Why PC?

The first thing people ask when they hear about the "PC Master Race" or begin reading this article is, "Is this a real community?". The answer is yes, absolutely. One thing we specialize in as a group is education and facts, and this page is the physical embodiment of just that. So... Why PC? What's the big deal with PC gaming? What's wrong with console gaming? Is PC gaming actually superior? Are consoles really hurting the game industry? Everything will be answered in greater detail, but yes: PC gaming is wholly and objectively superior to console gaming. It can fill absolutely any and every need that consoles can. Any and all limitations or restrictions holding the PC back are entirely artificial and fabricated by console manufacturers, console developers, and console journalists (essentially, the "console industry") to prolong their relevance and profit. Long has the PC dealt with slander, misrepresentation, console marketing lies, FUD, and hostageware from the console industry. That's partially what triggered the creation of this subreddit and formation of our ideology in the first place! Before the rise of the "PC Master Race" communities and ideology, there wasn't any unified group present to fight console industry slander, FUD, hostageware, and marketing lies. This has now changed. PC gaming is no longer a force to be messed with, and there's an army of 500k+ people who have united for the very purpose of making sure PC gaming is properly represented and no longer mistreated. As users of a free, open, and decentralized platform, it's our responsibility as PC gamers to take the place of the support, management, port testing, and other essential duties that a console manufacturer would otherwise handle for its users and its developers. The page you're about to read is the product of several years of hard work from individuals who believe in the PC, who have done all of this for no other reason than to ensure the console industry's damage is limited, and that the truth still has the ability to directly reach you regardless of how much they attempt to bury the truth in marketing lies and negative associations. Strap yourself in, little Timmy. Get some food, water, and music, because this ride doesn't end.

Forget everything you thought you knew about PC gaming. This article has two goals: to teach readers how to get into PC gaming and take advantage of all its current offerings, and to dispel the myths about PC gaming that the console industry has been spinning up in an attempt to remain on top despite declining relevance. It's 2017 and PC gaming has never been this inexpensive, easy to get into, free of restriction, or more widespread than it is today. Largely to thank for this massive PC growth, consoles have never been as ethically and technologically worse than they are today - and a lot of people are switching. Yes, this is the first time in gaming history where PCs have surpassed consoles in every conceivable way for less money (however, consoles continue to sell due to dishonest marketing, abuse of money and power of their creators, and traditional beliefs held by many gamers). This following page will explain (in detail) how and why the PC is the unquestionably and objectively superior choice (cheaper, faster, better, more versatile, and more compatible) compared to underpowered and industry-harming PS4 and XBox One "PC imitators". It's also non-linear and can be read in any order that you prefer. This is a very PC-oriented community, so you may be expecting unjustified or illogical fanboyism... however, a large driving force behind the PC movement is because of what it offers. In other words, we chose it because it's awesome - not it's awesome because we chose it.

The past seven years of surging growth, competition, and innovation in the industry have improved the PC in almost every regard, largely due to the mobile hardware and efficiency revolution, as well as things like Steam, Humble Bundle, and Good Old Games. PC gaming is now cheaper than ever, and console gaming continues to get more and more expensive as the PlayStation & XBox divisions continue to push prices (and their own business operation costs) higher every year. Reading this guide will cost you exactly $0, whereas, in comparison, buying a console and paying for all the extended costs of everything it requires could easily exceed $2,000 in just a few years (not to mention, consoles offer a considerably worse gaming experience)! Honestly, what could it really hurt to read this? Bookmark this, read it thoroughly, check all the sources, share the link with your friends, and enjoy!

Various sources: 12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031132333435

In summary, why should I choose a PC over a console? What can it possibly offer?

PCs are awesome machines for gaming, work, and entertainment alike for many reasons. This includes, but is not limited to, the following reasons listed below. The sources that follow each bullet point should link to sections within this page, which in turn contain all the sources you'll probably want to see.

  • PC gaming as a whole is much cheaper than console gaming. Especially in the long run, it can be less than half of what a console will cost you. Hidden fees, price hikes, and royalties are abundant for gamers AND developers in the console industry. [1][2]
  • PC hardware offers better bang-for-buck & value than console hardware (same performance for less money, more performance for the same money, or much more performance for a bit more money). [1]
  • PCs have the freedom to upgrade whenever YOU decide to, not when Sony or Microsoft decide to. If you just got a big paycheck and wanted to sell your R7 260 to a friend for $50 and buy an R9 380 for $150 tomorrow, you could do it.
  • PCs give you full internal and external control over the graphical fidelity triangle. Consoles can control neither.
  • PCs easily work with TVs and monitors, and even multiple of each.
  • PCs can play nearly every old PC and console game ever made, thanks to its tremendous legacy support, emulator availability, and GOG.
  • PCs can use nearly every console controller ever made, modern ones (PS3/PS4/X360/XO) work without even needing a USB adapter. [1]
  • PC games offer a clearer image thanks to native resolution and its ability to adjust to any display its plugged into. Console games don't allow resolution adjustments, and will lock to whatever the developer arbitrarily chose. This means that lower resolution displays offer no performance benefit like they do on PCs, because the resolution is never lowered to spare some workload on the GPU (which, on a PC, would mean it could render frames faster). [1]
  • Gaming services and "social services" on the PC are completely free, even with online play (Steam, Galaxy, Desura, Mumble, etc)
  • Gaming services on the PC offer more functionality than what you pay for on a console
  • PCs have better better multiplayer support (LAN, 16x local multiplayer on the same machine with softXpand)
  • Using a modern budget GPU yields around 60 frames per second during gameplay with recent game releases. Consoles can barely reach 30FPS most of the time.
  • Not only can PC's be used for education, entertainment, gaming, and content creation... they're the best at all of these things.
  • PCs are much more powerful than the PS4 or XBox One at the same (traditionally believe to be affordable!) price point
  • More exclusives than all the current-gen consoles combined
  • More highly-rated exclusives
  • PC games have free modifications and enhancements available. Old games and new games alike have player-made content, graphical enhancements, and additions available for free. Even Minecraft. [1]
  • More games, much larger library
  • More exclusive games
  • Healthy independent developer scene
  • Lots of free games
  • Free abandonware titles
  • PCs can emulate almost any handheld and stationary console games using freely available emulators. Sometimes even at higher framerates, detail levels, and with better input than the original console permitted! [1][1][2]
  • Increasingly cheaper hardware for the price as new GPUs are released
  • Big Picture mode for couch gaming
  • Easier to repair and highly modular
  • Backward and forward hardware compatibility of ~2 years
  • No punishments for repairing
  • Can be upgraded if desired
  • Easier to upgrade
  • Better price-performance than consoles
  • Higher framerates, resulting in smoother motion, physics, particles, and gameplay
  • Higher resolutions than consoles (such as 1080p, 1440p, 1600p, 4k, and 8k!) if your display supports it and you have GPU power you're willing to spare. Consoles struggle, even at 720-900p!
  • Higher graphical details (lighting, textures, foliage, particles, shading, weather)
  • You're probably going to own some sort of PC anyways, why not pay a bit more on top to make it a gaming machine? That alone makes it cheaper than a console.

The Personal Computer is a constantly evolving platform. It grows in power, capability, and value every single year. It's also free of the control of any single entity, which are why many of these advantages now exist. Rather than being regulated by a single company, control and improvement influence over the PC belongs to everyone equally. Even you, the consumers, have the full freedom to create or sell software, games, and hardware for it. It's being constantly improved by competing companies and individuals all over the spectrum, and all of them are trying to offer you (and potential developers) the best experience possible. Just keep reading!

"Why do you care what others buy and play games on?"

That's a great question. We (the PC gamers) love gaming and the game industry with a burning passion. Unfortunately for the industry, modern consoles are sucking it dry. No, that's not to say every console manufacturer is responsible for this, and it's also not to say the ones that are responsible are doing it all the time, but it's still harmful. Consoles are directly harming developers, gamers, and the PC platform with their petty exclusivity and dishonest marketing wars.

Nowadays, the console business is no longer about satisfying gamers and developers; it's about building a monopoly so they can forcefully attract and monetarily drain developers to the point where they can't afford to develop a quality game on a competing platform (Sony has been known to starve developers to the point where they may opt to skip competing game platforms) (hence, bad ports). It's about bribing them if they can't attract them through marketshare (paid exclusivity). It's about doing whatever it takes to lock up as many franchises as possible to your own platform so the competition has none left, which leaves you with more market share (and consequently, power). They've focused so much on killing competing platforms that they have no money left to make the consumers a product that makes them happy. You, as a gamer, should be pissed at what they're doing to you and your favorite games. If you understand this and continue to defend what they're doing simply because of brand loyalty, you really need to reconsider your reasoning. Consoles take away WAY more than they give, and that's all the justification anyone should ever need when they try showing someone better alternatives.

Consoles hurt: PC gamers, console gamers, and game creators.

Consoles help: The manufacturers that created and fiercely market them, developers that were purchased by a console manufacturer, and "journalists" that side with them. That's it.

In comparison: The PC helps all of the following:

  • Hardware manufacturers (Asus, AMD, Gigabyte, XFX, EVGA, Intel, Seagate, etc)
  • Software companies (Unity Technologies, Adobe, Mozilla, CD Projekt Red, Google, Dropbox)
  • Game creators (Blizzard, Gearbox Software, Crytek, Valve, CD Projekt Red, id Software, Rockstar, Devolver Digital)
  • PC gamers
  • Console gamers (by giving console manufacturers a standard to aspire for, unfortunately they just use marketing to justify shooting for the bottom of the bin)

and finally, PC hurts all of the following:

  • Profit margins of console manufacturers
  • Developers that signed away their rights or entire existence over to console manufacturers
  • "Journalists" that rely on pro-console and anti-PC FUD to pay their bills [1]

It's a well thought-out systematic scam that's hurting everyone, including you. Consoles are no longer a 'cool and innovative' thing that developers intentionally choose based on compatibility with their artistic vision (as was the case in the 1980s-1990s before the 'new age' of PC graphics). They're something developers have to work with and water their games down to be compatible with (because they're either a subsidiary of Sony or Microsoft, or they have no other choice), something that many gamers have to buy (because of marketing lies and forced/bribed exclusivity), and that PC gamers have to deal with (because so many people got tricked into buying them and developers prioritize that large and weak-hardwared demographic over the PC). Sony and Microsoft entered the turf of the PC gamer when they attacked our games, our developers, and our industry. Console manufacturers aren't your friends. They're made by conglomerates that know nothing of the game industry and see nothing more than a cash cow when they look at gamers. They don't care about giving you good hardware, good games, or good experiences. They care about making the industry THEIRS and locking everyone in to their deadly cycle and they'll put out any marketing lies they need to to get people to fight for them (they know the psychology, and they know they have the power to trick people into defending them). So, if you care about the game industry and innovation, understand this: They're draining the industry dry and putting their "dirty money" in absolutely no places that benefit you or the industry. A world of gaming without consoles holding it back would be an amazing one. The next time you see someone arguing against consoles, just remember this before you confront them: Sony and Microsoft picked the fight, not us.

Here's an amazing quote from /u/MangoTangoFox that helps explain this section:

It can never be this way because literally all of the platforms except PC are owned by single companies who created said platform(s) primarily to act as middlemen. Every choice made is done to make the most money, and that includes buying up whole game studios and timed/permanent exclusivity of games and services in order to make their's more appealing than the others. PC isn't even vaguely similar because of the fragmentation of manufacturers, service providers, and creators, allows considerable freedom of choice for the consumer, and doesn't really allow or call for paid exclusivity of certain titles.

If you think of the characters as the companies who own them, all the consoles despise each-other and would do anything to win any competition between them. If you think of them as the consumers that play them, everyone making a different choice forces exclusivity and anyone not wealthy enough to own all platforms and all the games they want, is getting screwed by that system. You can appreciate people who have similar interests, but it's hard to just say "let's all just have fun" when 1. you literally cannot with huge numbers of people because of lack of cross platform multiplayer, and 2. people supporting other platforms allows their greedy existence in the first place, which lessens your own experience as a result because of wasted dev time and paid exclusivity. And even if you own all of them, you still get screwed because the most competent, versatile, and potentially powerful platform you own isn't getting dozens of games you want, and many of the ones it does get aren't anywhere near as amazing as they could have been if the other lesser platforms didn't have so much market/mind-share. So with all the platforms, most of the games that aren't PC exclusive out of necessity in the first place, are likely lesser than they could have been.

Here's another, from /u/snaynay

Consoles are bleeding this dry, especially in the big-budget gaming department. Ultimately what happens is hoards of kids put up a brick wall of ignorance and stupidity over a lack of a long-term gaming background, defend consoles, accept bullshit and let console manufactures and their associated developers castrate this industry.

Its not wrong to own or prefer consoles. I thoroughly understand demographics. Hell, the notion of choice is what PC gamers live by. What I care about is this social engineering and phenomena to systematically reject the that PC platform that is the beating heart of the gaming industry. Its not competing with their precious little gaming boxes, its their support. Kids today are actively segregating their big-money AAA gaming as a separate entity to the open gaming scene found on PC.

"Current consoles are acceptable or relevant because of the experiences previous consoles provided."

Arguments justifying current-gen consoles because of something a past console has provided is the textbook definition of an appeal to tradition logical fallacy. Sony and Microsoft are piggybacking off of the successes of past consoles to make their current ones seem relevant, and they'll always have some degree of success there. Appealing to emotions or nostalgia is and always will be a popular marketing tool. Don't let it work on you. Besides, you can run all of these old console games in emulators on your PC. Anyways, back to the good stuff!

"Isn't PC gaming more expensive than console gaming?"

Whoever told you that is either misinformed or intentionally lying. So no, absolutely not. Especially if you only plan to target console performance! There are already graphics cards available on the market for $120 that surpass the PS4 and XBox One in terms of framerate, resolution, detail, value, and power draw. Console gaming isn't exactly cheap, either. A lot of people incorrectly believe that you have to spend upwards of $750-$1000 to get a PC fully capable of handling games. This simply isn't true! These inaccuracies can be attributed partially to the highly vocal and misinformed masses, and to the availability (and mainstream hype) of the expensive PC hardware we see advertised a lot. You see it more because it's advertised more. Why is it advertised more? Because the companies make more money from selling it as opposed to their mainstream and value offerings. The mainstream/budget parts are the ones you should be looking at; not the $2000+ enthusiast gear. We're not living the 90's any more. PC hardware is cheaper today than it has ever been! When taking a look at the measly selection of replaceable and upgradable hardware that some consoles offer, you'll always find a cheaper and better alternative for your PC. In fact, you can build a PC right now that will outperform "next-gen" consoles for nearly the exact same price. That is, assuming there's no special retailer dumping them for a couple hundred bucks! The PC wins pretty easily since our current consoles are really just watered-down PCs with restricted, featureless, bloated, and ad-ridden operating systems, under the defense of "simplicity". Plus, if you only want to target 30 frames-per-second and only 720p, you're going to save a lot of money. In fact, it's actually hard to find a minimum-range graphics card that can even perform that badly these days. If you only want to match console performance, you essentially cut your GPU budget in half. See TekSyndicate's own explanation and build and this rough explanation for more information. If you're looking to get parts even cheaper than in the example videos, PCPartPicker and /r/BuildaPCSales are great places to get discount hardware for your PC. The next time someone reminds you that 'It's not all about graphics', remind them that they're in luck, because that means they'll be spending almost nothing on their graphics card to achieve the performance they deemed adequate.

Console gamers are not the common enemy. Modern consoles are.

I feel it's important to include this information in the article as soon as possible, since a lot of people get the wrong impression going in and don't take information to heart until they realize they're being educated rather than scolded... I should also point out that it's well-known that past consoles outperformed PCs, but that was the past. This is now. Things are different. The openness of the PC was bound to be taken advantage of eventually, and what triggered it is the stagnation of the console market. And, now that the console market has stagnated and the PC is a viable alternative, it's very possible that traditional consoles with total control under a single corporation is entirely going to vanish.

Sony and Microsoft give you an inferior system, charge you a lot of extra money for it, and make you hold on to the pieces of junk for 8 years before they give you the option of (measly) upgrades. By selling you these systems, they lock you into their overpriced ecosystem, helping them further the cycle with their ill-acquired money. They don't let you play with friends unless you pay. They don't let you play with friends that bought the other systems at all. They don't let developers directly sell you the game - they charge for dev kits and include royalties, which massively decreases their profits over that of the PC version. When you take into account the business strategy of these companies, you'll find that it's all just one big greedy systematic ripoff of uneducated consumers. They're holding your favorite games hostage on their closed platforms because they know you'll buy into it. If everyone went with a PC and disregarded this disgusting behavior, these developers wouldn't be so easily convinced to support these "next-gen" consoles. So, do yourself and the industry a favor and go with a PC. PC exists because it's an excellent platform and for no other reason than that. Nobody's advertising it. Nobody's cutting deals with Frito Lay to get it stamped on Dorito bags. Nobody's running a 'PC booth' at gaming festivals. PC exists and thrives simply because it is freaking glorious. XBox and PlayStation consoles exist because their parent corporations hijack developers (and games) that people love and cancel ports to competing platforms (other consoles as well as PC), and force fans of these games to pay a 'hardware ransom' to play it. The PC is open, cheap, customizable, and powerful. Your best interests are always at hand, no matter how arrogant some PC gamers may seem when they speak negatively of the "anti-gamer" consoles. For anyone that's offended, I am truly sorry... but if you're going to get offended over this guide then you probably had no intention of giving PC a chance in the first place. Just remember: PC gaming is superior to console gaming, but the gamers themselves are neither superior or inferior to one another: they're just people with varying degrees of understanding. Fight the misinformation, fight the false advertising, and fight the anti-gaming console monopoly. Long live freedom, long live affordable and beautiful gaming, and long live the Glorious PC Gaming Master Race!

Here's a simplified example of a modern mid-range computer with new parts that match or exceed every aspect of the PS4 or XBox One:

Item Price
CPU - Ryzen 3 or Core i3 $80-$100
GPU - AMD R9 370 or NVidia GeForce 1050 $100-$120
Motherboard - Same socket as CPU $50-$80
RAM - 4GB or 8GB highest-end DDR3 $20-$60
Storage - 1TB HDD or 128GB SSD $40-$60
Case - Whatever you want $10-$80
PSU - 420W or more $20-$40
Total $340-$510

It also has immediate benefits: No online fees, tons of free-to-play games, free emulators, free abandonware games, much cheaper games thanks to Steam and GOG, re-use old hardware (controller, mouse, keyboard), won't need to upgrade until games start to struggle like they do on consoles (30FPS, low, 900p).

Optimization: As time goes on, consoles don't get stronger and PCs don't get weaker

Some people claim that consoles get better over time due to "optimization" and that PCs (on the opposite end) get slower and need to be upgraded to keep up with these "optimizations". This is a lie. Some say it intentionally, and some repeat it because they simply don't know any better. Yes, there is a gradual increase in developer hardware and SDK familiarity after new consoles (or hardware in general) launches. Especially with the XBox 360 and PS3, due to their hardware being exotic and hard to master. These "optimizations" are not exclusive to the consoles, either! The same optimizations are also taken advantage of on the PC when they receive large hardware revisions as well - just take a look at what DirectX 12 and Vulkan are doing for PC gamers! The leading cause of this "console optimization" misconception is likely due to the state of hardware during the launch of the XBox 360 and PS3. When the XBox 360 and PS3 launched, they had entirely new types and mixtures of hardware that the industry was very unfamiliar with. The XBox One and PS4 simply will not have a similar developer learning curve that the 360 and PS3 had because both new consoles use x86-based processors (which is also used by PCs!). As for the second part of the argument, loss of value with PC hardware (in comparison to console hardware) doesn't happen at a faster rate. Let's break this down: First off, the 360 and PS3 were sold at a loss when they launched. Times have changed! The Xbox One and PS4 are both being sold at a profit after their first game/online purchases (even at $400/$500). Secondly, the performance-per-dollar of desktop GPUs now is noticeably better than it was at the time. Even while taking this into account, a GPU in 2006 (during the 360 and PS3 launch) priced similar to the build price of those consoles is still very much usable today. The best GPU for this demonstration is NVidia's 8800 series. Not only are they still getting driver updates today, but they're also getting support from game developers. Here's an example of a modern PC game being played on a high-end desktop PC graphics card from 2006. If you look close, you'll notice it looks and runs exactly like the PS3 and Xbox 360.

In addition to increased value, the PC also has a higher performance & quality ceiling

If you're the kind of person that wants to go all-out and buy a multi-thousand dollar setup with multiple monitors and graphics cards, you have the freedom to do so. Game developers know that a small fraction of the PC gaming market does this, so they add more demanding graphics options for you to make sure that extra hardware doesn't go to waste. A lot of people think that simply because these settings exist, they absolutely need to buy the latest and greatest 'RadForce MegaGigaJiggaFlexx 95-billion Elite Zombie Slayer Edition' graphics card to meet these settings with an acceptable framerate, or 'FPS'. The highest/ultra settings generally aren't created with the majority in mind. Even at low and medium settings, you'll be getting higher resolutions, smoother framerates, better lighting, higher resolution textures, and more detailed scenes than a comparably priced console. The fact of the matter is, both the hardware and software companies know exactly what graphics hardware the average consumer is going to buy and use, and they build their games and hardware accordingly. They're not here to build a game so demanding that you can't play it, and anyone who says so isn't telling you the whole truth. Game developers want sales, and if their game only run on the aforementioned minority enthusiast sector of PCs, they're going to get minority sales to go along with it. It's almost exclusively the graphical mods that push the game's minimum GPU cost to $1,000 or more.

Battlefield 3 rendered across multiple displays using EyeFinity. Here's a video of it in action(2012).

You get more online functionality for free than a paid console user

Steam is a very heavily integrated gaming suite. For example: you can trade coupons, games, items, and cards with another Steam user right from within Steam (no need to be in-game and meet them). You can see what games and servers your friends are currently playing and join the server with the click of a button (and vice versa, you can invite them to yours). You can trade on the Community Market without ever having to hunt someone down that has or wants certain goods. Steam also has an integrated software store, developer store, Workshop (for easier modding), Greenlight, and Big Picture mode for couch gamers. Steam will also automatically sync your saved games and settings to the Steam Cloud. Your in-game Steam panel is pretty awesome, too. It lets you chat, trade, browse the web for walkthroughs and whatnot, track achievements, and much more.

PC games are so much cheaper that they alone can allow even a high-end PC to undercut a console within a single year

All year round, PC games are being sold at extreme discounts thanks to Good Old Games, Humble Bundles and Steam sales. Even brand new titles that have yet to be released can occasionally get a pre-order discount or otherwise drop below the traditional console release price of $59.99. There's also the occasional franchise or "studio" bundles that can save you around 25-50%. Summer and winter Steam sales offer the largest discounts, with single titles going as much as 75% off with entire franchises and bundle discounts stacking onto the discount Valve already added to it. Yes, it's true that you may sometimes get games that you don't want from a bundle, but you have to be trying pretty hard when you try to label that as a disadvantage. The games are yours forever, and there's a pretty good chance that someone may want to "borrow" it from you and try it out even if you don't. Over the course of 3-4 years, some people have saved over $3000 by using Steam. All those discounts, and developers still earn more on the PC.

The PC is better equipped for online play than a console

Since PCs have more processing power and faster networking (as well as modular networking, you can add a faster 10-gigabit ethernet card if you want one). This means (you have the option of) more enemies, more players, more action, much quicker and clearer voice communication, lower game latency, and much more. Developers and hobbyist server hosts have made great leaps with the PC in recent years; some PC servers can support up to 10,000 players in a single FPS match! Imagine the intensity of 10,000 players compared to a measly 64 player match(which even the latest and greatest consoles have trouble reaching at all).

PC games can be modded. Console games (legally and logically) cannot

Have you ever beat a game and felt that rush of depression when the last cut-scene finishes and you are sent back to the main menu and the music starts? Probably. Fortunately for PC gamers, there are a plethora of mods available for our games that can be easily installed. Mods can change gameplay logic, add maps or characters, greatly improve graphical quality, introduce new game modes, and even create entirely new games altogether. Consoles simply cannot do this. The easiest way you could play a modded console game would be to buy or burn a modded disc image of the game and modify your firmware to accept it, rendering it incapable of online play and possibly even facing legal trouble for tinkering with it. Not to mention, mod support is tremendously helpful to gamers, games, and developers. Plus, thanks to modding communities, PC games essentially age in reverse. Meaning, they get even better looking as time goes on. Take a look at GTA IV as of January 2014 if you don't believe it.

How generous! Consoles don't even delete your saves if you pay them for a free mod.

You don't have to build a PC to fully experience PC gaming

First of all, don't ever buy a "gaming" desktop. EVER. It's either going to be tremendously expensive (Alienware) or severely underpowered for what you pay (CyberPowerPC, iBuyPower, iMac). Most of the time, they toss in a completely unnecessary i7 along with some crappy $50 card and your games run like crap. Second of all, you can put your newly-purchased hardware in any full-size desktop. As long as your PC is relatively decent and you add a ~$100 graphics card to it, you will be able to run modern titles very well. Although, building is still the best choice because it will last much longer and offer better customizability and value.

If you don't want to build one(which is weird, because even a 5 year old can build a PC these days), my recommendation to you is to buy a full-size decent non-gaming desktop from a retailer, buy a graphics card, and insert it into the PC yourself. It's no more difficult than upgrading the hard drive on a console or replacing a home air filter. Once the card is in, just install the drivers for it from the AMD or nVidia website, and your games will be good to go. PCPerspective even has their own in-depth video demonstrating and explaining how cheap and easy it is to turn an 'office box' into a gaming machine.

Building a PC doesn't require extensive training or a degree

It's like putting together a Lego house. Just watch some tutorials and consult us, /r/BuildAPC, or /r/BuildAPCForMe. Picking your own parts and assembling your build is actually pretty fun. There are plenty of YouTube videos out there that will help. Make sure you read up on Intel's Ivy Bridge or Haswell chips if you don't want to deal with the heat surfacing problems. Finally, take a visit to our builds page and start reading! Really, the only thing you need to do is a static discharge and you're ready to (delicately!) handle the parts.

Mac OSX and Linux can be installed and configured to run perfectly on a laptop or desktop PC

A PC specifically configured to run Mac OSX is often called a "Hackintosh". Since Apple switched to Intel processors around 2005, users have been able to install and set up OSX to run on most PCs since (assuming you use OSX-compatible hardware). Although it does require about an hour or two of effort, the amount you save and gain by going with a PC over a Mac far outnumbers those two hours of work if aligned to an hourly salary of ~$15-40. Our friends over at /r/Hackintosh offer a lot of help and information on the topic, check them out!

Of course, if Mac OSX isn't your thing, there's always Linux. Glorious, beautiful, stable, free, and customizable. Among the popular "flavors" are Ubuntu, CrunchBang, Debian, ElementaryOS, and many others.

The Virtual Reality revolution is being led by the PC

If you want to enjoy virtual reality gaming (and other forms of entertainment, the PC is an open development platform so the sky's the limit) in its most immersive form, you'll need a PC. High resolution and framerates are absolutely essential for Virtual Reality headsets (like the Oculus Rift) to properly immerse you and fool your brain. The industry's leading VR company said so themselves: even the next-gen consoles are far too weak to handle what they plan on doing. Some people don't want to use VR to control their gameworld, and some don't want to use it to even view the gameworld, which is fine. Virtual reality headwear isn't meant to be a replacement for desktop or livingroom gaming, it's just meant to be an immersive and creative alternative for the games and genres that best support it. Just because you don't want VR doesn't mean you shouldn't get a PC; it just means that your PC budget will probably be a lot lower!

The ESports revolution is being led by the PC

This has caused somewhat of an unexpected explosion in PC popularity in recent years. Consoles don't even compete with PCs in this regard, as this video sort of demonstrates.

"I was told that PCs have compatibility problems"

Game developers adhere to popular standards when they make their games. Hardware developers adhere to popular standards when they make hardware. Not doing so would gain them a terrible reputation and most likely bankruptcy. Because of this, games on PC don't have the compatibility issues they used to in the DOS days. In the DOS days, there were no standards to adhere to, and there were thousands of different possible hardware configurations. Almost no games worked with every piece of sound, video, and input hardware. The next time you hear someone complain about PC gaming being a pain because they hate 'checking to see if they have enough video RAM' or 'making sure they have a fast enough processor' or 'whether or not their sound drivers are up-to-date', just punch them and link them here. PC game developers make their game compatible with an enormous possible performance spectrum! Of all people that understand this, you'd expect it to partially be console gamers seeing as consoles are among the weak end of the spectrum. Apparently not, though, because many spew misinformation like this to scare people away from upgrading.

A PC is much better at making your gaming experience sharable

Streaming, screen recording, video editing, in-game chats, voice chat(Mumble or TeamSpeak), video chat(Skype/Google Hangouts), game invites, and everything else... it's all built in. Specifically FRAPS, Movie Maker, Twitch.tv, and Sony Vegas are popular choices among gamers. No need for expensive custom hardware or a separate device for editing the video; just install the software, run it, and hit record. It does it all, and with much higher quality footage than that of a console. In fact, most demos and commercials use PCs for 'actual gameplay footage' to sell their consoles and games due to quality/ease.

A PC is more family friendly than a console

Contrary to what the commercials show you, a PC is a much better choice for those who want a device capable of entertaining all age groups. It can be hooked up to multiple displays, terminalized with softXpand, access any streaming service, used for schoolwork, used for web games, used from the couch, used at a desk, used remotely, used for communication, and even emulate console titles using any controller you prefer. You name it, someone out there has written an application to make your PC do it. In addition to that, the the PC has very in-depth parental/owner controls. You can add parental controls to user accounts, web browsers, and specific applications. Consoles, on the other hand, offer almost nothing in comparison.

A PC is better than a console for media consumption

The only reason Microsoft and Sony are advertising media consumption more than games this time around is because of how far behind PCs they were, and because consoles actually make better playback devices than they do gaming machines. They try to claim their consoles have access to everything, but they really don't. Half of all media streaming services on the internet use HTML5 or Flash. Even attempting to access them with the crippled web browsers on the PS4 and XBox One will require a subscription first. Not to mention, the PC has free online access and several much better alternatives to the long-obsolete and broken Internet Explorer (which the XBox One forces you to use!).

The PC is far more socially capable than a console

More players per server, more "LAN party-optimized" games like GMod, more game modes, and perfect compatibility between different "generations" and forms of PC. See the /r/PCMasterRace Guide to LAN Parties for more information on LAN. PCs also have the ability to use voice and video communication services like Mumble, Steam, Skype, TeamSpeak, and more... for FREE. Everything you can use as a communication tool for a PAID console subscription can be done better on a PC... for free.

PCs support couch and local multiplayer gaming

Although consoles have traditionally been the platform to offer the best local multiplayer support with support for up to four simultaneous players, that's changing. With the surge in PC power in recent years, there have been games released that fully support both split-screen and "hotseat" multiplayer (nearly all of which also support controller input). Some even support up to 6 simultaneous players. Of course, even games without local multiplayer support can still be played on the same PC... up to 16, in fact. As well as SoftXpand, there's the popular splitscreen tool, which even allows screens to be "split" to a second display if one isn't enough! Borderlands 2 is one such game that supports local multiplayer, with controllers, on multiple monitors... even from the same Steam account.

  • Look at this video! More amazing multiplayer PC games come out every week!
  • Here's some Rocket League gameplay on PC - four simultaneous monitors each with their own player.

PCs come in many shapes and sizes

PCs can be built to be small or large. They can be square, round, flat, tall, you name it. You decide what shape best fits your spacial requirements, whether you're buying or building. Both market strategies have in incalculable amount of options. You can get a PC that uses less power than a console. You can get a PC that's quieter than a console. It's great that consoles sit well in those departments, but the PC takes the crown in every one of those categories.

A Personal Computer can be used as a tax write-off, whereas a gaming console cannot

If you can prove it's being used for your work, you can write it off. Even if it's going to have an HD 7990 or Titan. As we've seen in past years, owning a GPU no longer means that you have to play games. Productivity software is becoming increasingly supportive of OpenCL and other GPU compute features and if your work software can leverage it, the IRS has no business telling you that you can't play games with it as well.

The human eye can see far beyond a measly 30 or 60FPS

Contrary to the hordes of uneducated people trying to defend underpowered consoles, you can see a difference between 30FPS and 60FPS. There are many sources of confusion. The first is YouTube. Yes, YouTube. Lots of people use YouTube as a test suite to compare 30FPS and 60FPS+. Bad idea! YouTube caps video framerates at 30FPS!. Before doing so, be sure the video you are watching is 60fps compatible as youtube just recently uncapped its video's framerate. The second source of confusion is sometimes an individual's own hardware. This doesn't really apply to the 30-60 debate, but it does apply to 60+. Both Europe and the US tend to adhere to a strict 50/60FPS cap (sans the 'premium' displays you can buy). This would explain why people don't see a difference between 60 and anything more, because the display they're using is only refreshing 60 times a second (60Hz). The last and final source of confusion on this matter is whether or not the human eye can distinguish between the individual frames rather than see them as a slideshow. The answer is no, they cannot... which is the entire point! You can, however, see an improvement in fluidity when the Hz (hertz/refresh rate/FPS) of your system and display are increased. Here's an in-browser 30-vs-60 test if you still don't believe it, and another with actual game footage.

Also, the argument about ~24FPS providing a "better cinematic experience" is completely made up. The film industry adopted 24FPS as a standard because back in the 1930s, higher framerate films took up too much physical film and lower framerate films were difficult to synchronize with the audio. Games don't need framerate caps because frames are generated in realtime as many times per second as your graphics card can handle, displayed to the screen, and then removed from memory to make room for the next frame.

Anything with a framerate below 46FPS could strain the human eye

The majority of console titles target 30 (at 1080p) and occasionally a smooth 60 (although at a meager 720p). Due to the severe hardware limitations of the PS4 and XBox One, almost no titles at the time of this writing are capable of both 1080p and 60FPS. Thomas Edison himself concluded that anything below 46FPS will strain the human eye, with strain increasing as the framerate lowers. This was back in the days of film strips, so the bar is probably a bit lower now than it was then, but eye strain still exists and there's a way to avoid it.

The human eye can see the difference between 60 FOV and 90 FOV

It's hilarious that some people would try to argue this, yet they sometimes do. The problem with a lot of console titles is that the developers have to narrow the field of view to reduce the stress on their target console's weaker hardware. To give you a glimpse of what you're missing out on, see this image. Although some titles have the same field of view across all platforms, ones that are graphically intensive (like Battlefield 4, Skyrim, COD, etc) will often have a reduced FOV on the console version. The best part of it all, if you really do prefer a lower FOV in a given game or need to lower it for medical reasons (vertigo, etc) the PC version will almost always offer an FOV slider or other way to change the FOV. The PCGamingWiki is and absolutely superb resource for information on how to tweak the FOV (among other things, like resolution and detail).

Academic studies have proven that higher framerates increase player performance

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have determined through observation that not only is the difference noticeable, but player performance increases logarithmically up to 60FPS (logarithmically means the largest increases happen early on and begin to taper off, see rough example here). Unfortunately, they didn't test with framerates over 60, so we can intelligently theorize (but not scientifically prove) that this also applies to framerates beyond 60. They also concluded (since the curve is logarithmic) that framerates lower than 30 get almost exponentially worse, which is unfortunate because almost every "next-gen" demo so far has shown to dip as low as 10-20FPS while rendering heavier scenes.

After your PC loses its luster 3-4 years down the road, overclocking can bring it back

Let's face the facts. PCs aren't consoles; they improve every year and game developers adjust their games accordingly. If you get sick of running your games on medium and low instead of your traditional high or ultra, overclocking may be the answer. Overclocking is free and it's not as dangerous as it sounds. Performance gains vary, but once your parts are out of their warranty period you no longer have to worry about voiding it. Normally, even a small increase would void it. Of course, you could always just buy faster hardware, but thanks to overclocking you may not need to... at least for another year or so.

You can share your Steam games with others

Contrary to popular belief, your Steam games are not stuck with your account. Steam Family Sharing allows you to instantly lend your digitally-distributed games to another Steam user's library. Even if they're across the country... or world. It's instantly in their library. Unlike physical media, they cannot steal, lose, or damage your game in any way. The only downside is, you need to login to your account on their computer first (and then log back out).

The games you buy on PC are yours forever

Did you sell your PC or migrate to a different one? No problem. Just log into Steam, GOG, or Desura and re-download them to your new machine. No need to insert a disc or re-buy an online key like you would with a console. There's also no limit on your number of downloads. The speeds at which you download your games are as fast as your download bandwidth, so you can sometimes re-obtain your games in a matter of minutes.

PCs are better for couch, TV, and livingroom gaming than consoles

Just plug your PC into your TV using the HDMI port. Controllers compliment this very well, especially since a PC can use any controller (even a combination of different ones at the same time)! However, mouse and keyboard combinations are just as easy to do if you have a proper piece of furniture to support everything. Here's a video by BlackBusterCritic explaining how this is possible and fighting the misinformation spreaders that say otherwise. Another big factor is the resolution output of your PC. TVs of today are 1080p and higher; sometimes even 4K (4x as dense as 1080p)! Mainstream consoles can hardly handle 900p, let alone 1080p... Using a PC with these TVs rather than an underpowered console will ensure you hit the level of clarity the TV was designed for, not what the console drags it down to. Any resolution other than a display's native resolution will look blurry in comparison to what it was designed for, and you'll notice this pretty quick when you hook your PC up to your TV.

PC gaming from the couch using a keyboard and mouse. Image courtesy of Steiger Dynamics.
Any PC with Steam (laptop, desktop, etc) can run Big Picture.

PCs are capable of much more than gaming, such as content creation

Think of it in terms of 'how much am I saving?'. Not 'how much am I spending?'. A PC can do so many things in this day and age it's ridiculous. All things considered, you can still get a PC for the same price of a console if you really care about price equality that much. If you're already a content creator with a powerful machine, congratulations!

You can put your console budget toward your existing or upcoming desktop PC.

Why not put the console budget toward your PC? It's already built! Just add a graphics card!

Both the PS4 and XBox One consoles are still behind mid-range gaming PCs of today

Modern consoles like the PS4 and XBox One use an enhanced AMD A10, which is a mid-range budget processor. Back when the XBox 360 and PS3 came out, things were different. The XBox 360 and PS3 were both very competitive with equivalent PCs, and they were sold at a tremendous loss, even with their $700 price tags. Consoles now are being sold for $400-$500 and making healthy profits on the hardware alone, (at least after their first single game and round of online access payments, if not immediately) ... and yet they continue to raise the prices for online access/special services and increase their cuts for per-game sales. The last-gen prices aren't even adjusted to inflation, either! It really says something about console innovation when you have to adjust for inflation to compare across generations, doesn't it?

Console gaming was (at one point) far better than anything PCs had to offer

We don't try to hide the truth here. Quite the opposite, actually. Yes, at one point consoles had far better graphical capabilities than the PC. Up until the popularity boom of the Apple II and Commodore 64, PCs were barely more than word processors. But then it became 1985. Consoles have continued to stick around over the years but their time has long passed. The only advantages that consoles have left (since the late 80's) are market share, high profitability for the companies building them, expensive games, and exclusives. The middle being hardly anything to brag about as a console user (hey, look how much I spent on this!). These days, games aren't exclusive simply because that's the only system that can handle it; games are exclusives because Microsoft and Sony use their ill-earned profits to influence starving developers. Especially Microsoft. Look at that, PS4 owner. Microsoft loves you so much that they had to pay the studio money just so they wouldn't release their existing game on your platform. Isn't big business with console monopolies fun?!

PCs can be legally opened for cleaning, upgrades, and repairs

Let's face it. If your device relies on fan cooling or has vents, it's going to get dusty and eventually very hot. If it contains circuit boards, it's going to be susceptible to power surges and other electrical problems. It doesn't matter who builds the products or where it comes from. No electronic device is invulnerable. Luckily for you, you get to handle things yourself if/when your PC has a problem with an individual part. Consoles aren't so forgiving. If you clean it yourself, the warranty is most likely void. If a part fails, you have to send the entire thing in and wait for it to be sent back. Sometimes you can even continue using the PC while waiting for the individual part to be replaced! Things like RAM cards, hard drives, graphics cards are good examples. Get a PC and you won't have to be afraid of voiding a warranty ever again as long as you're not physically violating the warranty agreement for the part. Repairing is frowned upon with the XBox most of all.

An intact warranty or a working machine? It's not a PC, you have to decide.
What happens when you try to repair something that you bought.

PC parts have longer warranties and the warranties are on a per-part basis; not per-device!

Each individual part that you view online has a warranty policy directly from the manufacturer that you can see a summary of. Many parts (like Patriot RAM) even have lifetime warranties. Once you receive the PC components, you'll see that a copy of the warranty (with instructions) is included. If the part goes bad within the warranty period, (1-3 years, sometimes lifetime) the company will mail you back a functional replacement. In comparison, a console requires the entire device to be sent in... sometimes after you've already paid more money for the warranty! Disassembling it to send them the defective part would not only be difficult because the warranty would instantly be invalidated on the console, but also because the part is useless to you outside of the device (from a warranty standpoint, they won't honor it or even acknowledge the part belongs to their console).

Pictured: PS4 & XBox One, two voided warranties, and bottom-bin components. [1] [2]

You can experience beautiful studio-quality voice communication for free using a PC

With consoles, Steam, and Skype, cell phones, etc, your voice communications are routed through a server and relayed to the recipient. Mumble doesn't do that, it goes straight from point A to point B, which means less latency and less stutter (assuming you're hosting the Murmur server). On a PC, you have the option of hosting a Mumble (or TeamSpeak) server. Mumble is free and open source, and allows you (the server host) to set the bandwidth cap as high as you want. Both the server and client are very lightweight, but if you feel that hosting it yourself won't work you can also rent one. TeamSpeak is also an option, but Mumble is open source and nearly identical. As the host, you can decide how many rooms the server will have, the maximum occupancy, and much more. Just make sure that you port-forward if you host a Mumble server (Murmur) yourself. Oh, you could also join our Mumble server!

Mumble in action, connected to a public voice server with many channels available.

All platforms have their own exclusives but PC has thousands more than any other

Many people argue in favor of consoles by pulling the "exclusives" card. What they don't realize is, making that argument speaks entirely against consoles. In order to get the "exclusives" they always argue about(they often list things like Last of Us, Legend of Zelda, and RYSE nevermind, RYSE came to PC after Xbox One almost bankrupted Crytek), they would have to buy each and every console that those games belong to, bringing their budget well beyond $1,000. Even putting $500 into a PC will get you a system more powerful than each, with the full library of even the most demanding PC titles. PC has the most exclusives for a reason, though. Due to the healthy, open, and competitive PC market, independent developers tend to gravitate toward the PC. Console companies are generally hostile toward independent developers and not nearly as many can easily make their game available to console markets. With things like GOG, Steam, torrent sites (No, really! Indie developers and artists have used ThePirateBay for distribution on many occasions), and Desura, developers have millions of PC gamers they can reach without spending a single dime. To play every console exclusive, you would have to buy both consoles anyways (yes, the largest argument is 'console' exclusives not 'PlayStation' or 'XBox', just 'console)... which puts your price point over that of a PC. Not to mention, consoles are what trudged in and created the exclusivity issue in the first place, hoping that you'd reward them for it and buy into their cancerous ecosystem. In a situation where you have a choice of many, pick the best of the group: PC.

Here's what you can play on PC. Here's what you can only play on PC. Here's what you can play on PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox 360, and XBox One. PC suddenly doesn't look so bad anymore!

You can use any controller with your PC, not just one single model like with consoles

First off, mouse and keyboard is the best possible input in terms of accuracy. PCs have so many possible input methods, I can't even count them all. You've got Leap Motion, controllers for PS3, XBox 360, SNES, NES, N64, wheels, joysticks, you name it. Console controllers are a close #2 in gamer preference on the PC. Some games (like Super Meat Boy) can actually be easier with a controller. You can plug a console controller right into your PC and be on your way. Very little configuration is needed, it just kind of works on its own after it's plugged in. This is a lot of fun when you use emulators for console titles. Isn't freedom of choice a beautiful thing?

Popular PC input devices for games and emulators.

PC is the king of legacy game and software support

Thanks to emulators and the raw power of modern PCs, you can run any game or application. See our guide to emulation! Your PC can run games from DOS, Mac OS, Commodore, NES, SNES, N64, PS1, PS2, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, you name it. Emulators are also known to offer better control configuration (including support for any controller) and graphical options that make it look better than its original platform. Games and applications from old-ish (1990+) PC operating systems will require a virtual machine or DOSBox. Old console games will require an emulator, which for the most part are free and open source. See this video (6:00 - 7:40) from TekSyndicate for a more in-depth explanation. Here's the latest XBox 360 emulator progress and here's the latest PS3 emulator progress.

You can turn one PC into many and multiply its value by "terminalizing" it

Before you even begin reading: this is a diagram of what it looks like. There are software solutions out there that can essentially add a terminal to your PC and allow a second user to play games or browse in parallel to whatever you're doing without even interrupting each other. All you need is a second keyboard, mouse, and display. You can turn your single PC into up to 6. SoftXPand is the only software I know of that can do this on Windows, however. For Linux, you have multiseat.

Six simultaneous sessions running off a single mid-range desktop PC.

With a capture card, you can pull video output from another PC or console into a display or window on your main PC

PCs are capable of a lot, and they can save you a lot of money. One such popular method among PC gamers to access their console without buying a dedicated display is to just send their video into the PC and display it on one of their monitors. It saves power, money, and space.

A PC can be used to donate spare computational power toward the betterment of mankind... or your wallet

[email protected], Foldi[email protected], World Community Grid, and many others, are all a few of the many options you have available as a PC owner. All you do is install their clients, hit "Start" and relax. Whenever your PC isn't in use, it uses your otherwise idle CPU to perform small workloads and submit back to their larger projects. You can help cure cancer, find extraterrestrial life, assist in drug research, and many other things. Check out our folding team wiki page!

PC gaming is strong and growing, and it's not going anywhere for the foreseeable future

For those of you that worry about the possibility of jumping onto a dying horse, worry no more. The PC is profitable, stable and even growing (in some sectors) in market share every year. Not only is it growing worldwide, but the only areas it has left to win a majority gaming marketshare in is Canada, the US, and Mexico. So, if you want to go with what's the healthiest for you and the industry... go PC. The misinformation about PC "dying" is typically spewed by angry people that want to recruit others into the ecosystem that they decided was best (probably just because they were already trapped in it). Developers (the people who make the games that drove you to choose a platform in the first place) also prefer PC, because they don't lose half of their profits to manufacturing and exorbitant fees. Lastly and most importantly, gamers are switching back. Ultimately because the PC is cheaper, more open, customizable, easier to fix, and capable of so much more.

Consoles are no longer the industry innovation leaders

Back when the SNES/N64/PSX came out, it was a different time. Now, it may seem that consoles are to thank for graphical fidelity making leaps every eight years, but they're not. The reason gaming takes a leap forward every time a new generation of consoles come out is because they're what was holding it back in the first place. Think about it: 70% of the target audience of any given game will have to be playable on continuously aging console hardware. That means that the developers have to make sure that their game will run on said machines, with or without the features they desire. Many of their ideas and features they could have implemented are thrown out the window because the hardware simply can't handle it. As a result, the developers are forced to sell a stripped-down product. Of course, PC users will most often get a better product if the same title lands in their hands, but it's never exactly what the developer originally expected. In some rare cases, the PC port is terrible... but only because the developers are unable to allocate as much time and money to the PC branch of the project. There's a line they have to draw somewhere in between the capabilities of the console and the capabilities of the PC. A fine example of this would be Crysis, a game which launched on consoles four years after it was released on PC. There have been occasional instances where the developer will rebuild the game (graphically) from scratch to make sure that the PC version fulfills their vision, but even that is rare. So... the less people that are purchasing consoles, the less of a stranglehold Microsoft and Sony will have on the industry. The more people that are on PC, the more wiggle room the developers have to make their game the best it can be. If you enjoy seeing games get better, go with a PC.

Hardware companies and game companies make more money from PCs than they do consoles

Yes, it's true. Even at full price on a console, developers make more money from it being sold on Steam for 75% off. Why? Because developing for PC has no per-sale royalty fees, no development kit fees, no submission fees, and no cost of physically manufacturing/shipping/stocking their finished products. Your money goes straight to the developer's pocket, and the game directly onto your PC. Hardware makers earn much healthier margins on PC as well, since they aren't relying on eventual-profit-by-volume under some tremendously long-term supply contract for Microsoft or Sony. If you care about saving money for yourself, go with the PC. If you care about funding developers and keeping your favorite games flowing, go with the PC. If you care about the hardware companies like AMD and nVidia that make modern gaming possible, go with the PC. Once again, consoles exist only to suck money out of developers, hardware companies, and gamers. It's plain as day: Sony and Microsoft don't care about anything but money. If they really cared about improving the state of gaming, why are they sucking every possible entity dry at every possible stage of the process? Literally, for the love of gaming, go with a PC.

Used game sales are more destructive to the industry than piracy and sales

According to Lionhead studios, this is true. At least for them, anyways. It makes sense that this would affect all console developers equally, though. This won't be an issue much longer, however, because the console industry is beginning to restrict used game sales to the point where your physical game is more like a receipt than an actual game.

This isn't an attempt at silencing the piracy problem as a whole, because piracy is a problem... but: it's not just PC. All platforms suffer from it, even mobile! It's just important to remember, if you're going to try and attack piracy in the name of the developer, you should remember to attack used game sales just as much (if the real motive is to help developers, which in most cases it's really just an attempt to justify an attack on the PC platform).

Piracy is actually more of a problem on consoles than it is on the PC

There's a lot of undeserved misinformation flying around, usually sounding something like, "PC gamers are a bunch of pirates"/"PC isn't getting this game because they're all pirates"/"Developers did this or that because they're punishing them for being pirates". In reality, as concluded by Intel's research, the majority of piracy you see today takes place on consoles! The massive drop in piracy can likely be credited to easy, cheap, and even free distribution methods and services such as Good Old Games and Steam. Judging by Intel's research, it looks like the only people who really claim piracy is a massive problem on PC are the ones who are known for terrible DRM or hate it purely out of jealousy toward Valve (EA, Ubisoft).

Most of the screenshots and gameplay you see on "next-gen" advertisements are actually from a PC

See the image below? That's Microsoft XBox team themselves at a popular game convention using PCs to demonstrate how "good" the XBox One looks! If the XBox team themselves are incapable of convincing you that PC is superior, nothing will. Seeing as all console games are developed on PCs and then skimmed down for consoles, it's only natural that they use footage from the best-looking system to try and sell their product. Sony and Microsoft both know that the truth is far from pretty, so they source their media from a high-end PC rather than a console. They think you'll forget by the time you buy their system anyhow. They don't care about it actually looking good, they just expect you to forget by the time you pay them upwards of $500 for everything. The question is, will you let them?

You don't believe it? Just ask the XBox team what platform is best. (They do this regularly) (Sony's not innocent)

And thus, the body of the guide is concluded!

Further reading at Wikipedia

Author's Note

Hello, reader! I hope you liked this guide, it's taken me a long time to build. If you liked it, all I ask is that you spread the word. It makes me feel bad knowing that there are people out there with perfectly capable PCs, but they have no idea they can do half of this stuff. It makes me feel even worse knowing that there are people out there that were misled into buying consoles and paying for online access because they had no idea that a measly $100 would have turned their 'office box' into a console crusher. My goal is not to obtain money, karma, or anything else. I just wanted an area to share my knowledge with as many people as possible and I think I've found it here on /r/PCMasterRace. The greatest reward (to me) is knowing that someone was able to make a better purchase because of this guide. Thanks for reading, and if you really liked it or have any questions, please send me a PM and let me know! Contact me to leave feedback.

Sharing the guide with others

Simply print out /r/pcmasterrace/wiki/guide or /r/WhyPC anywhere on Reddit, and the text will automatically link here!

Reader Response

"That is a very beautiful wiki by the way. Good work." - Reddit Admin /u/Ocrasorm

"Hey there, Just finished the 'why PC' bit you wrote on pc masterrace. Excellent, excellent read. Thank you so much for writing it. [...] One aspect I am very happy to have reclaimed is my love for PCs and PC gaming. I missed 9 years of it. [...] I defended consoles somewhat with all the lame arguments that you put in your article. [...] Now that I have the mental capacity to submerge myself into all the beautiful customization PC has to offer, it has become one of my favorite things again. PCs solve basically every complaint console gamers (including me) had." -/u/spiralings

"Hey, I just wanted to thank you for writing the the PC guide. It was really informative and helpful. Because of it, I've made the decision to switch from PS4 to PC." -/u/beware_of_dolphins

"I went through the entire guide you wrote up on /r/pcmasterrace and it was absolutely amazing. I've been on consoles for years and been meaning to try to switch to PC if I could but have been relatively afraid of the prices. Your amazingly well done section on costs of various builds blew my mind with how simple it is to switch. Sadly, I'm stuck on the Xbox One for the foreseeable future but thank you for the guide and hopefully I'll able to join the Master Race soon." -/u/BarneyStinsbro

"I used a combination of this sub and Youtube. I will be forever thankful, I can not go back. It does everything I need it to and more. I have used my build to persuade a couple of cousins, and friends into starting their own builds now." -/u/windigo105

"I printed this out (simplified, with URL) and handed it out to the XBox One guys at a LAN party. The next one (6 months later) no longer had any XBox One guys." -Anonymous

"Just wanted to say thank you for making that very helpful page! [...] I felt really out of the loop and didn't know where to read up but luckily I somehow ended up on your page and read through it. [...] This page made me realize that PC gaming is the answer for me!" - /u/thebravelittletoker

"I was already starting to find out how much better PC's were compared to consoles, but, your guide has increased my pcmasterrace knowledge by ten-fold. I intend to share this with all my console friends, even if they already use a PC. This guide was very impressive. Thank you." -/u/Catabung

"I had a hard time getting my friends to switch over and play on PC with me. One of them had already pre-ordered a PS4 and the rest were leaning toward XBoxes. Through another comment chain on reddit I stumbled across a link here (not entirely sure what the host subreddit is) and spent an entire night reading through it. I was very happy with all the sources and links, and so were my three friends (when I showed them the guide the next night). One cancelled PS4 pre-order and a couple of Steam sales later, we now have semi-popularity in the Streaming world thanks to our assortment of PCs. I hope the link to this never disappears!" -/u/masXXi

"Hey, just wanted to say great work on the guide. I've been dabbling between getting a next-gen console or a good gaming PC, but you've made up my mind for sure." -/u/harryisonfire

"This guide has honestly convinced me to build a Gaming PC, rather than to buy PS4/XB1. It's probably old here, but damn. Can't really think of any differing points to what was mentioned in this site." -Cocopups0

"Bought a PS4. Got sick of 30fps/low resolution. Also it cost so fucking much. The wiki was helpful in making me see how much better PC is." -/u/Informalmoose3

"Great read, very well thought out and easy to follow!" - /u/_edge_case

"I've been a console and PC gamer for my entire life, but never really accepted the argument that PCs were significantly better than consoles until I read your detailed and fantastic explanation on the PC Master Race sub." - /u/chaltak

"Your guide has shown me the light. Although the last generation was bad, this current generation of consoles truly sucks. I was thinking of getting a Wii U next month, and PS4 after that. Instead, I'm going to take that money and upgrade my PC." -/u/Bleachi

"I'd like to commend you for creating such a detailed explanation. All the arguments I could ever need [...] are all in this guide. Thank you so much. You're doing GabeN's work, son. Don't stop." -/u/exploitativity

"Have to say thanks to this reddit for helping me transition from console to PC. While I do own a console (PS4), I think that PC will ALWAYS be better because of everything this wiki mentioned." -/u/Illage2

"This is the best guide I've seen, as it is very detailed and complete." - /u/x_x_x_x_x

Other quotes

"Console gaming is like re-buying a chunk of the PC you already have so you can access the games that were taken away from it in the first place." -Anonymous

"The designing of a console starts with a PC and subtracts from there." -Anonymous

"The problem with modern console manufacturers and game developers is this: Rather than seeing the finish line of how great, smooth, and detailed gaming can be, they instead take that finish line a few miles back and stick it where they're standing, greatly insulting the hard work of all the hardware software companies that achieved goals of greatness before them. The saddest part is that some people actually fall for the marketing lies and crocodile tears cheer for them instead of the deserving victors of the race: the PC crowd." -Anonymous

"Going from a next-gen to PC is an even bigger improvement than going from last-gen to next-gen." -Anonymous

"Why is it that a single hyped game plastered all over Mountain Dew cans is enough to sway someone from one system to another when 100+ unadvertised ones with numerically higher MetaCritic scores don't do a thing?" -Anonymous

Other language translations

I've had requests and offers for translations. I'm just going to say this here: yes please! If you would like to translate this, I'm 100% OK with it. Thanks so much for offering to translate this to a different language. Just visit /r/PCMasterGuide and leave a post!



Reads: 138,510

Verified converts: 1,312 [Verify]

Average money saved on hardware and games: $300

Total money saved on hardware and games: over $393,600

To-Do List

  • Improve immediate reader accessibility by creating an even better summary with a few bullet points, linked to the actual sections. -EmArPopo
  • Combine all TV/couch/controller sections into one better one -Tizaki
  • Build a full separate emulator section complete with a nice image and links -Tizaki
  • Add more images, ideally up to one per section -Tizaki
  • Audit all sections for factual accuracy

Contact me to make any suggestions!

Special Thanks


AutoModerator Calls

This page has support from the AutoModerator calls.