October 26, 2009

Computer prices vs. Computer power

I just finished buying components for a new PC for my wife, and I surprise myself every time with how cheap computers are. For only about $500 I was able to build a quad core computer with 8 GB of memory and a GeForce 9500 with 512 MB of memory and a 500 GB hard drive. I think the first computer that I bought was a 486 DX2 with a 66 MHz processor and I don't even remember how much memory or disk space.

It seems like most people don't even have the need for expensive computers anymore. Most mainstream computers can handle almost anything you can throw at them. There will always be specific tasks that can take advantage of high end computers and workstations, but most people don't need these. From basic tasks like word processing and browsing the Internet, to high end computer games: most computers will handle the job just fine.

When I was younger I always used to dream about high-end super powerful computers. I'd go to a computer website like Dell and spec out the coolest most expensive computer I could. Most of those computers I dreamed about are less powerful than the computer I just bought. I almost think that computers are plateauing: I don't see the same rush to make a faster processor or build a bigger hard drive. Mots of the basic computer technology is more than sufficient for the next few years at least. It just seem like we need processors faster than 3 GHz, or disk drive greater than 1 TB for home desktop computers. What we need now is applications and operating systems that can take advantage of the power they have available to make our lives and jobs easier. Hopefully someone will take the job.

No comments: