Originally Posted by Absolution
I used to shop high end. I had an AMD FX-55 ($1000 CPU) 2GB of RAM (a lot back then) and a 6800GT (~$400?).
I sold the FX-55 for under $100, ram < half of what I bought it for, and the 6800 GT for probably $100. All after about a year.
I learned my lesson. I could have saved at LEAST $600 for a CPU within 10% of the top end. I could have put that money to an upgrade down the road (or multiple ones). [Though the 6800GT was a pretty solid card If memory serves me right].
Now: I had a 8800GTX->9800GTX through stepup. I bought a HD4890 for $124 and sold the 9800GTX for about $100. The HD4890 wipes the floor on 9800GTX for what? $25? This was over a year ago. Technically I would make money on my video card after a year's use if I sold it now. Not to mention I can play any game I want at my native res with max settings and 4xAA/8xAF. I really think AA/AF after those points are really diminishing returns.
Midrange is really where its at. You don't lose as much money if you upgrade regularly. You can then afford to upgrade more often.
The only two cards I still have are the 8800GTX and the GTX295. Wat a pair!