How do "step up" programs work?

I've put all the peices of my system together (in cart, yet to order), and I am finding myself with a little extra money to play with. Right now I have my heart set on a hd 4850 graphics card for the best price/performance ratio. Although I could see myself getting a new card eventually and I have heard a little about step up programs. How do these work? And which companies offer them?

I would be more then willing to bump up to a gtx 260 or go with a 9800gtx instead of I could get some sort of "step up" later. I would only want this if it will allow me to buy something from a new series later on down the road however, as the 4850 still looks like a champ in this current market to me.

Info on how this works?
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More about step programs work
  1. The only I one I know about is EVGA's.

    Within 90 days of the original purchase, you can pay the difference between the price you paid your card and THEIR price for the card you want to step-up to plus both way shipping. You have to ship you card and then, when they get it, they will ship the new one back.

    EVGA's site price are rather high compared to NewEgg (ex: 896-P3-1266-AR 320$ at NewEgg after MIR and 370$ on EVGA's site)
    They have nothing but NVidia for video cards
    You have to do without video card for a few weeks
  2. I figured it was only with nvidia cards. If you step up once, can you step up after that, and after that again? You still save money in the long run even if they are noticable more expensive... Is it a fair assumption that new cards are set to come out about once every three months anyway?

    Thanks zenthar
  3. step up is only a 1 time thing evga has it for 90days bfg has it for 100days.
    new cards every 3 months hmmm not really maybe a die shrink like the gtx200 series is getting but no it usually takes much longer.
  4. The new card that you step up to will be far overpriced anyway, being new on the market, plus evga is an expensive brand to begin with. In the end, it's just a gemmick to make you spend more money while thinking you saved. :na:
  5. Ok, sticking with the 4850 then.
  6. Basically it is good if you want a stopgap card before the next round of releases. I bought my 9800 GTX's knowing I would eventually step up. When EVGA dropped the prices of the 260 to below what I paid for the 9800 GTX's, bingo.

    How it works is you apply for it online, confirm it through email, and then get sent a shipping label after paying the difference in price and $5 in shipping to EVGA. Then you ship your old card to them through UPS or whatever, wait 3 days for it to process after they receive it, then get it back (about a 2 week process overall).

    IMO, the only reason for a step up to factor into a buying decision is if you know that there will be new, better stuff coming down the road, yet you need to get some sort of graphics for your build now.
  7. My story of step-up is that I bough a 8800GTS 512MB thinking I might step-up to the "soon to come" 9800GTX. When it was released, it was ~30$ more than the price I paid my card, but I would also have to pay 40$ shipping for a total of 70$. This would have been a ~25% price increase for a ~5% performance increase... never switcher.
  8. Zenthar said:
    My story of step-up is that I bough a 8800GTS 512MB thinking I might step-up to the "soon to come" 9800GTX. When it was released, it was ~30$ more than the price I paid my card, but I would also have to pay 40$ shipping for a total of 70$. This would have been a ~25% price increase for a ~5% performance increase... never switcher.

    Did you say a 5% performance increase? :na:
    http://en.expreview.com/2008/04/03/geforce-9800gtx-review/12/

    9800gtx runs on the identical g92 gpu with identical 128 stream processors. Bummer. Typical Nvidia renaming. That's the problem with step-up. If nothing worthwhile comes up, you're stuck.
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