My history with PC gaming is a very long one, but also a very stagnant one. In 2001, my father bought a computer with Windows ME installed on it. You could play games like Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone on it. It was pretty good for the time. In 2006, I got my own PC. It was a Dell computer with the most basic of PC parts. Which meant that it wasn’t the greatest for gaming. It couldn’t even run Mall Tycoon 3 without the framerate dying before the mall was even built. Even a game like Train Simulator was enough to kill it. And that it the computer I had for years, until 2011 to be precise. And that’s when everything changed.
I was going into the 10th grade and my mother had promised to buy me a laptop to replace my dying Dell desktop. The laptop I got wasn’t too bad, but it was no powerhouse. Starcraft II was playable, but I couldn’t max out settings, it was somewhere around medium settings I think that I got the best framerate. So for the three years that the laptop actually worked, I just needed to tinker with some settings and I was golden. And then in 2012, I got an inheritance...
It was a lot of money compared to anything I had had before, about $2,000. First thing I did was buy a PS3. I had wanted one for the longest time ever since playing Resistance: Fall of Man on my friends PS3. then I bought a hundred dollar pair of headphones. And then, in 2013, I realized that I had enough money to put together a gaming PC. A real gaming PC. I blew everything I had left on this bad boy. It was packing an Intel Core i5-3570K processor, an NVIDIA GTX 670 2GB GPU, 8GB of DDR3 1600MHz RAM, and a 700W power supply. I thought that was hot shit at the time... then the new Intel Core line and the new GTX 700 series was announced like two weeks later and I was suddenly outdated. And I had no money to swap parts out. But after playing a heavily modded Skyrim, I was quite content with my build and for two and a half years, it stayed that way.
Then last September I got hired at Amazon, my very first job. It payed a whopping $12.50/hr and I got around $770 in each paycheck. So what did I want to do? Upgrade my GPU. I wanted a GTX 980ti, but the guys at Best Buy talked me down to a 980, said that the 980ti was overkill and no games would be using all that power for quite a while. So I went with their suggestion and got a 4GB GTX 980. And it was a pretty satisfying purchase so I didn’t really think about it too hard.
And now today, I regret not buying the GTX 980ti. Five months ago I saved a hundred dollars by buying a 980 over a 980ti. However, just today, the 980ti went on sale for $570, a hundred dollars less. And since I bought the 980, games have come out unoptimized and needing around 6GB of VRAM to run at maximum with even a half-decent framerate, and I doubt that’ll be changing anytime soon. So when I saw that price drop, I snagged the 980ti up, dipping into my savings of $930. And then I noticed that the processor I needed, the only i7 that can run on my motherboard without overhauling my whole rig, was being sold at $250 less than normal. Oh man, such a deal. So I grabbed it too. That $930 that I had saved? Gone. I now have $80 after buying the thermal paste and thermal paste remover/purifier I needed. And since it was an Ebay purchase for both, I couldn’t cancel the orders(Just an FYI, the processor is used, but like new, and the GPU was being sold at a discount by Newegg through Ebay.). So it got charged immediately. And now I have buyers remorse. I’ve never felt so bad for buying something before. On one hand, now I have the two parts I needed to make my rig truly top of the line and capable of maxing out just about any game for some time, but on the other hand I just blew through almost all my savings, including half the money I was saving for the FFXV Ultimate Collector’s Edition and more than a quarter of the money I needed to pay for half a 3D model commission that I was just notified is coming due in the next few days and I don’t get paid again until next Friday. He’ll hold onto that model till I can him, but I still feel like shit for spending over $800 on just two computer parts. And this is at a time when my employment is on shaky footing.
The sad thing is, if the money is there, I’ll likely be shelling out next year or later this year for NVIDIA’s inevitable GTX 1000 series and Intel’s new CPU line, and to get the CPU, I’ll have to tear out and replace my motherboard. Not to mention I might already need a power supply upgrade.
This is what PC gaming does to you. Every new PC part that hits the market, every little part and game sale, it tempts you, you want to constantly upgrade and own everything to push it to the limit. Your wallet will have cobwebs in it, and if you live with someone else, you’re gonna get an earful because odds are you needed that money for bills of some kind or food. But you just couldn’t help yourself. That discount was too much to pass up. And the sad part is that if I had bought that GTX 980ti back in November instead of the GTX 980, I would still have over half my savings left.