Have you ever had to downgrade after an upgrade? | Gamer on PC
“I can never go back to seeing 60 frames per second,” a PC Gamer staff member who will remain anonymous said recently. “From now on, over 100 images have to be taken of my face every second or I’ll be whining and complaining. In 10 years, I’ll refuse to use anything below 1000Hz.” Although it was said with irony, the sentiment is relatable. It’s hard to go back after an upgrade. There are certain conveniences you’re so used to that stepping back seems unthinkable, like cleaning plates with your actual human hands after owning a dishwasher, or seeing a mere 1080p after stepping up to 1440, or 4K, or something way out of my price range.
Have you ever had to downgrade after an upgrade?
Here are our answers, plus some from our forum.
Wes Fenlon, Editor: I’ve been a proponent of wireless mice for a good number of years now: they don’t have the performance issues they had a decade ago, and battery life has improved a lot. I still use the trusty Logitech G900 (opens in a new tab) I got it in 2016, and I maintain it’s the best gaming mouse ever made. But for the past six months, I’ve been using it all the time shamefully plugged in, because I misplaced the wireless receiver. After years of free flight, I chained myself to the ground again.
It is fine, You know. Nothing really bad for a wired mouse. It’s just nice not having to worry about the cable getting snagged or gathering a whole lot of dust or getting in the way of knick-knacks on my desk. It didn’t bother me enough to figure out what I did with this receiver or order a replacement, but the thought does stick in the back of my head and sometimes surfaces when playing games: I might l better. I did have better. Someday I’ll upgrade to Logitech’s wireless charging mouse pad and I’ll never have to worry about plugging my mouse in again.
Phil Savage, Editor, UK: I played Destiny 2 on PS4 for years, chained to the platform despite launching on PC, as I didn’t want to lose my progress at this point. When cross-save was finally introduced, I was finally free to upgrade. Except cross-save was introduced in 2019 and full cross-play wouldn’t come until 2021. That meant that for almost two years I had to regularly dip back into the PS4 version to play with friends who didn’t have not made the leap to the PC. sucked. On PC, I run the game at 144 fps, on a 1440p monitor. On PS4, there is a 30 fps cap. Before the update, it was bearable. It wasn’t as smooth as the shooters I played on PC, sure, but I didn’t have a direct 1:1 comparison of what it could be better at. After discovering it, I couldn’t go back: I felt like I was in a mess. It was a unpleasant space to be.
To make matters worse, once I got used to playing the game on mouse and keyboard, my abilities with the controller – honed over years in Destiny 1 and 2 – completely disappeared. I was playing worse in a game that looked worse. In the end, I just stopped going back to it completely, friends be damned.
Chris Livingston, Feature Film Producer: I’ve bought a few different pairs of quality gaming headsets over the past few years, but I always go back to using old, cheap wired headphones. I just don’t like having giant cans strapped to my ears, and while erasing the noise of everything, but the game is nice, I don’t really like being cut off from important sounds happening in my house (when you have pets, it helps to know when they are destroying something or trying to kill each other). And I don’t play competitive multiplayer games where I need crystal clear audio to hear enemy footsteps. I usually do stuff like baking cookies in a city builder (opens in a new tab) or bake cakes in farming simulator (opens in a new tab) or fry everything (opens in a new tab) in a restaurant game. Headphones are great for that.
But as an FPS player, leaving behind the TN panel did have a noticeable impact, as we explain in this guide to monitoring technology (opens in a new tab), VAs are not as fast as TNs, and ghosting can be an issue. Still, the bigger real estate was worth it, and I’d much rather run a large desktop canvas than stare at a Dell dual-barrel every day.
Andy Chalk, NA News Manager: I decided a few years ago that I wanted a “better” mouse. Something with funky angles, buttons, and lights that would set me apart as a True Gamer. I tried a few different models – the Razer Deathadder, a Logitech G-something, one from Steelseries I think – and they were good! They were nice. Perfectly well. And as everyone eventually gave up the ghost in one way or another, I was thinking of my old and timeless Logitech MX518, the mouse that for a while I thought might even outlive me: simple, unpretentious, completely reliable.
I finally decided to pick up one of the newer MX-518s – Logitech brought them back in 2019 – and upgrading from those fancy gaming mice to this much more “basic” unit has only deepened my appreciation . It fits well, it feels good, it has enough buttons, and the black-on-black color scheme is perfectly unobtrusive – I can barely see it when I’m not using it. Less is more, as the saying goes. I still feel the need to try something fancy once in a while, but I think that’s probably about it for me.
Colif: I also intentionally downgraded from a 4k monitor to 2k…desktop icons are really hard to read at 4k, so even Windows defaulted to 150% scaling. I have a 2k monitor now, so at least the games don’t bypass windows upscaling and load native 4k.
I think using a hard drive now would drive me crazy. Boot the PC, walk away for a few minutes while it loads the desktop, relative to NVMe where it boots the PC…wait a few seconds, then login.
The refresh rate is silly, I expect people to still imagine they can see flicker at 1000MHz or higher. Much of it is in their head, and if screens with 2000 MHz appear and they wonder, would that be better. People probably still see flicker at infinite refresh rates.
Brian Boru: A few short stays while traveling, I had to settle for a single monitor – oh the horror! Along the same lines, I still get annoyed with the lack of dual-monitor support in almost every game – I enjoyed that so much in Supreme Commander.
Wooden saucer: I think people are probably lowering their expectations more than their hardware. Like people talking about high frame rates and resolutions, then RTX comes out and throws a wrench at that. New cutting edge effects tend to hold us back all the time in the resolution and frame rate departments. Rather than running games at beastly speeds on modest hardware, they want to keep giving us new eye candy and keeping us paralyzed.
DXCHASE: I upgraded my GPU (3070ti) but my GPU came into a system that is about 7 years old. And I know I have a crazy bottleneck in some games (Far Cry 6), does that count?
Zloth: I’ve never had to, but I can see how I could. If my video card is dead right now, I would need to get a new one ASAP. If stores didn’t have a comparable one, I would need to buy something cheaper to keep using it until I could get a good one. A little cheaper, considering I wouldn’t be using it for long.
Pifanjr: I’ve been getting by with just one monitor (a laptop even!) since I started working from home. It didn’t bother me much, but once I go back to dual monitors, I’ll probably take advantage of all the extra room.
We have a desk, but it was buried under stuff upstairs in our old apartment and is now buried in the living room of our new apartment. This should be temporary until we can get other cabinets to put things in.
ZedClampet: The closest I’ve come is dropping the resolution to 720p on an old laptop to run a game acceptably, but I’ve never really backed down in hardware. I tend to keep my hardware around much longer than your average PC gamer, so when I need something new it’s usually not even possible to downgrade. Well, anything is possible these days with people selling 20 year old computer parts on Ebay, but I’ve never bought used hardware either.
Sarafan: Although I haven’t had the opportunity to downgrade in terms of hardware, luckily I often play older games. My PC is quite capable, but that doesn’t stop me from going back to titles released many years ago. So basically, I witness graphical degradation on a daily basis. One day I can play Cyberpunk 2077, while the other enjoys pixelated Quake 1. And that’s no problem for me. I can go anytime from a visually stunning game to an old gem released before 3D accelerators became a thing. I adapt to the situation in a few minutes. Going from 60 fps to 30 fps is a bit more of a pain, but it’s only a matter of getting used to. Even the blurry image caused by running the game in a lower resolution than my monitor’s native resolution doesn’t bother me. Looks like I’m bulletproof when it comes to graphical downgrade…