My first PC I used wasn't a PC but a Mac... one of the first ones I think... it was monochrome I know that much. The first one I can truely say that was MINE was an old system running Windows 3.11 with a 386 and some S3 video card. The first video card I actually bought myself was back when I was in middle school. I got a little money for helping another family member set up dial up on her PC... friggin Compuserve... I bought it from a store called ComputerSurplusOutlet.com and it was a Pine SiS 315e "3D Phantom" 32MB AGP 2x/4x card. It was a pretty decent card... blew there all my games I had at the time, well the ones my cpu could actually support. AMD K6-II 350, 128mb ram, 3gb or so hard drive, 24x cd-rom, win98se. Ran stuff like n64 and PSone emulators amazingly well. Not sure why I quit using that card. I ended up "upgrading" to a motherboard with a SiS 530 onboard and a K6-2 500mhz, then later an Intel i740. I later got lucky and managed to buy an Athlon XP system while I was in 10th or 11th grade... I remember it was the year the demo for Half Life 2 came out, for $30. Yes... only $30. It had a "Geforce 4 MX 440 AGP 8x 64mb". Athlon XP 2500+, 256mb DDR 266, 20GB HDD, Win XP, Abit NF7-S 2.0. This was the first system I played Half Life 2 on. I later got my hands on a Radeon 7500. This card didn't have any shaders but its raw speed gave a nice fps boost (the MX didn't do shaders either). Before the system finally died, It ended up having a 160GB WD IDE drive, Win XP Pro, the Athlon XP 2500+ overclocked to 3200+ speeds, 1GB DDR 400, SB Audigy SE, and a Radeon 9600XT 128mb from Sapphire. I did end up with a set of Voodoo IIs I got from a friend when I bought his Platnum Gamecube for $60 The most I ever spent was $170 for an 8600GT I bought the year they came out. At the time I had a Pentium D rig running on an AsRock 4CoreDual-VSTA. It had the same ram and gpu from the athlon xp system until I got the 8600gt that is. Later I put a 9600gt in it along with 2GB ddr2 memory... skip forward and now I'm running an 8800GT. Which is both the most powerful card and probably the least expensive card i've actually spent money on... $16 for the aftermarket cooler. The 8600GT was the most i've ever spent on a gpu.