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Joining The PC Master Race: First Steps Into PC Gaming

I never thought I would get to this point, but the time has finally arrived: I’m officially becoming a member of the PC Master Race.  My roots are grounded securely in console gaming (dating all the way back to the NES days), so I won’t be leaving my tried and true living room gaming experience behind.  Instead, I’ll just be adding on a gaming experience that I had been avoiding for so long.  Now, though, I think I’m ready to make the leap and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if my new PC became my go-to platform in the future as I take my first real steps into PC gaming.

The First Steps To Admitting You Have A Problem

So why now?  I have a Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One as far as current gen consoles are concerned.  Up to this point, I think I’ve been fairly satisfied with all of them for what they provide.  However, there came a realization that parts of my gaming experience began to matter a lot more than they used to, and console gaming in its current form just wasn’t cutting it anymore.

While the PS4 and Xbox one are certainly more powerful than their previous counterparts, they leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the performance that you would expect from 3-500 dollar gaming investments in 2015 and now, 2016.  Very few games reach 1080p (which isn’t even the tops right now with 4K becoming bigger) without sacrificing stable framerates.  Recent games like Star Wars Battlefront barely hold together 60fps while hitting resolutions of 900p on PS4 and an unacceptable 720p on the Xbox One.  Heck, even an updated 360/PS3 game like Darksiders 2 has performance issues on current generation consoles, and still underperforms overall compared to its older PC counterpart.  At first, matters of resolution and framerate didn’t matter all that much to me, but the more I look at the PC side of things, stuff like image quality and performance really stick out to me right now.  I wondered why I put myself through that when I didn’t have to.  Well, I don’t have to.  And I’m not going to.  Not anymore at least.

Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition
For some reason, supposedly upgraded 360/PS3 port runs poorly on the more powerful current gen consoles

Okay, So Now What?

The possibility of buying a pre-built machine did cross my mind, but the high costs of such gaming pcs and the limited freedom of such builds are part of the reason that I didn’t take the plunge in the first place.  However, after much research, I felt pretty confident in my ability to build a machine that would be catered towards my personal gaming needs.  I can build a gaming rig that rivals the PS4/Xbox One or possibly surpass them at a similar or slightly lower price, or go all out and build a mammoth tank of a machine that will melt my eyes from how gorgeous the games could look.  Either way, the machine will perform how I expect it to, based on my gaming needs and expectations. So what am I looking for in my gaming build?  Well, right now, something somewhere in between.

At minimum, I want 1080p to be standard for my games as well as stable framerates (whether at 60 or a locked 30).  Getting this probably wouldn’t cost much for my PC build. However, I also want the option of being able to play some of the newer games over the next couple of years, so I’m making sure that I don’t skimp too much on certain components.  When I’m ready to game in 4K, I want to have that option.  Basically, the thing needs to be strong enough to play today’s games with an ability to play tomorrow’s with minimal upgrades necessary.  I don’t just want another Xbox or PS4.  I want more than that.  Much more.  This is a serious investment into my gaming future.

Of course, its probably going to take some getting used to.  I can’t really see myself playing competitive shooters on PC anytime soon, as the whole mouse and keyboard thing seems pretty daunting at the moment. There’s also that whole “I have never built a PC from scratch before” thing.  However, there are plenty of games that I can play with a controller, and the educational benefits of building this thing can’t be denied for my skills development.  Truly, price is the only con that I can think of, and even that becomes less of a factor after the initial investment.  When the PS5 or next Xbox come about (if they come about), it is very possible that my PC will still be a better machine than both of them, or at least require a lot less money for upgrades in order to come out on top.  And while I appreciate the Xbox One’s ability to offer a form of backwards compatability with some games, the PC has been doing BC for years, and I look forward to bringing my backlog of games with me to any future gaming builds without too much worry.

Quatum Break
Microsoft’s Quantum Break will be one of the first games I use to test the power of my new rig.

In the end, a lot of the games that I love to play are on PC and are still coming to PC.  So unless it’s a console exclusive, or a game that my friends are playing on consoles, then I’m going to be playing said game on the PC.  I’ve got my parts list.  I’ve got my cash (mostly).  Its time to rock and roll.  Its time to join the PC Master Race.

For part 2 of this journey,  we’ll look at the what and why concerning the components that I chose for making my build.

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