With the ability to upgrade a PC, the useful life of a PC can be extended significantly to get the best VFM in your investment. Much depends on the spec of the PC in the first place and whether it is amenable to upgrades. I thought I'd share with you the changes in my Dell PC which has enabled me to use it regularly and for the most part, successfully. Dell XPS R450 Purchased October 1998 Price £1800 Features: PII 450 Mhz Slot 1 CPU 256Mb memory Windows 98 Nvidia first generation AGP card, TNT 2 x USB 1.0 16Gb Hard Drive 1 x DVD reader 1 x Seagate Travan 20Gb Tape drive Diva Pro ISDN Card Turtle Beach Montego sound card LAN Card 1 spare PCI 1 spare ISA 350W power supply 19" Dell CRT Upgrades Powerleap 1.3GHz Tualatin CPU slot 1 adapter upgrade £130 Bios upgrade to allow 768 MB memory (3 x 256MB) £56 AGP x4 GeForce Ti 4200 (runs Q2 1024x 768 with all effects at 170FPS) £90 Removed tape drive Removed Soundcard Removed ISDN card Removed Hard Drive Removed DVD player Added: PCI IDE RAid card £15 Supporting: 2 x 76Gb in Raid0 £40 1 x 160Gb SATA (operating in IDE with adapter) £65 1 x 80Gb £45 1 x 40Gb (from Sky+ upgrade!) (yes 5 HD's in my original case!) 1 x CD/DVD writer £25 1 x PCI USB 2 Card £10 1 x External USB2 Toshiba sound and multimedia center £35 1x ISA modem £10 1 x TV analogue tuner. £5 1 x HP LCD (dual monitor with original Dell 19") £90 XP All PCI and ISA used. Installed and Removed: PCI SATA (not compatible with 2.1 PCI mobo but worked under OS!) £15 PCI IDE controller (to utilise ATA66 drive, Mobo only 33ATA!) £20 Win 2K Granted, my rig won't run most of the latest games, but it can run Need For Speed Most Wanted at more than an acceptable rate. As Q2 online gaming is something i had done a lot of, 176FPS was more than adequate. Although I don't game a lot, I may do if my PC was up to it! Office apps run fine, but I am finding that the likes of Firefox and using over 100Mb of memory on occasions can slow me down a little. Even with 5 HDD and the system set up to optimise the swap file location(s), the system is slow to open some of the more recent software I've *cough* tried. Be that as it may, for 9 years of sterling use, and with the original case now being maxed out in terms of slot and bay usage, I reckon the Dell has proved to be good value over the years. It may have been £1800 at the time but it was THE top model then with things like Diva Pro ISDN card. So if I look at the per year cost over 9 years, I reckon the Dell has cost me about £270 per year. For those of you who like to stay ahead of the game and upgrade more frequently, how much does your PC cost on average per year over its life?