Most significant upgrade you ever made ?

Pentium 1 66mhz to a amd thunderbird 1ghz processor.

And on the graphics front: GeForce 2 gts to a Radeon 9700 pro
Upgraded RAM from 384KB to 640KB on my Tandy 1000 for $65 which allowed my floppy disk DOS OS based games to transition from four colors, to I suppose, 8 bit color? It was amazing!!! Truly to see color games on a monitor back then.

Then when I bought my first 3D card, an S3 Virge which only benefited Descent as far as I knew at the time but made me realize just how much a graphics card mattered.

Then a Creative LABS AWE64 sound card with Wavetable which made the crappy MIDI back then sound like real instruments in a few compatible games! (This was before CD-Roms were a thing and you didn’t have redbook udio nor anything prerecorded - game sounds we’re all beeps and tones before this).

Then my first Voodoo card. An Orchid Righteous 3d. Quake was AMAZING!

Then a s2000 video card with UTC3 compressed textures that made Unreal Tournament look like it was a game from 10 years in the future! AMAZING!

Nothing so grandeur since...though I’ve never stopped gaming and always kept near the top tier with gaming hardware.


Gsync or Freesync
Eyefinity or NVsurround

All more incremental than the good old days of vast jumps.
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  1. Single FX 5900 XT -> SLI 8800GTX
  2. Onboard sound (can't remember what chip) with boombox stereo hooked up -> Sound Blaster Audigy with 5.1 speakers
  3. Western Digital Black 7200 RPM SATA 6gb/s HDD-> Samsung 850 Pro SATA 6gb/s SSD
  4. Intel Celeron 600 MHz -> AMD Athlon XP 2000+ 1.67 GHz
  5. ASUS VG278HE (fixed 144 Hz) -> ASUS PG278Q (G-Sync 144 Hz)
the usual this cpu to that badass one and this hdd to that ssd. Im old and honestly cant remember the specifics. The one i can remember like it was yesterday is going from sorry 2.1 generic speakers to klipsch pro media 5.1s while playing mohaa etc...the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up the first time i heard footsteps coming from behind me!
Funny how memory works. I still have those speakers packed away somewhere with a dead sub sadly. One day i may actually remember to send them off for repairs.
Wow upgrades were:

TRS-80 color computer to 486SX-25

Athlon-1400 to Athlon 3800 x2 (dual cores!)

Spinning rust to SSD in my i7-930.

The K6-300 I had after the 486 was a nice upgrade; but honestly Win98's bloat vs DOS ate most of the difference. 2 cores to 4 wasn't noticeable most of the time. Ditto for when I upgraded to a 4790k, the faster cores help in gaming but in day to day usage nothing changed. Both upgrades were driven more by the age the system and reliability concerns (the nForce4 boards the ahtlon X2's were in were garbage that kept failing after a few years and replacements were getting hard to find; the 930's retirement was largely driven by risk aversion after its sister 920 box failed).

While I'd probably reach the point in a few years where only 4 cores will be starting to hold me back in gaming; outside of those titles I don't anticipate any major noticeable impacts from upgrading to an 8 or more core system; and will probably be making the upgrade before I'm game bottlenecked anyway because I don't want to be building a box on zero notice because my old one just dropped dead.
Back in the day I went from a standard spin drive to dual 10k raptors in a raid-0 configuration. I was blown away by the speed.
I did a lot of incremental upgrades along the way but the 2 biggest so far were.

1. PowerMac 7500/100 to P3-450
2. C2D-E8400 to i7-2600K

Next jump should be pretty big as I'm still on a 2600K.