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(PCWorld)   Why are PC sales down? Moore's law   (pcworld.com) divider line 231
    More: Interesting, Moore's Law, Economic stagnation, limiting factor, World Wide Web, word processing, CPUs, newegg, Electric energy consumption  
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9609 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Mar 2013 at 2:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-05 06:21:30 PM

clambam: Oops, AutoCAD 2011, not AutoCAD 11. Big difference.


I was wondering how you kept the floppies working for so long...../
 
2013-03-05 06:23:11 PM
I've had this same computer for 12+ years now. I've replaced the motherboard (and the crap that goes in it) 3 times, the power supply twice, a couple of hard drives. Got a fancy new Logitech keyboard and mouse a year or two back. The case is starting to show its age so I might change that out soonish. I'll probably keep this machine forever. Like my daddy's axe. Replaced the handle twice and one new head, but it chops like a brand new axe.

I can't wait until they release the new consoles so computer games can advance a bit again. Cross-platform releases are holding games back so much. The new Tomb Raider supposedly does hair really well, now if they can just make water flow realistically, and THEN stall progress so that Joe Schmoe can buy an Xbox every 10 years and play every game that comes out.

I'd probably divest myself of Nvidia/ATI/Intel/AMD stock pretty soon after the next generation comes out. Things are already stagnating, and it's only going to get worse.

/We've reached peak computing!
//What we won't ever reach is peak information storage*, so maybe hold onto Intel stock if they start getting super serial about their drives

*Unless we take a book from the giant floating brains and destroy, or organize, a large part of the universe
 
2013-03-05 06:23:14 PM

jetzzfan: I work for Intel, so I got a kick out of some of these replies.

/works on Ivy Bridge/Haswell manufacturing


Did you also work on the Wolfdale and/or Sandybridge lines?  Because those were just off the hook impressive.  I try to skip a few generations between CPUs and had an AMD6000 but when people started posting the 4Ghz OCs with maintstream coolers on wolfdales I just couldn't ignore it.  Then when the sandybridges started posting 4.5+Ghz (as a quadcore!) it was another one of those 'well, lessie where my credit card is hiding...'.  The Ivybridge has a lot of neat features too but its over all just too similar to the Sandy for me to pull out the card again so soon.
 
kab
2013-03-05 06:24:54 PM
The software that 99% of PC users will typically use has very low system requirements, so hardware has simply caught and passed it by a very large margin.   This goes for games as well, due to many games being developed for consoles first.

I'd say that unless you're doing absolutely bleeding edge tri-screen gaming, rendering 4k video, or intensive 3d (or audio) work, you probably aren't seeing a desperate need for new hardware if you've bought in the last 2-3 years..

/doing a few of those things
//considering a new build because of it
 
2013-03-05 06:25:03 PM

jetzzfan: I work for Intel, so I got a kick out of some of these replies.

/works on Ivy Bridge/Haswell manufacturing


That's another problem with the "computers are already fast enough" argument:  there are hardware companies, like Intel, who will pour money into research to find cool new applications for more power.  I used to work for Intel's Microprocessor Research Lab, and our goal was to develop applications that used the extra power of the next generation of CPUs.  If users can't think of what to do with those extra cycles, someone will find an application for them.
 
2013-03-05 06:29:33 PM
Orcs must die, civ 5, dota 2, wow, l4d2, and diablo 3 all run perfectly fine on my core 2 duo with 4gb of memory and gtx275... I have recently encountered planetside 2 being unplayable, but thats the first game ive been unable to play in 7 years (and frankly i dont think im missing much).

The tax money for the last 3 years has been slated for a techreport sweetspot build... But I keep not needing it. Maybe next year :)
 
2013-03-05 06:31:02 PM

BumpInTheNight: jetzzfan: I work for Intel, so I got a kick out of some of these replies.

/works on Ivy Bridge/Haswell manufacturing

Did you also work on the Wolfdale and/or Sandybridge lines?  Because those were just off the hook impressive.  I try to skip a few generations between CPUs and had an AMD6000 but when people started posting the 4Ghz OCs with maintstream coolers on wolfdales I just couldn't ignore it.  Then when the sandybridges started posting 4.5+Ghz (as a quadcore!) it was another one of those 'well, lessie where my credit card is hiding...'.  The Ivybridge has a lot of neat features too but its over all just too similar to the Sandy for me to pull out the card again so soon.


Nope.

I just started 18 months ago. I help actually make the chips (shift process engineer). I'm not involved with design at all.
 
2013-03-05 06:37:25 PM

HeartBurnKid: roflmaonow: HeartBurnKid: Fubini: Game consoles have pretty much made sure that video-games can be run on 9 year old hardware, and most modern games do run pretty well on relatively old hardware.

The new PS4 specs don't even come close to a modern *performance* PC, and you could build something on par with them for $500 or less.

I'll vouch for that.  In fact, I have something on par with them that I put together for around $500, hooked to my TV running Steam in Big Picture Mode.

I think from what I read the specs even though on paper will match any current $500 market desktop, the PS4 is highly optimized for graphic computation. That in itself wont compare with the two side by side.

Doubtful.  It's not just the specs that compare; it's literally the exact same hardware.  It's an AMD Trinity chip with a few more GPU cores.


Lost of good info on the specs here.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6770/sony-announces-playstation-4-pc-h ar dware-inside

I don't know how it compares to the other AMD CPUs on the market but it will be interesting to see how they perform.
 
2013-03-05 06:38:12 PM

Xcott: jetzzfan: I work for Intel, so I got a kick out of some of these replies.

/works on Ivy Bridge/Haswell manufacturing

That's another problem with the "computers are already fast enough" argument:  there are hardware companies, like Intel, who will pour money into research to find cool new applications for more power.  I used to work for Intel's Microprocessor Research Lab, and our goal was to develop applications that used the extra power of the next generation of CPUs.  If users can't think of what to do with those extra cycles, someone will find an application for them.


What would that be?  I'm not seeing it right now.  There could very well be an extended period of "maturity" before the next thing is found.  Think of TVs limping along from the late 80s to early 2000s and then the big leap of the quality affordable flat screen.
 
2013-03-05 06:43:47 PM
Another "Good Enough" user here; Core 2 Quad Q6600 running at 3.1. I only recently upgraded from an 8800Gt. $ GB of ram, still runs more than fine for any games I play or Music Produciton I do. Runs Win 7 like a peach.
 
2013-03-05 06:55:17 PM

Eddie Ate Dynamite: I've had this same computer for 12+ years now. I've replaced the motherboard (and the crap that goes in it) 3 times, the power supply twice, a couple of hard drives. Got a fancy new Logitech keyboard and mouse a year or two back. The case is starting to show its age so I might change that out soonish. I'll probably keep this machine forever. Like my daddy's axe. Replaced the handle twice and one new head, but it chops like a brand new axe.


So what you're saying is you've had several computers in the past few years, but you put them all in the same case so it's the same computer.

And keyboards/mice don't even have anything to do with it.

It's like saying I have a 12 year old car, but I've replaced the engine 3 times and gotten a new transmission and it performs great. I even replaced the stereo.

Heh - actually, my car is 12 years old. You know what? It still works. I never replaced the engine. I did replace an O2 sensor and the stereo doesn't work, but other than that it's practically brand new. Seriously, it is very good for a 12-year old car - and it is the same car I bought 12 years ago.

Okay, to be honest I have replaced the tires and the brakes and the battery and the oil has been changed quite a few times, but it actually is the same car.

The engine is the same. The transmission is the same. The radiator is the same. The A/C is the same. The body is the same. I should be hitting 80,000 miles soon. Yeah, low mileage for a 12 year old car, but it's still 12 years old.

You see what I'm getting at?
 
2013-03-05 07:02:14 PM
This article focuses on mainstream web centric users but even gamer have seen a big leveling off in system requirements compared to earlier periods in PC history. I built and have been running an overclocked Core 2 Quad Q6600 since '07. I just blasted through Far Cry 3, a fairly modern demanding shooter, with no performance issues. By comparison try playing Quake 3 (late '99) on a computer that came out in 1994 or even '95.
 
2013-03-05 07:05:01 PM
I'm having difficulty finding this information, so I will merely leave the question for others to answer.

I think the real metric may be to ask how many FLOPS a computer at some sort of metric (say the price of the 95th percentile of desktop PCs) can perform, and how that compares to the number of FLOPS a computer could perform the year prior.  I suspect that the rate of growth is trending down, but I have a hard time finding data to prove or disprove my suspicion.

I know that TOP500 is still growing pretty fast, but that's hardly indicative of the field as a whole.  Also I saw this guy in person

californiawives.files.wordpress.com

and he's pretty much just as crazy in person as in his books.
 
2013-03-05 07:05:06 PM

ShawnDoc: With the launch of the new Playstation and X-Box, I think we'll see a lot of people upgrading their PCs.  Why?  Games have always been the big driver for upgrading the PC.  And almost all games made these days are built for the console first, and then ported to the PC.  Current console technology is so old (Skyrim uses DirectX 9), that its actually been holding back game devs on the PC side of things.  With new, higher powered consoles coming out, the PC versions will finally start requiring not just a new graphics card, but new PC architecture in order to keep up with console gaming.


Pretty much this.  I'm sitting here with an XBox 360 and a 6 year old iMac and really don't feel compelled to upgrade at all right now.
 
2013-03-05 07:17:07 PM

Xcott: I don't want to sound snide, but this is the same question people asked in the early 1990s, and the mid 1980s. If you think about it, I'm sure you can come up with a lot of next-generation uses for a tenfold increase in computer power. Instead of watching video, for example, how about real-time video generation/rerendering, or analysis? How about pressing a button to auto-translate a TV show to Portuguese, auto-dub the voices, and auto-lip-synch the speakers a la Star Trek? How about moving from static video to interactive video, combining video textures with CGI and physical modeling? How about a UI with a reliable natural speech interface, or a UI that performs constant behavioral analysis?


Ok, I understand what you're saying and I know I sound like an old bastard (I'm 34, so I am an old bastard according to Fark) but I'm just talking about what the average user does on their computer. They use their internet connection, they play Angry Birds, they download movies and music, these things can all be accomplished with the hardware they currently have.

I'm not saying that there aren't more ambitious uses for a computer, I'm saying that as the capabilities of your standard PC get more impressive, the less there is a need to buy a new one or even upgrade it every 6 months like you used to. That's all I was saying,
 
2013-03-05 07:31:57 PM

andrewagill: and he's pretty much just as crazy in person as in his books.


and listening to him speak on this is a real good way to be put to sleep
 
2013-03-05 07:32:56 PM

TelemonianAjax: Mikey1969: wildcardjack: Mikey1969: wildcardjack: [images.pcworld.com image 850x179]

Yeah, because nobody knows how to install an OS on their computer. That's why PC sales crashed when both ME and Vista surfaced, right?

It's because no one wants the new OS until it's had it's first service pack applied in the factory.

I don't know if SP1 will save Windows 8, they seem to be on a kind of hit/miss cycle... 7 was their hit, 8 is a miss, and whatever is next will be a hit, maybe...

I just got the Mrs. a new Win8 touch screen laptop (her 6 yr old MacBook died and she switched, also ditched her iPhon 4 for an SIII) and we love it.  It's hard to navigate at first, but I think it's solid, and you can always get back to the Win7 desktop.  I think the rollout was much better than it was for Vista, in large part because they didn't dick around with Office file extensions (remember having to get the docx patch?).  I don't think 8 will be remembered as harshly as Vista.  And 7 is a treat to begin with.




Small touchscreen win8 laptops are awesome.
 
2013-03-05 07:35:52 PM

Slives: TuteTibiImperes: Makes sense to me.  I've had the same PC for going on five years now, and it's still plenty fast for what I do.  PC gamers are probably the most demanding of performance outside of professional users, and even for them it's more about the latest video card than the CPU.

Agreed. A fairly high end computer from 4-6 years ago is still a pretty decent system and runs most of what even the average gamer needs just fine. People are far more likely to replace components in a system rather than do a full upgrade.


Not just that. I have a five-year-old dual Optimas in an E-ATX box running Windows 8 64-bit and it's still a graphics tank. I don't do animation, that's why. Just add RAM.
 
2013-03-05 07:43:55 PM
I have one of those Core 2 CPUs the article mentions from 2006.

A Q6600, with 8GB memory and a SSD drive. The only thing I see limiting it potentially is the amount of memory. 8GB is fine today, but is it fine 5 years from now?
 
2013-03-05 07:50:22 PM
If it weren't for the lack of gaming, I'd have switched to Linux for everything- as it is I want to eventually invest in another SSD for my Desktop to install Linux on. My Laptop almost always uses Linux 24/7- unless I have to switch back to Windows for something (usually dealing with the horrible Respondus browser).

My Desktop has a Core i5 2500k- a two year old processor, an AMD Raedon 6950 1GB, and 16 GB of DDR 3 1600 RAM. I have one 128GB SSD, soon (hopefully) to have a second 128GB SSD. I built my machine back in December of 2011 and it's served me pretty well. Right now I'm holding off on upgrading of the major components. When the new line of AMD GPUs come out (hopefully soon...) I'll probably upgrade that, and I'll probably get a new case (I love my old case- it's an NZXT Lexa Blackline, but the new NZXT full towers are awesome), and probably get a new power supply. But I'll probably be using the same CPU. Indeed, I can always overclock to get a little bit more power if I needed to (and I might, though, not yet)

CPUs used to do most of the work. Now, in a Desktop environment, the GPU does most of the work for gaming. The CPU is just becoming a conductor. Think about it! Even the SSD has its own processor now.

Anyway, the only reason I might upgrade soon is because my machine can't run Crysis 3 or Planetside 2 on Ultra with fantastic FPS. And seriously, that's the only reason.
 
2013-03-05 07:51:03 PM

Rockstone: though, not yet


Erm, not "though not yet", rather, I haven't done much overclocking. I will probably mess  around with it over the summer.
 
2013-03-05 07:53:20 PM
Ooh, I'd like to point out that the Pentium III that sits in my room can still be used for many basic tasks. It's slow, yes, but not unbearably slow.
 
2013-03-05 07:56:00 PM

Mugato: Xcott: I don't want to sound snide, but this is the same question people asked in the early 1990s, and the mid 1980s. If you think about it, I'm sure you can come up with a lot of next-generation uses for a tenfold increase in computer power. Instead of watching video, for example, how about real-time video generation/rerendering, or analysis? How about pressing a button to auto-translate a TV show to Portuguese, auto-dub the voices, and auto-lip-synch the speakers a la Star Trek? How about moving from static video to interactive video, combining video textures with CGI and physical modeling? How about a UI with a reliable natural speech interface, or a UI that performs constant behavioral analysis?

Ok, I understand what you're saying and I know I sound like an old bastard (I'm 34, so I am an old bastard according to Fark) but I'm just talking about what the average user does on their computer.


So am I.  I'm talking about what average people will be doing in 10 years.

Just look at what people do today.  Watching Hulu on a telephone?  Videochatting with friends and pressing a button to superimpose a fake monocle over your eye in real time?  That's what kids do when they're supposed to be working on a book report.  That would have sounded pretty SciFi in 1997, and we would be mistaken to attribute that kind of computer use to "high end" users with heavy iron.
 
2013-03-05 08:11:32 PM
If I didn't spend most of my free time running rendering software, I wouldn't have upgraded my last main rig. Hell, even my secondary computer is more powerful than I actually need.
 
2013-03-05 08:12:08 PM

Rockstone: If it weren't for the lack of gaming, I'd have switched to Linux for everything- as it is I want to eventually invest in another SSD for my Desktop to install Linux on. My Laptop almost always uses Linux 24/7- unless I have to switch back to Windows for something (usually dealing with the horrible Respondus browser).

My Desktop has a Core i5 2500k- a two year old processor, an AMD Raedon 6950 1GB, and 16 GB of DDR 3 1600 RAM. I have one 128GB SSD, soon (hopefully) to have a second 128GB SSD. I built my machine back in December of 2011 and it's served me pretty well. Right now I'm holding off on upgrading of the major components. When the new line of AMD GPUs come out (hopefully soon...) I'll probably upgrade that, and I'll probably get a new case (I love my old case- it's an NZXT Lexa Blackline, but the new NZXT full towers are awesome), and probably get a new power supply. But I'll probably be using the same CPU. Indeed, I can always overclock to get a little bit more power if I needed to (and I might, though, not yet)

CPUs used to do most of the work. Now, in a Desktop environment, the GPU does most of the work for gaming. The CPU is just becoming a conductor. Think about it! Even the SSD has its own processor now.

Anyway, the only reason I might upgrade soon is because my machine can't run Crysis 3 or Planetside 2 on Ultra with fantastic FPS. And seriously, that's the only reason.


I have very similar specs and wont upgrade for another 4-5 years. I do have the 6870 though. I was thinking of picking up another 6870 to crossfire if I do need more power for playing newer games. I do foresee a time where I might need to upgrade my video card to play new PC games at ultra settings in a year or so. I think like someone stated, once the new PS4 and xbox 720 come out the higher specs of those console will prompt game developers to make their games more demanding. For right now and my backlog of 60 steam games I think I should be set for another 3-4 years.
 
2013-03-05 08:46:14 PM

Slives: TuteTibiImperes: Makes sense to me.  I've had the same PC for going on five years now, and it's still plenty fast for what I do.  PC gamers are probably the most demanding of performance outside of professional users, and even for them it's more about the latest video card than the CPU.

Agreed. A fairly high end computer from 4-6 years ago is still a pretty decent system and runs most of what even the average gamer needs just fine. People are far more likely to replace components in a system rather than do a full upgrade.


I bought my wife a laptop 4 years ago.  Dual core with 2GB of RAM.  You can't tell any performance issues at all on it.  If the hardware holds there's no reason to believe she'll need a new one in the next 5 years.  All she does is do email, facebook and search the internet for articles about her work.  That's the first machine I could say that about.  There's zero noticeable different between the performance of that machine and a new one for those tasks.
 
2013-03-05 08:49:44 PM

Slives: TuteTibiImperes: Makes sense to me.  I've had the same PC for going on five years now, and it's still plenty fast for what I do.  PC gamers are probably the most demanding of performance outside of professional users, and even for them it's more about the latest video card than the CPU.

Agreed. A fairly high end computer from 4-6 years ago is still a pretty decent system and runs most of what even the average gamer needs just fine. People are far more likely to replace components in a system rather than do a full upgrade.



Yup and yup.  No need to replace a computer if your current one works fine and dandy.
 
2013-03-05 08:53:29 PM

Mugato: Endive Wombat: Mugato: Slives: And I was pricing Macs but the guy at the Apple store said they don't take trade ins. I mean I'm sure you can unload them somehow but that seems like a lot of work.



I've sold three Macs and two iPhones on eBay without any problems whatsoever.  Great way to unload.
 
2013-03-05 08:59:00 PM

Happy Hours: Eddie Ate Dynamite: I've had this same computer for 12+ years now. I've replaced the motherboard (and the crap that goes in it) 3 times, the power supply twice, a couple of hard drives. Got a fancy new Logitech keyboard and mouse a year or two back. The case is starting to show its age so I might change that out soonish. I'll probably keep this machine forever. Like my daddy's axe. Replaced the handle twice and one new head, but it chops like a brand new axe.

So what you're saying is you've had several computers in the past few years, but you put them all in the same case so it's the same computer.

And keyboards/mice don't even have anything to do with it.

It's like saying I have a 12 year old car, but I've replaced the engine 3 times and gotten a new transmission and it performs great. I even replaced the stereo.

Heh - actually, my car is 12 years old. You know what? It still works. I never replaced the engine. I did replace an O2 sensor and the stereo doesn't work, but other than that it's practically brand new. Seriously, it is very good for a 12-year old car - and it is the same car I bought 12 years ago.

Okay, to be honest I have replaced the tires and the brakes and the battery and the oil has been changed quite a few times, but it actually is the same car.

The engine is the same. The transmission is the same. The radiator is the same. The A/C is the same. The body is the same. I should be hitting 80,000 miles soon. Yeah, low mileage for a 12 year old car, but it's still 12 years old.

You see what I'm getting at?


If he is going to go that route with replacing his pc one piece at a time, just ditch the case and make the new case anything you want.  It could be a well made wood box with brass touches, all plexiglass, aluminum tread plate for a tool box look or just attach all the pieces to a shelf on the desk where everything is accessible.  Personally I would either go with the wood box or tread plate, but I won't be able to do that.  A month ago, I let my wife talk me into going Mac.  I am loving this thing, got wireless keyboard and wireless magic touch pad.  For the homeschooling parents, Mac gives discounts.

Back to what I started on, I have a couple buddies who do special cases as part of their job.  They've done part plexiglass and special paint jobs for clients.  I would like to see more creative cases, you have to look at your desk it might as well be art in your eyes.
 
2013-03-05 09:14:34 PM

loonatic112358: andrewagill: and he's pretty much just as crazy in person as in his books.

and listening to him speak on this is a real good way to be put to sleep


I dunno.  For me, it was pretty much an exercise in not shouting, "It's not an exponential curve, it's probably a sigmoid, you fark!"  Which kept me rather interested in the crap he was spewing.

/Actually, that was more my friend who came with me.
//I was more the ``That won't work.  The amount of time it would take to send signals between that many cores would destroy the coherence of the system'' type.
///Which is pretty much the carrying capacity argument that turns Moore's Law into a sigmoid, when you get down to it.
 
2013-03-05 09:15:12 PM
Though I find it hilarious that both Nvidia and AMD have just said "F it.  We're not bringing out video cards until the new consoles come out and we get some games that can stress them."  We haven't had new high-end video cards since Q1 2012, and we're not getting them until Q4 2013.

/Well, other than Titan, which is an overpriced "halo" card for GPGPU people and small form factors.
 
2013-03-05 09:20:16 PM

andrewagill: loonatic112358: andrewagill: and he's pretty much just as crazy in person as in his books.

and listening to him speak on this is a real good way to be put to sleep

I dunno.  For me, it was pretty much an exercise in not shouting, "It's not an exponential curve, it's probably a sigmoid, you fark!"  Which kept me rather interested in the crap he was spewing.

/Actually, that was more my friend who came with me.
//I was more the ``That won't work.  The amount of time it would take to send signals between that many cores would destroy the coherence of the system'' type.
///Which is pretty much the carrying capacity argument that turns Moore's Law into a sigmoid, when you get down to it.


Or in pictorial format

www.bio.georgiasouthern.edu
 
2013-03-05 09:20:49 PM
It's a mature market now, those who want it, well the vast majority, have it. So that leaves sales to people replacing broken stuff and stuff they find too old. Of course given what the hardware can do plenty of people will hold there two or three year old stuff for a few more years as long as it doesn't break. It does what they want more than well enough so no point in upgrading. And no PC's aren't about to go away and they're not in trouble, they've just become a mature market, which after nearly 30 years you'd expect.
 
2013-03-05 09:32:07 PM

Happy Hours: Eddie Ate Dynamite: I've had this same computer for 12+ years now. I've replaced the motherboard (and the crap that goes in it) 3 times, the power supply twice, a couple of hard drives. Got a fancy new Logitech keyboard and mouse a year or two back. The case is starting to show its age so I might change that out soonish. I'll probably keep this machine forever. Like my daddy's axe. Replaced the handle twice and one new head, but it chops like a brand new axe.

So what you're saying is you've had several computers in the past few years, but you put them all in the same case so it's the same computer.

And keyboards/mice don't even have anything to do with it.

It's like saying I have a 12 year old car, but I've replaced the engine 3 times and gotten a new transmission and it performs great. I even replaced the stereo.

Heh - actually, my car is 12 years old. You know what? It still works. I never replaced the engine. I did replace an O2 sensor and the stereo doesn't work, but other than that it's practically brand new. Seriously, it is very good for a 12-year old car - and it is the same car I bought 12 years ago.

Okay, to be honest I have replaced the tires and the brakes and the battery and the oil has been changed quite a few times, but it actually is the same car.

The engine is the same. The transmission is the same. The radiator is the same. The A/C is the same. The body is the same. I should be hitting 80,000 miles soon. Yeah, low mileage for a 12 year old car, but it's still 12 years old.

You see what I'm getting at?


I think so. Basically we're both really awesome people who can keep things running forever? *brofist into an explosion*
 
2013-03-05 09:32:17 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Makes sense to me. I've had the same PC for going on five years now, and it's still plenty fast for what I do.


But that is a typical user experience, and not indicative of a slowdown in the market.

Over the last 2 decades, I never switched up to a faster computer because I had to, or because my old computer was too slow.  My old computer was always plenty fast for what I do---the switch-up was always due to some other circumstance, like a new computer that came with a new job, or a desire to develop for the Mac, wanting a laptop instead of a desktop, a computer frying, etc.

Only after the switch would I find myself doing a new set of things with the new, faster computer.  Until that point, I didn't need a faster machine.
 
2013-03-05 09:38:41 PM

roflmaonow: Rockstone: If it weren't for the lack of gaming, I'd have switched to Linux for everything- as it is I want to eventually invest in another SSD for my Desktop to install Linux on. My Laptop almost always uses Linux 24/7- unless I have to switch back to Windows for something (usually dealing with the horrible Respondus browser).

My Desktop has a Core i5 2500k- a two year old processor, an AMD Raedon 6950 1GB, and 16 GB of DDR 3 1600 RAM. I have one 128GB SSD, soon (hopefully) to have a second 128GB SSD. I built my machine back in December of 2011 and it's served me pretty well. Right now I'm holding off on upgrading of the major components. When the new line of AMD GPUs come out (hopefully soon...) I'll probably upgrade that, and I'll probably get a new case (I love my old case- it's an NZXT Lexa Blackline, but the new NZXT full towers are awesome), and probably get a new power supply. But I'll probably be using the same CPU. Indeed, I can always overclock to get a little bit more power if I needed to (and I might, though, not yet)

CPUs used to do most of the work. Now, in a Desktop environment, the GPU does most of the work for gaming. The CPU is just becoming a conductor. Think about it! Even the SSD has its own processor now.

Anyway, the only reason I might upgrade soon is because my machine can't run Crysis 3 or Planetside 2 on Ultra with fantastic FPS. And seriously, that's the only reason.

I have very similar specs and wont upgrade for another 4-5 years. I do have the 6870 though. I was thinking of picking up another 6870 to crossfire if I do need more power for playing newer games. I do foresee a time where I might need to upgrade my video card to play new PC games at ultra settings in a year or so. I think like someone stated, once the new PS4 and xbox 720 come out the higher specs of those console will prompt game developers to make their games more demanding. For right now and my backlog of 60 steam games I think I should be set for another 3-4 years.


I cannot find a 6950 1GB edition to crossfire.
 
2013-03-05 09:40:04 PM

wildcardjack: [images.pcworld.com image 850x179]


DING DING DING DING
 
2013-03-05 09:43:15 PM
brandent: I bought my wife a laptop 4 years ago. Dual core with 2GB of RAM. You can't tell any performance issues at all on it. If the hardware holds there's no reason to believe she'll need a new one in the next 5 years. All she does is do email, facebook and search the internet for articles about her work. That's the first machine I could say that about. There's zero noticeable different between the performance of that machine and a new one for those tasks.

When I'm not encoding stuff or processing photos, my i7 workstation looks like this.

www.lordargent.com
Four cores (eight vcores), and only two vcores in use (one handling firefox, the other handling firefoxe's plugin container), each at about 20% of the capacity of that vcore. And one vcore handling the rest of the stuff on the system (compiz, etc) using only 4.9% of the power of that vcore.

// I believe stuff gets swapped from core to core to balance out the heat profile of the CPU. Hence the waviness in the lines.

// laughable memory use
 
2013-03-05 09:46:12 PM
Eddie Ate Dynamite: I think so. Basically we're both really awesome people who can keep things running forever? *brofist into an explosion*

I'm in a '99 pushing 190,000 miles :P

/ same engine

/ same tranny

/ the rubber parts of a car are the worst as far as replacement goes. The way it works out is the part is cheap, but the labor is a PITA (so you either pay a ton for it, or you spend a bunch of your time doing it yourself).
 
2013-03-05 09:51:57 PM
Both my PCs are circa 2007 with upgraded ram and video cards. I'll just replace components if they fail. Unless something drastic happens with the internet or streaming video, I don't plan on buying a new box anytime soon. I don't really need them to be more than utilitarian. I'm not a PC gamer. I play casually on the 360. Hell, I dont even play the latest and greatest games. I'm still playing skyrim, bf3, and the gears series. They aren't marketing the latest gaming rig or the future Xbox to a consumer like me.
 
2013-03-05 09:55:42 PM

Rockstone: I cannot find a 6950 1GB edition to crossfire.


Ugh that reminded me that the 6870s are also not in stock anywhere and the only place to get them is ebay for stupid prices that I would never pay. Yea looks like I'm upgrading to whatever is the big dog a few years earlier than I would like.
 
2013-03-05 10:01:07 PM
I've been using an abacus for internet and basic computing for over 2000 years, and I'm not wasting my $$$ on no Windows 8.
 
2013-03-05 10:10:14 PM

andrewagill: loonatic112358: andrewagill: and he's pretty much just as crazy in person as in his books.

and listening to him speak on this is a real good way to be put to sleep

I dunno.  For me, it was pretty much an exercise in not shouting, "It's not an exponential curve, it's probably a sigmoid, you fark!"  Which kept me rather interested in the crap he was spewing.

/Actually, that was more my friend who came with me.
//I was more the ``That won't work.  The amount of time it would take to send signals between that many cores would destroy the coherence of the system'' type.
///Which is pretty much the carrying capacity argument that turns Moore's Law into a sigmoid, when you get down to it.


After so many power point slides, I was mentally no longer in the room

I was excited to listen to that lecture, so didn't sit int he back, now I wish I did
 
2013-03-05 10:27:16 PM
You know what's an awesome trick to do these days? Using a gig of RAM as a scratch disk. Really great if you point your browser cache at it, or dealing with a lot of source files.
 
2013-03-05 10:31:40 PM
My recently retired front-line machine, an AMD Athlon XP2400+ (started out as an XP2000+), outside of getting memory and hard drive upgrades, did the job for ten and a half years, and while it lagged a bit on HD video (GeForce4 ti4400 could ALMOST do it), it performed adequately until the motherboard failed.  When I built it way back in 2002, I planned on running it 3-5 years, but money got tight, I got out of gaming, and it did the job.  I only even replaced it when I did because it died, and I replaced it with a five year old AMD Athlon64 3500+ that I got for free from my girlfriend who, unlike me, hasn't yet burned out on working in IT and still plays games, and thus needs newer hardware.  I run the lastest (I think) version of Fedora on here, and it does everything I need to do.  My laptop is one of the early Intel dual-core units, it too does everything I need.  For most users, pretty much anything made in the last eight years will do the job.  Until you have another major generational leap, like the 8088 and 286 to 386/486 leap, or the 486 to Pentium leap, these "general purpose" machines will continue to soldier on as long as the hardware still works.  Windows XP is over a decade old now, I think, and its still in full use all over the place.  I see it as often as I see Windows 7.  I rarely see anyone running Vista and I've not actually had my hands on anything that ran Win8 yet, but I'm not really interested in doing so.  A lot of these general-purpose users will probably transition to tablet-based stuff, at least the younger ones will, over the next few years.  I do think in a few more years from that, desktop PCs will really only be used by power users, with most of your general purpose home users using tablet based or even TV-based devices, with the exception of those who do a lot of typing who may have laptops or perhaps a laptop-ish device that they can dock a tablet into (I'm sure such a thing exists, but I don't own a tablet - though I did get a free netbook recently because its owner bought a tablet and said they didn't need it anymore.)
 
2013-03-05 10:50:57 PM
Definitely have to echo how computers have become these long lasting machines when they work. I built a computer that really I wanted to last just one year that i took with me on a project overseas. I built it using the cheapest parts available and spending as least as possible. I cannibalized as much as I could. Already had RAM (2 GB DDR1), video card (ATI 9600 AT), monitor, case, and other little peripherals. I bought a new Dual Core E4400 CPU 2.0Ghz, Gigabyte board and PSU I think all for $120, might have been even less. This was around 2007.

That machine without any further upgrades still works today even though I don't use it all, but occasionally fire it up. I used to browse the internet, play Crysis at the lowest settings, and would even transcode (though a 700mb file took about an hour to encode, my current rig does it in 6-7 mins for a 2 GB file) point is it's still usable, had win 7 on it. I've seen 0 performance deterioration in my current setup and have had it for 2 years so far. I love how durable these things are.
 
2013-03-05 11:16:15 PM
Power outgained software bloat. I grew up and don't play games anymore. My Core 2 2.16 and GTX 280 will be just fine barring physical failure.
 
2013-03-05 11:22:34 PM
My IT manager emailed me this month to ask if I was ready for a new PC in my home office (I have a Dell tower and Mac Pro).

My first though was "No, this works well enough".

Then I thought "Hey, free computer with a better processor and more RAM". So I said "Yes".

I know I'm going to regret it that first month, trying to reinstall and reauthorize everything. Then months later you go to do something and realize you needed a certain program to do it, which you never re-installed.
 
2013-03-05 11:32:07 PM

Mikey1969: I don't know if SP1 will save Windows 8, they seem to be on a kind of hit/miss cycle... 7 was their hit, 8 is a miss, and whatever is next will be a hit, maybe...


8 is a miss? All of the performance increases I am experiencing aren't really happening? How did they manage to pull that one off?

There will only be a SP1 for Windows 8 when basic updates accumulate. There will never be a SP1 for Windows 8 because of any kind of flaw. There will be an update but it will not be called a service pack. They will probably call it Windows Blue and it will be for free and it will include IE 11.

Windows 8 is Windows 7 with a start screen and live corners. It runs faster and is more stable. This is 100% accurate.

The only thing I can find analogous to Windows 8 is John F. Kennedy.
 
2013-03-05 11:38:55 PM

roflmaonow: Definitely have to echo how computers have become these long lasting machines when they work.


That isn't a recent phenomenon either.  There's no reason why an old computer shouldn't work years later, exactly the way it did the last time you switched it on.

Well, there are a few reasons.  I have a Commodore PET 4032 on my desk, and it still works, except the datacassette drive barely turns its spindle and I can't figure out the problem.  I think it's either gummed up lubricant or one of those crappy injection-molded plastic gears finally failing.  I should be digitizing the datacassettes anyway.
 
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