Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Finally upgraded my cheap-ass Walmart PC

Over the Holidays, I found some great deals on new computer equipment on and ended up picking up some stuff to put into my old PC. I hoped to give a little bit of gaming kick to get myself up to speed with the current generation of games; my PS2 was starting to lose its appeal.

I got 4GB of RAM and a GeForce 9800GT graphics card bundled with Call of Duty 4 for around $130.00 after rebates. When the package came in the mail, I frantically ripped open my PC and began to install these much-longed-for goodies.

The first thing I noticed was that I was literally one millimeter away from not having room for the GeForce. The thing is huge, and it just barely had enough clearance to slide into place. With a sigh of relief, I felt it slide down into place and lock.

Next up was the RAM. When I went to unclip the old RAM, I realized that the graphics card was so huge, the RAM clips actually touched it when they were closed, forcing me to remove the graphics card again in order to install my new RAM. Needless to say, this close call made me quite nervous. The GeForce literally could not have been any larger. If it had been, I would have wasted some serious cash.

Anyway, after I got everything finally secured into place, I closed everything up and plugged in the computer. The difference is like night and day. Suddenly I feel like it's capable of doing what I want it to do. Logically, the first thing I did was install Call of Duty 4 to test out the new graphics card...


It handled the game with flying colors. All options set to their absolute maximum, no problems at all. I couldn't believe this horribly shitty PC was capable of being upgraded to smoothly. Before the upgrade, it could only play relatively old games at their lowest settings. And it did that in quite a shitty fashion.

So now I'm looking into new processors. That is the last thing on my list. Hopefully fairly soon I will be able to run games like Crysis and GTAIV smoothly at the higher settings. It's been so long since I bought a new game console or had up-to-date equipment that I didn't quite realize just how far gaming had come in the last few years. I have been blown away by the graphics, much like when I was 9 years old after plugging the N64 I bought with lawn mowing money for the first time.