The Newbie Guide to PC Graphics

In the never-ending war of PC vs. console gaming, graphical fidelity has always been the personal computer’s upper hand. Consoles are king of the hill for only about the first year or two of their release. After that, ever-improving graphics cards will leave the hottest Playstation title looking dated while your freshly upgraded desktop renders more bloom effects and lens flares than a freshman Photoshop project.

PC graphics are a double-edged sword, however. Compared with the it-just-works-ness of consoles, computers require no small amount of fiddling. Assuming all of your drivers are up to date, you still have to contend with your clock speed and available memory, so going for hi-res shadows and maximum draw distance could wind up turning your brand new FPS to the prettiest slideshow $500 can buy.

No doubt most of you know all the ins and outs of tweaking your game machine to get the best performance possible, but to newbies the task can seem utterly arcane. Fortunately for the noobs, Lifehacker has compiled a thorough guide to take you through the process. You’ll learn how to work with the basics, get linked to overclocking tools and guides, and see the differences that anti-aliasing and texture quality can make in your game.

Pretty much the only thing you won’t learn is why FXAA stands for “Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing” instead of FAAA. I mean, the “x” is like the sixth letter in; that just makes no sense.

[via Lifehacker]

(Writer) Christian lives in El Cerrito, CA which is close enough to San Francisco to count. When not busy being unimpressed by press releases and AAA hype, he spends his time singing, finding heavy things to pick up and put down, and occasionally going out on the town in naught but cowhide. He has worked in the industry with companies like Sega of America and Trion Worlds, and one day hopes to design a game of his very own.

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