And its lame how prices are getting higher... shouldnt it be the opposite.
I sort of agree. At least, they should be staying the same: "400 for top-of-line, and drop down from there."
When I bought my Ti4600 for 400 USD, I had a hard time justifying a 400 USD component for a gaming rig. But I took solice in the fact that video cards probably wouldn't get more expensive than that. "We've reached the peak" I said to myself, foolishly thinking prices would eventually start dropping, or at least staying stagnant.
Then, I was looking around the store when the 9800XT's were the greatest, and I saw it was 500 USD. I just started shaking my head. If my ti4600 hadn't fried itself and I didn't have my extended in-store warrantee, there was no way in hell I'd buy it.
Fortunately, with the warrantee, I only had to pay an extra 100 USD to replace my broken 4600 with a 9800XT.
But I really hope this doesn't go any higher. I can't see how hardware companies can justify a 500 or 600 USD component, when you can get a workstation for that much (though it would suck at games).
The thing is, I can't imagine their R&D expenses going up too drastically. Hell, design-wise, there wasn't THAT much difference between the 9700, 9800 Pro, and 9800 XT. Yet, there was a price-bump. Just improve on the existing model a little, and shrink-wrap it.
Pentium 4, 2.4GHz w/ 533Mhz FSB
1024MB PC2700 Crucial RAM
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Windows XP Pro
"Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you."