Doomed to computer upgrades

As PC gamers across the country salivate at the release of id Software's much-anticipated "Doom 3," computer retailers are rubbing their hands over the anticipated swarm of shoppers who must buy machine upgrades to even play the game. After juicing up graphics cards or adding more memory, the cost of playing "Doom 3" for some gamers easily will pass $500, which might be a lot more frightening than any of the demons they'll encounter.

But admission prices like this are nothing new for rabid PC gamers. Thanks to game developers' desire to one-up one another, gaming rigs are in constant flux -- very expensive flux. There's something to be said about playing "Halo 2" on the same machine you played the original title without having to spend an extra penny. To get the best "Doom 3" experience, it's recommended you shell out for a NVIDIA graphics card from the GeForce FX or 6800 family, or an ATI Radeon 9800 or X800 card. These top cards are $350 to $500 but should last through another generation of games. You should also have at least 512MB of memory, but 1 gb is preferred. Finally, id recommends running a 2 gHz Pentium (or equivalent), but a 3 gHz would be optimal.

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