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Did anyone else build/upgrade their PC for the launch of HL2?

renz20003

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2011
2,672
589
136
When HL2 and the system requirements were announced I upgraded from a duron 700 with a rage 128 pro to a p4 and ati 9600.

The kids these days are moaning about shelling out cash to play the newest HL game. It’s like wtf upgrading to the latest hardware to play the newest games is a staple of pc gaming.

Pc gaming can be done on a budget but it’s also meant to be cutting edge IMO.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
13,716
4,304
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Trying to remember back that long ago, I think I just upgraded my GPU. For the life of me, I can't remember what card it was (most likely whatever Nvidia had at the time).

But I remember having to upgrade my system almost yearly back when I started getting into PCs, because it was the difference between being able to play a game and not at times.

Now we're at the point where as long as a person doesn't buy the lowest-end hardware, a PC that can play most games decently can last a person a long time now.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,539
1,028
136
If I recall correctly I was on an A64 + 9800 Vanilla at the time the Orange Box dropped. Moved up from a Barton 3000/3200+ and a 4600Ti. I've largely followed a 3 year upgrade cycle when it came to computer hardware and most notably GPUs.

That being said, I'm not particularly happy with the idea of HL:A being a VR only title. The market has changed a lot from the early 2000's, its much more stable now and the upgrade frequency for a lot of people has dropped significantly.

Additionally, the required hardware in this case is not just some internal component in a computer but an external device that changes the way we interact with the game entirely. That comes with a lot more baggage than just upgrading your computer and having everything run faster. Buying a VR headset isn't going to magically make my entire game library run better/at higher res/ quicker and will likely be useless for most of the things I already own.

I mean if you're all aboard the VR train more power to you, just accept that its not everyone's jam...
 
Feb 4, 2009
27,897
8,371
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When HL2 and the system requirements were announced I upgraded from a duron 700 with a rage 128 pro to a p4 and ati 9600.

The kids these days are moaning about shelling out cash to play the newest HL game. It’s like wtf upgrading to the latest hardware to play the newest games is a staple of pc gaming.

Pc gaming can be done on a budget but it’s also meant to be cutting edge IMO.
I agree, I do miss the days of wanting or needing to upgrade hardware to play something.
However in the half-life example we are not talking about buying a $150 video card like it was in the old days. We are talking about a $400 plus video card and some VR equipment that will run $350 plus. This is not something you save a couple of bucks for and buy.
 

Borealis7

Platinum Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,714
76
91
i upgraded for Oblivion in 2006, i bought a PowerColor Radeon 1950Pro. unfortunately for me, not long after, nVidia released their "godly" 8800 series.
 

DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,234
178
106
I was using a 6800GT before HL2 dropped, didn't change it until the 7800's were out so no I didn't upgrade just for HL2. I was on a roughly 12 month upgrade (CPU, MOBO, RAM, GPU) cycle back then, nowadays it's closer to 3 years.
 

EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,823
730
126
HL2 launched right as I started getting into PC gaming, so naturally I knew next to nothing about it. I was struggling a bit in school at this time and found some respite in tinkering with hardware.

I first played the game on a eMachines single core AMD computer with 2GB DDR and 160GB IDE HDD and integrated GeForce 4 MX graphics. It obviously looked like crud until I discovered discrete adapters... thus launching a long tedious march into high performance gaming. Since then, I've owned too many cards to list.

Fun fact, I still have the socket 462 board and CPU from this computer; it actually still works fine.
 
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clamum

Lifer
Feb 13, 2003
26,214
381
126
I don't know what I was running when Half Life 2 came out but I'm reasonably sure I didn't upgrade for it; I already had a video card that could run it (maybe not at highest settings, but decently well). Man was that such a sick game.
 

Ichinisan

Lifer
Oct 9, 2002
28,246
1,206
136
A BFG brand 6600 GT "OC" video card made Half Life 2 very playable at 1680 x 1050 resolution on my Dell Ultrasharp LCD monitor.

Had fun.

I don't remember which card I had before. It could play HL2 well enough, but I wanted to max all the settings. I must have stopped playing HL2 at the long fanboat sequence a half dozen times before I upgraded the video card and finally decided to finish the game.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
22,179
2,782
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I can't remember if I was still on my ATI 9800 pro, or if I bought a Nv 6 series? I also think I was still on 1024x768 res, on a Dell LCD monitor.

Regardless, Here is the OG article done by Anand, The Boss himself, for HL2 benchmarks. Man does it take me back. https://www.anandtech.com/show/1546
 
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DeathReborn

Platinum Member
Oct 11, 2005
2,234
178
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I can't remember if I was still on my ATI 9800 pro, or if I bought a Nv 6 series? I also think I was still on 1024x768 res, on a Dell LCD monitor.

Regardless, Here is the OG article done by Anand, The Boss himself, for HL2 benchmarks. Man does it take me back. https://www.anandtech.com/show/1546
Back in those days it was great fun to overclock CRT's alongside overclocking CPU's & GPU's, nowadays it's all too sterile & automated. I do regret selling my old Sony Trinitron FW900, possibly the best display I have ever owned.

I did used to run HL2 with DX 9.0c, something the R400 series (X800 etc) couldn't manage.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
103,527
18,084
136
I happened to upgrade to an 939 A64 and ...X800 XTX ...TXXTXTXT at the time; the GPU came with "free HL2" (to be released still ~5 months after I purchased that card?), but HL2 had nothing to do with it. ...though that is when I first installed Steam, the concept annoying me greatly, but it was the only way to play that free game.
 

GodisanAtheist

Platinum Member
Nov 16, 2006
2,539
1,028
136
Next upgrade will be in late 2020/2021 and will involve an 8c/16T processor + ~2080TI performance levels if I can find them for cheap after the die shrink drops.

I'll be good for all games from 2020-2025 that way.

Won't be getting VR still...
 
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aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,291
986
126
the only game i remember ever having to upgrade for is Crysis, and even sitting on top tier with tri-sli, it still wasn't enough.
 
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mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
1,563
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the only game i remember ever having to upgrade for is Crysis, and even sitting on top tier with tri-sli, it still wasn't enough.
My first game i upgraded for was BF2,went from a p4 and 7800gs to a E6750 and 8800GTS 512MB. Well worth it. Upgraded those parts to a Q6600 and gtx280 and remember being hyped about nearly doubling my framerate in the Crysis demo ha. BF2 like HL2 for some was a staple of gaming and the gtx280 ended up allowing all maxed out 1080p with over 60. Found out recently with testing of a GTX285 i got JUST how overkill the 280 was for BF2 with like a max of 46% usage and a capped 100 frame rate. I lacked a OSD back in the day which i use religiously now. I assume the same hardware would have blown HL2 away as well? I always hear valve titles are VERY optimized.

I have seen gameplay of HL2 and it came out like 2 years before i got into pc gaming but if i had seen or heard of it, i could have certainly seen myself playing it. Never played it so that's kind of why i went with a BF2 reference. I didn't know about HL2 till i bought my first game on Steam in 2011! Well i bought a dvd copy at Walmart of COD BLOPS and well to active it you needed steam. Won't lie after recently installing a 3 disc version of BF2 and 2 patches to test out the 285,i don't miss the days of all that labor though. Steam is now life to me.
 

rstrohkirch

Golden Member
May 31, 2005
1,882
169
106
Hmm, I don't think I upgraded for HL2. I do recall upgrading for Unreal, Halo and Crysis but I can't remember if I did for HL2. For Unreal it was a P2 450 with a Nvidia TNT something. I think I paid $200 or $250 for the card at a shop. For Halo, I don't remember the CPU but I picked up an ATI 9700 Pro for that. For Crysis it was either a x1900xt or 1950xt, can't remember.
 
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Stg-Flame

Platinum Member
Mar 10, 2007
2,868
220
106
I built my first gaming PC in 2005 mainly for Call of Duty 2 and Half Life 2. It was my first PC that could play more than Unreal Tournament and Diablo 2.
 

mopardude87

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 2018
3,348
1,563
96
pretty sure i was on a 9800 pro, those were the glory days of pc gaming.
The friend of mine who has my old 2500k was on a 9700 pro and surprisingly happy with it. She mainly played older COD and still to this day hops on CS:Source. She got my 8800gts 512mb back in 2008 when i upgraded to a 280. She may still have the 9700 somewhere with its box.
 

CropDuster

Senior member
Jan 2, 2014
311
12
81
HL2, BF2 and Pacific Fighters
Went from a AMD 1800+ and Geforce 3 to an AMD 3000+ and a 6800GT
 

CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
4,530
80
91
I also went from a Geforce 3 to 6800GT around this time for Doom 3 and HL2, although I always found HL2 overrated and liked several other games of the time (Far Cry, Deus Ex IW, Painkiller, VTMB, etc.) much more. I think VR is the main reason to do PC upgrades today, and could be a game-changer if it gets to a critical level of mass adoption. Apart from that, it feels like the golden era of PC hardware, overclocking, and so on is over, and it's often hard to justify upgrading for regular PC gaming these days. I was thinking of getting a new CPU/platform with the deals going on right now, but almost all my games run very well as it is.
 

Pohemi420

Platinum Member
Oct 2, 2004
2,832
528
126
Yay I’m not alone. I played 10-15 minutes and said meh, I’ll get back to it later.
I still haven’t gotten back to it.
Yeah, same here. I built a new system right around the time it released, and bought HL2 and CS:S but only really ended up pouring hours into CS:S for the laughs. Never did go back to play through HL2.

Oh, and the system was an AMD Athlon XP Mobile 2500+ (Barton core) OC'd from 1.83GHz to 2.5GHz, in an Asus A7N8X-e Deluxe with 2GB Corsair DDR-400, a BFG Nvidia GeForce 6800Ultra OC AGP8x GPU, and 2x 73GB WD Raptors in Raid 0 to run Windows XP. :laughing:
 
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