|I say trying to keep up with the latest technology is a fools game. It is playing right into the hands of the big corporations. They bamboozle you with their cunning advertising (read propaganda) and they get you drooling at the mouth for their latest products which you don't really need. Go take a trip to the ATI website and count the 'hollow' statements...you never get concrete information. How many of you are convinced that having the fastest, most powerful and newest equipment is the right thing to do? And ask yourself where that belief comes from...
I have to disagree. Most of the users on this forum are well educated on the computer market and how it works. Sure we all drool over the latest and greatest but we are far from spontaneous purchasers. Hell some of the people on this forum spend more time researching what they want in their laptops than they probably did for their car!
For some of us it is a hobby as well as part of our jobs in the IT field to stay on the cutting edge of technology.
I built pc's and consult friends/family on computer purchasing decisions. When someone asks me what is the best, chances are I know up to the minute what it is. I also tell them what is the best bang for their buck, etc.
It's not all corporate mindwashing.
In addition, GPUs have been one of the biggest bottlenecks in keeping DTRs always quite a bit behind desktops. A 4 pipeline jump is huge and most games today benefit greatly from 4 extra pipes of data. The 9700 we have in our laptops isn't REALLY a 9700. We are still running on 9600 toned down cores that are over a year old.
Now to my point. Yes when new technologies come out they tend to be a bit expensive. However, newer things coming out means the 9600 and 9700 laptop prices are going to go down even further, benefiting a lot of the college kids going back to school.
It also means for us die-hards we can finally get our hands on a solid card. A 9800 with 8 pipelines will sure as hell last a lot longer than a card running with 4 pipes. This is a significant jump in technology.
It has been my experience in the last 10 years of buying/consulting computer purchases that that there are certain times when it's good to buy and throw down a chunk of change for components that won't go out of date as quickly.
A year ago I built what some may consider an upper mid-range system...
A small form factor shuttle (when they first came out) with an nforce 2 motherboard, amd athlon 2500 xp, 1 gig 3200 ram, 160 gig 8meg cache maxtor, and a 9800 radeon non-pro. I also splurged and dumped $520 on a nice 17" view sonic flat panal.
What happened? Was my PC out of date in 3 months? Heck no...
Turns out my CPU is massively overclockable, so with a few simple clicks in the bios I am running a 2.2ghz. My 1 gig of ram purchase also proved to be solid as ram requirements have not increased and 3200 ddr is still the standard (sure you can get 3500+ memory but it's really only for overclocking). Turns out my 9800 non-pro was easily flashed via bios update to a fully functional 9800 pro! woot! My 160 gig 7200 8 meg cache purchase is still running strong, sure there is SATA now but that's not that big of a deal. Also flatpanal prices flatted off and stopped falling almost as soon as i bought my monitor, demand for the LCD screens went up and so prices stayed relatively the same... again another great purchase.
So here I am over a year later and the PC I paid about $900 for is still pretty solid and can run the **** out of Doom 3 and Half Life 2 beta
Why? Because I did my homework, knew existing technology and got a decent system at the time at good prices.