I hope PC gaming graphics have plateaued

Written by Mark Mackay

March 26, 2009 // 12:14 p.m.

Tags: #crysis #crysis-warhead #graphics #l4d #left4dead #valve

During October of last year, in an interview with CVG, Valve’s vice president of marketing, Doug Lombardi stated that he believes PC gaming graphics are close to being as good as they’ll get.

Lombardi told CVG that he believes that ‘graphics have started to top-out. We've got really great-looking games but what we want are more intelligent, more visceral games and the multi-core processors are going to be the way that we get there on PC.’

Some of you might feel that this is nonsense; others might feel that it’s true but you wish it wasn’t because you want to be dazzled by graphical feats of unimaginable excellence. Personally, not only do I believe that Lombardi’s statement holds a good deal of truth but I also actually hope that he’s right.
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The reason I do is because of something that happened the other day in the labs. Antony was testing an awesome watercooled rig built around an overclocked Core i7-920 and overclocked Nvidia GTX 295. I watched in awe as the machine played Crysis Warhead in DirectX 10 mode at 2,560 x 1,600 with 4x AA at a 24fps minimum frame rate.

I hope PC gaming graphics have plateaued

If Crysis is indeed the pinnacle of PC graphics then in a few years or maybe less than that, we’ll be able play our games at the native resolution of a 30in display with all settings on max using mid-range hardware. There are a few rich persons out there that can afford such luxury but I’d never seen a game that looked so good being played so smoothly on such a large display and OMG do I want one!

I hope PC gaming graphics have plateaued

In my opinion, the often reality-checking detail in Crysis with all the sauce turned on looks just as good as Left 4 Dead at max settings even though the latter game is built on a graphics engine that is the better part of five years old and will run on a pocket watch. As Joe wrote in his Graphics versus Presentation Blog how good a game looks isn’t about how technical the graphics are.

For this reason and the fact I want my future mid-range gaming PC to run my games on a 30in display, I really hope that graphics advancements slow down some and gives the hardware a chance to catch up.

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