The 50 Most Important PC Components of the Modern Computing Era

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SH1

Long time reader, but somehow missed this article.  When I belatedly saw it, I knew the GDM-F520 would certainly get a mention.  However, I was very surprised to see your disclaimer above. 

A pre-emptive defensive strike against how "uncool" such massive beasts are today? 

Check out this long running thread regarding its also highly regarded sibling, GDM-FW900:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=952788

and let's reflect on the sad fact that on several key image quality performance measures, such CRTs are still far superior to this day...

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da_samman

I remember when I yearned for an FX-62 CPU in my rig, and then for a long time I yearned for a Penryn CPU.  Now, it seems, that my loyalty to AMD is being reborn, thanks to the Phenom II X4.  Just curious, what is it about Intel's quad cores that make them better than the Phenom II X-4 equivalents?  Heck, the price alone for a Phenom II should sway SOME die-hard Intel fanboys, especially with our current economic situation.

Sincerely yours, from Fort Lewis, WA

SGT Samuel E. McClard II

Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!!

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JDorfler

This is a great list.  How about one list for each kind of component from their humble beginnings and to their high speed present to where we may believe they maybe going.

 Sager NP5797 (Clevo)

nVidia GeForce 9800 GTX/Intel QX9300/4GB DDR3 1066

Vista/Ubuntu/Fedora OSes

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AMD64Blondie

I'd also like to point out the Sony FW900/9012 24-in widescreen CRT in high-end CRT monitors. (How do I know? I own one of these fabulous 93-lb widescreen wonders.)(Although,mine's a HP A7217A which is a rebadged Sony FW9012). Also,in keyboards.. you forgot to mention the IBM Model M. I personally own 3 of these lovely antiques. (2 1991 Model Ms,and a 1995 Model M).

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Terabit

Wow, I just now realized how fast techonology is being updated and improved. The 8800GTX is already considered old tech. Jeez, I remember when the FX-55 and the Pentium 4 Extreme came out! I didn't realize how long ago that was.

 

2X EVGA GeForce GTX 285 1GB (Each) | Intel Core i7 920 | OCZ Gold 6GB DDR3 1600 | Asus P6T Deluxe V2 Mobo | Seagate Barracuda 1TB HD | Corsair 850watt PSU | Antec Twelvehundred Black Full Tower Case | Asus VW246H Black 24" 2ms Monitor |

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anonuser

Don't totally really agree with the list.  The original Hayes modem set the standard and Logitech should get the nod in the mouse department. 

Had a 1GB Fireball. It outlasted many other drives. I gave it away in hand-me-down rig to a relative.

ABIT BE6 (440BX) was in the first computer I built myself and it was rock solid until it melted down because I was unaware dust had completely encrusted and choked every heatsink.  Now I seal, filter, & +pressure every case.

440BXs are still completely viable with, 128MB of RAM, any old 3D AGP video card, LAN card, and a Puppy Linux OS making it even seem snappy. I rebuilt a couple's old 440BX computer with old spare parts & Puppy - they were amazed!  

 

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Lowell J. Haffner

 When I purchased a used K6-2 450mhz computer to be able to get on the internet, one of the first upgrades I made was to get a Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro keyboard. I have built several computers since for myself and a few for my wife but the keyboard came along when I upgraded. As I sit in front of my dual-processor AMD Athlon X2 4000+ / AsusM2NBP-VM mobo, black Antec 900 case with all black accessories, I sit at the 'boring beige', very same keyboard. I might consider a new keyboard someday, but I haven't found one that was more comfortable or more durable. So you won't think I am a Microsoft fanboy, I still run XP MCE 2005 dual booting with Ubuntu 9.04. The more I learn about Open Source software, the more I figure that XP will be my last MS OS.The Vista fumble was too much.

haffcrazy

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jeffhex

Still have a working BP6 mobo with dual Celeron 533 CPUs in it... retired it recently (anyone want it?). Any my A8N-SLI Deluxe mobo was running my main gaming machine until about a year ago. Now it is repurposed as another server on my network, running folding@home while downloading bittorrent files. Even had an old ABIT BE6 mobo (440BX chipset) but the capacitors blew and it would have cost more to fix it than replace it.

 

Keep up the good work, MaximumPC!

 

(oh, and the 100th podcast was EXCELLENT!)

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Spider-Mom

"And, later that year when the first true DirectX 10 titles shipped,
that same GPU also gave us the first taste of fully programmable
graphics, although likely at a pretty low resolution."

 

 

Mine still plays everythign just fine at 1920-1200. Games like DMC4, Stalker, Fallout3 all get great FPS WITH AA and ANSIOx16 except for stalker but that game is crap optimized. DMC4 looks better than stalker and gets a solid 60FPS.

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dylanwinn

Ahh... I love going back and playing those old games. The fact that modern hardware can bust out 500+ FPS on the same game that we once struggled to run at 15 FPS smells like progress.

 

It's also funny when games run faster than refresh-rate. How is that even possible?

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FusilliJerry82

After a nuclear apocolypse, a 440BX based PC would still be running somewhere, its screen glowing on the skeleton slumped forward in the chair at the desk on which it sits.

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Trooper_One

So many good fond memories! (not all, but lots or lots from their derivatifs)

 My favourites were Celeron 300A, the Abit NF7-S with a Barton 2500+ easily overclocked to 3200+ (which btw, stills runs as a secondary guest machine, surfing the web, Folding@Home, PopCap games by G/F, and other minor games).

 I'm just surprised that there's no mention of any Creative Lab's SoundBlaster -did MPC had a fight with CL and had something against them?  Yes, there were lots of good quality soundcards out there (including the above mentioned Diamond) but SB did put up the foundation of PC gaming.  Not to mention I have a wide assortments of SB soundcards from the SB Pro tho the SB X-Fi series!  (I also have a few Diamod Monster and a Turtle Beach sitting in a box).

 Btw, has anyone tried hooking up their old Voodoo2's and try to create something crazy with them?

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ogremustcrush

Ah, my good friend, the Abit NF7-S. When I get home today I'm going to put you in yet another different case as I replace my main rigs case and they trickle down. That board and a 2.2Ghz Athlon XP with 1GB of ram actually manages to run Windows 7 quite acceptably. That box needs a new hdd, unfortunatly, but the NF7-S lives forever with the proper tender loving care. I have had to replace the northbridge heatsink on it, and I also epoxied a heatsink to the southbridge, but it's been solid other than that. I have the other good Nforce 2 board from that era too, the Asus A7N8X Deluxe 2.0, but it will never get as much love as the NF7-S.

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rcwerner

Came out the same time as Voodoo and could do gorgeous 3D and 2D in ONE card. Voodoo may have had a frame or two edge in performance, but the the Verite colors were simply beautiful.

I think I still have my card.

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Techie714

Great article guys!  Max PC has been turning out some good stuff lately!

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three6mafia1665

I've got a few things on this list still running strong! I've got the sound blaster 1998 card (has it really been that long?) still running great in my girlfriends XP based machine. I'm also still using a 32gb Raptor as my operating system drive that has to be on its last leg, I mean 6 years of 10,000 rpms has to do some damage. And perhaps most impressivly, I am still running a mircosoft inteliexplorer 3.0. Sure the wires shorted and the feet are ground into the base, but that didn't stop me from rewiring it and throwing some new feet on it. Very shocked to see that i'm using some PC parts 11, 6, and 10 years old. Props to companies who make a lasting product.

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Keith E. Whisman

Sound Blaster AWE64 or Sound Blaster Live? 

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pcwizmtl

I love it when you guys make these lists.

Awesome

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Havok

this posted wrong

 OMGWTFBBQ

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jamevay

Obviously the modern computing Era started in Mid 90s.  

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bobman90

Intergraph Intense 3d Voodoo

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Mikey1091

I'm quite dissatisfied that I didn't notice a singe one of AMD's latest processors listed in the last two pages of this article.  Seems to me that MPC just went and said screw AMD, we like Intel.  Wonder how many AMD fans that this will anger, myself included.  But since I didnt ask the question, and it is likely no one will for a while, WHY wasn't any of AMD's latest processors listed, while pretty much all of Intel's were?

 

Cheap Web Hosting from Nova Internet Services!  http://www.novaservices.biz/

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Keith E. Whisman

The 50 Most Important PC Components of the Modern Computing Era

That's what the Title of this Article is. I'm sorry but the Phenom just isn't the most important PC Component of the Modern PC era. Not when Intel produced the simply bad assed Core I7. They do have the Athlon 64 up there. The Athlon XP is up there as well. Very important components that directed the PC market. If you want a 64bit Operating system such as Windows Vista or Win7 64bit you need a processor that is compatible with the Athlon 64. Intel has an AMD license called IA64 that allows Intel processors to run a 64bit OS. That is pretty damn important and therefore you shouldn't get pissed off at all. I believe AMD is pretty well represented here.

 

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skramblr

" Intel has an AMD license called IA64 that allows Intel processors to run a 64bit OS."

??? Me thinks you have your facts mixed up. IA64 is Intel's Itanium Processor. Nothing to do with AMD.

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Keith E. Whisman

64bit on consumer processors comes to us courtesy of a license extended to Intel from AMD because Microsoft Adopted only AMD's 64bit technology for it's 64Bit Windows OS's. 

For a long time if you wanted to run WinXP 64bit Edition you had to use an AMD Athlon 64 CPU.

I was wrong about the name. I always thought it was IA64. It had a name that sounded close to that.

From what I found it's called X86-64 and the official name is just lost to me. I can't for the life of me remember what the name of the AMD 64 technology that was licensed to Intel. Intel I believe changed the name slightly that is why I though IA64. I can't remember so please forgive the ignorence. I'm not trying to spread inaccurate information.

 

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jwalch.hawk

skramblr is right on this one, though nearly everyone makes the same mistake you did.

IA-64 is a totally different 64-bit processor architecture that is particular to the Intel Itanium.  Binaries (ie, code compiled clear down to the 1s and 0s) written for an x86 processor was not compatible with it, which is why it was pretty much a failure.  Today's 64-bit processors are on a 64-bit extension of the standard x86 architecture (pretty sure it's called x86-64 like you said), which means that it's just basically the 64-bit version of the same old architecture.  Your flashy new Core i7 is more compatible with the original 8086 than it would be with the Itanium.  Bottom line is that Itanium was a screwball and doesn't really have much to do with 64-bit processors as we currently know them.

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Havok

Imean, I like AMD. But seriously, when was the last time they actually spanked Intel in recent years? Phenom ring a bell? Don't get me wrong, I loved it when those old Athlons came out a couple years back and whupped Intel, but that was like 5 years ago.

I'm still a believer though. Just wait for Phenom III!

 

OMGWTFBBQ

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Havok

Wonder if Maclife could compete with this awesomeness? Oh, that's right.... they can't show a parts list, because you can't hotswap parts in a Mac like in a PC.

Aw shucks :)

 

 

OMGWTFBBQ

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johnny3144

i am sure they can make a list about something like the most important mac computer history or something... but to make a list this long, they gotta put every freaking mac that's ever made on it.

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korhojoa

I'm not sure exactly who's card that is, or in which maximum pc it has been, but I'm pretty confident that it's a MPEG2 decoder card.
I have a old realmagic one that looks quite close to that one.

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Keith E. Whisman

Over the years I've owned much of what was posted in this article. It makes me realize just how much stuff I've given away over the years. I would use my old hardware to upgrade friends and family computers after I upgraded my hardware. 

I recently gave away an 875Pro based Motherboard with a P4C 3ghz processor, 2gigs of ram and a Geforce 6800GTS Pro Video Card and a creative sound blaster audigy 2ZS sound card to friends, family and a fellow MaximumPC forum troll. 

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rpepper

I feel you here.  This was a great trip down memory lane.  I was surprised to see my old FIC SD11 show up.  I never knew that board was a "milestone" of any sort in anyone's eyes.  I still remember building my first PC...Athlon Slot A 750GHz T-Bird on the FIC board with a SB Live! and 256MB PC133 SDRAM and a Voodoo5 5500.  I was the envy of all my friends!

 Thanks for making my morning coffee break give me that warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia MPC!

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