -due to the custom motherboard and other elements this would not be cheap. a normal pc would be much cheaper for a more powerful system.

    etcetera..

    do you see where i'm coming from?

    ----------

    i do agree that there are definite issues to work out in motherboard design. the motherboard manufacturers really need to work together and create a new standard for us which works better but change is slow.

    until we hit a very hard bottleneck do not expect any major changes. currently pci-e, usb3, pci, sata3 are all working fine. perhaps not ideal designs but definitely not holding us back.

    there have been experiments with cell architecture like ps3 for pc... hence cuda gpgpu and the like. the problem is that it doesnt work so well with current programming so to avoid alienating users with old programs manufacturers stick to the same basic design and are slowly adding more cores each year to let the whole system catch up with the idea of multi core computing. its a slow change but it needs to be.
  4. ssddx said:
    perhaps you completely missed the part where i said making the unit upgradeable was detrimental to the whole console system.

    computers need to be able to work with a variety of parts also. a console already knows what parts will be inside unless of course you tried to upgrade it which was one of your points hence it would lose any such efficiency.


    I feel as though you are either not understanding what I am trying to say or I have just not made myself clear. Making it upgradeable would be detrimental at some level yes, but as I stated in my last post the majority of the parts on this theoretical console are standardized. The only changeable parts would be the hard drives and the special GPU module. That would allow it to maintan a certain efficiency and not be an essencial black box once new technology comes out. I already fully understand that modularity kills efficient performance and I have stated such n my last post.

    ssddx said:
    the whole point for using proprietary hardware is so that you cant modify it. this is done on purpose.


    I understand that is the money grubbing use of proprietary software/hardware. A benign use is just to make something specialized enough to where it only works on a certain device. Things would be proprietary to prevent knockoff internal parts that might hamper the system. Nothing changeable on this theoretical console would be proprietary.

    ssddx said:
    you mentioned before that you liked the os to be lightweight. well... limited is what you get when you do this. you need to either pick one or the other you dont get both.

    Actually I can have both. If this system has firmware and drivers for windows, then the hard drive can contain windows 7/8 and function and also run the special gaming OS on a seperate partition. As far as modding, you only need access to the game files most of the time so this would not kill the system. Also in "easy mode" the system would not need to load more advanced portions of the UI.

    ssddx said:
    did you miss the part where i stated that at least the ps3 is sold at a loss? the first gen was sold hundreds below the actual cost to make them and this only improved as time went on and the newer generations came through.

    I understand and am aware of that. The same thing happened with the original xbox. I am again stating that the majority of the system would stay the same for at least 2 generations. Each generation only a new GPU would need to be made

    ssddx said:
    yes you know what hardware is in the ps3 however if you make it upgradeable that changes it so that you might not know what is going into it.

    Actually In this system I know exactly what would go into it except for the hard drive(user choice). All components would be the same except for the GPU and that would be limited to 2-3(max) different versions preferably all using the same architechture but different performance and cost. This would cap out the gpu on war power but the optimization would balance it out.

    ssddx said:
    what you are proposing is essentially a monopoly and in case you've never seen one before... it means that they can charge whatever they want and you as the customer get bent over royally. having competition is good and the market at large is good currently. all we need is a bit more collaboration when it comes to standards like 4k, usb, the next version of hdmi, the next generation of pci-e and motherboard improvments. the whole idea of pc is that you can buy a pc to fit your particular needs and budget. this makes coding more difficult but it provides a customized product instead of a one-size-fits-all that is a console.


    I am not proposing a monopoly per se, I am proposing the pinnacle of what a console should be. I do not say that sony, microsoft, nintendo, would be destroyed, but if they lose market because their product is inferior then its on them to step it up. They would still be better on initial cost so that still might draw people. If they do one up what I am thinking about then how exactly would that be a negative to gamers?

    ssddx said:
    no... that is exactly my point it IS required in some cases. i purchased a disk from a retail store which had absolutely no indication on the exterior that it required a steam account and a huge download. this is why i hate steam. if i actually had a choice about it then it wouldnt be so bad as i would just avoid steam and register my game how it has been done for 10+ years prior to steam even existing. wow so i can play for a few days offline? thats a load of crud and they know it. what happens if i actually travel with a laptop and do not have an internet connection but i want to play a game to be entertained? i'm royally screwed that is what. my point is that game developers are trying to shove it down our throats instead of making it an option. if it was an option i would feel much more favorable towards it.


    In some cases yes, but from what I understand at this moment you only need to be online initially then you can play up to 2 weeks offline at a time. Since its only a DRM check it would be simple enough to even use your phones internet to get another 2 weeks offline. Might have been different when this happened to you and that would suck if you are stuck only playing a game while you are connected. They are trying to force the issue but they are failing and is remaining only optional. We have seen this with the outcry against the XBO DRM even though there were benefits. This was a console issue but with the modding available on PC vs console I can understand why they are somewhat wary of giving people free reign.


    ssddx said:
    essentially what i said about psn creating an os for pc.

    keep in mind that having such variety pretty much kills all of the good points of console. basically all you are suggesting is a pc with extremely limited hardware choices running the psn os. it doesnt work out so well with alot of the points you had above either.


    May I ask what variety you are speaking of? I clearly listed the singular parts(or modified varients of those parts) that will be used on all the consoles and listed the parts that would be variable. It would be a limited PC, but at the same time the limitation would not be apparent to a everyday user. Honestly most have never opened their desktop or even changed thermal paste let alone changed parts. With the specs I have listed the causal PC user woud not want in performance unless you believe a K series i5 isnt enough.


    ssddx said:
    again... basically a very limited version of a pc with a psn os.

    there is no point to make a special pc/console hybrid as a pc running some sort of console os would do the exact same thing but cheaper and better.
    ultimately it goes against the whole point of console (which is an equal playing field, easy coding since it is for the same hardware, etcetera) so this wouldnt happen.


    Consoles would do it cheaper, but not better. They cant do it better by definition of being consoles. They are black box using hardware that cant compete with what I have stated. They also would lose some ground in optimization because the hybrid would have the same parts accross the board except a chioce between one of two gpus and hard drive.

    ssddx said:
    lets say for a moment that it is created...

    -games would need multiple graphical settings (hence no more easy coding) since you would have different gpu
    -if you kept the same settings the high end users would be paying extra for no gain (as the devs would use the lowest gpu to code for)
    -people using controllers would be even more mixed in with people using mouse and keyboard which has proven to be very unfair (controllers are inferior for fps)
    -due to the custom motherboard and other elements this would not be cheap. a normal pc would be much cheaper for a more powerful system.

    etcetera..

    do you see where i'm coming from?


    Can you explain how it would be no more easy coding since it would only be for two or three different(but similar) GPUs? Can you also explain how being able to change graphical setting affects efficient coding? I am genuinely asking as I wanted technical information on where that line in the sand between coding and hardware is really located.

    I also do not agree that developers would automatically use the lower GPU to code for completely. It would depend on the market share of which varient is bought most. There are still settings that can be changed to take advantage of the more powerful GPU and modding that can take advantage of it.

    People with controllers and keyboard/mouse would be mixed in but that doesnt mean they would have to play with each other unless they wanted to.(lobby settings) Also, some limitations of controller are deliberate but lazy, such as how the xbox has a chat pad but uses it for no games that could benefit from it.

    Again you are missing why I am asking this. A normal PC has to deal with coding overhead that makes it more powerful(at a higher initial cost) but devoting a portion of its power to deal with inefficient coding. A console has very efficient coding but its a black box. I honestly dont want to debate specifics f price because that changes with market and how many units are produced from where.

    ----------

    ssddx said:
    i do agree that there are definite issues to work out in motherboard design. the motherboard manufacturers really need to work together and create a new standard for us which works better but change is slow.

    until we hit a very hard bottleneck do not expect any major changes. currently pci-e, usb3, pci, sata3 are all working fine. perhaps not ideal designs but definitely not holding us back?

    there have been experiments with cell architecture like ps3 for pc... hence cuda gpgpu and the like. the problem is that it doesnt work so well with current programming so to avoid alienating users with old programs manufacturers stick to the same basic design and are slowly adding more cores each year to let the whole system catch up with the idea of multi core computing. its a slow change but it needs to be.


    The issue is making them too specialized. Cell was a interestig idea but it was completely different in architecture compared to other CPUs. I am talking about using the same x86 instruction set as a PC but PC level performance as far as CPU and GPU.

    While I am interested in what you have to say I sort of wanted technical answers and not personal opinion as to whether the venture would be worth it or how much it might initially cost. I have though about the basic issues(multiplayer, keeping the lowest common denominator in parts, etc.) and have come to the conclusion that the base issues are solvable but I dont have the full knowledge to know what technical issues are there that need to be solved within the boundaries of what I envision(restructuring the busses to be more gaming efficient but still be able to run something like windows to be able to use it as a full mid/high range computer).
  5. i see no point continuing to argue.

    i'm a gaming veteran on both console and pc as well as a hardware expert. i'm sorry if you dont like my opinion but i'm not just basing it on what i do and do not like.

    i'm done with this post as clearly you dont want to hear anything else from me.
  6. ssddx said:
    i see no point continuing to argue.

    i'm a gaming veteran on both console and pc as well as a hardware expert. i'm sorry if you dont like my opinion but i'm not just basing it on what i do and do not like.

    i'm done with this post as clearly you dont want to hear anything else from me.


    Thats is what I am saying. I am not arguing. I gave specifics more or less to what I am talking about and trying to use, but I do not feel you are answering what I have asked specifically nor are you giving specific answers to technical answers. I know this is a far fetched idea but I wanted specifics not really a sweeping that wont work.

    Again I am sorry if I offended you but it seemed as though you did not get what I was asking specifically from the wording of your posts. For example, you kept saying modularity was bad and would kill efficiency, but you didnt really respond to the fact that I stated only the GPU and hard drives would be nonstandard. Everything else would be a standardized parts like consoles.

    I apologize for saying you are basing it off just what you do not like but at the same time you have not informed me of a solid hardware limitation other than just telling me it wont work. While I completely agree with your statements that it would basically be a stripped down PC and you should probably buy a regular PC, my goal is to make it striped down enough to where the computer incapable or those who just do not want to deal with it can not have to deal with it(which seems to be a common complaint I hear against PC gaming) if they dont want and still have a full computer. I would like to know the technical reasons you thought about that lead you to your conclusion as I am trying to learn.

    Again my humblest apologies as I am merely trying to get as much information as possible within the boundaries of the idea and am not looking to offend anyone.
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