Gaming PCs today have gotten pretty high-tech. If you order a custom machine from a boutique PC vendor, you can expect the works: custom cases, water cooling, massive overclocks and a handful of enormous video cards, to boot. But it wasn't always that way--once upon a time a gaming computer was just a beige box like any other PC, complete with 72 lb CRT monitor and a stock cooler.
We got to wondering about when exactly boutique gaming PCs became an exercise in excess, so we did a little research. We've compiled scans of Maximum PC system reviews for the last 13 years, sampled once every 6 months, and put together a gallery. Hit the jump to see how gaming PC's have evolved since 1998, and watch all the bells and whistles appear one by one.
If you like this gallery, check out the others in the series!