In 1996, Dr. Thomas Pabst, a German MD then living in England, created a web page where he talked about motherboards, video cards, and a then little-known phenomenon called overclocking. Dubbed Tom’s Hardware Guide, it spawned a long list of imitators, creating a new industry: PC hardware enthusiast sites.
Dr. Thomas Pabst didn’t invent overclocking. But Tom’s Hardware Guide dramatically increased exposure to the practice and made it more common. His writeups told people how to do it and what kind of results they could expect. Relating his own personal experience lent the site enough authority to make people less reluctant to try it.
But besides overclocking, he also lent credibility to the idea that not all components are created equal. I remember calling a computer store in the mid 1990s asking what brand of motherboards they carry.
I said I’d read it does matter. They got me off the phone as quickly as they could. Today, a computer store with that kind of attitude doesn’t stay in business long.