Put on your finest Pringle cardigan, get out your pipe and slippers, it's Throwback Thursday here at OC3D. Regular perusers of the Information Superhighway will be aware of the trend on social media to dig out those old polaroids of you in front of a television that came with wooden doors, or reminisce about the novelty of there being a fourth channel on terrestrial to pick from. Or even the days when you didn't have to differentiate between terrestrial television and satellite, or point out that your phone is hardwired into the house, because what else would it be?
For those of us who have been ferreting away on computers for most of our life it's easy to get misty-eyed about the insane wireframe graphics in Elite, how easy it is to use these new-fangled discs instead of listening to a tape make noises that would pass for Dubstep for the whole afternoon and managing a level of Jet Set Willy before bed.
Knowing that it can't only be us who remember when Windows came on three floppy discs, when a 14" monitor was considered enormous, or even when Glide appeared and redefined what we thought graphical fidelity could be, we thought we'd bring the Throwback Thursday phenomenon into OC3D Towers. To that end we've dusted off some of the hardware that was easiest to reach in the cupboard to Narnia.
Clockwise from the top left we have a MSI P35. You'll note in the video that Tom says 'god forbid we remember motherboards with a southbridge', except some of us still have our old 386SX which was running at a whopping 16MHz, so just because some of this 'old' stuff still feels fairly new, doesn't mean that we don't have a nearly complete history of PC Hardware in our memory banks. Next along is the Gigabyte X58OC, a truly staggering motherboard that regular readers will remember from our DICE special where we attained a whopping 6GHz from a 990X.
To the right of those are the ASUS graphics cards we'll look at below, and in the bottom right hand corner a Radeon 3870X2. Many of you are probably like us and still have to be shouted at because of the deafness this card brought us. Loud doesn't begin to cover it. In the bottom middle are a pair of nVidias, and on the bottom left, and indeed the right hand image, a Thermalright Ultra 120 with a Xilence Red Wing fan. The Ultra 120 was the king of the tower coolers and marked the departure from a block of aluminium with a horizontally mounted, wheezy, 60mm fan.
From bottom to top, an ASUS GTX260, ASUS 9800GX2, and a GTX295. We remember aching for a GTX295 and we still find it hard that you can buy one for basically a pittance. We often say about how you can get a low-end GPU these days that will be good for older titles or less demanding ones. Whereas you can probably build a system that was cutting edge 5 years ago and will still play WOW just fine. Finally on the right a couple of nVidia 7950GX2's are a gorgeous topping off to our little collection. We don't miss the green PCB, or indeed the extensions at the end, but two PCBs that are still only dual-slot makes us wonder at some of the triple slot offerings around.
So, dear readers, would you be interested in an occasional trip down memory lane because we would like to make this a regular feature? If the answer is yes then is there anything in particular that you'd love to see? Are you one of the people who used to dream of owning a Q6600? Or can we go back even further and prompt memories of a Voodoo2, a Thunderbird 1GHz, the insanity of the day when AGP became the standard? Or is that too far?
This is one of those 'for fun' things that we do from time to time so your involvement is crucial. After all we have lots of other things pressing upon our time and thus want to give you the things you'd most like to see. Naturally there are driver and OS compatibility issues with going too deeply into the murky past and even in some instances actually getting our hands on said hardware, but we're open to suggestions.
We'd love to know your thoughts so pop into our forums and let us know.