The desktop computing platform has gone through a massive change in 20 years, with the climb in power between the 8088 and the Intel 286 computers of old with processor clock speeds less than 10 Megahertz to the multi-core i7 beasts that we have now; with more RAM than a 486 had hard disk space in 1995. I remember using an old 486 machine with Windows 3.11 and DOS 6.22, that was quite a usable desktop machine back in the past, but the Intel Core i7 processor with 4 cores and support for 64 bit operating systems such as Linux and Windows 7 is currently the world leading processor. The PC retail website: http://www.novatech.co.uk/has a wide selection of computer packages that are not as over the top as an Alienware machine; but the power of the hardware will eclipse the gaming machines that were all the rage in the olden days. A Celeron machine with a Voodoo 2 card with 12 Megabytes of VRAM used to be the penultimate gaming rig, but these days with incredible games such as Crysis, Far Cry and the upcoming Doom4, the need for extremely powerful gaming hardware is greater than ever. Gaming in the olden days with a 486 and 14″ monitor playing Doom in the dark was a very atmospheric and immersive, possibly we will develop some kind of holographic high-resolution display that will be far more realistic and engaging than the existing high-resolution LCD and OLED monitors that display a flat image.
The most cutting edge gaming machine I have found on this website for £1289.99 is a mega gaming PC with 16 Gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, a 16 Gigabyte Solid State (SSD) drive, and an NVIDIA GTX 680 Graphics card for silky smooth gaming performance. A 750 Watt power supply and the 6 Gigabytes per second speeds of the SSD boot drive means that this computer will boot into either Windows 7 or a Debian or Linux Mint installation faster than ever. Gaming on a PC in 1996 was a time when the amazing ID Software game Quake was blowing away Doom fans with the 3D rendered maps that were more explorable and a far more immersive environment than the previous 2.5D Doom maps that were only on a flat plane and you could not walk underneath a bridge or over monsters. The downside with Quake was the increased system requirements that necessitated purchasing PC upgrades to play the new game above 320*200 pixels resolution. The Release of the PC game Unreal was a landmark; the immersive graphics were far ahead of anything that was witnessed before 1998. As with Quake, this required another PC upgrade to run this very demanding game, but once you had the hardware necessary to run it at high resolution it was a gaming experience above any other. This is an unavoidable fact when you are a PC gaming enthusiast; the latest games that take the world by storm are also a large cost in terms of system requirements.
That is why an Intel i7 CPU; nVidia GeForce GTX 680 2048MB GDDR5 graphics card and 16 Gigabytes of RAM are a worthwhile ally when you are struggling to get your games to run with the frame-rates and resolutions you expected.