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First post, by songo

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Everyone has some kind of internal benchmark that allows to separate different tiers of hardware's power hierarchy. Question is - what games would you guys choose such as milestones in following categories? Mine are:

WEAK - cannot run Doom fluently so it peaks around low-end 486
DECENT - can run Doom with decent framerate
POWERFUL - can handle Quake 3 Arena details maxed, high res, multiple (+15 bots) easily, alternatively Unreal Tournament or just Unreal
EXTREME - Crysis maxed

Reply 1 of 1, by creepingnet

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It's quite a bit different than that. It can be a way to quantify performance, but I look at it this way.

The IBM Compatible PC is split into generations

(1981-1987) - PC/XT/AT Machines running DOS, around 4.77-20MHz, <2048K RAM, CGA/EGA video
(1987-1992) - 286/386/486 Machines running DOS and/or Windows, 1-4MB of RAM, EGA/VGA Video
(1992-1995) - Windows 3.1 Multimedia 386/486 Workstations w/ 4-16MB of RAM, Wiwndows 3.1, VGA/SVGA, Soundcards
(1995-1997) - Windows 95 late 486/Pentium machines with 16-32MB of RAM, Windows 95, internet access over dialup
(1997-2001) - Windows 95/98/Me/2K Pentium-early Pentium III machines w/ early 3D Cards and Dialup/adsl
(2001-2007) - 32-Bit Windows XP Machines with <3GB of RAM, <80GB HDD, and 3D Cards w/ the rise of Broadband
(2007-2013) - The rise of the modern 64-bit machine, EFI, and SATA drives + Broadband 24/7/365 becoming mainstream
(2013-2015) - A weird period of the PC trying to compete with Tablets/Smartphones and Windows 8
(2015-present) - the modern 64-bit UEFI Workstation running Windows 10/11 with 10 year old PC's still being relevant performers

And with each era the specific games followed......
(1981-1987) - Largely Floppy Booters, Text Adventures, CGA single-disk arcade-alikes, and AGI Sierra games, Ultima I-IV
(1987-1992) - EGA and VGA Grapihcal Adventures, SSI AD&D, Ultima V-VII, Dungeon Crawlers, Simulators, Prince of Persia
(1992-1995) - VGA Graphical Adventures, Wolfenstein 3D, Ultima VII-VIII, early Doom, Descent, 7th Guest, CD-ROM strategy
(1995-1997) - Diablo, Doom, Doom II, MYST, early Quake, late SVGA Graphical Adventures, the rise of Direct X gaming
(1997-2001) - Ultra-Violence (GTA, Postal), Quake, Half-Life, early Halo, FPSes start to take over everything, The Sims starts
(2001-2005) - The FPS Centric LAN Party gamer with the Blue LED Pentium 4 with $300 video card phase begins
(2005-2013) - The Peak of the "Blue LED gamer" era, Crysis, Halo, Skyrim, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, other MMORPGS
(2013-2015) - A focus on Casual gaming starts, with things on modest hardware with touch screens ie Angry Birds
(2015-present) - hoo boy, time for a doozie....

I have a very hard time thinking of any game made in the last 10 years that really pushes hardware. After the "casual" boom we had an indie horror boom for awhile with Five Nights at Freddy's and Undertale. But heck, FNaF runs perfectly fine on a 1GHz Pentium 4 with Windows XP and 2GB of RAM - hardly a challenge compared to say, Crysis, which is already over 10 years old as a franchise. Shoot, I almost got FNaF to launch on my 486 with 64MB of RAM and Windows 95 (!!) with a 2MB SVGA VLB card in it (it got far enough to put the title screen up for a second).

I feel today's gaming world is more fragmented, much like the music industry. . We all have our little, often algorithm curated "bubbles" we stick in and it makes it very hard to find something to quantify as "extreme" for me. Crysis probably runs fine on a Core I5 or I7 from 2022 with 16GB of RAM and the stock intel on-CPU graphics under Windows 10. But then so does FNaF. I don't think I've heard of an "extreme" game in a long time. "Extreme" to me today, would be putting together a 6K or 8K hour long 3-D Movie with Occulous technology on a Ryzen Threadripper with 128GB of RAM and 10 Teryabytes of disk space, where you could zoom in and see the pores in the actor's face.

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