I have made a decision to have this be the last high end upgrade I ever do on my computer.
Resolutions like this are generally made to be broken.
Money is getting tighter,
That's certainly a good reason to put upgrades on hold though, at least until the money situation improves.
but mainly there is less and less need to really get upgrades now a days. Maybe the days of old where I require new PC upgrades will return with some new advent, but I highly doubt it.
Well, if you're an avid gamer who likes to play the latest games, you're probably wrong. But aside from gaming, yeah the need for frequent upgrades is going by the wayside... largely *because* games have pushed the hardware to the point where it is massive overkill for most other desktop use cases!
I upgraded to Sandy Bridge not long ago (actually my first Intel CPU) as the beginning process of this decision, and I just placed an order for an SSD (Corsair Performance Pro 128GB) and a GPU (Asus DirectCU II HD7970). I was willing to spend the bit more on the 7970 because honestly, ATI and later AMD has always served me well on the GPU front and this is my farewell to them per-say. I have almost always gone with them for my GPU needs since way back in the Radeon 9800 days, and been upgrading every other generation since. Call it corny, fanboism, or what have you but I cannot say how many times I've gotten my GPU's dirt cheap from ATI/AMD. This is my cheers to them.
...and even the people who haven't bought a lot of AMD CPUs over the years have AMD to thank for low CPU prices. Without AMD, Intel would've had less incentive to sell powerful CPUs at affordable price points.
There is no real point to the post, but this is more or less the end to my active participation in my favorite hobby to date. I will be keeping up with the new releases still for fun, and will always have my eye out for low power HTPC predecessors. Still a bit of a sad day none the less. Anyone else doing something similar?
Well, I hardly game at all any more, so I will likely be sticking with my Phenom II systems for a while -- they are more than "good enough" for me. When I do eventually upgrade, it'll most likely be something that is mid-range at the time, close to the price/performance sweet spot. The last high-end upgrade I did was an Athlon MP dually system, around 10 years ago; even that wasn't a high-end system overall (the GPU was quite pedestrian), since it was not a gaming-optimized rig.
One thing that I *do* tend to do is buy components with an eye towards reliability and stability. I try to use ECC RAM and motherboards that support it properly. I've also started making RAID-1 my baseline disk configuration. So while my PCs aren't "extreme" in the usual enthusiast sense, I do spend a bit more on the features that matter to me.
Never have built an "extreme PC", myself. My current i5+SSD build comes closest, mostly because that's the first time I've ever spent a full grand in a single upgrade event, but even then I re-used my case, sound, and video (GTX-460) and hope to get five years out of the barebones components. Never have bought the fastest CPU on the market, and never have spent more than $200 on a video card (and usually less than $150). Part of the reason was limited budget and part of the reason was the rapidly diminishing returns once you get past the upper-midrange sweet spot.
Ditto. I think the most I've ever spent on a CPU (well CPUs actually) was a pair of Barton core Athlon MPs for the above mentioned dual Socket A rig; and I've never spent more than around $200 for a video card.