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581 comments

HEAEAHA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269555)

no

well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269558)

i'm sure AOL could fix that for a little bit of the profit made on the high end chips

I'll bet they could... (2)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269598)

...It's worked for MS for years.

My current CPU is 3+ years old (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269560)

I have an AMD K63-450 (400 OC'd to 450), and am just now beginning to think seriously about upgrading. For 95% of the things I do (browse, code, email, write, irc, etc), it's perfectly acceptable. It just made sense for me to spend money on other things like memory and disks.

I'm thinking about upgrading now because that other 5% of things (games and ripping/encoding) sure would benefit from it. Plus, I'm sure the CPU won't last tons longer in it's OC'd state.

Three years to death (4, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269672)

Well, bear in mind that most machines are purchased by businesses -- and they follow some weird rules.

Consider the 3-year-old Dell 450 PII on my desk. High end when I got it, low-end now. I don't need to do any heavy processing, but some of the apps I use consume a lot of RAM, and I'm always short of disk. So I requested an upgrade.

It had almost gone through, when my boss told me that I was making things difficult by not requesting a new machine. Computers are amortized over three years (at least by anybody who pays federal taxes), and our IS department takes the attitude that a fully-amortized computer costs more to support than it's worth.

Of course, as soon as I changed my upgrade request to a new computer request, there was a purchasing freeze....

Re:Three years to death (2)

anonymous cupboard (446159) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269742)

In Europe the amortization time (tax write-off time) is generally a very unrealistic five years. In Germany at least, a lot of professional PCs are on 3 year leases. This way you don't have to worry about write-offs.

However, with a lot of front-end stuff moving to languages like Java, 450MHz sucks big time so at my last assignment, we jumped to 1.6GHz Dells. Oh we use lots of RAM too but the local disks are usually almost empty (i.e., 1-2GB used) as apart from the local O/S (Win 2K pro or XP Pro), the JRE and some other local stuff like X, everything was served via the net.

Re:Three years to death (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269763)

Same thing happened to me, so I bought more ram, happily that was all I really needed. Best purchase I have made all year, but I'm taking the Ram with me when I leave.

Re:My current CPU is 3+ years old (1)

gtaluvit (218726) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269761)

I'm totally in the same boat. I have a Celeron 566, formerly oc'd to 850 but lately kept 566 for stability. I've had the same CPU for quite a while but only now have I hit a spot where I actually need more CPU power and thats for that new Army game. Halflife and mods, Quake 3 and mods, all run perfectly fine. GTA3 liked to hiccup occasionally but honestly, in the land of 3ghz, 1 would do me just fine now.

Duh.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269561)

Well, duh. Can you actually have anything to say about this article? How is it newsworthy?

yeah (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269562)

I don't need all that processor power. The apps I use, the games I play, everything else runs just fine on existing hardware.

Plus, I don't have as much throw-away money like I used to. The economy is a huge driver in this, and if they don't see that, they are silly.

The money I would spend on frivolous things is now being shoveled into the bank so I can save for things I really need(TM).

Treason! (5, Funny)

fm6 (162816) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269610)

The money I would spend on frivolous things is now being shoveled into the bank so I can save for things I really need(TM).
Aren't we all supposed to be spending money to Help Stimulate the Economy(TM)? We Can't Let the Terrorists Win! (TM)

GAME DEVELOPERS are the true terrorists!!! (3, Funny)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269778)

You heard me right. The people who are responsible for our current economic slump, are the game developers. You might say, "Game developers, I would think game players because their not buying this newfangled technology, but not game developers." Well, its the game developers' fault you chump. Always developing crap that runs on all last-gen vid cards and never embracing powerful new technologies. Their slow integration of more modern technologies has made people so disillusioned with newer technologies that they frankly don't give a rats ass anymore. I agree with them. Most games out now can play on most old hardware. Because everybody is so damn afraid that their software won't sell because it won't run on existing hardware that they just limit its capabilities to hardware that has already penetrated the market. So why upgrade. If I have a computer that can play any game out there (and had it for the last 5 years), why should I upgrade.

Developers should stand up to their patriotic duty and develop games which thrive only on new hardware, only on the fastest, biggest, brightest boxes under the sun. Only on machines which took mommy and daddy twenty years to save up enough money for and will be outdated in the inverse of that time. Only on the biggest capitalistic ventures of all computer fabrication history. Only when the developers step up, will our economy recover. But there is still the problem with the throw away society vs. the persistent friendly environment struggle raging in our computing worlds right now.

This is where Microsoft needs to step up to the plate. Require an entire internal hard-drive ONLY for the OS. And require all programs and documents to be stored in an external storage mechanism which when plugged into any existing windows workstation will automatically load in the registry, shortcuts, desktop, and what not (applicable to the users security context of course). This way when somebody decides: "Hey I can't play new games any more I better upgrade." They won't have the laziness factor breaking in with, "Yeah but then you'd have to get that geek from next door to help install all your programs and stuff like that and its just not worth the hassle." Because people in America are lazy and are all about how much effort they have to exert to get a task done. Using the approach I have stated all they gotta do is unplug their drive toss out the computer. And say hello to brand spanking shining new computer, and good bye $2600 cash. With which they can finally play all those newfangled games, unlike everybody stuck with the last gen computer.

The End

Re:yeah (2, Insightful)

pridefinger (549632) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269624)

>>I don't need all that processor power.

Neither do I. My year and a half old processor (Athlon 1.1 Ghz) still runs new games (read Unreal Tournament 2003 demo) at 1600x1200 at acceptable fps -- granted I have a Geforce 4 ti4400.

>>The economy is a huge driver in this, and if they don't see that, they are silly.

Good point. You wonder if they are falling into the same trap the recording industry has fallen into in overlooking the obvious.

Don't get me wrong, I want the fastest processor possible (if I can get it for free), but right now I just can't find anything I do that DEMANDS that I have 2+ Ghz power.

-Pride

Re:yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269769)

My year and a half old processor (Athlon 1.1 Ghz) still runs new games

My PIII 750 with a GeForce 2 400MX runs UT2003 at 1024 just fine. Sure I don't use all the detail it could, but I can play it.

Re:yeah (3, Insightful)

T3kno (51315) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269681)

Amen brotha, my dual P3-550 still runs FreeBSD fine, and the 1.2GHz TBird I bought a few months ago runs Windows for my wife. No real need for the latest and greatest, maybe when someone comes out with a cool game (there hasn't been one since Half Life) I'll upgrade.

Precisely (5, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269683)

Why in the world would anyone want to spend the money on a top of the line processor when they can buy an entire computer based on a value processor for $299 at Walmart.com? Heck, instead of spending $1500 or more on a new computer, I can buy three computers over the next year and be pretty sure that the computer I buy six months from now will be faster than the expensive computer I am buying now. So what if these computers are crap. At these prices I can afford to purchase another.

Besides, I don't want to spend my money on a processor. I don't run an processor intensive apps. I want more memory, a bigger monitor, and a faster hard drive. Spending money on a fast processor is just a waste.

The funniest part about this is that the killer application that would drive people to buy new processors is multimedia sharing. Encoding and decoding multimedia sucks down cycles like crazy. Instead of making it easy for people to share multimedia files Intel and AMD are busy making it as hard as possible. If sales are bad now, imagine when Intel and AMD's new products come out that treat their customers like criminals.

Re:yeah (3, Interesting)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269694)

I think it's a matter of diminishing returns. If a $75 CPU runs at 1.5 GHz and is fast enough for 75-90% of the computing tasks you do, and a 2.5 GHz CPU costs over $500... then why would you even consider the 2.5 GHz CPU? It's too expensive, and it would only impact on a small number of computing tasks (encoding/decoding, video capture, DOOM3).

Now that even value CPUs are ridiculously fast, there isn't much reason to buy the top of the line. I used to buy dual processor boards and populate them with two of Intel's second or third fastest workstation CPU. Those days are over, since I can't really imagine myself wasting so much money, just to get an additional few megahertz. Now I look to previous generation workstation CPUs, since they're being dumped on the market to clear stock. Plenty fast enough for me. My last purchase was two 1.2 GHz Athlon MPs, back when the 1.6 MHz (1800+ MP or thereabouts) MPs were being sold.

Building Systems (5, Insightful)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269723)

I've found the best way to build a system is to get the mid/high level chip rather than the top end, the savings are large enough to speed up the system in other areas (like lower latency RAM).

If you can build someone a decent computer, but keeping costs down (I don't mean getting crappy componants), they're far more likely to upgrade sooner and in the same manner so the cost is more spread. i.e. someone spends $2000-3000 on a brand spanking new computer (latest everything) but loses the ultra performance crown in 3-6 months, is going to be less inclined to get a new system 1-2 years down the line (unless they have cash to burn), wheras if the costs are under $800-1000, they never lose the ultra peformance crown 'cos they never had it in the first place.

I suppose the nice thing about new chip releases (esp. major revisions) is they knock the lower specced chips down nicely.

Re:yeah (3, Interesting)

lactose99 (71132) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269757)

Ditto that. My PIII 550 is still my main machine and does what I do reasonably well (play games, coding, experiment with new OSes, etc...). The last upgrade I bought for it was a GeForce 4MX, and that increased my gaming "productivity" tenfold.

Then again, my (very) aging P75 NEC laptop with 40MB RAM still works quite well as a portable development platform with FreeBSD. Not the fastest thing in the world, but for taking my coding outside, it does the job I need it to.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269564)

What an incredible revelation from CNN! (1)

Komrade S. (604620) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269579)

From the people who brought us World Championship Wrestling, I would expect no less [/troll]

But the higher-end processors required for world processing IS still getting higher, running OfficeXP and XP Home is a demanding job for most computers. When you get into multiple documents, RAM becomes a problem also. So maybe this is a sign people also aren't upgrading their software? Or maybe this is CNN creating a pithy tech story for the masses again, albeit an incorrect one.

Re:What an incredible revelation from CNN! (0, Offtopic)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269671)

From the people who brought us World Championship Wrestling

Damn, I gotta burn another article of modding (I have points till Wednesday).

WCW aired on Ted Turner's network. CNN is a news station...

I watched a LOT of WCW. Since VKM bought them, I haven't watched much wrestling. A couple pay-per-views at the local Hooters and a few RAWs and SDs, but not much. I preferd WCW. I don't care much for VKM's version. I never really did. That's I watched WCW.

EZ-E is the man.

Big Papa Pump NEEDS to be on TV NOW! (aside for Jeff Jarret's promotion).

Yeah, I need a 2.something ghz CPU for Word!!! (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269690)

running OfficeXP and XP Home is a demanding job for most computers.

You can get an Athlon XP1600+ for under $60. How much faster will Office/Windows XP run on an XP2600+ that costs hundreds of dollars more?

that is (1)

Kevin_ap (597233) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269581)

until AOL releases its latest software with even more cool integrated features (=useless crap that's hard to get rid of or switch of) that is even more poorly writen and buggy than its last...

Re:that is (1)

stuuf (587464) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269646)

for a second I thought you were talking about the new version of Micro$oft Office XP

This is why Apple isn't dead (1)

bsharitt (580506) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269583)

This also explains why Apple isn't dead yet. For checking my e-mail, browsing the web, and writing papers for english my G3 600 iMac works just fine.

Re:This is why Apple isn't dead (2)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269714)

This also explains why Apple isn't dead yet. For checking my e-mail, browsing the web, and writing papers for english my G3 600 iMac works just fine

Well the AMD 600 Machine I built for my dad nearly 3 years for $650 works just fine too, running Linux and windows XP. There is no advantage for Apple as far as aging hardware is concerned. Good luck running osx on that G3 imac.

mac is GH3Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269718)

bitch

Apple loses on MHz and Price ... (2)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269755)

The article is not necessarily good news for Apple. People may be trending for price over MHz but Apple loses on both MHz and price. People who buy Macs are more concerned with usability or they are oriented toward a particular "Mac" application. Thrown in a few fashion statements as well. In other words nothing has really changed.

Re:This is why Apple isn't dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269771)

Of course I can beat my computer at chess. It doesn't have any arms.

-a

Happy but fearing (1)

Neuronerd (594981) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269590)

Being a scientist trying to understand the brain I always benefit from cheaper fast PCs so its great if nobody wants those high end processors, I love them. On the other hand the music industry prooves that customers have a hard time if industries that are used to earning a lot earn less. I guess they will demand laws to state that each person below age 20 (the should-be gamers) must buy a high end PC or not use the internet at all.

Re:Happy but fearing (2)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269613)

I guess they will demand laws to state that each person below age 20 (the should-be gamers) must buy a high end PC or not use the internet at all.

Microsoft is working on it...it's called palladium.

Re:Happy but fearing (2, Insightful)

ni5mo (590178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269712)

Thats what everyone is forgetting. These suckers were subsidising the latest and greatest for those of us who actually need (yeah I need 100fps in jk2) these processors. How fast would your latest kernel of choice compile on that old k6-II?

We should be encouraging them!

Well.. (2)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269592)

While this may not bode well for the likes of AMD and Intel, it is really good for the consumer. I'll be needing a laptop soon, and if I can buy one next summer, it should be fast enough to run things for at least 2 years and not feel overly slow and it will also be affordable.

Of course, the only problem with this is that there may be less money pumped into R&D.

Not good for the consumer. (1)

glrotate (300695) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269703)

Selling high end chips drives down the prices of midrange and low end chips. It also drove innovation for new chips.

Stagnation is rarely a positive for anyone,

Everyone will upgrade soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269593)

With the introduction of DRM enabled chips, people will be fighting each other to buy the latest and greatest from Intel and AMD.

hrm (1)

Subwoofer (608613) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269597)

seriously you don't really need anything more than 2ghz these days. games run fine as well as aps. its all about the ram

Re:hrm (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269631)

2 GHz?

My 800MHz G4 does a good job at everything I want it to.

Final Cut Pro, D2, Unreal Tournament, Word, IE, Warcraft 3.

you forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269657)

He's using a Pentium 4. On any other CPU, that's equivalent to about 1GHz.

Re:hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269662)

I'm sure he was taking about PCs. I'm also sure you knew that.

Re:hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269670)

excuse me? you dont need more than a P-III 866
I can play ANY game you throw at me very well.
all my apps run fine and cince I dont use that bloatware called XP it screams.

Re:hrm (2)

Kaz Riprock (590115) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269702)

My 600 MHz P3 laptop does good enough for all my Photoshopping needs. Of course, my 1.4 GHz Athlon desktop does even better. You shouldn't need anything more than a 1 GHz unless you're really ramping up your movie production needs. With most games, you just need a faster/bigger video card (which is why you don't need a faster/bigger CPU). Since most people aren't doing molecular simulations or whole-earth atmospheric studies, they aren't pushing the envelope of their CPU anyways. Even gamers and so forth are tied down more by their video abilities than their CPU.

Re:hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269766)

actually, just played around with some video editing recently. I have a 1ghz thunderbird and I saw absolutely nothing hindering the CPU speed except exporting the final product to a compressed video format. What *was* a problem was harddrive speed - I have a small raid partition which seemed easily twice as fast when I started moving the files I was working with to it.

Until it filled up, that is. I didn't do much complex stuff, either, so I might be completly wrong.

Rendering seems like the only thing that REALLY takes cpu power, and even that doesn't demand a top-of-the-line processer if you got some spare time on your hands.

And meanwhile... QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269603)

Linux advocates continue to harp on how Linux will run on "lower end" hardware. The world continues to roll their eyes.

Re:And meanwhile... QWZX (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269773)

What's the deal with that anyhow? Linux sys-reqs are getting pretty bloated in their own right.

I mean, back when I first got my 5x86 it ran X-Windows like a dream (and a PCI video card, it screamed!), now its way below the minimum sys-reqs to even install most distros.

The funny thing is when I put Debian (and later FreeBSD) on it, it still runs X beautifully, same video card, same RAM, same everything.

So my question is:
Why do the major commercial distros all insist on such ridiculously high sys-reqs to run the install program?

software lag and video cards (5, Insightful)

cheese_wallet (88279) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269609)

It seems that intel and amd have recently made pretty large jumps in their processor speeds. And while windows XP is processor greedy, the benchmark for good performance in XP was surpassed a while back.

So I think we are just seeing the results of a software lag, where the current batch of software doesn't need or even work better with the highest end processors.

On the other hand, video cards are taking more and more load off of the CPU. And they cost about the same. I know I've upgraded my video more often than my CPU. I've got four videocards sitting on my desk right now, victims of perceived obsolesence.

Maybe the future trend is for other peripherals to start adding computational functionality, and further reduce the CPU load. Perhaps CPUs of the future will be used for nothing but scheduling and coordination.

I have been... (1)

aliusblank (547153) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269611)

I've been saying this for years.. yet still people feel they need the pentium 8 4 bagillahertz cpu to browse the web [well unless there using xp and ie 6 :P].
Oh by the way, theres a great deal on the athlon xp 1600 over at newegg.

just get everyone to upgrade to win 2k (1)

primus_sucks (565583) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269615)

My company just "upgraded" everyone's computer from win 95 to win 2k. Now it runs waaaay slower. Don't worry - software bloat will catch up to the hardware!

Re:just get everyone to upgrade to win 2k (2, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269633)

Hey kid, you went from a shitty DOS-based OS to a rock solid NT based OS. If you don't think that that's an upgrade, you're a fucking moron.

Re:just get everyone to upgrade to win 2k (1)

Phosphor3k (542747) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269687)

A celeron 500 with 196mb sdram is easily enough to run Win2k with word, groupwise and IE open without hicupping. If your minimum spec is lower, then your IT department needs to be shot.

Re:just get everyone to upgrade to win 2k (1)

MissMyNewton (521420) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269706)

C'mon now.

Seriously.

For most people in your company, the "slowness" is going to be way more than offset by stability and the productivity it yields: not just in terms of time lost rebooting, but also for sysdamins restoring whacked documents from backup since 95 GPF'd and F'd up an important spreadsheet or presentation.

As a troll, I give you a C-

Well, yeah (1)

rice_web (604109) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269616)

Consumers already weren't buying new computers, it was only a matter of time before geeks stopped buying the high-end parts, too. Only die-hard geeks seem to have the latest and greatest these days.

Personally, I won't be upgrading my P3-866 until the P4-4GHz arrives, which probably won't be until the third quarter of 2003 or later. My 866MHz P3 still performs perfectly for what I do, and many games run smoothly. Sure, I notice its age every now and then, but the latest P4s and Athlon XPs offer relatively little noticeable performance increase (I know, I had a P4 2.2 until I sold it; it just wasn't worth its weight).

But, I think we're missing a big point at the same time. The economy is in terrible condition right now, and computer upgrades are the least of many people's concerns.

Fast CPUs aren't selling? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269617)

Gee I wonder why.. maybe because webbrowsing and email simply does not require that powerful of a processor? Or maybe it's because the latest processors are friggin space heaters? Or maybe it's because of the megahertz myth? Maybe for normal everyday things the CPU isn't the bottleneck? I could go on and on. What will it take, a government funded research mission to figure this stuff out? I mean the silicon companies are just not getting it.

The new hog (1)

Enforcer42 (302814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269619)

Ah yes, Microsoft Office runs oh so nice on that 2.8 Ghz Intel, SO much better than on a 500 Mhz PIII.....I think I'll part with $500 for that shiny new P4 2.8 to gain that .2 seconds to spell check somethin...

Lazy Programming (5, Interesting)

unicron (20286) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269620)

I blame lazy/inefficient programming for todays ever increasing processor demands. A good example would be Jedi Knight 2. On a my P3-800 with 256mb of ram and a geforce 2 ti it ran like ass anytime there were more than 3 guys running around or if I was in a big room. Really pissed me off. And that was at 800x600, I had to turn it down from 1024x768 because it was unplayable.

2 nights ago I downloaded UT2K3. I thought it was going to be worse than JK2. So I turn off all the effects, runs fine. Start turning settings up. 800x600 with medium effects runs fine. So I go to 1024x768 with full effects. Runs beautifully. Dropped 10 bots in, no drop in performance. I would've put more in but they were owning me.

Kind of off-topic, I know, but it really opened my eyes to what programmers can do if they honestly care about the their public and put good programming techniques to work.

Re:Lazy Programming (4, Informative)

Stormie (708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269674)

On a my P3-800 with 256mb of ram and a geforce 2 ti it ran like ass anytime there were more than 3 guys running around or if I was in a big room. Really pissed me off. And that was at 800x600, I had to turn it down from 1024x768 because it was unplayable.

News flash: if changing resolution improves performance, then your problem is that you're fillrate bound on the graphics card. Nothing to do with your CPU, nothing to do with "lazy/inefficient programming".

If you were getting the same crappy performance regardless of resolution, then you'd have a point.

Re:Lazy Programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269734)

News flash: If he's getting that crappy performace at 800x600, then ANY resolution above that would be as crappy, if not worse. 800x600 is damn near the bottom of the barrel these days, chief, so I'd say that most of his resolutions suck. Just because he can run it at 300x200 in black and white with sprites turned off and get a good res doesn't mean it's the fillrate.

Lazy Programmer Syndrome (2)

victim (30647) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269700)

At work we refer to this as Lazy Programmer Syndrome. In short, left to his own devices, a programmer will work on performance until it is just tolerable on his kick ass high end development machine. If he is developing a multiuser system he will only optimize until performance is tolerable with a single user (himself). Have pity on the server when 50 people start using the service simultaneously.

There is know known cure other than enlightened managers and these are hard to come by.

Re:Lazy Programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269704)

Sorry to be sarcastic but ....DUH!

programmers are really really REALLY lazy today. they dont write tight code the do not optimize anything anymore. Hell back in the 80's it was common for you to rework a subroutene for a month to squeeze a few milliseconds out of it... today that few milliseconds increase would result in astounding performance...

but they dont do it...

either they are uneducated because of the morons teaching them or they are just too lazy saying "hell there's plenty of processor cycles for this"

stability (1)

morgajel (568462) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269621)

maybe know they'll go on a stability kick.

I don't know about you, but my system just isn't as stable as it could be, windows or linux.

Upgrade to dual CPU (2)

Bartab (233395) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269622)

I recently decided to upgrade one of my PCs and settled on a dual CPU. The motherboard and CPUs are all available for commodity prices and thus give far more value for the dollar than a 2+gig single CPU.

in other news (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269623)

AOL Intel, and AMD enetered into a secret agrrement, code named "Show me the Money".
In an unrelated story, aol will be adding new features into aol 9, its min. req will be dual 3 Gig processor, 512 megs ram.

Why go for the newest? (3, Informative)

I_am_Rambi (536614) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269626)

When you can wait a few months and get a cheaper processor, that will do the trick. Most of my friends, when building their own computers, will wait for the second or third generation chips (ie AMD 1800XP+). They can get a fast computer, for cheap.

Just take a look at Pricewatch. The Athlon XP 2200 is at $144, while the Athlon 2000 is under $100. Why would you spend that much more on a new processor, when you aren't getting alot more speed out of them.

With a few months turn over, it is worth the wait to save $50 or more on a slightly older processor, than on that latest processor.

Re:Why go for the newest? (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269709)

people like you are the problem.
Sure I know it make sense to wait, and you know it, but if everybody does it we're screwed. ;)

Obvious, looking at prices (1)

stuuf (587464) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269627)

Intel's most high-end chip is always about $200 more than the next lowest. Why spend $650 for 2.x ghz when you 2.(x-1) ghz will do just as good for $400?

Hmmm... (1)

rice_web (604109) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269630)

Well maybe if companies actually OPTIMIZED their code, we wouldn't need 2.8GHz P4s. MS Word will probably need an 800MHz processor in its next revision. Sheesh.

Oh what a surprise!... (1)

DeeKay (263782) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269632)

That's what Apple-Users have been answering the "Apple's soon dead [again? :-] because the P4/Athlon is sooo much faster!"-nerds for ages! ;-)
Great to see it gets some hard proof! ..or DO each of us drive 400hp cars? No? Why not? If we can't live without 2.8GHz, why should we "punish" ourselves with cars below 100hp?

Re:Oh what a surprise!... (2)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269777)

Great to see it gets some hard proof! ..or DO each of us drive 400hp cars? No? Why not? If we can't live without 2.8GHz, why should we "punish" ourselves with cars below 100hp?

Well I bought a 350hp car because I didn't see that it was worth waiting a year on the waiting list to be able to buy the supercharged version.

However I do notice that many of my neighbors have cars with equivalent capacity (4 litre or above) but give only half the power and less than half the mpg.

I just upgraded my son's computer with the cheapest components I could get from Frys that I could be confident would last a couple of years (having previously bought grotty PCs and regretted same). For $350 I got an Intel motherboard, 1.9 GHz processor, 1/4 gig Ram and a pretty nifty video card.

I agree that there is not much reason to upgrade from need these days. Even gaming is no longer a power users issue since the copy of tombraider angel of mercy you buy in the store next week will have been developed on hardware that is already close to obsolete.

The only mass market, power application I see about at the moment is digital video editing. That will pretty much soak up cycles on anything you throw at it. But the market is fairly specialist still.

As the hardware gets cheaper I am much happier to accept machines with everything integrated on the motherboard.

I put together a "new" machine on Friday (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269635)

For about $500, and a few spare parts I had around, I built an Athlon 1700+. It's much faster than the 1Ghz notebook I bought last winter (sounds similar to the one in the article), and gobs faster than my primary machine (400 MHz G3). Still, doesn't matter much when you're surfing, or looking at pr0n. Okay, so the flash ads aren't as annoying when they load. :-)

But I think the Athlon 2200's were like $170 more than I paid for the 1700.

What drives us to buy new cpu's (1)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269636)

Besides internet browsers, there is another popular program that encourages people to upgrade: that is Windows. I tried installing windowsXP on my cyrix 6x86 166mhz and it crawled. Even though I only had 32mb of ram I still expected better performance than this. I upgraded my pc to a p4 2ghz with 512mb ddrdram and windows was still incredibly slow. I sold my pc and bought a g4 MacPC and now OS X-windows runs great. That is why I like Apple brand pc's because the mips g4 processor is alot faster than intel or cyrix chips. I will be using my mac for a long time without having to upgrade. Windows is one of the main reasons people still need to buy fast cpu's. Games are also a problem but if you want to play video games you can buy a video came system like atari jaguar.

id Software owns the Chip Market (3, Interesting)

edeity (190828) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269642)

Intel and AMD should just realise that it is id Software that drives the early adopter market segment of chips. id should be getting a cut of all cpu's sold. Pay the MS Tax, and the id Tax.

View Quake (and soon Doom) releases relative to chip sales, and I'm convinced there will be a correlation. There is wider macro economic factors, but the key driver is Frames Per Second for the latest id software release.

Re:id Software owns the Chip Market (1)

harks (534599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269725)

I am very interested to see how high-end processor sales are affected by the release of Doom III or Unreal 2.

Intel bit itself in the a** here (2, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269647)

Those of us on /. who know better can put together a nice system with yesterday's parts, but I think the average user still equates processor speed to overall performane. Even when Joe claims to consider RAM, he seldom considers the speed of that RAM, and never the FSB or the hdd speed.

Intel marketed it's processors on the basis of the clock speed. While the 2.8 Ghz did have a 533 Mhz FSB, for the most part, the common joe-driven PC market has grown up thinking that CPU speed makes the biggest difference.

I think perhaps people have just gotten tired of buying new computers--it's just not the next 'big' thing like it has been for the last 10 years.

i think it's a big scam anyways (1, Redundant)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269649)

I'm still using a PIII-700 and it's plenty fast for me. I make computers for friends and family and I ALWAYS suggest that they DON'T go for the latest and greatest. I tell them it's a waste of money and that it'll drop in price within a month. Instead, I always go for that 1 specific CPU that has the best price/performance ratio. I believe right now, that point is currently at P4-1.6 or 1.7. Anyhow, the one immediately after it is usually a bigger jump than all the ones below it. Fast CPUs just aren't necessary. I tell them to get more RAM instead of a faster CPU. They'll end up seeing a bigger performance difference. And please don't tell me about the 123123123 FPS I can get in Q3 with a faster CPU. It's just NOT necessary for 99% of the people out there that actually purchases systems.

What OS they should put on it is a completely different story! :)

Re:i think it's a big scam anyways (2)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269750)

Yes, RAM does make a bigger difference in performance than CPU speed. My parents' P4 2GHz 128MB RAM is much slower than my P4 1.8GHz 512MB RAM.

Release the goods already. (1)

bascheew (220781) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269652)

Who wants an Athlon XP 2200 or Pentium 4 2.8 when AMD and Intel plaster pre-releases all over and talk as if their next new thing is already out? Not me... They are shooting themselves in the foot.

Economy? (1)

Visoblast (15851) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269654)

I'll bet the not-so-great economy has something to do with it. There are computer geeks like me who haven't been getting enough income lately to consider buying computer hardware, high-end or not.

My old box (2)

shird (566377) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269655)

Ive been running a 350Mhz PII for the past 3 or 4 years, and its been fine - just a matter of tweaking it here and there to get as much performance as possible. I upgraded just yesterday to a 2.26Ghz, but not because my machine is painfully slow, or that I want to start playing games (other than soitaire, I don't), but just to make my overall experience of using the machine more comfortable - and to have another machine to network with.

For what I want to do, its been perfectly fine. But occasionally I try out some cool screensaver, or have to do a kernel compile or something, and only then is when I notice the difference.

With enough memory, modern operating systems can function quite well on older processors. They have fairly advanced memory managemet, scheduling etc. Microsoft Word XP starts in about a second on this older machine - how much faster do you really need?

Need more powerful software... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269656)

I want faster and faster processors, but the only way that's going to continue is for there to be an adoption of processor intensive applications.

Generally these have been Video, 3d rendering, 2d rendering, etc. It just seems that there needs to be a new killer app that has a minimum requirement of 2.8ghz... imagine that...

I love when they use the Internet (4, Informative)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269661)

As a reason to upgrade your computer to a 2+ GHZ machine. The funny thing is, most people don't know any better and assume that buying a new computer will make the Internet faster. The FTC needs to start coming down hard on computer companies who advertise that a new pc will make the Internet faster.

Re:I love when they use the Internet (4, Funny)

Kaz Riprock (590115) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269729)

Even better than the computer companies are the broadband providers that offer "lightning-fast downloads".

Hello! Do you know how fast lightning moves? That's just not even close to ATT Broadband/RCN/@home speeds.

Re:I love when they use the Internet (1)

bitMonster (189384) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269781)

Hmmmm.... What's the information content of lightning?

Do you know how fast a voltage propagates down a twisted pair?

Bah.

Re:I love when they use the Internet (3, Funny)

dillon_rinker (17944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269753)

But it's true! For example, those flash-animation ads suck up a LOT of CPU, and a newer processor would render them faster. Flash ads are the primary reason why I'm thinking about upgrading...from my P-166.

=)

Re:I love when they use the Internet (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269770)

You know, the Internet is more than how fast bits flow into your computer. The speed of the processor directly affects how fast your pages render. In fact, I recently upgraded my inlaws to a much faster computer, and they commented on how much faster "the internet" was. (their normal home page renders ridiculously slowly for some reason)

In other words, the Internet is not much good without applications to use it, and faster applications == faster Internet.

Re:I love when they use the Internet (2)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269775)

If you ever had to use Internet Explorer on the iMacs at my school you would definitely believe that a faster machine would 'make the internet run faster.'

Render times for pages and the speed of your connection could both be construed as factors on how fast you load things on the web, but after a certain point (long passed, 500mhz+ machines) you don't need anything more.

Gaming (4, Informative)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269682)

We already determined in a previous slashdot article that gaming pushes computer tech forward. Since the minimum requirements for most games are still a 500mhz cpu with a 32MB AGP video card, nobody has a need to upgrade their pcs except for the most bleeding edge gamers, and other power users who do video encoding or AutoCAD type applications.
I remember back in the day Virtual On came out for PC and the minimum sysreq were higher than any available pc on the market, unless you had 5 grand. When the minimum amount of power required to use new software goes above the power of most people's pcs then they'll start buying faster CPUs.
Heck, even the people who are already buying faster CPUs don't buy the fastest processor available. The money:speed ratio makes it so much more worth it to buy the second or third fastest AMD, even though the fastest P4 is the best you can get.

Sure? (2)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269684)

AOL is extremely resource-intensive. When connecting, I can't even get the Ctrl+ALt+Del window to open (don't flame me: I'll use AOL until Saturday when I go to college).

sick and tired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269686)

Ever since CPU's hit 200mhz, people haven't been able to notice a read difference unless they're power users. People are just sick and tired of the endless upgrade cycles, especially when the economy sucks big time.

Why AMD or Intel? (1)

implex (468133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269696)

Rather than speed I find myself looking for power savings. Getting a fast processor that I can roast a chook on doesn't do me any good. The Via and Eden processors on the mini-ITX board suit me. A smaller board so that my computer can be hidden and is not so intrusive. Couple that witt a flat screen and a slide away keyboard and look what kinds of things you can do [mini-itx.com] ! price and performance for what most of us need.

Devil's Advocation (5, Interesting)

Jahf (21968) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269697)

So, most people seem to be in agreement that you don't need a faster processor to run today's applications. I would agree with that for the most part. I'm able to subsist on a desktop P3-800 and a laptop P3-600.

However, it's important to realize that the drop in sales will also result in a corresponding drop in research.

I'm kind of not happy about that ... since I think it will slow down the pace of technology, at least on the client-side (versus server side, which was just beginning to be penetrated by the desktop architectures).

It may have 2 very cool side-effects, though:

1) Pervasive computing may become more ... pervasive? It will be possible for the embedded computing to catch-up to the desktop power because more time will be allowed for miniaturization -and- embedded platforms will last longer (example: AMD is killing it's AMD K6-2 line because it's too slow ... this will hurt alot of embedded products because the market isn't strong enough to allow redevelopment onto newer platforms)

2) Network/Telecom/etc infrastructure can finally catch-up. I strongly believe one of the things that caused the Internet boom was that a majority of people had access to modern telephone lines and most could scrounge up a computer. Since then, computing technology has outpaced infrastructure development (by that I mean -many- people currently still can't get xDSL, and yet your average new computer could completely swamp a T3). If things slow down and stabilize, we can again let the infrastructure mature and saturate the market, which is often the recipe needed for a new technological boom.

However, I am going to be upset if I can't buy a 32/64bit Hammer in a year at a decent cost, just because I want it :)

fasted?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4269726)

fasted??

Shouldn't that be fastest?

two words (and some numbers) (1)

cdf12345 (412812) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269741)

UNREAL TOURNAMENT 2003

End of arguement.

I'd be buying hardware if I had the money (4, Interesting)

Crag (18776) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269743)

I browse /. at a threshold of 4, so if this is redundant, I appologize.

I have an infinite appatite for more toys. The only thing preventing me from buying quad Xeons, dual Athlons and a bunch of Sparc hardware is that I'm broke. This last year has been very difficult, and I think even more so in the technology sector. If we all start getting rich off of killing foreigners or something, then maybe the demand for more power will return. In the mean time I'd be more impressed if they could show that people were spending the same (inflation adjusted) money on lower-end hardware.

The article itself does mention the economic slump, but doesn't actually provide any real facts or data, just anecdote and fluff.

Economy (1)

Snowbeam (96416) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269744)

The story implies in part that users are wising up to the point that they don't need the extra power to use their apps. I respectfully disagree with that. I want a new machine right now, but the money has other uses in todays economy that are more important for me to deal with. For example, paying off certain bills that are now garnering higher interest rates. True, my current machine is capable of doing what it NEEDS to do. Alas, were this the economy of two years ago, I would be getting a machine that could do what I WANT it to do. CNN has it partially right, but they should accomodate all the factors and not just a singular one.

Also if your running linux (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269748)

You don't need as much power, a 200mhz pentium pro, with scsi drives, is perfectly fine for some server tasks.

Uhh, no. (1)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269749)



More like:

I dont have any money because my company got rid of me, replaced me with two Nigerians and a six-pack of Hindus, despite my having 4 certifications and 10 years experience."

Cheers,

Stop working on faster processors... (2)

Kaz Riprock (590115) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269756)

I think AMD and Intel should send their R&D dollars to Western Digital, IBM, and Maxtor. Instead of wasting the money building processors nobody wants, they could all be working on hard drives that spin faster than 7200 RPM and have bigger than 8 MB in their cache.

THEN I'd be happier with the speed of my computer.

Moore's Law meets Marketing Dept. (2)

lugonn (555020) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269768)

Hmmmm...I wonder if we will keep seeing chip speeds double every 18 months, or if the ChipMakers(tm) will only offer consumers faster chips when slower chips see lost sales?

Well, yeah... (1)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269779)

Name an application that requires as a minimum spec anything over 1 ghz. Most consumer-end products use maybe half that (Battlefield 1942, for instance, requires a 500 mhz with a 3d card... that was top of the line 3 years ago, but still).

I think it's just a case of hardware outpacing software. Even the most fervant Ubergeek doesn't need the fastest processor anymore... my 1.4 ghz Athlon runs everything just fine, thank you very much. I should be able to run everything coming down the pike for the next year or two, in any case.

And by the time I get around to upgrading again, 2+ ghz processors will (in theory) be dirt cheap :)

Lordfly

Not a big surprise... (2)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 11 years ago | (#4269782)

I started making system purchasing decisions for other reasons around the 800 MHz point. My main issues now are size and silence. I could not care less that I could double my SETI@Home work units. The thing that allowed me to do that would still be noisy and clunky. Give me small and quiet any day.
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