PC Master Race

a.k.a The Glorious PC Gaming Master Race

What is it?

To ascend, according to the PCMR, is to become part Master Race. By truly believing that PCs are better than Consoles one can be considered an ascended being.

The PC Master Race or Glorious PC Gaming Master Race or only PCMR is, as defined by Wikipedia, both a term for the superiority of PC gaming and the subculture where those who follow it – i.e. ascended superior beings – dwell.

PCMR is the belief that PC Gaming is superior to Console Gaming, the efforts towards PC Gaming and everything involved in it. It is also the sharing of PC knowledge, computer builds (rigs) and technical discussions.

If you don’t believe that PCs are better than consoles, please jump to the last section of this page. To get to understand more about the Glorious Master Race just keep scrolling.

Where it happens

Reddit (stylized as reddit, /ˈrɛdɪt/) is an North American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. … Registered users can then vote submissions up or down to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages.” – Wikipedia

The main meeting spot for the PC Master Racers is their Reddit subreddit (a very nice forum-like website). It is free to register there, they have iOS and Android Apps and lots of more communities (subreddits) other than the PCMR.

Below you can see what’s been hot over there last month:

The community is big, with +1MM subscribed and rarely less than 5K of those online, it is also very helpful and polite (for internet standards). It is easily the best place to ask for PC advice and solve technical questions, especially hardware related. But please, use Google first.

How to join

PCMR SubReddit Sidebar

You can be a Master Racer without that dreamy $2000+ computer, you don’t even have to have a PC at all! But be sure to understand that you will be dealing with tech-savvy geeks who are also polite, generous and willing to help anyone in their ascension path. To Ascend (that is, to become a Master Racer) one must simply truly believe that Gaming in PCs is better than in Consoles. Also subscribe at the PC Master Race SubReddit, to participate and sum to the numbers!

After registering, remember to spend a few minutes reading their sidebar, which contains more info, links, and rules for posting and commenting there. A print of it is to the right.

How to build a gaming computer and how much it costs?

Truly, this is already extensively discussed at Reddit, but to make things easier here follows some tips. First of all, one should always build his own PC – buying separate parts and putting them together – instead of buying prebuilt ones. The main reason is to not get low-quality components, specifically for parts – like power source – that usually are not specified in prebuilt PCs descriptions. The price is another big reason, you can get better prices fishing discounts and promotions around for separate parts, also you will have more flexibility to build what you need and leave room for upgrades.

The exception to the above rule is, obviously, laptops. For PCs, putting the pieces together is quite easy. If you go slowly, read guides, or watch tutorials, you can do it by yourself. You can also hire someone to put the parts together for you, but for many this is the most fun part, give it a try! One tip to encourage: it is very hard to mess things around since most parts only connect where they have to, don’t worry about misconnecting things and short-circuiting.

The price of a gaming computer, with better capabilities than any PS4 or Xbox One, starts around $500.  It starts because there is almost infinite possibilities of upgrades and customizations. This price also changes depending on what you already have: mouse, keyboard, controller, monitor(s), headset, etcetera. Finally, depending on where you live it might be hard to buy certain pieces and brands, so you will have fewer options to start from.

Having all this being said, the best way to start is to post your build at /r/pcmasterrace! You can and should:

  1. Pick a build to start with at their builds page or create one – if you know what you are doing – at PCPartPicker.
  2. Post your build at /r/pcmasterrace. Remember to tag (flair) it right as Tech Support or Build and be polite when explaining your situation. Some examples:
    1. This guy asking for help for his first time building a PC.
    2. This other dude helping his 11 years old son build a computer.
  3. Get help, people will tell about overpriced items, look for bottlenecks on your build, make suggestions and much more. Participate and thank everyone who help you out.
  4. Buy your pieces and put them together! Remember, you can always go back to /r/pcmasterrace if you have new questions, wanna join the talks, see some fun stuff or find some friends to play.

Next steps, or the Continuous Ascension

One never stops his ascension path. In resemblance to the pursuit of knowledge,  the PC Master Race is continuous and, for many, a way of living. It is also alive, within a constantly evolving industry, with new products and technologies launching every day.

One can be an ascending peasant, this is a console player planning his first computer build before selling his old console. One can ascend through a gaming laptop but still save money and make plans to get a desktop. You can even ascend your hands, through the purchase of a mechanical keyboard, or your butt, by buying a gaming chair!

Many, as said, ascend themselves daily by helping fellow racers in the path. You will be surprised by how much you can learn and add to the discussions at PCMR. Meeting new people and making friends is totally possible too, though, for this purpose, you might just dive deeper into:

Console Peasants, or How They Play

Witcher 3 - PC vs Consoles Comparison

The picture is just one example of how the PCs graphics capacity exceeds console’s. Don’t get me wrong, people have fun gaming on consoles. But the experience of PC Gaming is much more complete and the existence of consoles is bad for the market. If you want material on this subject there is plenty around, but this is the famous – and very complete – PCMR ‘Why PC is superior guide‘.

To go briefly through the subject, let’s review a few points:

Resolution: nowadays 1080p is the minimum resolution used by TVs and mid to top range monitors. PCs have no problem working on the native resolution of your display, TV or multi-monitor setup. Console’s hardware has a hard time running at this native resolution so they usually render the game in a smaller ‘size’ and then stretches (upscales) it to 1080p, this results on less clear images, like shown in the last comparison. For example, Battlefield 1 runs at dynamic resolutions that can get up to 1000p (not 1080pon less intensive game parts on PS4 and Xbox One.

30 to 60 FPS comparison

Frames per Second (FPS): again, even though 60 FPS is the minimum offered by manufacturers of TVs and monitors, today’s consoles can’t deliver that much. “But, the human eye can’t see more than 24 FPS.” some say, well, let’s take proof with the side animation: you can notice, higher FPS gives a smoother perception of movement onscreen, a thing very important for gaming immersion. It makes a big waste buying 120Hz (or more) TVs for consoles that render AAA games at 30 FPS.

Customization: PCs are made by assembling pieces together, so, when your needs change or you feel like investing some extra bucks into your machine, you can sell one piece – like your GPU – and get a better one! Feel like gaming on your living room TV? Get yourself a long HDMI cable and a gamepad. The possibilities are infinite, really! Since PC is an open platform, your knowledge, use of Google, along with your curiosity, and budget are what defines what you can and can’t do with it. PCs have lots of upgrade possibilities and don’t become obsolete just because a new generation came around and new games aren’t being made available to the platform anymore. With so many different people around, it’s impossible for console makers to build the perfect platform for everyone needs. With PC there isn’t such limitation. Trying to do such thing is wrong, and this bad decision – and others – is the core of our next topic.

Fairness: this one is a bit longer since it needs context. A few decades back, when hardware manufacturing was restricted to few companies, it made sense that some of them would specialize in developing video games, that’s how companies that we love(d), like Nintendo, Atari, Sony, and Sega grew. Nowadays video games are very like PCs structurally, due to how technology and manufacturing evolved creating a very modularized market. It makes more sense – and it’s easier – to have companies making specific hardware parts: hard drives, CPUs, GPUs, RAMs, etc. and video game makers create their hardware by assembling pieces of different brands. For this work, they add a big premium to the product price as they insert the Xbox or Playstation logo and sell it as a gaming platform friendly to the living room.

To be fair, Sony made an incredible job with the PS3 hardware, Nintendo really created something new with Wii and the Switch is a nice approach to the costumers, sadly charging U$ 70 for cardboard.

When we consider the price is that things start to not make much sense. A company buys the hardware for 1 million computers in bulk, assembles it and sells the computers as ready to play machines. One of these should be more powerful than a custom built computer with the same budget, right? Unfortunately, this is not what happens in the market. This means that somewhere around the console’s productive chain the profits are bigger or the process is less efficient (than PCs).

Did you know that you can use easily a Wii, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 or XBox One gamepad in a PC? You can even mix a set of these.

Both. Console companies create their market and rule over it charging whenever possible. Their service is worst: paid multiplayer, the price difference between PC’s and console’s versions of games, and the poor performance of AAA games on consoles compared with PCs are some examples. Even the convenience and plug and playability, some of the console’s qualities, are in check with the higher part of the population being familiarized with computer interface, the popularization of HTPCs (Home Theather PCs) and use of gamepads on PC – not mentioning how is becoming mainstream to launch incomplete games -.

This greedy and short-minded way of doing things is not exclusive to console manufacturers, every big company around is this way, with very few exceptions. Some good things come from this, like funding the development of some games, but it is all in an effort to dig a deeper trench around their market – the console player’s wallets -.

Exclusive games: If you stopped earlier to read the PCMR  Why PC is superior guide you already know this, PC has the biggest game library among all platforms. And we are not considering emulation… if we did it wouldn’t be a fair fight. And PC wins the competition in every game genre possible also, not only strategy and FPS games as some may think. It is also important to remember that both console and PC games are developed using PCs, just saying! When we remember our 3rd item, customization, we can talk about multi-screens, gamepads, joysticks, cockpits, and VR! Many games are poorly played without a keyboard and a mouse and the opposite is also true. One should use the right tool for the job. Playing Dragon Age? Go for a keyboard and mouse. Dark Souls? Gamepad, please! But if you wanna do the other way, it is also possible! And simulators? Driving a race car or piloting a jet fighter is better when you have tons of wheels, pedals and joysticks options.

I said I wouldn’t bring it but it is hard. With emulation, any almost any computer becomes a gaming platform with thousands of titles available. Jumping on the nostalgia train and replaying your childhood games with enhanced graphics and other upgrades is something only PCs offer.

I hope I helped to clarify the PCMR for you. Please comment with any suggestions and mistakes in the text, this page is a work in progress.

May your framerates be high and your temperatures low.

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