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Web Hosting Type: Shared, Virtual, Dedicated, Co-Located - How To Choose The Right Hosting Solution
If you are starting a new web site it\'s easy to drown in the sea of alternatives offered by web hosting providers. Is it better to go for a dedicated or a shared web server? Should you choose Windows- or Linux-based hosting? Which price range is the right one for you and what are the features you can\'t live without? web_hosting_type_how_to_choose_right_solution_shared_dedicated_co-located_virtual_guide_e.jpg Photo credit: TNNhost For a beginner, such questions and concerns can be very discouraging. Web hosting is a crucial choice for your web site, so you want to pick the best solution right from the start. Choosing a web hosting type that is too powerful for your needs can cost you unneeded money and resources, while a solution that can\'t keep pace with your traffic is a serious threat to the speed and reliability of your web site. Let\'s briefly explore the different types of web hosting you can choose:
  • Dedicated: You exclusively reserve a physical web server where you host your web site and you have total control over it. CPU and RAM resources are only yours to use and you can host multiple domains or a single web site. This is one of the most expensive types of web hosting, used by large companies or Internet professionals.
  • Shared: You share server space and resources with other web sites. Your web site is may suffer from slowdowns if other web sites are sucking up the shared resources of the server machine and you may also have inconvenient neighbors such as porn or gambling web sites. This is one of the cheapest types of web hosting and also the most commonly used across the web.
  • Virtual: You get your web site hosted on a virtual machine that runs inside a shared server. Each virtual machine has its own independent operating system that can be rebooted without affecting other web sites, but it uses the shared resources of the web server (CPU, RAM, etc.) This is one of the newest types of web hosting and it fills the gap between dedicated and shared hosting. You have an independent hosting space that uses shared resources of a machine that is not exclusively yours to use nor manage.
  • Managed: You purchase a dedicated web server for your exclusive use, but you have no access to your system files, which are reserved to the hosting company. You don\'t have to worry about server management, but having no control over your web site core files and data may lead to privacy and legal issues.
  • Co-Located: You own a physical server that you can customize at your own pleasure. You can add more RAM, disk space, install a better-performing CPU, whatever. Otherwise agreed, you get no support from the hosting company. You are also fully responsible for your web site and server. This is the most expensive form of web hosting available.
  • Cloud: You host your web site on a server cluster and you purchase only the resources and traffic your web site uses in a pay-as-you-go fashion. This type of web hosting is one of the cheapest, but it also exposes you to security threats ad your web site data is accessible to company administrators and other web site owners.
This is just a quick round-up of all the web hosting alternatives at your disposal, but to identify which type of web hosting is best for your needs, I have asked Drazen Dobrovodski, webmaster of the MasterNewMedia network, to compare in greater detail all the distinctive features of each type of hosting solution and all other options at stake to help you make this important choice. ...


Read More
Web Hosting Type: Shared, Virtual, Dedicated, Co-Located - How To Choose The Right Hosting Solution
If you are starting a new web site it\'s easy to drown in the sea of alternatives offered by web hosting providers. Is it better to go for a dedicated or a shared web server? Should you choose Windows- or Linux-based hosting? Which price range is the right one for you and what are the features you can\'t live without? web_hosting_type_how_to_choose_right_solution_shared_dedicated_co-located_virtual_guide_e.jpg Photo credit: TNNhost For a beginner, such questions and concerns can be very discouraging. Web hosting is a crucial choice for your web site, so you want to pick the best solution right from the start. Choosing a web hosting type that is too powerful for your needs can cost you unneeded money and resources, while a solution that can\'t keep pace with your traffic is a serious threat to the speed and reliability of your web site. Let\'s briefly explore the different types of web hosting you can choose:
  • Dedicated: You exclusively reserve a physical web server where you host your web site and you have total control over it. CPU and RAM resources are only yours to use and you can host multiple domains or a single web site. This is one of the most expensive types of web hosting, used by large companies or Internet professionals.
  • Shared: You share server space and resources with other web sites. Your web site is may suffer from slowdowns if other web sites are sucking up the shared resources of the server machine and you may also have inconvenient neighbors such as porn or gambling web sites. This is one of the cheapest types of web hosting and also the most commonly used across the web.
  • Virtual: You get your web site hosted on a virtual machine that runs inside a shared server. Each virtual machine has its own independent operating system that can be rebooted without affecting other web sites, but it uses the shared resources of the web server (CPU, RAM, etc.) This is one of the newest types of web hosting and it fills the gap between dedicated and shared hosting. You have an independent hosting space that uses shared resources of a machine that is not exclusively yours to use nor manage.
  • Managed: You purchase a dedicated web server for your exclusive use, but you have no access to your system files, which are reserved to the hosting company. You don\'t have to worry about server management, but having no control over your web site core files and data may lead to privacy and legal issues.
  • Co-Located: You own a physical server that you can customize at your own pleasure. You can add more RAM, disk space, install a better-performing CPU, whatever. Otherwise agreed, you get no support from the hosting company. You are also fully responsible for your web site and server. This is the most expensive form of web hosting available.
  • Cloud: You host your web site on a server cluster and you purchase only the resources and traffic your web site uses in a pay-as-you-go fashion. This type of web hosting is one of the cheapest, but it also exposes you to security threats ad your web site data is accessible to company administrators and other web site owners.
This is just a quick round-up of all the web hosting alternatives at your disposal, but to identify which type of web hosting is best for your needs, I have asked Drazen Dobrovodski, webmaster of the MasterNewMedia network, to compare in greater detail all the distinctive features of each type of hosting solution and all other options at stake to help you make this important choice. ...


Read More
Web Hosting Type: Shared, Virtual, Dedicated, Co-Located - How To Choose The Right Hosting Solution
If you are starting a new web site it\'s easy to drown in the sea of alternatives offered by web hosting providers. Is it better to go for a dedicated or a shared web server? Should you choose Windows- or Linux-based hosting? Which price range is the right one for you and what are the features you can\'t live without? web_hosting_type_how_to_choose_right_solution_shared_dedicated_co-located_virtual_guide_e.jpg Photo credit: TNNhost For a beginner, such questions and concerns can be very discouraging. Web hosting is a crucial choice for your web site, so you want to pick the best solution right from the start. Choosing a web hosting type that is too powerful for your needs can cost you unneeded money and resources, while a solution that can\'t keep pace with your traffic is a serious threat to the speed and reliability of your web site. Let\'s briefly explore the different types of web hosting you can choose:
  • Dedicated: You exclusively reserve a physical web server where you host your web site and you have total control over it. CPU and RAM resources are only yours to use and you can host multiple domains or a single web site. This is one of the most expensive types of web hosting, used by large companies or Internet professionals.
  • Shared: You share server space and resources with other web sites. Your web site is may suffer from slowdowns if other web sites are sucking up the shared resources of the server machine and you may also have inconvenient neighbors such as porn or gambling web sites. This is one of the cheapest types of web hosting and also the most commonly used across the web.
  • Virtual: You get your web site hosted on a virtual machine that runs inside a shared server. Each virtual machine has its own independent operating system that can be rebooted without affecting other web sites, but it uses the shared resources of the web server (CPU, RAM, etc.) This is one of the newest types of web hosting and it fills the gap between dedicated and shared hosting. You have an independent hosting space that uses shared resources of a machine that is not exclusively yours to use nor manage.
  • Managed: You purchase a dedicated web server for your exclusive use, but you have no access to your system files, which are reserved to the hosting company. You don\'t have to worry about server management, but having no control over your web site core files and data may lead to privacy and legal issues.
  • Co-Located: You own a physical server that you can customize at your own pleasure. You can add more RAM, disk space, install a better-performing CPU, whatever. Otherwise agreed, you get no support from the hosting company. You are also fully responsible for your web site and server. This is the most expensive form of web hosting available.
  • Cloud: You host your web site on a server cluster and you purchase only the resources and traffic your web site uses in a pay-as-you-go fashion. This type of web hosting is one of the cheapest, but it also exposes you to security threats ad your web site data is accessible to company administrators and other web site owners.
This is just a quick round-up of all the web hosting alternatives at your disposal, but to identify which type of web hosting is best for your needs, I have asked Drazen Dobrovodski, webmaster of the MasterNewMedia network, to compare in greater detail all the distinctive features of each type of hosting solution and all other options at stake to help you make this important choice. ...


Read More

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Batman: Assault on Arkham animated movie based on the games gets a new trailer
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A trailer for Batman: Assault on Arkham, an animated feature based on the Batman Arkham games, has been posted to YouTube.

First announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2013, Batman: Assault on Arkham, is one of DC Universe Animated Original Movies’ (generally well-liked) direct-to-video productions. According to the trailer, the movie follows Batman as well as Task Force X, a group of Batman villains also known as Suicide Squad hired by the government to take on dangerous missions. The two are trying to stop Joker, who’s still imprisoned at Arkham, from detonating a dirty bomb hidden somewhere in Gotham City.

The movie also features voice actors from the games like Troy Baker as The Joker (who stepped in for Mark Hamill in Batman: Arkham Origins), and Martin Jarvis as Alfred Pennyworth. Kevin Conroy will reprise his role as Batman.

Batman: Assault on Arkham will release digitally and on blu-ray.

For more on the upcoming and last game in the series, check out our previous coverage of Batman: Arkham Knight.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Watch what Star Citizen didn’t get to show at PAX East
By

Cloud Imperium Games has posted a video detailing the development time leading up to Star Citizen’s PAX East presentation, as well as some details we haven’t seen until today.

If you’re all caught up with what Chris Roberts showed on stage during his PAX East panel, you might want to skip to 23 minutes into the video. There you’ll see how to set up a match in Arena Commander, a closer look at the dogfighting, and how to use debris and stealth to set up a surprise attack. You’ll also get to see how and why you’d want to land your ship and float around in space with just your pilot.

If you haven’t seen the PAX East demo, it’s definitely worth a look. It shows off Arena Commander, an online multiplayer mode that will allow backers to test the dogfighting module before it’s released in 2015.

Last week, Star Citizen’s crowdfunding effort reached an amazing $42 million.

For more on Star Citizen, check out our previous coverage.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Candy Crush Saga settles dispute with CandySwipe “amicably”
By

The independent developer of CandySwipe is withdrawing its opposition to King’s Candy Crush Saga after initially accusing the mobile developer of copying its game.

Back in February, after King pursued copyright claims against games with the word “candy” or “saga” in their titles, president of Runsome Apps Albert Ransom wrote an open letter that pointed out the similarities between his game, CandySwipe, and Candy Crush Saga, which was released two years after CandySwipe.

"When you attempted to register your trademark in 2012, I opposed it for 'likelihood of confusion' (which is within my legal right) given I filed for my registered trademark back in 2010 (two years before Candy Crush Saga existed),” Ransom said. “Now, after quietly battling this trademark opposition for a year, I have learned that you now want to cancel my CandySwipe trademark so that I don't have the right to use my own game's name."

Ransom alleged that King purchased the rights to a game called Candy Crusher, which allowed it to challenge his own trademark containing Candy.

However, earlier this week, Ransom replaced the open letter posted to his website with the following message:

“I am happy to announce that I have amicably resolved my dispute with King over my CandySwipe trademark and that I am withdrawing my opposition to their mark and they are withdrawing their counterclaim against mine. I have learned that they picked the CANDY CRUSH name before I released my game and that they were never trying to take my game away. Both our games can continue to coexist without confusing players.”

Back in March, The Banner Saga developer Stoic also said it reached an agreement with King, which enables both parties to protect their respective trademarks. King has since abandoned its efforts to trademark the word “candy.”

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Putt-Putt and Pajama Sam just as hardcore as Dark Souls according to Steam tags
By

Earlier this week, Tommo Inc. and Night Dive Studios announced that they’re bringing to Steam 28 games from Humongous Entertainment, known for kid-friendly, edutainment and adventure games from the ‘90s.

Some titles like Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Freddi Fish and The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, and Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside, are already available to download, but you’ll be surprised where you’ll find them on Steam.

Some users have tagged the Humongous Entertainment games as “Hardcore” using Steam’s tagging system, meaning they’re now featured alongside games like Dark Souls, DayZ, and Arma III.

While this case is fairly harmless (and funny), it isn’t the first time Steam users have abused the tagging system. Shortly after it was introduced, several users tagged Gone Home with "not a game," Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP with "hipster garbage," and Indie Game: The Movie with "Phil Fish sucks." Valve has since introduced a way to downvote and report offensive tags.

If you’re nostalgic for the Humongous Entertainment games, there are many more coming in the next couple of months. Here’s the Steam release schedule:

April 17

  • Putt-Putt Joins the Parade
  • Freddi Fish and The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds
  • Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It’s Dark Outside
  • Spy Fox in: Dry Cereal
  • Putt-Putt and Pep’s Balloon-o-Rama
  • Freddi Fish and Luther’s Maze Madness

May 1

  • Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon
  • Freddi Fish 2: The Case of the Haunted Schoolhouse
  • Pajama Sam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren’t so Frightening
  • Spy Fox 2: Some Assembly Required
  • Putt-Putt and Pep’s Dog on a Stick
  • Freddi Fish and Luther’s Water Worries

May 5

  • Putt-Putt Travels through Time
  • Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell
  • Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet
  • Spy Fox 3: Operation Ozone
  • Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear’s Activity Pack

May 29

  • Putt-Putt Enters the Race
  • Putt-Putt Joins the Circus
  • Freddi Fish 4: The Case of the Hogfish Rustlers of Briny Gulch
  • Pajama Sam 4: Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff!
  • Spy Fox in: Cheese Chase

June 6

  • Putt-Putt: Pep’s Birthday Surprise
  • Freddi Fish 5: The Case of the Creature of Coral Cove
  • Pajama Sam’s Sock Works
  • Spy Fox in: Hold the Mustard
  • Pajama Sam’s Lost & Found
Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




GRID teases new racing game
By

The official GRID Twitter account posted a short video titled “Brace Yourselves...Racing is Coming,” teasing a coming announcement on April 22.

That’s all we know until then, but yesterday Codemasters’ Community Manager Ben Walk made clear that, whatever the company announces, it’s not going to be a mobile game. “Can officially confirm that next Tuesday's announcement will NOT have the words Android or iOS in them,” he said on Twitter.

GRID 2 was released in May 2013, and was well received by critics. GameSpot’s review found that it offered a fantastic blend of arcade and simulation racing. Codemasters also develops and publishes other racing games like the Dirt and F1 series.

Be sure to check back with GameSpot on April 22 for more details on Codemasters’ future plans for the GRID series.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




SOE President doesn’t dodge questions about similarities between H1Z1 and DayZ
By

President of Sony Online Entertainment John Smedley took to Reddit to answer some questions about the recently announced H1Z1, and he didn't tiptoe around the game’s similarities to the hugely successful DayZ.

“Not going to give some politically correct dodgy b.s. answer,” he said. “H1Z1 is a survival in a Zombie Apocalypse game. So is Day Z. They have made a brilliant game (first I might add). They have a great vision for it and can count myself and most of the people on our team as fans and contributors.”

Smedley then went on to describe how H1Z1 is different because it lets players build structures, forts, and towns to protect themselves from zombies.

“So sure. We're another Zombie Apocalypse game,” Smedley said. “Call it what it is. But our goal is to make ours fun, accessible, hard core and super, super deep.”

Some other interesting details Smedley revealed about H1Z1:

  • It will be available in Early Access for $20 (but you can also just wait for it to come out as free-to-play).
  • You can play it in both first and third-person.
  • Vehicles are in third-person only, but this could change.
  • The game will have an emphasis on getting food, growing, and protecting it.
  • The game will not have playable female characters at early access release.

For more on H1Z1, you can catch up with our previous coverage, and watch 50 minutes of Game Designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and Technical Director Tom Schenck playing the game on Twitch.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Cel Damage HD launching on PS4, PS3, and PS Vita April 22
By

Cel Damage HD, a graphically-enhanced version of the original 2001 release, is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita this Tuesday, April 22.

Cel Damage HD will cost $10, and as a Cross-Buy title, you’ll be able pay once to play it on all devices. In addition, PlayStation Plus members can get the game for a 10 percent discount during the first week following release.

Originally developed by Pseudo Interactive for Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube, Cel Damage was a vehicle combat game much like Twisted Metal, only with cel-shaded graphics and a Looney Tunes approach to weapons and gameplay. It was not well received by GameSpot at the time, getting a score of 5.7 in our review.

Cel Damage HD will feature six playable characters, 13 arenas, 10 cars and more than 30 power-ups. It will be developer Finish Line’s first game.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Media mogul Rupert Murdoch tries on Oculus Rift
By

Rupert Murdoch, founder of the world’s second-largest media company, News Corp, took the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for a spin this week.

Murdoch, News Corp’s Chief Technology Officer Paul Cheesbrough, and Chief Executive Officer Joel Klein saw the Oculus Rift during an “amazing ‘field trip’” to Framestore’s offices in New York, according to Murdoch’s Tumblr.

Framestore offers integrated advertising, special effects (it recently won an Oscar for its visual effects in Gravity), and other services, but you may have heard of it recently if you’re a Game of Thrones fan. To promote HBO’s show, it created the “Ascend the Wall” VR experience, which puts the user in an elevator rising to the top of its fictional 700ft tall frozen wall. Framestore explained its business model to Murdoch and let him demo “Ascend the Wall.”

As amazed as he may be, it’s too late for Murdoch to scoop up Oculus VR. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg already acquired the company for $2 billion last month.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Report: New Prince of Persia using Rayman Legends engine in development
By

Ubisoft is said to be working on a new 2D prince of Persia game using Rayman Legends’ UbiArt Framework engine.

French website Le Portail du Jeu Video claims it was told that, like Rayman, the Prince’s legs, arms, and other body parts will animate independently of each other, making him look like a 3D model. As with other Prince of Persia games, the Prince will run, swordfight, and perform various acrobatics to avoid traps. Ubisoft’s upcoming Child of Light, which mixes RPG and 2D platforming, is another game that uses the UbiArt Framework.

According to the site, the game in question is being developed in Ubisoft Montpellier, which is also responsible for Rayman Legends and Rayman Origins.

Back in January 2013, Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat said that the Prince of Persia franchise had been “paused,” but that it would return in the future.

Ubisoft released a few forgettable mobile Prince of Persia games in the last couple of years, but the last serious entry in the franchise was 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com




Can We Build a Gaming PC on a Console Budget?
By

There's no debating that a souped-up gaming PC will outperform an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 any day of the week, but it'll also cost you a lot more at checkout. However, what about a gaming PC that isn't top of the line, say, one that was built for $550?

This is the question we put to the test: could we build a gaming PC from scratch that could provide a gameplay and visual experience on par with a next-gen console, for around the same price as a next-gen console? While the PlayStation 4 is substantially cheaper, we wanted to make this exercise as competitive as possible, and that meant allowing ourselves the luxury of a slightly higher budget. Our own Mark Walton and Peter Brown each built one machine; one based on Intel and Nvidia chipsets, and the other on AMD hardware. Then, we put them to the test to see if Mark and Peter used their budgets wisely or if they would have been better off buying a console for great graphics on a fixed budget. The text on this page covers the basics of our test, but be sure to check out the videos below for a more in-depth look at Mark's and Peter's process and results.

Rules and Goals

We aimed to stay within a budget of $550--roughly the most you can pay for an Xbox One in North America. In addition to acquiring the bare essentials for a PC--CPU, GPU, RAM, motherboard, power supply, computer case, and hard drive--each editor had to include the cost of a mouse, a keyboard, and a Windows license. No piracy or preexisting parts allowed!

The other goal was to build a machine that performs as well as or better than an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 in cross-platform games. The list of benchmark candidates included Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Thief, and Titanfall.

Mark Walton - AMD Gaming PC

Mark Walton's AMD PC

Gaming PCs live and die by the GPU and CPU. AMD's budget offerings are a far better value for the money than either Intel's or Nvidia's. For less than the price of the cheapest Ivy Bridge-based Core processor from Intel, you can pick up six-core chips from AMD that happily outperform it. The same goes for AMD's GPUs, which offer excellent performance for less than the Nvidia equivalent.

My plan was simple: stick as much money into the CPU and GPU as possible, and work with what's left--and if I could make the computer look half decent too, all the better.

ComponentTypePriceStore
CPUAMD FX-6300 Vishera 3.5GHz$109.00Amazon
MotherboardASUS M5A78L-M/USB3 AM3+ AMD 760G$48.49Newegg
CaseFractal Core 1000$39.99Newegg
PSUEVGA 100-W1-500-KR 500W$44.99Newegg
GPUPowerColor AX7850 2GBD5-DH Radeon HD 7850 (open box item)$107.00Newegg
RAMHyperX XMP Blu Series 4GB DDR3 1600$40.00Newegg
StorageSeagate Barracuda ST500DM002 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB$50.95Amazon
OSWindows 8$70.00eBay
Key/MouseV7 Standard PS/2 Keyboard and Mouse Combo$10.19Amazon
Subtotal$520.61
Sales Tax$45.55
Total$566.16

GameSettingsAverage Frame Rate
Assassin's Creed IV1080p, Ultra, AA42
Battlefield 41080p, High, AA72
Battlefield 41080p, Ultra, MSAA42
Thief1080p, Ultra, AA87
Titanfall1080p, Very High, AA60

Note: Click the links under "settings" to view the complete list of settings used during testing.

I was pleasantly surprised at just how well this system worked. All the games I tried hit frame rates 60fps, and--with the exception of Battlefield 4--did so at the highest settings. Rendering games 1080p60 is an achievable goal on a budget, then, as long as you're realistic about which games you'll be able to do it with, and at what settings. If you're after a bit more oomph and some peace of mind for future releases, though, spending a few extra bucks here and there will give you a big boost in performance.

More RAM is the obvious choice. It doesn't cost much to bump it up to 8GB, and the less time the PC has to spend thrashing the hard drive for a swap file the better. An extra $70 toward an R270 GPU would be a wise decision too. It's good value and overclocks extremely well, putting it firmly in the high-end GPU segment for just a fraction of the cost. There's also the option of an SSD for a more responsive feel, an aftermarket cooler for CPU overclocking, and a nicer-looking case, but they're not essential.

Peter Brown - Intel/Nvidia Gaming PC

Peter Brown's Intel/Nvidia PC

A budget of $550 is unusually small for a gaming PC, especially when the cost of an operating system is factored in. My strategy for this build was centered around a few key tactics.

First, I planned to keep the system's power draw as low as possible to save money on the cost of the power supply. I wanted to build small because smaller form factor cases and motherboards are usually cheaper overall unless they're particularly fancy. I also decided to use an unusually modest CPU. Intel makes excellent processors, but this quality isn't limited to the Core line. As long as I wasn't going to risk bottlenecking the GPU's performance, I looked for the simplest and cheapest option available. That way, I could focus on the linchpin of a gaming PC: the GPU. In this instance, I was aiming for Nvidia's Geforce GTX 750 Ti due to its great price/performance ratio.

ComponentTypePriceStore
CPUIntel Pentium G2130 3.2 GHz$74.99Newegg
MotherboardBiostar H61MGV3$36.99Newegg
CaseTopower TP-1687BB-300$34.99Newegg
PSU300W SFX Power Supply (included w/case)n/aNewegg
GPUEVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2 GB$154.99Newegg
RAMTeam Elite 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333$39.99Newegg
StorageWestern Digital Blue 500 GB 7200 RPM 16MB$54.99Newegg
OSWindows 8.1 64-Bit$99.99Newegg
Key/MouseRosewill PS/2 Wired$12.98Newegg
Subtotal$509.91
Sales Tax$38.24
Total$548.15

GameSettingsAverage Frame Rate
Assassin's Creed IV1080p, High, FXAA40
Battlefield 41080p, High, 2x MSAA50
Thief1080p, High, FXAA55
Titanfall1080p, High, No AA50

Note: Click the links under "settings" to view the complete list of settings used during testing.

Like Mark, I was surprised how well my rig performed. I had faith that the GTX 750 Ti would hold up under light pressure, but given its partner in crime, the Pentium CPU, I presumed that I would have to dial down the in-game settings a bit more. In practice, all it took for most games to play near 60 frames per second at 1080p was to disable a few flourishes like ambient occlusion and aggressive anti-aliasing. With my $550 PC, I was able to handily outperform the Xbox One in every case, and the PlayStation 4 in most cases, which says a lot about the value of the PlayStation 4 given its lower $400 price point.

If I had had a larger budget, I would have sprung for a better CPU and a bit more RAM. My inexpensive Pentium CPU held up quite well considering that it cost only $80, but it was typically running at full speed with little to no remaining overhead. Unfortunately, given my skimpy power supply, there's little hope for tossing a better Nvidia GPU into this build down the road without other additional upgrades. In the end, with our meager budget, Mark's AMD focus gave him a slight advantage in terms of performance and upgradability.

Closing Thoughts

As it turns out, you can build a gaming PC for around the cost of an Xbox One that will outperform both next-gen consoles given the current stock of cross-platform games. You'll also enjoy a massive library that neither the PlayStation 4 nor the Xbox One will ever be able to match from a pure numbers standpoint. Plus, your PC is upgradable, and its functionality in non-gaming areas only adds to its value. AMD has an advantage when it comes to the balance of price and performance on the low end, but there's nothing stopping you from mixing and matching components from different manufacturers, which very well might be the best plan if you've got a larger budget to work with.

Keep in mind, too, that current cross-platform games on consoles perform best on a PlayStation 4, which currently sells for $100 less than an Xbox One. If you were to try to build a gaming PC for $400 to $450, our experience has taught us that you would end up with a machine that can't compete with either next-gen console. Though we both succeeded in our goal, $550 was proved quite limiting when it came to picking components.

If you had a budget of $550, which platform--PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or PC--would you choose? How would you build a gaming PC on a console-size budget? Let us know in the comments below.




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