Posted May 14, 2011
I just want to add my agreement and emphasis to this advice. I bought a decent "starter model" desktop PC almost 10 years ago and have slowly upgraded individual components as I either needed or wanted to. I never once spent more than $100 on any individual upgrade and usually kept it under $50 (I never buy this year's model, always get the best I can of last year's model). It has always performed well enough to play most new games right up until the last year or two and it took less money over the course of the ten years to keep it that way than it cost me to buy the original PC in the first place. Unfortunately, it has finally hit an upgrade roadblock (can't upgrade anything else without replacing the mobo, can't replace the mobo without also replacing the RAM, video card, processor, etc.), so I will very soon have to buy a new starter machine for my next decade of budget upgrades... though this time I might try to cut it off after 8 years.
chautemoc: Regarding upgrading...well, there's a lot of misinformation that's spread about PC gaming and that's one of the big ones. You really don't have to upgrade every year or two..that's only even if you want every single effect turned on for every single game, running at crazy high resolutions with excellent framerate, etc. Even then, if you build it smartly, you probably won't have to upgrade for 2-3 years. For the rest of us, you can go about five years before upgrading and still get decent performance and settings, though 3-4 I think is ideal. Most don't know it, but PC gaming can be just as cheap as console gaming, depending on your needs and budget. That's the beautiful thing about it..there's so many ways to go about it, it can really suit everyone.