Mikhalia the Picky wrote:
It's kinda like saying "My car has 4 speakers and a CD player and his car has 4 speakers and a CD player; why does his sound system sound better?" There a lot more that goes into it.
It seems like nowadays a lot of less tech-savvy people seem to fixate on the amount of memory on graphics cards as if that was somehow a deciding factor. Is this a new marketing trend? Often card models get more than one version with one simply having more memory than the other and the performance differences are usually quite small even with very large increases in memory.
The marketing trend for the longest time has been to sell systems with huge hard drives. Look at all the places that advertise 500 GB up to 1.5 TB HDs (even though 90% of the people who buy them won't use more than 10-20% of it, ever) or companies who market Core Duo or i3 or Celeron or Duron systems with 3-4 GB of RAM (DDR2 RAM) as "faster" because of "all the memory to run all your programs".
I've seen people with 3 year old computers who went out and bought an inexpensive new computer and ended up with a system that wasn't much better than the one they had, if not the same.
So yes, to the gamer who isn't tech savvy and wants an omgwtfbbqhax rig but doesn't want to research it, a 1 GB GeForce GT 220 sounds "almost as good" as a 1 GB GTX 460 and a 1 GB Radeon 5450 sounds "almost as good" as a 1 GB Radeon 5770. Joe Consumer hears the 1 GB and sees the price and says "sign me up!" without realizing that he's buying crap.
I mean, by that logic, my 1996 Saturn has 4 doors and the odometer goes up to 120, therefore it's just as good as a 2006 car with 4 doors with an odometer that goes to 120, right? The only difference I see is the 1996/2006 thing, and that's only 10. 10 isn't a whole lot so it's just as good.
The same faulty logic is usually what retailers -count on- to sell computers. Build them with inexpensive parts, overemphasize the features that sound important, and ka-ching!
If you're only buying a computer for basic internet/email and word processing usage, then 95% of what's on the shelf will do what you need it to do. That won't stop the sales monkey from trying to upsell you to a $800 system with a 2 TB HD (it's bigger!) and 6 GB of RAM (it's faster!) and Norton Internet Security (it's safer!) if you don't know what you're buying. Might as well sell a warehouse to a single man looking to buy a home. Sure, it's huge and spacious, but what the **** are you going to do with it?
Conversely, if you're a gamer, they're going to emphasize things like how much video RAM it has, and skirt past the fact that the chipset on the card is terrible and the access speed is abysmal. If this thread is any proof, many "gamers" are not also computer enthusiasts. And that's fine if you're not; I don't need to be a gearhead to buy a car, but I would take a gearhead with me because he's going to know if I'm getting ripped off better than I would.
The interesting thing about non-techie gamers is that they generally tend to think they know more than they do and can be too proud to ask for help. My sister's husband is this way. I offered to help him pick out a new system and he was insistent that he knew what he was doing. Ended up spending $850 on a system with a friggin 300W PSU and a Radeon 5650. So now he goes and installs FFXIV and the game takes a **** on him; he needs to spend MORE money on a better card and PSU that I could have helped him get in the first place, and for LESS money.
So yeah, there's nothing wrong with not knowing EVERYTHING about everything; I don't magically expect EVERYONE to be a computer genius just to buy one. I certainly don't mind providing helpful advice based on my knowledge and experience and you'll usually find that most techie people like myself are much the same; we love to educate and help (even if we are a bit neurotic and snide).
The one thing I hate seeing though; I mean absolutely HATE, is seeing someone spend too much of their money on something that isn't worth what they're paying for it. I don't suggest more expensive things because I think people are made of money; I suggest things that cost a little more because I'm confident that the buyer will be happy with their purchase for a long time. I also don't suggest overpriced things that aren't worth what you're paying for the same reason: I make my suggestions knowing that if someone reads what I have to say and takes my advice, they should be confident that they are not paying more than what the product is worth, and that they are getting what they pay for.
I make it my business to avoid suggesting someone buy a part, a piece of software, or a computer that I would not buy myself.