Graphics - what do gamers want?

New graphics cards flood the market every couple of months or so and promise faster and faster performance with ever increasing clock speeds and memory performance. A lot of enthusiasts clamour for the greatest in the hope that they'll be able to play the latest games with just that little bit of greater detail than the previous generation of cards.
 
My question to you, dear reader, is: what should we, as gamers, be doing? Why should we have to spend hundreds of ££'s on the fastest card we can buy when we know it will almost certainly be superceded by something even 'faster' in a few months time?
 
"Why should we have to spend hundreds of ££'s on the fastest card we can buy?"
 
There are several ways to look at the dilemma facing us here. One way is to point our long fingers at developers. Should we ask why developers cannot code their games in a way that means that the games look good even at lower detail levels or on older generation cards? After all, engines like the Steam engine still look stunning on pretty much any card made in the last couple of years, even when ramped down a little bit.
 
What I am saying is that it CAN be done, so why is it not done more? When was the last time you opened up a game and tried it out only to see a slideshow? Then when you tuned down those lovely graphics, all you were left with was Kryton facing you and a landscape that reminded you of a low-res version of the Tellie-tubbies?
 
"all you were left with was Kryton facing you and a landscape that reminded you of a low-res version of the Tellie-tubbies"
 
Developers like Crytek have an awful lot to answer for in our search for the best and most realistic video games, but they also have a lot to answer for in terms of making gamers buy the latest kit. Did we all need DX10 cards for Crysis? No, we didn't, but the kind folks at Microsoft and Crytek made sure we thought we needed em. Could Crysis have been made to look just as nice without needing you to sell some limbs to play it? I suspect so.
 
That said, another way to look at this is to take a sly look in the mirror. Why DO you buy the latest graphics card? Is it for the pure enjoyment of the game? Would Crysis have been half the game it was if it hadn't looked so good? A tough one to call, but the answer is no.
 
It looks like I've argued myself away from the first sentence on the previous paragraph....or have I? Why is it we demand games look fantastic without too much of a focus on gameplay?
 
doom1
 
Under that sexy skin, Crysis was a decent enough FPS, but it certainly didn't break any gameplay barriers (unless it was the "how low can the frames go" barrier!).
 
 "Crysis....certainly didn't break any gameplay barriers"
 
The race for the biggest "E-Peen" needs to stop and gamers need to start sending a message to devs: "Give us games that look good and play well on what is out there already". Even several months after Crysis's release I was still seeing (and saying) "it's designed for hardware that doesn't even exist yet". When you step back and think about it, that makes no sense at all and is actually ludicrous, especially from a group of people oft-criticised for their lack of long term attention.
 
"Even several months after Crysis's release I was still seeing (and saying) "it's designed for hardware that doesn't even exist yet"."
 
I am picking on Crytek, but they're not the only ones. The Industry seems packed full of companies trying to make hardware manufacturers money and gamers broke. Whilst 'pushing the limits' is an excellent thing to be doing, I would far rather see the limits of game design pushed, instead of the limits of my poor ickle graphics card.
 
Gamers like us need to demand excellence in gameplay as well as in graphics, wrapped up in a bundle that actually uses the hardware we've got sitting inside our PC's. Developers need to start getting their coding...and their balance right.
 
Let us ask not what more hardware can do for our gaming, but what our gaming can do on our harware.
 
Agree? Disagree? Shout at me here
 
 
Crysis very high
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Most Recent Comments

23-07-2008, 06:03:52

Jim
Hey mate...its FAR from being easy.

Firstly you need an inventor for powering the screen/backlight. This is something that will probably be built into the laptop's mobo, so you'd need to find out if there is a separate one that you can buy which will take a 12v in from your PC's PSU and change it to whatever power req's the screen has.

Then you'll be needing another board that can accept VGA input and convert it into a usable output for that screen. The screen you've got there is nothing more than a plate of pixels - It has no idea what DVI or VGA is.

The screen i used for my project was actually taken from a HTPC case. The screen had all of the above contained within a unit behind the screen. It wasn't cheap either - ~£300 :(

23-07-2008, 06:24:47

Hassan

Hey mate...its FAR from being easy.

Firstly you need an inventor for powering the screen/backlight. This is something that will probably be built into the laptop's mobo, so you'd need to find out if there is a separate one that you can buy which will take a 12v in from your PC's PSU and change it to whatever power req's the screen has.

Then you'll be needing another board that can accept VGA input and convert it into a usable output for that screen. The screen you've got there is nothing more than a plate of pixels - It has no idea what DVI or VGA is.

The screen i used for my project was actually taken from a HTPC case. The screen had all of the above contained within a unit behind the screen. It wasn't cheap either - ~£300 :(



I've got the inverter and that is connected on the back of the lcd using sticky tape. Good thing it wasn't built onto the motherboard.

Only thing I think I need would be a suitable controller that can acheive 1280x800 resolution

23-07-2008, 06:27:32

Jim

I've got the inverter and that is connected on the back of the lcd using sticky tape. Good thing it wasn't built onto the motherboard.

Only thing I think I need would be a suitable controller that can acheive 1280x800 resolution



Ahh good stuff. Any idea what input power the inverter has? I doubt it would be 12v, so you'd also need to sort that side of things out.

As for the controller, www.rswww.com has some iirc, but getting one that works would be a bit hit and miss.

23-07-2008, 06:46:54

Hassan
I do not know what the input power of the inverter is. Do not know where to look. Will check Google though

If anyone can help me, the laptop was a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo 1705

23-07-2008, 07:08:10

Hassan
OK
Searched everywhere on Google, but no info found for what the power intake is.

So I took a photo of the inverter which has some info which I think maybe the power intake.

[IMG]http://i220.photobucket.com/albums/dd140/hassan97/HaSSaN674.jpg[/IMG]

So what do you think?

23-07-2008, 08:14:40

Jim
You're right, absolutely nothing online about it. A few of the other inverters I came across were 12-15v, but they look a fair bit more beefy than urs:


[IMG]http://www.notebookersatzteil.de/bilder/inv1215.jpg[/IMG]


I suppose the main thing would be to get the controller sorted first. Worst case scenario you could try running the inverter at different voltages (starting low) with a variable mains adapter or sommit.


EDIT:

This is the kind of controller ur after:

http://uk.rs-online.com/web/search/searchBrowseAction.html?method=getProduct&R=6204135

23-07-2008, 09:24:52

Hassan
What if its 10v

All I see is the number 10 on my inverter

23-07-2008, 09:32:41

Jim

What if its 10v

All I see is the number 10 on my inverter



If it turns out to be 10v there's a number of easy ways we can get the 12v line dropped down to that level. The voltage is the least of your worries :)

23-07-2008, 10:22:32

Rastalovich
Maybe get the pin-out for the lcd plugs, against a vga 15 pin, the lcd connectors look very much the same to me.

I can`t see it being anything over 12v for the sake of sensibility, and to be fair anything up to 12v u can make a little circuit for, maybe not even requiring a pcb.

Don`t think u necessarily need an inverter.

25-07-2008, 20:00:35

rrjwilson
Go to LumenLabs they have LOADS of tutorials on how to hook these up and also sell a board that will produce the right output from almost any source.
The connectors are standard and it is a PITA to do but thye do it regularly to build £100 1080p projectors and have been for many years.
I've looked at doing it both with laptop screen and desktop screen. Both are mental and I've taught GCSE electronics.

Forgot to say that the invertor is actually only for the backlight of the display not the actual screen. The screen runs of a heavily regulated low DC voltage (I've run a 15" from an old car battery).
The backlight you can remove and use somethign else you can build, LED driven perhaps for lower voltages.
Someone has built a "handheld" projector on LumenLabs using a 300 LED cluster on 7" TFT so i can be done.
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