Gaming PCs: stop!

[intro]High-end PCs are killing us. Call the cops![/intro] It’s time someone stepped in here and called a time-out. If the state of gaming PCs conti

[intro]High-end PCs are killing us. Call the cops![/intro] It’s time someone stepped in here and called a time-out. If the state of gaming PCs continues unchecked, this time next year you’ll have to hire a skip just to get rid of the cardboard and polystyrene packaging. And God help anyone who wants one of these monsters anywhere but the ground floor.

Take the Dell XPS 710 H2c for example, which currently sits at the top of our Desktop PCs Top Ten for many good reasons. Actually, just take it away, please. And bring a friend unless you want to put your back out. On paper, it’s a fantastic arrangement of semiconductors that out-bids just about anything else money can buy. Overclocked this, water-cooled that, ceramic bits here, flashing lights there, two of these, four of those… Proper specs are here by the way.

The problem is, it’s absolutely enormous and weighs a ton. Well, it weighs enough to make every sinew in a man’s body twang like George Formby’s ukulele. And you thought your Xbox 360 pumped out a bit of warm air? Once the H2c is up to speed it doubles as a fan heater. You’ll never touch that central heating dial again.

And for what? OK, the raw performance is impressive. It plays a great game and chews through intensive audio-visual processes, but does the pay-off justify the compromises? For me, no. To use this as a gaming solution, in the face of options such as Xbox 360 and PS3, just seems ludicrous. It’s the gaming equivalent of a Humvee. All around us, technology is getting smaller, quieter, more efficient. Shouldn’t PCs follow suit?