For all the talk of economic hardship over the past few years - and the recent craze for cut-price netbook laptops - there appears to still be a sizeable hardcore of PC buyers who are willing to splash out a significant wedge on their system.

PC Advisor asked visitors to the site 'How much did you spend on your current primary PC?' Of the 1,773 respondents, a stunning 17.5 percent chose the answer 'More than £2,000'.

"Over £2,000," admitted PCA forum user AL47. "The monitors are worth £1,000 and the GFX cards are worth £200 each. Upgrades add up."

The slightly less extravagant '£1,501 to £2,000' was chosen by 15.1 percent of voters, making a combined 32.6 percent - almost a third - over the top two categories.

The middle categories saw solid voting too, however - we saw a broadly even spread of voting - with 15.9 percent answering '£1,001 to £1,500', 14.3 percent '£751 to £1,000' and 15.7 percent '£501-£750'.

In fact, the single most popular category by a narrow margin was the cheapest ('£500 or less'), which tallied up 18.4 percent of votes.

But overall we were surprised by the popularity of systems at the expensive end of the spectrum, with far less tailing off towards the top end than we expected.

Game on

Some felt that gamers were responsible for many of the votes at the top.

"You can tell the gamers on that chart," wrote wolfie3000.

"Nearly £2,000 on my last build," said gengiscant. "As a gamer a decent graphics card is a must, along with a decent CPU, motherboard, cooler, SSD, PSU and a decent case and monitor - the costs rack up."

With technology getting cheaper all the time, however, we did find that people are able to spend less than they used to.

"Each time I buy/build a new PC I seem to pay half as much for twice the speed," said the extravagantly named Fruit Bat /\0/\.

"I have had computers since 1973," added Snec. "They were expensive then but these days there is absolutely no need to pay more than £650 if you know what you are doing."

"I can't wait until they're free," quipped Quickbeam.

Based on 1,773 votes, March 2011. Add your vote (and see the voting in pie chart form) or have your say in PC Advisor's forums.

See also:

Group test: what's the best desktop PC?

Group test: what's the best PC for under £1,000?

Group test: what's the best PC for £750?

Group test: what's the best Budget PC?

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