In this post, I am going to walk through all my battlestations over the years. It is interesting to see the evolution of computer setups (if you are a nerd). I reached a point where there really isn’t much else for me to change. I intend to get the next Intel processor (Kaby Lake) along with a pascal GPU. The monitors however, will stay for the foreseeable future.
Now, let’s look at where it all started.
2004 – The Old Battlestation
While this is not my first battlestation, this was the first time I took a picture of my setup. Digital cameras were nowhere near as common as they are today. I took this picture with a Sony DSC-P73 that I borrowed from my friend.
This setup had a Pentium 4 1.7 GHz, and a BFG GeForce FX5500. My uncle purchased this at BestBuy, and it was an awful video card. A complete waste of $150. It struggled to run Delta Force Black Hawk Down. I should never have asked him to buy this for me, but this was before I had any real knowledge of hardware.
I later upgraded to a BIG GeForce 7600GS. This card was much better compared to the FX 5500, but it had poor build quality. By 2008, the fan physically came undone. I had to glue it to the pcb using some super glue.
2007 – The 7600GS
The 7600GS was the highlight of the year. Its by no means a top end GPU for its time, but it was a significant upgrade for me. I was left speechless at how good the games looked. I played Half-Life 2, and for the first time ever, I played a game at medium to high settings.
2009 – First Self Built Battlestation
You can read more about how this machine was built here. It was quite an experience building my machine from the ground up. Weeks of research went into building it. It has served me very well for 3 years, until I upgraded some of the hardware in 2012.
I am still using some of the parts I purchased with this setup. They are going strong after 7 years!
The monitor is an Acer P243WAid 24″ 1920×1200 monitor. I still have it, but its not in use. I might bring it back if I build a legacy gaming machine.
2011 – The Year of Experiments
As I look back at these pictures, they make me cringe. I had pretty poor taste, and I am glad it has changed for the better.
It started out innocently enough. I was still using the same setup I had back in 2009, but I felt like adding a second monitor to keep all the gadgets visible.
I took to eBay for my first secondary display. It was a 1024×768 Dell monitor. I bought it for $41, and it served me well for months to come. I also had a Medion laptop on my desk.
By June, I felt like I needed a 3rd monitor. I couldn’t buy another Acer 24″ 1920×1200 monitor because they were out of stock. I saw a deal for an Acer G215HVAbd 21.5″ 1080p monitor for $97.40, so I went ahead and purchased it.
This was back in the day when my graphics card didn’t support 3 displays at once, so the Dell monitor was connected to a USB display adapter.
Couple of months later, I decided to change the right monitor into portrait mode.
Few days later, I purchased a Hannspree HZ281HPB 27.5″ monitor. This now took the place of the center monitor, and in order to have enough room for the tower to sit on the desk, I had to flip the side monitors into portrait mode.
2012 – The Year of Battlefield 3
I did not change much in terms of the setup layout. I did upgrade the GPU to an EVGA GeForce GTX680. This was the year of multiplayer gaming. At first it was Team Fortress 2, and this was followed by Battlefield 3. I loved the game so much, that I put in 700+ hours into it, this was definitely the my most played game. Team Fortress only consumed 180 hours of my life.
2014 – Glorious 144Hz Refresh Rate & Battlefield 4
2013 saw the release of Battlefield 4, my most played game to date. I put in an embarassing 2000+ hours into the game. It was this game that made me change the layout of the monitors from portrait back to standard.
Battlefield 4 did something no other game I’ve played has done to date, which is to allow the player to see the map on a second monitor. I realized that having a portrait monitor is not good for viewing the large map, so I changed both the monitors into standard mode.
Late 2013, I discovered the joy of using a high refresh rate monitor, so I upgraded to ASUS VG278HE 27″ monitor. This became the primary monitor, the Acer P243WAid became the left monitor which served the Battlescreen, and Hannspree HZ281HPB became the right monitor which showed all the necessary gadgets.
2015 – ASUS ROG Swift and a New Home
I decided that I was going to purchase a 1440p monitor because I had an EVGA GeForce GTX980. However, considering I was using a 144Hz 1080p monitor, I did not want to downgrade to a 60Hz monitor.
There was only one option available at the time – the ROG Swift. I purchased this from B&H Photo for an insane $799. This is the most expensive computer accessory I ever purchased. Its a great monitor, and I don’t regret it at all, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
So the ROG became the primary, the ASUS VG278HE is the left monitor, and Hannspree HZ281HPB was still the right monitor. I used this setup for the most part of 2015.
Towards the end of the year, I made some more changes. In an effort to get away from using monitors of different resolutions, I began to look for identical monitors to replace the two side monitors. I choose two Acer K272HULbmiidp 27″ monitors. I got them for $249 each.
We also moved into a new house, and a friend donated a desk. This was perfect for a triple monitor setup. The Wal-Mart desk I was using became uneven due to the weight of the monitors that it had to support. This picture was taken while we were still setting up everything. Its a bit of a mess and we had a lot of cleaning to do.
2016 – The Perfect Setup
This is it. After 7 years of experimenting, I finally think I have the perfect setup. I hope it stays this way for a long time! I want to do some more cable management, but I think the layout will stay the same.