Just in case you’re wondering where all the magic happens. It’s modest, but older games love it.
SCREEN: Samsung SyncMaster BX2031. Aaah the little 20” portal into these worlds! Its not big, but it is the perfect compromise between size and performance. I can see everything perfectly in every game I play at the screen’s native resolution, which is 1600 x 900, and the frame rates are excellent because it is not a particularly demanding amount of pixels that the graphics card has to render. Speaking of…
GRAPHICS CARD: MSI GeForce N295 GTX. This was the most powerful, twin graphics processing behemoth of its day. Now… not so much. In games that happily offer SLI Scaling (particularly Unreal Engine games), I can still pull off some pretty decent FPS rates when the anti-aliasing is turned down to 2x, and I have the version with the fan in the middle which means it stays around 75 degrees even in some intensive titles. I bought it second hand and it comes with more or less 1.8 Gb of GPU memory, but this is sadly split between the chips so no game will ever acknowledge more than around 800 Mb of VRAM. While this card gets kind of loud and cannot do DirectX 11, it runs the games that I like very well as it is essentially two 260’s in SLI with a 280’s clock speed. I might upgrade at some point, but for now I am most happy with how it works with some older titles and would rather invest in a case with better cable management.
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-4690K @ 3.5 GHz (Stock). Probably my favourite component which I keep nice and cool with an after market Coolermaster radiator and fan. The chip sometimes clocks up a respectable 3.9 GHz in turbo mode, and the benchmarks show that it was never far behind its i7 equivalent. I have therefore never felt the need to overclock and I suppose I could go on about how the chip has this amount amount of cache and that amount of transistors, but for now, it satisfies the processing requirement of those games that insist on taking place in large, open environments.
MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte G1 Gaming board. Actually bought this one with the processor after lightning took out my old MSI board (and RAM). Nice features such as M2 and Killer E200 Networking capabilities that I don’t ever really use haha. But the sound IS EXCELLENT. This board has a Creative X-Fi onboard sound solution that is virtually as warm and clear as any discreet card I have heard. Games, music and movies come out warm and punchy, and combined with the supported software package, you can seriously modify sound levels and subtleties to suit all your gaming auditory needs. Gosh I sound like a damn infomercial.
PSU: Coolermaster GX 700. Saved itself and one module of RAM from lightning strike.
SPEAKERS: Creative A 300 combined with with Creative SBS A50 in quadraphonic mode. The A300 is a 2.1 set that has enough bass to make the entire apartment vibrate with matching treble and mids. Nice rich sound, and when I added the SBS A50’s in 4.1 mode, I honestly cannot think of any rational reason for spending more on a 5.1 setup. It honestly is amazing, even in older games, how the 3D worlds become alive when you supplement your visuals with decent sound, which sounds even better when it didn’t break the bank.
These are the main components and the only parts worth writing about. Yep, not the strongest rig you have ever seen, but it gets me where I need to be very well. I am definitely not a member of the PC master race and I would love to own a console. But PlayStation and Xbox always seem to be affordable just as the computer store has a sale, and I end up buying a new (albeit much needed) gaming keyboard or mouse instead. Will definitely update here the moment I get one cause I have to play Uncharted and Forza at least once in my life!