Thursday, February 19, 2015

My PC and Console History

We got our first "Personal Computer" when I was 8 years old, in 1990. It was this weird and wonderful thing, and it had games on it! A few of them I remember included Sopwith, Pinball, Bandit (one arm bandit gambling game) and Blackjack. The specs for the time were, I take, quite good - it was a IBM (I think) XT machine, and the CPU ran at a cool 4.77Mhz, which could get boosted to 8Mhz (making games mostly unplayable haha) by hitting the turbo button. It had a whopping 20MB hard drive. a 5.25 inch floppy drive (360kb), 640kb RAM and the screen had just four colours (yellow, orange, brown and black). It ran DOS 3.3 if I remember right. Ahh good times!

The first upgrade we did after that was to get a - wait for it - colour screen! I wasn't too clued up with the stuff back then, but I take it they had to put some kind of graphics card or something to that affect in the thing. Also, we got a very cool 3 button Genius mouse - I tried to play everything with that mouse hehehe...

Then the motherboard gave in, so we got a new motherboard, and a 286 CPU running at 20Mhz!

At some stage we got Windows 3.1 as well, and upgraded the RAM to 2MB, because I wanted to be able to play Sim Ant (I never got it to work though).

Then Microsoft launched this very revolutionary new operating system called Windows 95, so in the thing went again for an upgrade. This time around (in 1995) I started reading about a thing called a "Pentium" - so I begged my parents for that, and they luckily obliged! So, this upgrade was huge - got a 520MB hard drive, a flashy new mobo with a Pentium 75Mhz CPU, and - once again, please wait for it - 16MB RAM (no imagine how the kids at school laughed at me because I would never use that much RAM ever - at that point, you were the bees knees if you had 8MB). And of course, the brand new OS from Microsoft, Windows 95 - it still came on stiffi disks! About 30 of them haha! Last but not least, the Creative Sound Blaster 16bit Sound Card, and a 4x CD-ROM (this pack was bundles with four awesome games, namely Syndicate Plus, Ultima 8: Pagan, Wing Commander 2, and Strike Commander).

The next upgrade I did after that was to put in a flashy new graphics card - a Creative Graphics Blaster, which had 4MB of memory (it sucked by the way, couldn't even play Quake 2 on the thing...)

Next, we upped the CPU, and swapped out the 75Mhz one for a 166Mhz one. I was in heaven again, the sheer speed!

That lasted a good while, and then Pentium II came out, and their Celeron range, and shortly after that Pentium III - so I begged and begged, and luckily my awesome mom told me the line every geeky kid wants to hear - "phone the guys and order the PC you want".


I asked for the following for my brand new PC:

Pentium III 500Mhz
128MB RAM (at this stage, 32MB was a good amount, 64MB an amazing amount, and 128MB was practically unheard of!)
6.4GB Hard Drive (but the guys offer me a 8.4GB hard drive for the same price - yay!)
Creative Sound Blaster Live sound card (came bundled with Unreal!!!)
50x CD-ROM
Cambridge 4.1 Surround Sound Speakers

And, my prized possession - a Creative Riva TNT 16MB Graphics Card.

Also a new 14" Screen.

Damn what a pleasure it was working with such a behemoth of a PC! I still remember the hours of fun I had playing Jedi Knight and Moto Racer - and of course HALF LIFE 1!!!

When I started studying, I upgraded it with an additional 64MB RAM, so it ended up having 192MB, and also a 32MB Riva TNT 2 card at some stage. That PC went on to become my dad's, and he still used it for another 5 or 6 years after I got my first Pentium 4 machine...

I was studying IT and Programming related stuff, so my parents graciously bought me a new PC once again. This time around, the 3Ghz mark was just hit, and again I went kind of all out (for the time).

The next specs were:

Pentium 4 3.0Ghz with Hyperthreading
1GIG DDR RAM (people laughed once again because if you had 512MB, you were considered a god among your friends)
160GIG hard drive
Windows XP Home Edition
Leadtek GeForce FX5600 128MB Graphics Card
And I transferred my Creative Sound Blaster Live to this machine as well, and bought a cheapie for the old PC.

This was an awesome machine, and lasted me quite long! I upgraded the graphics card to a Gigabyte GeForce 6600 GT, and later a Gainward 7800GS, which was the highest I could upgrade it, since the Motherboard only had an AGP graphics card slot.

After that one, I bought a new Motherboard/CPU/RAM/Graphics Card in about 2008 if memory serves me right, which consisted out of:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.33Ghz CPU
nVidia Chipset Asus Motherboard (not sure why I bought this one hehe)
Asus GeForce 8800GT
2x 2GB DDR 3 RAM modules

It was great once again :) At some stage I got a 3.0Ghz Core 2 Duo CPU for quite cheap, and installed that, but this machine lasted me until the motherboard conked out in December 2010, which got me to the machine I work on till this very day:

MSI P55 Fuzion Motherboard, Socket 1156, with a Intel 650 i5 3.2Ghz CPU, overclocked to 3.7Ghz thanks to a big ass CPU cooler I have on, and 12GB of DDR3 Memory.

Luckily, the nVidia motherboard that died was still under warranty (it was 2 years and 10 months old, on a 3 year warranty!) - so I took it in, and obviously they couldn't replace it, so I got credit - the same amount I paid for it. That money went towards my awesome Asus GeForce GTX560ti card.

What a journey it's been so far! It's fun being a computer nerd, nothing quite as satisfying as doing a huge upgrade and playing a game you always had to down tune on the settings at full settings! I'm looking forward to my next upgrade :D

Lastly, my Console history - a lot shorter story.

Got a NES in 1989 for my 7th birthday, with two games - Contra and Super Mario Brothers.

And the next one after that was my Xbox 360 in 2009. See, told you it's a short story and a lot less boring than my PC one!

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