The PC I'm using in my study is slightly more than two years old. Its not cutting edge by any means, nor has it been considered so even when it was brand new.
I built it myself using parts I bought off the shelf in January of 2003. While there is indeed a market for branded or preassembled PCs, such PCs are not for me. I prefer using a PC that I built with my own hands, to my own specifications, using parts that I chose myself. The nice thing about home-built PCs is the fact that there are no limitations when it comes to customization and upgrading. Virtually any part that you can get from anywhere is bound to fit and work.
In fact, as it currently stands, this PC can be considered a different machine altogether from the PC I assembled more than two years ago. Then, it had an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ processor, 256 MB of PC2700 DDR333 SDRAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX440 with 128 MB, 80 GB of hard disk storage, a DVD-ROM drive and a CD-writer.
In the two years that followed, I upgraded the processor once, memory four times, the video card three times, the hard disk subsystem twice, the DVD-ROM drive once, the sound card once, the speakers twice, the keyboard once, the mouse five times, the power supply once, the CPU heatsink once, the printer once, and the internet connection once. I guess the only parts still intact from two years ago are the motherboard, my CD-writer, the hard disk drive, and the monitor.
I guess I can be pretty restless when it comes to configuring a PC. Of course, most of the upgrades happened during the first year, and things have been pretty consistent for the most part during the last year or so.
As it stands right now, here are its specifications:
Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2400+ (Thoroughbred-B core, 2.0 GHz, 256 KB L2 cache, 266 MHz FSB)
Motherboard: ECS K7VTA3 v3.1 (VIA Apollo KT333 chipset)
Memory: 3 x 512 MB PC2700 DDR333 SDRAM (1.5 GB total)
Video: HIS Excalibur Radeon 9600 Pro with 128 MB DDR SDRAM
Sound: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Digital Entertainment SE
Hard Disk: 1 x Seagate Barracuda ATA IV ST380021A 80 GB 7,200 RPM, 2 X Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST380011A 80 GB, 7,200 RPM, RAID-0 configuration
DVD-Writer: Toshiba SD-R5372
CD-Writer: ASUS CRW-5224A
Mouse: Logitech Cordless Click! Plus
Keyboard: Logitech Internet Navigator
Speakers: Logitech Z-640 (5.1)
Monitor: 19" NEC MultiSync V930
Power Supply: Enermax EG365P-VE (dual fan, 350 watts)
CPU HSF: Coolermaster Aero 7 Lite
Printer: hp LaserJet 1010
I guess it can be a bit disconcerting to think that once the 64-bit version of Windows XP Professional or Windows Vista come out, I'll probably have to start all over again. But even though these new operating systems are still under development, I already have my sights on a new Athlon 64 platform. That is, if I can come up with the funds. I can hardly wait. :-)