The marvel of technology never ceases to amaze me. This is the cheapest computer I've ever bought, and yet it's two or three times as fast as my old one. The one that died, at least. This new build is miles ahead of the computer I'd been limping by on for the last two months.
I bought all of the components for this new PC (except the monitor, which was a Christmas present, and the 5.1 speakers, which I bought back in 2005) and assembled everything with the help and supervision of my brother. This was the first time I'd put a PC together myself, and everything went smoothly. So just to indulge myself I'll be posting the specs and screenshot comparisons of Killing Floor on my old PC vs my new PC, after the jump.
Anyway, here are the specs of the new build:
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850, 1GBAMD Phenom 2 X4 960T, 3.0GHz4GB (2x2) G.Skill DDR3 SDRAM
withAsus M5A97 moboSeasonic S12II 520W Bronze PSUWestern Digital 500GB Caviar Black HDDCooler Master HAF 912 caseWindows 7 Home Premium OEMLG Flatron E2341 23" 1080p LCD monitor
Although technically "mid-range," it should run all current and new releases at high/max settings, so it should still be playing new releases in 3 or 4 years on at least low or perhaps even medium settings. I tried to future-proof it enough that in 2 or 3 years I can easily add more RAM and upgrade the GPU (or maybe link two together in CrossFire). As always with Windows, I might run into problems using the OS on a new CPU, but hopefully a phone call will sort that out, or by then I may just be able to overclock it for the extra bit of performance I need.
The hardware's all got really good performance for the cost, especially when you consider the promotional discounts I got on some of them. I also really like the HAF 912 case. I didn't want one of those ostentatious "gaming PC" cases with a bunch of LEDs and superfluous crap all over it that looks like something a Cylon built. The HAF 912 has a sleek and discreet design while also having a lot of ventilation for cooling (as well as good space management on the inside), which is what really matters when it comes to a case.
And now for the comparison screenshots from Killing Floor. You can click these for full resolution (1024*768 and 1920*1080).
|Biotics Lab (Before)|
|Biotics Lab (After)|
|Hospital Horrors (Before)|
|Hospital Horrors (After)|
That wider aspect ratio on the new computer/monitor alone is clutch for getting extra peripheral vision in the game world. But the next thing that'll blow your mind is that I'm also getting better performance in the "After" shots than in the "Before" shots.
And for anyone wondering about that box leaning up against my case in the article's top picture, that'd be the inside cover of Skyrim. I needed a new game to christen my new PC, and that was it. An epic game to commemorate my epic PC. So now you know what I'm playing and what to expect in future articles.