32 Key Stages In The Evolution of the Gaming PC

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CitizenVII

Saying "key stages" is somewhat misleading, but it's certainly a fun photo album. I remember them all, particurally the Alienware Area 51 from 2000. That was the first time I'd heard of Alienware.

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Athlonite

yeah where's the Vodoo 2 in SLI and anything recently with HD3xxx or 4xxx gpu's and whats with all the P4's compaired to AMD's Athlon XP (Barton core) used to kick the snot out of P4's not to mention the nVidia Riva TnT2 there's alot of game changing stuff that's been missed

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trgz

A very short-sighted article. For me there was only one truly memorable moment in gaming PC evolution and that was the first generation of 3D cards - this might even be considered the beginning of the gaming PC. I remember the moment I popped a Voodoo 1 into my Viglen Genie (P1 overclocked to 100MHz!) and fired up Tomb Raider with the all-important 3Dfx patch - nothing has matched that wow factor to this day.

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slim186

No Voodoo machines at all?  I remember they were the gold standard of gaming/high-performance PC's for quite a while - not Compaq

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Hg Dragon

Voodoo PC's pretty much kicked off the super-tight, bordering-on-OCD, damn-near works of art cabling jobs that are pretty much standard issue with any PC not sold for work/office use. They helped push the idea that inside-the-case aesthetics were juut as important as exterior asthetics. Before then, it was a good cabling job if the cables were "kind of" bundled out of the way and didn't look like a bowl of spaghetti.

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emzfrendcrisis

I find it hard to believe that you put the acer predator and not the HP Blackbird 002.

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Kinetic

I'll second that. Unless they're trying to point out how embarrassing some of these gaming case designs can get.

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lunchbox73

AH!! Dell Dimension clamshell design! I hope whoever came up with that got fired. Still gives me nightmares...

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knexkid

I find it interesting how in the early 2000s we we go from about 1 to almost 4GHZ CPUs in about 3 years, and we've been at that same speed since like 2004-5. Ya ya, more cores, whatevs. I just find it interesting how the speed wars just instantly stopped.

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afunyun

The thermals got to the point that they couldn't raise the clocks higher because it was impractical.

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AETAaAS

That takes me back... I remember when I had not heard of the concept of a gaming PC. All that you needed to play games was a bog standard PC; then you slapped in a good graphic card and you were good to go.

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Ilander

I'll use this as a barometer to see how current my rig has been over the past seven years...and I've fared pretty well, at least until the end, and the triple high end gpus, although we all knew those were overkill anyway.  It is funny to note when the "gaming" machines picked up quad-core, though.  Really, there was little reason to have a quad until Core i7 was launched, because it was a waste for gaming...and those extra cores were a waste in gaming even then, but the i7 was better for multi-gpu.

I feel like the first game that really showed a difference with a quad was GTA IV, which came out at the same time as the i7, but really, there wasn't much before that.

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ShyLinuxGuy

I freaking LOVE the design of the 1999-2002-ish Compaq Presario, especially the ones that came in orange and red.  Then they defaulted to boxy grey and black after that.

I remember using them all the time when I was in elementary school, before they went 100% Mac, 0% PC.

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codepath

I just retired my wife's Compaq Presario 7000 (Pentium III 1GHz, 2GB 800MHz RAMBUS - ecch) machine she used for editing/rendering video. A two hour video would run overnight. The new machine I built her does it in about an hour.

I remember that we went with that Presario because at the time, DVD burners were just hitting the market for consumers. Bare drives were $600 and a 6 month wait after ordering. Compaq had them in stock for the Presarios as a $400 upgrade.

codepath

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DC42

No love for the Voodoo 5...man. Good material none the less.

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Eoraptor

Nor for the Athlon XP chips, which were blowing the doors of the early P4s

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aarcane

I love noticing that nearly EVERY gaming rig in this lineup uses nVidia graphics, and rightly so.

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Caboose

No kidding. With their current track record over the last couple of years they're the best cho... Oh... wait... Nevermind.

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praetor_alpha

I had my nvidia card fluke out on me recently. Using my friends' logic, that means I have to hate Nvidia.

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Eoraptor

what's with all the typo's, MaxPC? Editors on holiday?

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mattman059

Would have been interesting to see the prices along with those pics

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Eagle70ss

Wow, what a throwback...

No Packard Bell pics hanging around? lol  Mine was king back in '96...:) Still have it and it still runs. Never knew why P-bell got hammered so bad. Mine was always very reliable for what it was.

My old Dell Dimension 2350 from 2001? Yep, still runs to this day.

awww the good old days.

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szore

I remember flying Falcon on my Amiga 500.

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vistageek

Great article. The digital storm benchmark crusher had 3 gtx 280's in it though, not 260's. The paintjob on number 23 is EPPPPIIC!

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