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(PCWorld)   Why are PC sales down? Moore's law   (pcworld.com) divider line 18
    More: Interesting, Moore's Law, Economic stagnation, limiting factor, World Wide Web, word processing, CPUs, newegg, Electric energy consumption  
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9611 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 03:20:37 PM  
2 votes:
[notthisagain.jpg]

People have been trotting out this theory at least as far back as the 1980s:  the computer market is about to slow down, or it is slowing down, because last year's computers are already more than fast enough to do all the things computers are for.

Every time the economy goes kaput, no matter how obvious the reason why---a tech bubble, a mortgage crisis, an Asian market crisis---some fool manages to get on CNBC and explain the real reason tech stocks are down: because the PC market is finally saturated, because last year's computers are officially fast enough to do all the things computers are for.

And it's true:  computers in 1984 were already more than fast enough to run the Pinball Construction Set and connect to a BBS at 4800 baud.  Computers in 1992 were already more than fast enough for writing term papers and maybe sending an email.  Computers in 2000 were already more than fast enough to surf the net.  Computers in 2012 are already more than fast enough to watch full-screen video.  Because that's what "computers are for."

What I find amazing about this theory is how much sense it makes, and how easily people believe it, when all you have to do is think back 10 years to see why it's bogus.  Every generation uses computers for something completely different, and far more compute-intensive.
2013-03-05 01:47:00 PM  
2 votes:
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.
2013-03-06 01:21:17 AM  
1 votes:
The Sony Vaio desktop I bought new in 2003 still runs XP just fine thanks.
2013-03-05 10:01:07 PM  
1 votes:
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 09:20:16 PM  
1 votes:

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 09:14:34 PM  
1 votes:

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 06:25:03 PM  
1 votes:

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 04:19:21 PM  
1 votes:
roflmaonow:
//No idea why I'm rambling

Because building your own rig is an intensely personal and satisfying experience.  Mine is geared towards my budget ($600 + salvaged parts from "Jarvis 1.0") and moderate home use (I can do anything I want, and most things at the same time, just not super duper heavy lifting at the same time), but I love it.  Put it into a wooden case that looks like an old school radio, since it lives in the living room and everyone sees it.  As much as I'd love to build a decade-proof machine, I just don't see the need to overbuild it that much right now.  Once I get J3.0 going, I might try to make one machine the "main brain" to handle home automation and clock the hell out of it to allow for performance like yours.

FTR, what's your hardware breakdown?  I'd like to beef up my transcoding speed and general multitasking ability and it's nice to talk to someone who isn't one of the supernerds over at Tom's Hardware.
2013-03-05 03:51:19 PM  
1 votes:

Mugato: Mikey1969: See, other people don't like being tied down to consoles. I don't want to buy a console and fined out that I can't play the newest game because my 2 year old console already has a fancier version out. With a tower, you add some RAM or get a better video card(System requirements aren't exactly a mystery). With a console, if it don't got it, you can't play it. Period.

Yeah but the PS3 and XBox 360 are like a decade old and still the standard.


Decade=10 years

PS3  Launch 2006
XBox 360 Launch 2005
Newest Xbox will not play "used" games.
Playstation saw the backlash on that and stepped back before making the same stupid mistake.

On my PC, I can play the original Doom, I can run a Mame Emulator and play the original arcade version of Pac Man, or I can play FarCry 3, as well as anything in between.
2013-03-05 03:35:49 PM  
1 votes:

MaxxLarge: Which is part of the reason I've always stuck to consoles. I don't like having to wade through endless system requirements, wondering if my system can handle a game every time I want to play something. I just want to drop it in, and know it's going to work. Yes, graphics are important, but the incremental differences don't (to ME, at least) justify expensive quarterly upgrades. A new $300 graphics card just to make the textures 3% smoother? That's a choice I don't see a lot of point in making.


See, other people don't like being tied down to consoles. I don't want to buy a console and fined out that I can't play the newest game because my 2 year old console already has a fancier version out. With a tower, you add some RAM or get a better video card(System requirements aren't exactly a mystery). With a console, if it don't got it, you can't play it. Period.

It's about as bad as being sucked into the AppleVerse.
2013-03-05 03:14:11 PM  
1 votes:

whistleridge: Uh...I would call the Surface Pro many things, but "paradigm shattering" wouldn't be on the list. Ever.


I agree with you, but I recently saw the reddit thread where the dude from Penny Arcade reviewed one. You would be surprised how many people in that thread had no idea that the Surface Pro had a Wacom (or whatever) stylus input. Microsoft is doing a shiatty job marketing that thing when it could be seen as much more. They're advertising it like a more expensive alternative to an iPad, when in realize it's a less expensive / more capable alternative to a Macbook Air.
2013-03-05 03:11:56 PM  
1 votes:

Mugato: Slives: People are far more likely to replace components in a system rather than do a full upgrade.

Unless you're talking about Macs. I use Macs at work but that's work. From what I understand it, it's difficult if not impossible to upgrade a Mac and the Apple store doesn't take trade ins. But like I said, that's not my problem.


Also, don't most people use laptops these days? You basically need to replace those in their entirety.
2013-03-05 03:06:20 PM  
1 votes:
images.pcworld.com
2013-03-05 02:42:38 PM  
1 votes:
640K ought to be enough for anyone.
2013-03-05 02:33:08 PM  
1 votes:
I'm seeing a lot of people who are (correctly and pragmatically) referring to what people "need" to run games.

But mod-heads don't think in terms of need. They get what they WANT. Overclocked this, multi-core that, water-cooled the other thing. If there's a doohickey they can slap into their towers that'll theoretically let them squeeze out an incremental performance boost, they'll pay hundreds for it. And I'm not down for that.

Which is part of the reason I've always stuck to consoles. I don't like having to wade through endless system requirements, wondering if my system can handle a game every time I want to play something. I just want to drop it in, and know it's going to work. Yes, graphics are important, but the incremental differences don't (to ME, at least) justify expensive quarterly upgrades. A new $300 graphics card just to make the textures 3% smoother? That's a choice I don't see a lot of point in making.

Well, that, and I grew up with a controller in my hand. So I like being able to sit on the couch and use an interface ergonomically designed to play games, instead of cramping my hands up using devices meant to move cursors and enter text, but that have been reverse-engineered to be sufficient.

/yeah, i sound fat
2013-03-05 01:55:37 PM  
1 votes:
That article seem to say the opposite - Moore's law is no longer holding. If processing power is only improving 10% per year, then the law has been broken.
2013-03-05 01:39:26 PM  
1 votes:
Linux runs just fine on a Pentium IV for regular daily use.
2013-03-05 01:34:28 PM  
1 votes:
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.
 
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