Ascension to PC Master Race: 11 years in the making

Its a dream of every PC geek out there to have a PC that they can treat it as their own personal super computer. It took me just south of 11 years to reach from a Pen 3 PC to now a Core i5, RX 480 rig. Two years ago I wrote about how I started working on PC from a Pen 3 PC. I quote here,

It was in my college that my father was able to buy for me a Pen 4 PC in 2005, Internet connection 3 yrs after that, and recently I upgraded to a Core i5 PC after more than 7 yrs.

So here’s a little back story of how I managed to pull off a Core i5 and what experiences lie behind it.
I started with a PC when I was in school that I didn’t own. I owe it to my relative, the PC of which included a configuration of Pen 3, 20 gigs of HDD and a 15″ CRT monitor, on which I use to play Carmageddon Apocalypse and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; and learn to program in C++ by building a program as my hobby.
Later in 2005 when I entered college, my dad bought for me a Pen 4 rig. It included a 512 MB of RAM stick and a 17″ CRT monitor. It was an exciting time. Steam, a much loved gaming platform from Valve had managed to reduce piracy in games and people started to buy genuine games legally. It was that time when I managed to build a good collection of games in steam sales. But the Pen 4 chip started to hinder my gaming abilities and motivated me to upgrade. So in 2012 I finally decided to upgrade my Pen 4 rig. But I didn’t reach to my Core i5 built until now. I didn’t use to earn much. So I assembled a very budget friendly following APU built:

1Mobo+CPUGigabyte E350N Motherboard
2CabinetCooler Master Elite 310 Cabinet
3SMPSCorsair CMPSU-430CXV2UK 430 Watts PSU
4HDD500 GB WD Cavier Blue
5RAMKingston ValueRAM DDR3 2 GB (KVR1333D3N9/2G) x2
6ODDSamsung DVD Writer

[I used components of this PC to make my Core i5 PC later, but the heart, APU remains the same].
But this APU machine could only do so much. Sure it was a perfect blend of processing and graphics capabilities but playing a game on decent quality was still a dream. I managed to play less resource intensive games like Trackmania, Burnout Paradise, Portal, Grid 1 (on low setting) and multi player game like Teeworlds (which frankly could also be run from a Raspberry Pi).
I had a long term plan when I built an APU machine. I was saving up for something big. I got lucky to win a contest from Microsoft and got some voucher on Bought the Core i5 processor from US in 2013 and assembled my primary PC which you can see the specs of below.
1MonitorHP Pavillion 22XW Monitor (1080p)
2CabinetCooler Master Elite 310
4PSUCorsair CMPSU-430CXV2UK 430 Watts PSU
5ProcessorIntel 3.2 GHz LGA 1150 4570 i5 4th Gen
6RAMG.Skill DDR3 4 GB X 1 and\nG.Skill DDR3 8 GB X 1
7MotherboardMSI H87M-G43
8HeadphonePhilips SHP 2000
9Graphics CardMSI RX 480 4 GB
10UPSLuminous LB1000UNO UPS
11KeyboardTVS-E Gold Bharat Mechanical Keyboard
12MouseLogitech G90 Gaming mouse
13Optical DriveSamsung DVD Combo
14ControllerXBox 360 Wired Controller
15MFDHP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3545 printer
16RouterTP-LINK TL-WR840N (V2) 300 Mbps

But it was not until I got myself the beast RX 480 graphics card that my gaming PC was completed in true sense. It was a long journey to reach here. And members from digit forum needs a special mention which helped me to take decisions and assisted with the troubleshooting many nights.
Following is the Timeline for some of the stories from the forum worth documenting, so that it would be easier for me to be nostalgic towards the incidents:

  1. February 2011: I bought got a new Monitor for my Pen 4 PC, but I was having driver problem. Forum members came together and solved it.
  2. November 2012: I moved from my Pen 4 to built a AMD APU PC.
  3. July 2013: Bought Core i5 processor as a first step to build my gaming PC.
  4. August 2013: Bought motherboard as a second step for my gaming PC.
  5. June 2014: My research on buying a MFD (printer, copier and scanner) documented in this thread.
  6. February 2015: Got myself a treat with a new and beautiful fHD monitor.
  7. August 2016: Upgraded the RAM of my PC here.
  8. October 2016: As a possibly last step towards my Gaming PC I got myself the most VFM Graphics card, RX 480.

When I look back now, connecting the dots backward, each year have been leading me to the moment when I could be playing fHD games on my fHD monitor. And with RX 480 graphics card its been a giant leap forward. In Reddit lingo, I have ascended to PC masters race. But this is just the beginning as 144Hz monitor will soon join my PC. This will be followed by SSD upgradation and a multi monitor setup. Things will only get better I assure to my little ‘Super-Computer’.
I would leave you with this imgur album of the unboxing of RX 480 that I did a while ago:

MSI RX 480 4 GB

Edit: Upgraded to an SSD:

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