By recommending a machine that is going to perform extremely poorly, you're doing a disservice to anyone who lacks knowledge and reads your post. Unless people quantify these expensive doorstops with "DISCLAIMER: This system will -just barely- perform at -minimum settings-", you're going to have people buying cheap systems, and three months from now when they can't return them and are stuck with them, they go to install XIV and will be extremely ****** about their performance.
I am not recommending anything - it's a thought experiment. Relevant quote from upthread is relevant:
Which is really sad considering the PC version doesn't really push the limits of what a PC can do - I can buy a brand new $370 budget PC from Best Buy, slap in a $50 graphics card (that uses a mid-range previous-generation GPU), and exceed the game's minimum requirement. A $570 low-end PC with a $125 HD 5770 is comfortably beyond minimum; a high-end gaming PC is so far beyond overkill for this game that it's almost laughable.
Which is undeniably true - a game can't claim to target high-end and future PCs and yet have a minimum spec, as FFXIV does, that can be met with budget parts or outdated parts, especially not outdated mid-range parts.
Again, minimum spec is a dual core (standard on new computers) Core 2 or K8 (current standard for Intel CPUs is a Nehalem core on all but the lowest-end, which still use Core 2; standard for AMD CPUs is K10) at 2 GHz (new computers start, for all intents and purposes, at 2.5 GHz) with 2 GB RAM (again, standard on new computers), and a GeForce 9600 or Radeon HD 2900 (both of which are two generations old now; in fact, the HD 2900 can't even be bought new anymore) with at least 512 MB of VRAM (which is, again, standard on modern graphics cards), running Windows XP or higher (all new PCs ship with Windows 7).
In other words, nearly any new pre-built PC available will have, compared to the minimum requirement, a faster, more advanced CPU and at least as much RAM with significantly higher memory bandwidth (a minimum spec PC uses DDR2, because that's what the Athlon 64 is compatible with - new PCs use DDR3), and essentially any but the lowest-tier of the most recent two generations of GPU will be more powerful than the min spec GPU.
Scraping the bottom of the barrel, a system that can play FFXIV can be put together for about $420. Add $75 to get a 5770 instead of a 4650, $50 to add 2 GB of RAM, and $100 to upgrade the CPU to an Athlon II X4 2.6 GHz and you're comfortably above minimum spec for a total of about $650.
SE's claims to the contrary, this is not a game that is aimed at the high end.
...they will get ****** at -ME- and vehemently insist they were told the system they saw posted on here "will run the game fine" and/or "meets the minimum specs", not understanding that "minimum specs" means "minimum performance"
Anyone who does not understand just by looking that "minimum spec" equals "low performance" deserves whatever they get. Reading is fundamental.
Honestly, if you suggest a **** poor rig to someone, and they buy it based on your post on this thread, and then three months from now they come here and complain about how their brand new system, suggested to them by BastokFL, looks like ***, even with the settings all the way down, what should I do?
And again, it was not a suggestion. I merely pointed out that one could slap a budget graphics card into a budget PC and exceed the minimum spec. Someone asked for the relevant links, and I provided them.
Anyone who takes a PC build that's shown in a thread that is titled "PS3 delay and beta" (instead of the dozens of more relevantly-titled threads just on the front page) without reading enough of the thread to get the proper context, again, deserves whatever they get.
Should I just ignore their posts and not help them at all, since no matter what I do to help, they're just going to direct their anger at me?
Yes. You can't fix stupid.
(note that on nearly every rig I've made suggestions on, I've coupled it with an approximate benchmark score that this system should meet when bought/built)
If anything, this strikes me as at least as irresponsible as anything you accuse me of doing. You can't put a benchmark score on a PC build without basically building it and running the benchmark on it; simply witness the many posts from people with significantly higher/lower benchmark scores than their hardware should be capable of (or who are unable to even run the benchmark even though the should by all rights be able to). It may be educated guesswork (with a large enough sample base), but it is guesswork nonetheless, and by doing so, you're setting yourself up for whiny posts of the "you said this PC would get this score on the benchmark and it didn't" nature.
What's the best way to deal with this problem, in your opinion?
Don't. Not are problems need fixing, and not all problems are within your power to fix.