I have 3 gaming rigs. Every 7 years I rebuild all new ones... but will upgrade video cards often.
I have a bad habit of fidgeting with my computer, doing little things here and there, but at least I do eventually get to a terminal point. My home server box went through... 4 maybe 5 revisions since mid 2010, and my lanbox has gone through 3 revisions since early 2011. It will go through one more revision, but it will purely be cosmetic and not upgrading hardware; after what I've done, I can't upgrade any further without sinking far greater money than it is worth to me.
Possibly sometime next year I'll do a complete new build since I've been using the lan box as my main computer since I built it and that travels more than I'm comfortable with considering the amount of data on it.
Heck, just about any new version of Photoshop, requires me to update.
Finally stopped after I got my 4.6ghz 2600k and gtx680. Honestly if I can do it all over again I'd just get an I5 and 660ti. But since I have it any way, might as well just keep it for as long as possible until software starts to bog it down which will probably be a long time.
My budget is a little low at the moment so...
I think you'll all notice the trend here.... that is hardware has left software for dead and todays rigs will last along time without the need to upgrade. Perhaps that's why PC sales are taking a dive at the moment.
I have a 4 year old rig still doing well, a HTPC just as strong and a 6 year old laptop running LinuxMint for portable media etc.
Of course a new rig would be nice...
It use to be every 2-3 years like a lot of folks. The only thing I'm still upgrading would be my HDD's. Installed a SSD for the OS and been replacing the 500gb and 1tb drives with 3tb drives when the extra cash is available. I'm also looking at a USB 3.0 controller card.
Other then that I think the next build will be when something dies.
Used to upgrade every year and a half. Now? Probably every 3 years. Just not enough change and no real killer apps for the new tech.
Upgraded to top of the line 3 years ago and haven't had to do much beyond expand HD space. Moores law seems to be in full effect of late.. used to be you could get 200-300 gig jumps and 40% more CPu power every 6-7 months. Now my 1080T /16gigRAM/8Tb hd space and 6970 2gig. are not having an issue with gaming or whatever else I toss at it. only upgrades I've made is to my internet speeds, from 6 to 15 Mbps.. and my cost went down when I did it, I like that kind of upgrade. Only upgrades I;ll be making in the next 6 months are for a larger USP and larger HD's to consolidate the number of HD's. I use atm.
I bought a mac pro g5 and mac pro intel bases on craigs list. No upgrade need in sight. Both machines screem. One was $100 the other $400 and they each have quad cores and 4 gigs of ram. Slapped in 2 3 tera hds and they will just last forever. The temps are at 30 not like the new ones that fry if you over clock. And I don't need to over clock. Running at 2.6 and 2.7 at quad cores I run on one 4 virtual machines at the same time. Got xp 7 vista and ubuntu at the same time while running os x in the foreground. Oh haven't even mention the dual 30 inch monitors that these run. I upgrade when the retna screens come out that will need a video card with 8000x2000 resolution or 8000x4000.
I add or replace something at least once every month or two (more ram, hdd, ssd, monitor, camera, etc...), with a cpu-mem-mobo upgrade every 1.5 - 2 years.
I upgraded my case today. My previous case was not a known brand, although it was a step up from generic cases in that it was largely tool-less. Unfortunately it was also too cramped. So I bought a Carbide 200R yesterday and moved my PC to it today. It's not perfect but it's another step up, and my graphics card temperature dropped from 70c to 65c.
I tend to upgrade something every year. This year so far it's the case, last year I bought an SSD, before that I upgraded the Phenom II X3 710 to a Phenom II X6 1090T. Had this PC for almost 4 years and it will not be long before there's little left of its original hardware.
Oddly, I find that later versions of Photoshop Elements, particularly the "Organizer" section is a resource hog. The issue is the speed it will, (or won't), generate tags and thumbnails. I'm using PSE-7, and have finally gotten hardware that doesn't require you to go watch a TV episode while a 100 image import registers.
Earlier versions will put up thumbs (5.0 and prior), almost as fast as you can push, "enter".
Core i3-3225, 1600Mhz RAM, C:/ = 600GB WD Velociraptor
Keep in mind that's a 32bit app, While the Photoshop CS and Lightroom are both 64 bit.
I think the drive is the trick, more than CPU and RAM.
I expect an SSD would net a further improvement.
And BTW, this just in: Adobe doesn't give a s*** how much you have to spend on hardware, or how bloated and inefficiently written their software may be.....
My computer is over 4 years old and I still haven't upgraded it yet. I was one of the first ones to jump into Intel's new i7 proccessors when it first came out. So I'm still using an i7 920 @4GHz, everything I throw at it runs fine for me. I have no need to upgrade for another few more years that's for sure. I haven't been much of a gamer in recent days, so I'm also still using my ATi Radeon HD 4870s. The only upgrades I made are more HDDs, more RAM and a SSD.
I upgrade my graphics whenever a new generation is released. As for other components, I upgrade those when something dies or I want more performance. I'm thinking of making the jump from SB to Haswell but, not so sure yet.
Now that porn is 1080p, you simply can't have too much storage....(said cranky somewhat sheepishly).
I upgrade until the game I really want to play is playing at the smooth settings that I want. So it varies from time to time. I have a 3770k with 2 GTX 670's in SLI. I think that will last me at the least 2015. Then I might consider upgrading when Intel's Skylake and whatever NVIDIA series of graphics cards are out.
I use to buy last gen hardware and not upgrade until at least 3 generations after that--money was tight. My last system, I purchased all top-o-the-line parts (2 years ago) and I don't plan on an upgrade until 2 or 3 more hardware generations. Even then, I will evaluate heavily what needs to be upgraded. There will have to be a pretty big jump in performance or features to upgrade it, not just a few percent increase.
On average I upgrade at least once component every 2 yrs until maxed out or technology no longer can extend b/c of compatibilities... thus 5-6 yrs a total refresh. Rarely at the 4 yr mark some new tech might force a total refresh for example to use the latest GPU or virtualization tech.
I go out of my way to upgrade.
Every month or two I can't help but buy something. In the last couple months I went on a spree and bought an H100i, BitFenix Spectre Pro 200mm, CM Sickleflow 120mm, Corsair Graphite 600TM (mesh), and a wireless XBOX 360 controller for Windows.
On deck are a couple 5.25" to 3.5" hdd adapters, and an acrylic side panel for my 600TM. After that, most likely a 4770K and motherboard.
Sell it on kijiji.
Build all new about every 5/6 years .graphics every 2/3..current rig is Qx9770 onEvga 790i ultra,16 gig Dominator GT,dual GTx 480 With a GTx 280 doing PhysX,I'd say next year all new build.. and this rig will move overto backup rig..
2 years ago I went from an AMD 4850 to an AMD 6850 then six months later I went form a Phenom 9550 to a phenom II 955 1.5 years ago. I have 6gb of high performance ddrII 800MHZ. I still can play all games at 1680x1050 and I am very happy with it. I a few month maybe I change my case and my psu but just maybe... A solid state drive wouldn't look bad either, but they are still too expensive in my country.
Long life to PCs! Long life to AMD!
I dont!!! I just build a new one
and how is that A6 notebook going on? AMD mobile chips are starting to look nice for me, maybe I will aquire an AMD based notebook by EOY.