Your Nostalgic PC Gaming hardware thread

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#1 Edited by Xtasy26 (4215 posts) -

What are some of your favorite PC hardware that you have owned and loved? I will start with some of my favorites and that would be Gaming GPUs or "3D accelerators " as they called them back in the day simply because playing games with 3D accelerators had the biggest "Wow" factor in gaming back in the day, mostly the 90's, that's when 3D Gaming GPU's started to take off. My first experience playing with "3D Accelerated Graphics Cards" comes in courtesy of my dad's Gateway 2000 PC with it's Pentium II 266 Mhz that had nVidia's RIVA 128 (I believe it was the STB Velocity 128).

Oh, the amazing games I played in "3D Accelerated mode"! Turok, Forsaken, Incoming, Sin, Need For Speed III and even a little bit of the legendary adventure game Grim Fandango!

Next up was the first graphics card that I owned. I give you the GeForce 4 MX 420 64 MB DDR. Yes, amazing DDR memory!

It played Quake 3 maxed at an "amazing" 1024x768 resolution! Yeah, I know 1024 x 786, what an amazing resolution right! :P I remember using this to play Unreal all maxed out finally, Jedi Kinght II, Jedi Academy and Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2, No One Lives Forever 2, Unreal Tournament 2003, GTA III, Need For Speed Underground with all it's flashy city lights and tracks. If you were playing games at 1024 x 768 and want it to do it on the cheap this was the way to go. Too bad it didn't support Pixel Shader 2.0 so I missed out on some newer games that came out around that time that used that feature and wasn't able to run those gmes maxed out.

Last one I want to mention, is the best price/performance graphic hardware from 2006 and that would be the XFX 7600 GT XXX edition which came in a sexy looking box shaped in the form of an X.

Remember hooking this up and first launching Far Cry and seeing it in all it's glory. The water looked so much better with Pixel Shader 3.0 and the HDR, oh the HDR, it was orgasm for the eyes. :P

You may be wondering, why all nVidia? Well, I was a bit of a nVidia fan boy back in the day. Was rooting for them going back to the 90's as they had the best price/performance, Knew that they would be one of the last GPU companies to be standing in the GPU wars of the 90's and early 2000's. Plus, 3DFX was way too expensive. Parted with nvidia about 5 years ago in 2008 and switched to AMD with my first ATI card being the Radeon HD 4870 simply because nVidia started to price gouge for their high end GPU's. ($1000 for a single GPU Titan! Are you kidding me?? $850 for a 8800 Ultra??! $700 for 780 Ti which is $150 more than the R9 290X while only getting a couple of frames more). And since the ATI Radeon HD 4870 not only beat or matched the GTX 260 for less, it even beat the GTX 280 in some games at half the price, I was like why not try ATI?!

But I digress. What are some of your guys fond PC gaming hardware that you have owned in the past?

And I promise this will be last nostalgic gaming/hardware or old school gaming/hardware thread. :P

And a Happy New Year 2014! Wish you a very prosperous year. :)

#2 Posted by jcknapier711 (379 posts) -

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

#3 Posted by Klunt_Bumskrint (3380 posts) -

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

I suppose that's why you don't see many pc's these days and everyone owns c64's....

BACK in '96 I was a PlayStation gamer my mate bought a pc. He showed me a few games in "software" mode. I wasn't overly impressed, except for maybe a game called bioforge.

Then shortly after he bought a 8mb 3dfx and showed me a few games with hardware mode, games like terminator, bioforge, Carmageddon and system shock. Duke Nukem and quake with the 3dfx patch was awesome.

I realised then pc was the way. In 1999 I bought myself a beastly pc from pc world with an amd 550MHz Cpu and 16mb ati all in wonder.

A few months later I bought a Riva Tnt 2 32mb which was a monster.

#4 Edited by LeftClick007 (76 posts) -

@jcknapier711 said:

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

A few months later I bought a Riva Tnt 2 32mb which was a monster.

I had that card too :D, I cant attach dates to my early PC years, I simply dont remember. But my best early PC memories are from when I used to play Midtown Madness all the time and I used to mod in my own levels with a hex editor, so crazy haha. Also Neverwinter Nights and Starcraft took up most of my time, I wasn't into shooters at all back then.

#5 Edited by Klunt_Bumskrint (3380 posts) -

@acanofcoke said:

@jcknapier711 said:

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

A few months later I bought a Riva Tnt 2 32mb which was a monster.

I had that card too :D, I cant attach dates to my early PC years, I simply dont remember. But my best early PC memories are from when I used to play Midtown Madness all the time and I used to mod in my own levels with a hex editor, so crazy haha. Also Neverwinter Nights and Starcraft took up most of my time, I wasn't into shooters at all back then.

Aaaaahhhhh Midtown madness was great. Forgotten all about that game, was kind of a break through title when it came out, no other game like it at the time.

#6 Posted by _SKatEDiRt_ (2566 posts) -

my favorite pieces of hardware would be my geforce 4200 ti 128mb 128-bit

my old epox 8k5a2+ mobo

and geforce 6800 ultra.

also i am falling in love with my current system <3

#7 Edited by PfizersaurusRex (643 posts) -

My old PC with E5200. I paid it less than today's i3 and I easily overclocked the CPU 30% with the stock cooler. My sister uses it now and I can't believe how quiet it is, if the monitor is black I always think the PC is shut down when in fact it's on, it's that quiet.

#8 Edited by JigglyWiggly_ (23362 posts) -

mx420

Played jedi outcast decently. First online game I played too, I thought it was high end when my dad bought it for me. Hehe, then my brother got a ti 4600 and I got sad.

#9 Posted by Code135 (795 posts) -

Nostalgia ? Hardware ? Together in one sentence ? Sure ...

Year - 1992

Computer specs:

Pentium-S 40MHz, 8 sticks of RAM which summed up to about 6MB (or maybe 8, don't remember anymore), an IBM 153MB HDD, "on board" VGA and sound card, an x8 reading CD-ROM and a big ass FDD ... and a 14 inch Bridge monitor (at least I think it was a Bridge). Equipped with the might of 3.11 ... which later on became the 95 ... on a better machine.

I remember playing Raptor on that thing ... although with frame issues. Castle Wolfenstein, Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem, the first SF and MK ran on it too but crappy.

P.S. Impossible to show pictures ... I threw that thing in the electronics dumpster maybe 10-15 years ago.

#10 Posted by Die-Hard (39 posts) -

commodore 64 here too <3, bought that one in mid 80s, followed by 386 DX40mhz 4MB ram. I remember the games like lost vikings, xcom, warcraft 1 etc...well those were on PC, better not start mention that ones i played on commodore, gonna be a long list :)

#11 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15730 posts) -

I got rid of my Diamond Monster 3D. But, I kept some of the bundled games.....

A photo from 2005. It's out of focus. But, the cards should be the original Radeon, an Adaptec SCSI card, my Diamond Monster 3D (3dfx Voodoo), a 10BaseT card with BNC connector, my Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner, and an assortment of 1x and 2x CD-ROM drives.

My old stuff have steadily decreased in number. Here's a GF4 Ti-4200, an FX5200, and that same Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner card.

#12 Posted by jcknapier711 (379 posts) -

@jcknapier711 said:

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

I suppose that's why you don't see many pc's these days and everyone owns c64's....

Actually, we see plenty of PC's today because of Word document compatibility and the fact that Commodore failed to market the much superior Amiga the way they could have.

#13 Edited by ankor77 (932 posts) -

I could go back really far as Im 32 and I have been playing games forever on PC. My two favorite upgrades have to be my Voodoo2 which gave me great memories with Unreal, Sin, countless others. But I think my best upgrade was my day one ATI 9800xt. That card was amazing and also came with "HL2" packaged in. Now HL2 didnt come out until years later and I was on to my next gfx card by then.....

BTW PICS of Decent2 and Mechwarrior2 make me smile.

#14 Posted by Elann2008 (32953 posts) -

I got rid of my Diamond Monster 3D. But, I kept some of the bundled games.....

A photo from 2005. It's out of focus. But, the cards should be the original Radeon, an Adaptec SCSI card, my Diamond Monster 3D (3dfx Voodoo), a 10BaseT card with BNC connector, my Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner, and an assortment of 1x and 2x CD-ROM drives.

My old stuff have steadily decreased in number. Here's a GF4 Ti-4200, an FX5200, and that same Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner card.

Mechwarrior 2. I thought I was the only one..

+1

#15 Edited by Arthas045 (5047 posts) -

You were somebody if you had this thing lol..

.

#16 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15730 posts) -

@Elann2008 said:

@jun_aka_pekto said:

I got rid of my Diamond Monster 3D. But, I kept some of the bundled games.....

A photo from 2005. It's out of focus. But, the cards should be the original Radeon, an Adaptec SCSI card, my Diamond Monster 3D (3dfx Voodoo), a 10BaseT card with BNC connector, my Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner, and an assortment of 1x and 2x CD-ROM drives.

My old stuff have steadily decreased in number. Here's a GF4 Ti-4200, an FX5200, and that same Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner card.

Mechwarrior 2. I thought I was the only one..

+1

The Diamond Monster 3D came with quite a bundle:

Mechwarrior 2, Descent II, EF2000, Tomb Raider, Whiplash, VR Soccer, Hyperblade, plus a bunch of others that I can't remember. I was astounded at the sheer amount of content that came with the card. Of course, the crown jewel was a patch I needed to download to turn Quake into GLQuake. That alone made the Voodoo worth it.

I still remember getting pissed off because Rendition Verite owners got their GLQuake patch sooner than 3dfx Voodoo owners....a week (maybe two) difference.

#17 Edited by ankor77 (932 posts) -

You were somebody if you had this thing lol..

.

My voodoo2 was so great. I remember getting 3d particle screen savers that were awesome for the first time too around then

#18 Posted by jun_aka_pekto (15730 posts) -

My most prized PC nostalgia is my old ASUS A7M266 motherboard from 2001. It's AMD 761 is legendary for reliability. This one will be buried with me when my time comes. He He.

The darn thing still works and outlasted it's contemporary: the Via KT133/133a and the later chipsets: Via KT266/266a, nForce-nForce 2-nForce 3-nForce 4.

I had this PC running from 2001 (W2k and XP) until 2011 (Vista Basic). Too bad I gave my DDR RAM away. I want to take it out of mothballs.

#19 Edited by Elann2008 (32953 posts) -

@jun_aka_pekto said:

@Elann2008 said:

@jun_aka_pekto said:

I got rid of my Diamond Monster 3D. But, I kept some of the bundled games.....

A photo from 2005. It's out of focus. But, the cards should be the original Radeon, an Adaptec SCSI card, my Diamond Monster 3D (3dfx Voodoo), a 10BaseT card with BNC connector, my Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner, and an assortment of 1x and 2x CD-ROM drives.

My old stuff have steadily decreased in number. Here's a GF4 Ti-4200, an FX5200, and that same Hauppage WinTV PCI tv tuner card.

Mechwarrior 2. I thought I was the only one..

+1

The Diamond Monster 3D came with quite a bundle:

Mechwarrior 2, Descent II, EF2000, Tomb Raider, Whiplash, VR Soccer, Hyperblade, plus a bunch of others that I can't remember. I was astounded at the sheer amount of content that came with the card. Of course, the crown jewel was a patch I needed to download to turn Quake into GLQuake. That alone made the Voodoo worth it.

I still remember getting pissed off because Rendition Verite owners got their GLQuake patch sooner than 3dfx Voodoo owners....a week (maybe two) difference.

I remember that too. Haha, it's so funny. :D That's fvkin awesome. You just brought back so many memories. :) I'm glad to read about someone who appreciates these sorts of things.

#20 Edited by Gogoplexiorayo2 (112 posts) -

my first pc was owned by my dad. a radeon 9800 pro based rig. it ran delta force black hawk down like a charm! and how funny that the first game i ever played would go on to be my favorite game of all time. i remember I also watched him play doom 3 on it, and that we hated half life 2 because it was to "mainstream"

in april 2005 i got my very own gaming pc with a geforce 6800 that i used to play battlefield 2 all day long on. I also played games like oblivion, gothic 3, S.T.A.L.K.E.R SOC (albeit on the lowest settings 800*600) and Fallout 3 on it.

In september 2010 i bought a new gaming rig using my own money, was 19 at the time. i used a radeon 5850 on 1280*1024 resolution. My friend told me i was a complete moron buying a 5850 to play games at that resolution. So i upgraded to 1680*1050. and in july 2013 i finally made the jump to 1080 p gaming.

Right now i own a reference model 7850, but plan to buy a uber high end rig based on the 20 nm cards coming out later this year. Im going to tell you guys the specs on this forum when that day comes, i think you guys will be impressed!

#21 Edited by nicecall (428 posts) -

My favourite hardware of all time was probably the Soundblaster AWE 32 soundcard. Before using that, i only had an 8 bit sound card, and it was a huge improvement. Games back then used midi and its midi sounds were amazing. I remember the first time playing Jagged Alliance on it after upgrading it and was amazed at the sound depth. It's midi sounds are still superior today compared to the fake midi soundcards try to create. The only soundcards more recent that also had great midi would be the Soundblaster Live and Audigy PCI cards from the early 2000 to mid 2000 era.

I used this card for so many years and used it for as long as possible until they stopped making ISA slots in motherboards, but it had a great run with me and I still have it in an old K6 400mhz computer waiting for action at any time. This card jumped from so many different pcs, it started in a 486 computer, then got put into a pentium 133mhz computer, then into a 200mhz pc, then into a Intel 500mhz Celeron pc, then for a short while into a 1333mhz Intel pc, then back into into a AMD K6 400mhz pc.

I never had a piece of hardware jump from so many PCs for such a long time.

Most recent long lasting hardware I've been using is probably my 80 gigabyte Intel SSDs i got in 2008, these things are still fast and reliable and i use them for games still... even though I do have a few faster ones, these 80gb ones hold their own. Unless benchmarking them, you can't really tell much difference in games between them and newer ones.

#22 Edited by GummiRaccoon (13593 posts) -

I remember when my older computers had fully populated PCI slots.

#23 Posted by Xtasy26 (4215 posts) -

@jcknapier711 said:

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

BACK in '96 I was a PlayStation gamer my mate bought a pc. He showed me a few games in "software" mode. I wasn't overly impressed, except for maybe a game called bioforge.

Then shortly after he bought a 8mb 3dfx and showed me a few games with hardware mode, games like terminator, bioforge, Carmageddon and system shock. Duke Nukem and quake with the 3dfx patch was awesome.

I realised then pc was the way.

Like you I too wasn't that impressed seeing games running in "software" mode on PC as opposed to consoles. After seeing games running in "3D Accelerated mode" especially running using 3DFX hardware, there was no looking back. If you played games on consoles and PC's and graphically there wasn't a significant difference. If you look at games like Crash Bandicoot which I played on my best friends Playstation and compare that with the games that were on the PC running at that time the graphics weren't that different. You could even make an argument that games running on Sega Saturn or Playstation 1 were even better looking than games running on PC in "software" mode, and especially the Nintendo 64 which did in fact have 3D accelerated graphics chip. But after you saw games running on 3DFX hardware using 3D acceleration mode, then you were hooked on PC Gaming forever. Just compare Need For Speed 2 on playstation (which I played on my buddies PS) vs Need For Speed II SE using 3DFX, there's a night and day difference.

I first came across a game running on 3DFX hardware or a game running in "3D Accelerated" mode was actually surprisingly, on an arcade running San Francisco Rush which was using the 3DFX Voodoo 1 graphics chip. The moment I saw that I was in total awe, I could not describe the graphics difference to my buddy as how San Francisco Rush looked running on 3DFX Voodoo graphics as opposed to simply running in regular consoles. You had to see it to believe it.

That's why I have a lot of respect for 3DFX. They brought PC Gaming to a new frontier by bringing technology to market that vastly separated consoles from PC's. They were the leaders at the time and other's were simply followers. While they got beat later, technology wise, from ATI and nVidia, PC gamers owe a great deal to 3DFX for bringing PC Gaming to the forefront and beginning the trend for the vast superiority of PC graphics as opposed to consoles.

#24 Edited by Klunt_Bumskrint (3380 posts) -

@Xtasy26 said:

@acanofcoke said:

@jcknapier711 said:

Commodore 64 was the best computer ever. IBM compatibles, or PCs as they are now known, are just clunky.

BACK in '96 I was a PlayStation gamer my mate bought a pc. He showed me a few games in "software" mode. I wasn't overly impressed, except for maybe a game called bioforge.

Then shortly after he bought a 8mb 3dfx and showed me a few games with hardware mode, games like terminator, bioforge, Carmageddon and system shock. Duke Nukem and quake with the 3dfx patch was awesome.

I realised then pc was the way.

Like you I too wasn't that impressed seeing games running in "software" mode on PC as opposed to consoles. After seeing games running in "3D Accelerated mode" especially running using 3DFX hardware, there was no looking back. If you played games on consoles and PC's and graphically there wasn't a significant difference. If you look at games like Crash Bandicoot which I played on my best friends Playstation and compare that with the games that were on the PC running at that time the graphics weren't that different. You could even make an argument that games running on Sega Saturn or Playstation 1 were even better looking than games running on PC in "software" mode, and especially the Nintendo 64 which did in fact have 3D accelerated graphics chip. But after you saw games running on 3DFX hardware using 3D acceleration mode, then you were hooked on PC Gaming forever. Just compare Need For Speed 2 on playstation (which I played on my buddies PS) vs Need For Speed II SE using 3DFX, there's a night and day difference.

I first came across a game running on 3DFX hardware or a game running in "3D Accelerated" mode was actually surprisingly, on an arcade running San Francisco Rush which was using the 3DFX Voodoo 1 graphics chip. The moment I saw that I was in total awe, I could not describe the graphics difference to my buddy as how San Francisco Rush looked running on 3DFX Voodoo graphics as opposed to simply running in regular consoles. You had to see it to believe it.

That's why I have a lot of respect for 3DFX. They brought PC Gaming to a new frontier by bringing technology to market that vastly separated consoles from PC's. They were the leaders at the time and other's were simply followers. While they got beat later, technology wise, from ATI and nVidia, PC gamers owe a great deal to 3DFX for bringing PC Gaming to the forefront and beginning the trend for the vast superiority of PC graphics as opposed to consoles.

Yep

#25 Edited by Jd1680a (5897 posts) -

Just a couple pieces of hardware for me that goes way back.

#26 Edited by Grey_Eyed_Elf (3671 posts) -

My wife made me get rid of all my old stuff... :(.

I remember from memory the following for some reason...

  • First GPU I ever bought... 7600GT ( A MX440 was given to me 2 years before that)
  • First gaming mouse I ever bought... Prefer the DeathAdder to the 518 but never the less it brings back memories.
  • First CPU I bought based on reviews... I went from a Celeron 800 with a MX440 to a Athlon 4400+ and a 7600GT, I loved that system.
  • The hype surrounding the 8800 cards was crazy and I ended up buying the 320MB GTS only to regret it once the 8800GT came out.

#27 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (15730 posts) -

Too bad I didn't keep any of Commodore Amiga stuff. Some of my more memorable Amiga stuff were:

Canon Xapshot. I was hooking this up to my Amiga (1992) at a time when most people were still using film plus Newtek's Digiview (1988). Not my images:

#28 Edited by DieselCat18 (2960 posts) -

Gigabyte GA K8NSNXP-939 MB

G Skill 4GB DDR 400 PC-3200

ATi X800XT PE 256mb (upgraded from an Ati Radeon 9800Pro 256mb)

WD 150GB Raptor HHD

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 939 2.2GHz

SB Audigy

Windows XP Pro

Upgrades made since '05 build Corsair 400w..Cooler Master Hyper N520..

All components are still running solid in a generic (BMW) mid size aluminum case.

*+

#29 Posted by Gargus (2147 posts) -

1) First time I got a block of dry ice and overclocked a Celeron 350 to 1014mgz.

2) First time I played with a 4mb 3dfx piggyback card and saw the lighting effects as my pistols flew down hallways.

3) First time I got a voodoo 3 16mb video card.

#30 Edited by flipin_jackass (9726 posts) -

Around my furnace is like a graveyard of PC/electronic parts.

I'm pretty sure I still have my pentium (1) mmx down there; then my pentium 4; my broken laptop core duo