UGM 2008

Ten years ago we launched ZDTV (which later became TechTV) and The Screen Savers, its most popular show. We wanted to begin with a bang, so Kate Botello and I decided to build the “Ultimate Gaming Machine” basing it on Lloyd Case’s design from Computer Gaming World. In 1998, that meant a PII 400 Mhz, 128 MB of RAM, and a fabulously expensive widescreen Sony CRT (and a price tag of over $10,000). Here’s what it looked like back then…

There have been 9 UGMs built since then, the most recent for Attack of the Show in 2005 (which cost around $6000 and was a lot faster). Since I’m launching TWiT Live 10 years later I thought it would be fun to see what the UGM would look like these days. Only this time, we’re going to let you build it.

Starting Friday, June 6, we’ll be inviting you to pick the parts for UGM 2008. From processors, to motherboard, to video and sound system, the choice will be yours. We’ll spend a couple of hours debating the merits of each component, with expert commentary to help you decide, then when we reach consensus we’ll buy it. At the end of the month we’ll assemble our creation and then give it away to some lucky TWiT Live viewer.

I’m not sure exactly how we’ll give it away. I know I mentioned this on TWiT and proposed a crazy scheme to get me more followers on Twitter. All I can say is I must have been drunk. It won’t be necessary to follow me, or Dvorak, and it definitely won’t be necessary to unfollow Kevin. I’m going to check with the legal department and find a fair way to do this that doesn’t require anyone to join Twitter!

We’ll kick things off Friday, June 6, at 3p Pacific, 6p Eastern, 2200 UTC with a processor showdown. AMD or Intel, which will it be? I’ll have experts on both sides then I’ll ask you to decide. June 13 it’s Motherboards and Memory. June 20th, video cards and monitors. June 27th storage and peripherals. We’ll finish the machine on the 4th of July, choose the best five games for it, and award it to a lucky winner.

So join us Fridays starting in June as we recreate one of the most loved bits we ever did on The Screen Savers. It should be a lot of fun, and who knows, you could walk away with UGM 10!

167 Replies to “UGM 2008”

  1. Wow, I remember the first UGM like it was yesterday. 400mhz…whoda thunk it? What will the next 10 years bring…scary thought, actually…

  2. Hey, I have a machine I built with the BX chipset that's still working in my studio! Well, I don't use it for anything anymore but it still turns on. I guess I should get off my butt and retire it.

  3. The best line is, “64 meg of RAM. That's all you're ever gonna need”.Awesome video Leo. I have never seen The Screen Savers before. I wish there was a website that had an archive of every episode.

  4. Loved the idea when I heard it on TWiT last night. And don't worry too much about the whole Twitter debacle. Anyone who's a fan should know you weren't being meanspirited, just caught up in the competition. 🙂 Look foreward to helping pick the hardware. I love building PCs. 😀

  5. Dude. We'll be laughing at our current machines 10 years from now like we're laughing now.

  6. Well since I am a Deal Hound I will be happy to sniff out the lowest prices on the hardware for you once the hardware is picked. You'd be amazed how much $ you can save on even the best stuff out there if you put a little time into it. And I have the time, if you got the money (as the saying goes). 🙂

  7. This brings back the days of Prime Cable in Las Vegas when I tuned into channel 63 (I think) and found an interesting show with two interesting personalities talking tech. That just happened to be the very first episode of The Screen Savers. I was so jealous of that kid from Vegas (Jeremy I think) who was always in chat and on the netcam with you and Kate. I was the same age as him at the time. Thanks for all of the memories from the past ten years Leo. I have grown up with you on radio, television and now the internet. Keep it up!

  8. Leo, I am tickled pink that you reply to me. The fact that you are going to have the UGM on Twit Live I am sure myself and fan base will gain from it. Please tell me honestly. Was the UGM, in the works? or was it truly my idea? I have the to brag to the miss's that twitter is awesome. BTW love the background reminds me of a photo I did while in holland, http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg188/mar10x

  9. I vote not. Those aren't gaming video cards. If you're going for ultimate gaming, either Nvidia 8800's or 9800's.

  10. Leo, you mean comments like “I like the ladies–a lot”. You'd better hope the wife doesn't know how to watch the live stream

  11. If anything, get the winner either on Skype, or Stickam video, and chat with him/her for a while, let them know they've won.In fact, Leo, there's a thought. Have everyone who enters register a skype account, and have them tune in at a certain time, and you'll call the winner. That'd be a fun way to surprise everyone, the the anticipation that would build is awesome.”We're going to now call our winner of the UGM 2008.” *skype noises* “OMG OMG OMG! I WON!!!”Good fun. Food for thought, though. It's obviously your contest. Love the TWiT shows, Leo. Keep 'em coming!

  12. Hey Leo, since this is a TWiT Live Giveaway, why not make people join Stickam and friend you on there. It would make a lot more sense to have the contest for Stickam friends as it may actually benefit TWiT Live. Just a thought.

  13. Sounds fun. BTW. Are there plans for recording and releasing TWIT Live stuff for download later. As I'm in Australia, you're on during the wee small hours, and I can't afford to miss my beauty sleep…..I really can't!

  14. Y'know, the way they do giveaways on engadget is to have the readers comment on the pertinent blog post, then choose out of those folks…I think that's pretty simple and effective. Keep up the good work!

  15. I learned more leo laporte books and call for help than tech school.Remember kids sleep in class and you will pass with the help of leo laporte (books and Call for help and other tv shows)pass this test with the help of leo laporteMicrosoft Certified IT ProfessionalMicrosoft Certified Professional DeveloperA+ Certificationthanks Leo for the help

  16. Intel BOXD5400XS Dual LGA 771 Skulltrail D5400XS Extended ATX Motherboard – Retail $659ePOWER EP-2000P10-T3 2000W ATX12V Ver.2.2 Power Supply – OEM $649Intel Core2 Extreme QX9775 3.2GHz LGA 771 150W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80574QX9775 – Retail $1548Intel Core2 Extreme QX9775 3.2GHz LGA 771 150W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80574QX9775 – Retail $1548CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1800C8DF – Retail $549CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1800 (PC3 14400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TW3X4G1800C8DF – Retail $549EVGA 01G-P3-N897-A3 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail $619EVGA 01G-P3-N897-A3 GeForce 9800 GX2 1GB 512-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card – Retail $619BFG Tech BFGRPHYSX128P PhysX Processing Unit 128MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Physics Card – Retail $139COOLER MASTER cosmos S RC-1100-KKN1-GP Black Aluminum ATX Full Tower Computer Case – Retail $249ZALMAN Reserator XT BK Black Reserator (Reservoir+Radiator+Water Pump) Water Cooling System – Retail $419HP 411089-B22 300GB 15000 RPM Ultra320 SCSI Hard Drive – Retail $999HP 411089-B22 300GB 15000 RPM Ultra320 SCSI Hard Drive – Retail $999ePOWER EP-2000P10-T3 2000W ATX12V Ver.2.2 Power Supply – OEM $649SONY Black and Gray SATA Blu-ray DVD-ROM Drive Model BDUX10S – Retail $21ASUS Black IDE DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818A/A6/QT_B+W – Retail $189Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1 64-bit English 1pk DSP OEI DVD – OEM $189Logitech MX Revolution Black 7 Buttons 2 x Wheels USB RF Wireless Laser Mouse – Retail $79Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Elite Pro 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card (Black/Silver) (Eng) – Retail $254Creative GigaWorks G550W 310 W 5.1 Speaker – Retail $334SAMSUNG XL30 Black 30″ 6ms(GTG) Widescreen LED backlight LCD Monitor – Retail $4599$15,859 Total Seem like you can trim a lot of fat but, then it wouldn't be an ULTIMATE GAMING PC! Am I missing anything?

  17. This will be fun to see the results of. I saw the first UGM created back then and can't wait to see how this one turns out. Best of luck with it Leo. It'll make the summer interesting to watch and listen to while I'm working. 🙂

  18. Wow, that 1998 UGM is probably out performed by a lot of mobile phones today!

  19. I guess when you base your site on tech gossip, you've pretty much started at the bottom of the barrel.

  20. only 1 30″ monitor? i thought this was supposed to be ultimate 🙂

  21. Leo, great idea! Really looking forward to the speccing and assembly of this box. Is there a way to record a stickam stream so I can view it on my schedule? I'm not usually home on Friday afternoons. I'd like a Tivo for web streams. Also, what can we do to ensure the success of Twitlive?

  22. I'm looking forward see the show but unfortunately I live in Australia have to work and sleep wee hours,not able to watch live.

  23. Wow. A blast from the past! Back then it was all about the Pentiums.I know you set the start date for June 6th, but keep a sharp eye out for new anouncements coming out of Computex. My suggestions (as of today): NVIDIA SLI (2-way or 3-way) 9800GTX or 9800 GX2 graphics (of course)Vista 64-bit version with 4-8GB of DDR2 or DDR3Core 2 Duo E8500 (3.16GHz) Yes I say Duo, not Quad, for most machines. If you want to get insane, then it's the QX9770Bluray R/W driveSetup up boot from one 10,000 RPM drive and then set up a RAID drive with 2-4 drives for content and applications (easier O/S installation and upgrades)1KW power supply (I just like saying one kilowatt)Test with Crysis – the most demanding game on PC systems.

  24. Kevin you're on our list to talk about CPUs (I'm going to recuse you on the video card section though)!I thought it would be fun to have you and Michael Slater help us choose the right CPU. You can do it via Skype. Friday, June 6 work for you? Say 3p Pacific?

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