I agree with you on all that. As people's systems (GPUs) naturally get upgraded, Topaz as a product will get a significant boost along the way. Also, with all the new GPU cards coming out (and BitCoin miners switching to specialized hardware), the prices are dropping significantly on the older, but still very capable ones.
That said, you might want to consider some articles on your site educating people in the differences between various types of plugins, std photo stuff versus heavier Topaz filters, and why good graphics card (OpenGL) support should be important for any type of image work. Especially until the legacy of your older CPU based plugins kind of sputters away.
(Or at least that I what I interpret from the forum discussions around performance, or perceived lack of such when compared to simplistic "change exposure" type plugins. I could be wrong of course.)
Apples and oranges, or apples and melons comparisons.
For Photo/single image type stuff, GeForce 1080 Ti would be way overpowered, almost meaningless.
BUT.. I like to play with Fractals as well, where currently my 970 coughs a little. In OpenCL for hours on high-res it spins the fans up like jet engines, and the temperatures go up.. Even worse if I switch to CPU instead. I can literally smell the dust-bunnies burning when the cores start reporting around 220 F degrees and the bigger fans spin up high.
Not really thinking of upgrading right this second. But in my experience, buying cheap (and buying stock builds which by definition are cheap(er)) will cost you dearly in the long run. Home built is better and if overbuilt for it's time will last much longer.
Soo.. I built my current main system in 2013, so it has lasted soon 5 years and is still at the upper to high end of what most people use in the prebuilt category... No standard consumer rig would have lived that long for the $ investment and still be efficient to use. Which people frequently forget.
But.. With only 4 cores/8 logical and limited to it's 32 GB of memory it does not quite do it anymore. To stop Windows from yelling about being out of memory when I run too many simultaneous Adobe apps, I have had to up paging space to 90+ GB paging off SSD. The GeForce 970 is coughing some on heavy OpenCL (but is near-instantaneous on such things as single-image Topaz), and I am really longing for some M.2/M.3 based SSD speed.
So.. I am starting to think/dream of my next build. Hence my dumb questions.
With a current case big enough to push around 12 drives internally (I have 10 spinning externally as well), 4 big fans for pushing away the hot air, and a 1200 W powersupply, all I have to do is to swap in an i9 based mother-board (supporting up to 128 GB new RAM), and probably an upgraded graphics card (hence this discussion). Then I am good for probably another 5-6 years. (I can hope, can't I)
The Consumer/Pro GPU discussion is because I also run OpenCL Fractals (2D/3D) and Adobe Premiere Pro for various purposes, in addition to all the usual Photoshop/Illustrator/Lightroom/Topaz/.... So I was wondering what would happen to Topaz speeds on very large images, if moving to a different type of card. Into the Pro range.
But I see that this might not matter or benefit.
My current 5 year old hardware (motherboard/RAM/graphics) can be slapped into a cheaper smaller case, and still blow most current sold pre-built stuff away on pure photo and simple-user work. So it is not wasted.
The worst of all worlds are the people that choose to buy Apple/Macs. Buying black-boxes like Apple makes them, there is little upgrade path other than buying whole new systems and start over. (Just saying. )