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System Specs 1/2014 - present

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As previously noted, I had been waiting for the first round of next gen console ports to appear on the PC before committing to a GPU upgrade. So far, by the looks of things, an r9 290 or a 780 GTX will be sufficient to run next gen (current gen) console ports at 1080/60 for a while to come. I had been hoping to get my hands on an aftermarket r9 290 with their custom cooling solutions as well as the promise of Mantle, their beefy 4 GB of VRAM, and AMD to AMD console to PC ports. But their limited stock and (in the wave of cryptocurrency mining) their outrageous e-tailer price mark ups made it easy to go with the 780 GTX. I went with Zotac again with their factory overclocked AMP! edition and, thus far, couldn't be happier. 1080p/60 fps is a like a dream come true. My old 275 GTX lasted me 4 solid years--double what my 8800 GT lasted me. It was a great card to be sure, but it was time to move on.

Zotac 780 GTX Amp! Edition, 3GB GDDR5

Intel i7 3770K

G.SKILL (Ares) 8 GB DDR3 RAM

120 GB Samsung 840 SSD SATA III (with Windows 8 64 bit)

320 GB WD Internal HD SATA

320 GB WD Internal HD EIDE (with Windows Vista Enterprise)

2 TB Samsung Internal HD SATA

500 GB Seagate External HD

System Specs 6/2013-present

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I upgraded my CPU earlier this year after assuring myself that the next gen console ports would be unlikely to require anything above an i7. This has meant little to my current batch of games as they all did fine with my E8400 (though GTA IV finally runs at 60 fps).

The CPU upgrade also meant a mobo and a RAM upgrade as below. Luckily, I managed to get a decent price on my old CPU+MB+RAM.

I picked up an SSD too, just to see what all the fuss was about, and slapped Windows 8 64 bit on there for good measure. Windows 8 is great and the SSD makes a huge difference in general system performance. Loading times are also improved, though that might just be the extra/faster system RAM.

Otherwise, I still plan on waiting for the benchmarks on the first round of next gen console ports before I commit to a GPU upgrade.

Zotac GTX 275, 896 MB GDDR3

Intel i7 3770K

G.SKILL (Ares) 8 GB DDR3 RAM

120 GB Samsung 840 SSD SATA III (with Windows 8 64 bit)

320 GB WD Internal HD SATA (with Windows XP Pro SP3)

320 GB WD Internal HD EIDE (with Windows Vista Enterprise)

2 TB Samsung Internal HD SATA

500 GB Seagate External HD

System Specs 3/2013-present

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5+ year old hardware still getting the job done (gotta love console ports)! I added 2 GB of additional RAM back in 1/2011 with not much change beyond that outside of some extra HDD space. I game mostly at 1366x768 with full effects/60 fps on my 32" TV unless of course a KB/m is called for in which case I use my 19" monitor instead.

I'm determined not to upgrade until I've figured out just what PC hardware is needed to decently run next generation console ports. For now, I'll stick with the below:

Zotac GTX 275, 896 MB

Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 @ 3.6 GHz

4 GB DDR2-800 RAM

320 GB WD Internal HD SATA (with Windows XP Pro SP3)

320 GB WD Internal HD EIDE (with Windows Vista Enterprise)

2 TB Samsung Internal HD SATA

500 GB Seagate External HD

Logitech Dual Action controller

Xbox 360 controller

Madcatz Street Fighter IV Fightpad

hp w1907 19" monitor

Sharp Aquos 32" TV

System Specs 2/2010-present

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After two years I decided to upgrade my videocard to a GTX 275. The 8800 GT was a beast to be sure, but for 4x-8x AA at 60 fps it just wasn't enough anymore.

Nothing else to add, except that MS Vista truly is crap.

Zotac GTX 275, 896 MB

Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 @ 3.6 GHz

2 GB DDR2-800 RAM

500 GB Seagate External HD (My 4th one!)

320 GB WD Internal HD SATA (with Windows XP Pro SP3)

320 GB WD Internal HD EIDE (with Windows Vista Enterprise)

Logitech Dual Action controller

Xbox 360 controller

hp w1907 19" monitor

System Specs 11/2009-present

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A small update. My ECS MB's 16x PCI slot stopped working all of a sudden this month. I'm now on a Gigabyte EP43-UD3L and have added MS Vista. It overclocks well so I've sped up my processor a bit just for kicks. So far so good. Still no reason to upgrade the core components... yet. 1440x900 has been my sweet spot...since 10/2008.

EVGA Superclocked 8800 GT, 512 MB

Intel Core 2 Duo 8400 @ 3.6 GHz

2 GB DDR2-800 RAM

500 GB Seagate External HD (My 4th one!)

320 GB WD Internal HD SATA (with Windows XP Pro SP3)

320 GB WD Internal HD EIDE (with Windows Vista Enterprise)

Logitech Dual Action controller

Xbox 360 controller

hp w1907 19" monitor

System Specs 3/2009-present

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1 year and counting and my 8800+8400 combo is still going strong. My old 80 GB IBM died this month after 7 years of solid use. Its death was slow so data recovery was complete. I won't miss it though--it was extremely loud.

EVGA Superclocked 8800 GT, 512 MB

Intel Core 2 Duo 8400

2 GB DDR2-800 RAM

500 GB Seagate External HD

320 GB WD Internal HD SATA

320 GB WD Internal HD EIDE

Logitech Dual Action controller

Xbox 360 controller

Windows XP Pro SP3

System Specs 2/2008-present

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EVGA Superclocked 8800 GT, 512 MB

Intel Core 2 Duo 8400

2 GB DDR2-800 RAM

500 GB Seagate External HD

320 GB WD Internal HD

80 GB IBM Internal HD

Logitech Dual Action controller

Xbox 360 controller

Windows XP Pro SP3