Time to upgrade the PC March 17, 2007
I hate the fact that I'm contemplating this, but it has deemed itself necessary. I built my current PC two years ago, and I still think it's a beast. Until I try to play the latest first person shooters. I tried to combat this by not playing them, but lately, I really just want to play.
I have the parts to an uberleet PC sitting in my shopping cart over at TigerDirect. I even cut down some unnecessary parts that I can get later (sound card, monitor, dvd drive, extra hard drive), and it's at $2100! Granted, this one's twice the PC I have. Here's a rundown of what I have vs. what's in the cart, and I'll try to make it as boring as possible.
Current PC: AMD 64 FX 53, 2GB RAM, 80GB SATA, 250GB IDE, NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra w/256MB, SoundBlaster Audigy something or other, and the real kicker, it's liquid cooled! This makes for difficult situations.
Dream PC: Intel Core 2 Duo E6700, 4GB RAM, 320GB SATA-II times 2, NVidia Geforce 8800 GTX w/768MB, SoundBlaster Audigy something or other, and NOT liquid cooled. Also, dual 22" LCD displays (Sceptre makes a good monitor that I'd definitely get).
Problem with Liquid Cooled PCs
No, they don't leak. Actually, it did, but this won't happen generally. The case that's pictured isn't the current one. Yup, I had to drop $400 on a new case with built in liquid cooling. Long story short, I also had to get a new motherboard because I fried it (not from the leak). Read that story, it's worth it, I promise. The major problem with liquid cooling is that you buy coolers for each component that you want to cool, so if a new video card that you want isn't the same shape as your old one, you have to buy a new cooler, which then means you have to drain your whole system, re-cut tubes, re-tube it all, refill the water, etc. Major pain in the ass.
My current PC was no longer upgradeable when I built it, for reasons other than me avoiding having to go through the liquid cooling upgrade hell. You see, right when Halflife 2 came out, I was ill-impressed with the performance I was getting on my old PC (AMD 3200+, Geforce 5900 Ultra). I went ahead and ordered the 6800 Ultra for the old motherboard, and AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) was what it supported. A few weeks later, craving even more performance (and coincidentally frequently overheating the old PC), I went and bought the current PC knowing I couldn't alienate my new $600 AGP graphics card. So, right when I bought the 6800 Ultra in AGP flavor, I was f!#%@ed.
For a while there, after I bought the Wii at the end of December, I almost had myself convinced that I already have the best PC games, and any new Wii games plus what I already have on PC should suffice just fine. I mean, really.
Boring list coming up. Awesome games installed right now are:
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (doesn't perform well...), Neverwinter Nights 2 (performs fine), Fallout, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (fine), Dawn of War + Winter Assault Expansion, Company of Heroes, Civilization IV, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Sid Meier's Railroads!, Rise of Nations, and "Steam" with Halflife 2, Episode 1, Day of Defeat Source, Counterstrike Source, etc. More of a DOD guy myself
I dabble in all genres. My favorite, though, is "Real Time Strategy games made by Relic". Dawn of War and Company of Heroes are my two all time favorites of that genre ;-) And I was into Homeworld briefly.
As much as I tried to forget about the potentially great games coming out, I am a paid subscriber to GameSpot, and I have about 30 games in my watched games list. This little tool on that website ensures that you will never forget. I get emails every day, and the two games that I have to go look at right when I get the email are S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (I know, it's a pain to type too), and BioShock. And you can't leave out Spore or Crysis. While Stalker will probably run fine on my current PC, BioShock and Crysis sure as hell won't. Stalker ships this week!! I've been watching that game for about three years now. It's one of those games that I won't believe I'm playing (kinda like Duke Nukem Forever). I already preordered it on Amazon.com.
So, while Stalker was being made over the past 3+ years, of course they've been upgrading it to work with the latest hardware and such, but they claim that it will run on any hardware that supports DirectX 9. I find it hard to believe that it won't run like a f@%#ing champ on my current PC, but why risk it? All I have to do is press "Submit". Justifiable? How about my birthday's on Friday :D