1. Intel Pentium P54c (100MHz/66FSB) [1996 - 1999]
Ah yes, the old Packard Bell. This PC brings back memories. It was the first PC with a modem that actually worked, internet that actually worked. I remember having to unspool a long phone cable half-way across the house in order to use it, and then coil it back up when I was done. I was in high school and this little computer was great for DOS gaming, but sucked at Windows gaming since the video chip was built into the motherboard and only had 1MB of video memory. And we had no upgrades either. A whopping 16MB of 72-pin memory let Windows 95 work great, though driver updates did sometimes cause blue-screens that I'd have to fix. Old 1.8GB hard drive seemed massive at the time.
2. Intel Pentium II "Deschutes" (350MHz/100FSB) [1999 - 2002]
Oh hell yeah. This was my first actual gaming PC. I was in college "learning to code" as it were, and didn't want to be stuck in the computer lab for hours either waiting on a PC or doing the work and tying up the PC for others. So I talked my father into investing in my own higher-powered PC and I snuck a great sound card and what I thought at the time was a good video card: Diamond Stealth II G460 8MB AGP card with the Intel i740 graphics chip. 128MB PC-100 SDRAM made sure I never came close to running out of memory in Windows 98 (First Edition), and the bump up to the 100MHz FSB meant all-around performance boosts in compiling code AND playing games. The 10GB Maxtor hard drive died on me and I lost everything, which pissed me off and I swore I'd never buy another Maxtor drive (a vow I have kept to this day). I also got the legendary Asus P2B motherboard with the 440BX chipset, which I STILL HAVE and still works to this day, though with a newer 600MHz Pentium III in it now. I played many games on this thing, including Half-Life and Final Fantasy 7+8.
3. AMD Athlon XP 1800+ "Palomino" (~1.53GHz/133FSB) [2002 - 2005] Windows XP SP2
This was a rebuilt/refresh of my gaming PC as I neared completing my college years. I made the jump to Windows XP as well, but started with only 256MB of PC-133 which I later doubled to 512MB. Unfortunately as we all know, SP2 ruined that for all of us and I didn't know it at the time. Started with a Radeon 7500 and then "upgraded" to a Radeon 9550xl (#facepalm). First PC with a DVD drive to watch movies on and a 5.1 channel sound card (Sound Blaster Live! 5.1).
4. Intel Pentium M 770 "Dothan" (2.1GHz) [2005 - Present] Windows XP SP3
Joined the Army in 2005 and bought my first laptop, in this case the Dell Inspiron XPS Gen 2 that I still have to this day. Boasting 2GB of DDR2-533 memory and a 7800GTX PCI-e graphics card with a 1920x1200 17" LCD display, this beast kept me gaming through my 2009 deployment to Afghanistan and my return in 2010, when I began to plan my next upgrade.
5. Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 "Wolfdale" (2.8GHz) [2008 - 2016] Windows Vista
Built a new computer in 2008 to replace my mother's horribly aging Windows Me computer and stepped her right up to this Core 2 Duo running Windows Vista with 4GB of DDR2-800 memory. The thing ran FLAWLESSLY until it was retired in 2016 due to lack of support for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Video card was just an office 8400GS card who's fan eventually died soon after the 2016 system upgrade. Was replaced with a GT1030, which is severe overkill for what she uses the computer for.
6. Intel Core i7-860 "Lynnfield" (2.8GHz) [2010 - Present] Windows 7/10
Oh yeah, talk about pure adrenaline-pumping hardcore gaming. This is my Final Fantasy 14 PC. This is the first real gaming PC I was truly hyped about. Brand new Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit on a 1TB Western Digital Black 7,200RPM HDD, 16GB of DDR3-1600 memory (which cost me well over $300 at the time, by the way), a $350 motherboard in an MSI Big Bang Trinergy, giving me 16x/16x PCI-Express 2.0 lanes... which I used to power - 2x nVidia GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards in SLI. BEAST MODE ACTIVATED! Plus, when it got cold outside, I just put some games to run and I could put my feet behind my computer and keep my toes nice and warm.
This system has been upgraded and maintained to this day and runs Windows 10 off of a Samsung 850 EVO perfectly, though limited to SATA2 speeds (3Gbps), as is a limitation of the motherboard. I'm also in the process of gathering parts to finally complete the original vision for the computer: a full liquid-cooling loop. I even bought a Thermaltake Versa H26 case to house the full loop, as it will have one pump, three heatsinks, and two different radiators (a 360 for the two graphics cards and a 240 for the CPU). But I'm being very picky about my parts for the loop because I want it to be aesthetically pleasing (with the tempered glass side-panel of the Versa G26) and work great. I'm still trying to decide if trying to do hard-tubing bends is worth the effort over just going with soft tubing to make it easier. Hard tubing will look much better, but I've NEVER DONE IT, so I'm liable to *#@% up a lot before I get things right and I don't exactly have a massive fortune of money stashed away to spend on this. Graphics cards will be cooled in parallel and I already have the GPU blocks and the 240 rad. Just need to get the CPU block, 360 rad, pump and res combo and install everything.
7. Intel Core i7-6700K "Skylake" (4.0GHz) [2015 - Present] Windows 1
My current gaming rig. It was also beast mode when I put it together as I installed Windows 10 fresh onto a Samsung SM951 m.2 PCI-Express AHCI hard drive. Yes, I got a PCI-e m.2 drive before they went mainstream. I kinda wish I had one of the new 960s with NVMe installed now, but it's not worth the cost to switch them out and I really wouldn't see much of a gain. It also has a 1TB Samsung 850 EVO for games and a 3TB Seagate 7,200RPM hard drive for backups and file storage. Graphics are provided by a ($650) GTX 980ti pushing 3x monitors, the main center one being an Acer Predator 1440p 144Hz G-Sync 27" gaming display that cost more than the video card ($800). It also has 16GB of DDR4-3200 and the MB supports up to 64GB. If I upgrade anything on this system later, it'll probably be the graphics card.