Have we reached that point?

do you guys think we have reached the point where computers are becoming more powerful than the software requirements? get this: my 450 mghz was ALWAYS slow with XP. it NEVER sped up no matter what - added ram, new gpu, faster HD, nothing. it was TOTALLY bottlenecked by my crappy CPU. with this rig, it eats XP alive. im thinking the hardware development has finally reached a point where you can keep the same computer for longer to do basic functions quickly. now yes, games and certain apps will run smoother if you keep your rig updated with the latest and greatest, but i have full confidence this computer can last me all the way through windows 7 and maybe a little more - especially if i overclock the CPU more and add some more ram. thoughts?
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More about have reached point
  1. A quad core yes but (dual core maybe)
  2. I think you summed it up well. For e-mail/web browsing/general use, yea, a PC is good for 10+ years. If you want to game, 2-3 years is really the best you can hope for.
  3. Right now I'm running an AMD Athalon 64x2 6000. I'm not a hardcore gamer into serious overclocking so I am having a very difficult time trying to justify an upgrade to a quad core. I may be wrong but I don't think I do anything that would make full use of a quad.
  4. Not really, software always lags behind hardware. And the geek in me wants to hope that we never reach a point where we have "enough."
  5. I think we are at that point, but as for my gaming rigs, I sure hope they last more then 2-3 years... They better still be tearing up software up in 3 years! I do not think software is anywhere near being able to kill a high end quad core yet.
  6. werxen said:
    do you guys think we have reached the point where computers are becoming more powerful than the software requirements? get this: my 450 mghz was ALWAYS slow with XP. it NEVER sped up no matter what - added ram, new gpu, faster HD, nothing. it was TOTALLY bottlenecked by my crappy CPU. with this rig, it eats XP alive. im thinking the hardware development has finally reached a point where you can keep the same computer for longer to do basic functions quickly. now yes, games and certain apps will run smoother if you keep your rig updated with the latest and greatest, but i have full confidence this computer can last me all the way through windows 7 and maybe a little more - especially if i overclock the CPU more and add some more ram. thoughts?


    Wait... define basic functions... wasn't that kinda like word processing and surfing the web? I thinkz we had that since '94
  7. The Amiga OS (nope, its not dead :D) is 1MB in size. Its not the hardwares fault that software has become so bloated.
  8. Well, not unless you want to play Grand Theft Auto IV
  9. gamerk316 said:
    The Amiga OS (nope, its not dead :D) is 1MB in size. Its not the hardwares fault that software has become so bloated.


    DING DING, we have a winner. Software is no longer written efficiently. It's also taking a while for software to go multi-threaded.
  10. Hardware has always been years ahead of software, and always will be.


    medjohnson77 said:
    I think we are at that point, but as for my gaming rigs, I sure hope they last more then 2-3 years... They better still be tearing up software up in 3 years! I do not think software is anywhere near being able to kill a high end quad core yet.


    If you buy smart at the time a decent gaming PC should last 3+ years. In 2006 I bought an AMD 939 system (2.4, 2gb ram, 7800GTX) and only at the beginning of this year I felt the need to upgrade. Even then I didnt "need" to, I could still play most games at decent rates.
  11. TechnologyCoordinator said:
    DING DING, we have a winner. Software is no longer written efficiently. It's also taking a while for software to go multi-threaded.


    Depends on what functionality you want in your OS. For example, I used to have a CP/M machine (Osborne 1) where you had to run an external program to copy files from one 160K floppy to another. Forget what it was named, but not particularly intuitive.

    On the plus side, a bootable floppy had only 3K consumed by the OS :).

    On the minus side, you had to keep a system disk with all those external programs handy, and switching disks in and out rapidly became a royal PITA :(

    MSDOS seemed like a godsend in comparison, and it would boot into just 128K of memory IIRC, although 256K was the norm.

    I plan on getting a 6-core Gulftown next year so I can play Solitaire really, really fast :)
  12. The great thing about old hardware is that if coupled with old software, they run very fast and efficient. The unfortunate problem with this is 1.) everyone else is running newer software and operating systems, rendering you incompatible, and 2.) the internet unfortunately does not have a "56k" version. Flash and Java have effectively killed the ability of old hardware to navigate the internet. Anymore for complete enjoyment of everything the internet has to offer, a Pentium 4 2.4GHz or Althlon XP/Sempron of equivalent rating is really required, along with a high speed internet connection. That makes for a minimum hardware requirement of a mid-range 2003 computer in order to be fully internet compatible. 5+ years isn't bad life span out of a computer, and from what I can tell, I don't see anything on the horizon that will raise that bar anytime soon, as the internet seems to have maxed itself out on what it can do in terms of streaming content with the current network in place.

    I do wish there was an "internet Lite" version of the internet though, with smaller, lower res images and predominately text based websites devoid of flash and java.
  13. amdfangirl said:
    Wait... define basic functions... wasn't that kinda like word processing and surfing the web? I thinkz we had that since '94


    We had those programs then, but they were pretty basic and were still being actively developed and improved in tangible ways to about 2000 or so. After then, the products have become more or less mature and we've seen very few new real features and a LOT of bloated "bling," particularly out of Microsoft.

    There are three things that people do today that weren't really able to be done in 1994- audio, video, and 3D gaming.

    - Computer audio was in its infancy in 1994 and the 486s and P5 "FDIV bug" Pentiums out at the time are painfully slow at encoding audio and hard drives were too little to store much in the way of music that you were able to encode. It really took until we had CPUs in the few hundred MHz range and HDDs in the double-digit GB range to handle audio easily, which happened in the late 90s.

    - Computers could really only play back standard-def MPEG-2 video without hardware assistance (the old Hollywood DVD decoder cards, anyone?) when the CPUs got close to the 1 GHz range. It took until we had 3+ GHz P4s or 2 GHz+ A64s to play back MPEG-2 HD video and until very recently with ~3 GHz Core 2s and K10s to play back H.264 or other CPU-intensive HDTV video.

    - 3D gaming is still developing and obsoletes even the top-end computers today in a couple of years.
  14. joefriday said:
    The great thing about old hardware is that if coupled with old software, they run very fast and efficient. The unfortunate problem with this is 1.) everyone else is running newer software and operating systems, rendering you incompatible


    It's really only Microsoft OSes that get hugely more bloated with each release. You can run a thoroughly modern and up-to-date Linux or BSD UNIX on old hardware and it will run at _roughly_ the same speed as the hardware's original Microsoft OS. I pulled an old Celeron 900 with 256 MB RAM out of a trash pile and it had Windows 98SE on it. I poked around with that OS and then overwrote it with Debian Linux 5.0 and it felt just about as fast, despite being a decade newer.

    Quote:
    and 2.) the internet unfortunately does not have a "56k" version. I do wish there was an "internet Lite" version of the internet though, with smaller, lower res images and predominately text based websites devoid of flash and java.


    You can do little things like install Firefox with AdBlock Pro and Flashblock to block all of the third-party ads and Flash banners, which speeds up the Net pretty considerably without affecting usability any. This doesn't get around the fact that some websites use a lot of Flash for the actual content. I suppose you can just not install Flash or use a text browser like Lynx to get really fast HTML-only pages. But yeah, the whole "Web 2.0" crap sucks.
  15. I don't know. My Core i7, 6GB RAM, Raptor HD, Vista 64 really isn't that snappy at all. With Photoshop and a handful of other programs it just doesn't feel that fast. I expect moving around Photoshop copy/pasting etc should be instantaneous....but it's not, I still feel small amounts of lag very often. Maybe it's Vista or something else, I don't know. Until zero lag happens I'll still be rooting for better and faster computers! I'm waiting for Windows 7, that's for sure - I suspect Vista, my old P4 XP system frankly feels as fast, if not faster.
  16. Win 7 is fast , as fast as XP or faster .On my laptop with 6gb of RAM and the x-9000 CPU it is super fast,CAD google earth , photoshop and video encoding go quickly , takes longer to burn a dvd than to encode it most of the time . Can't wait for a quad in my laptop .
  17. That point will always be a temporary point for some users. Software will continue to push the hardware. For home use, browsing the internet, running MS Office, any contemporary processor reasonably close to 2 GHz will probably do for awhile, but other types of software will continue to suck in the CPU power.

    Seven years ago I had AMD machines at home and at work. Running AutoCAD the AMD machine was like a rocket. But now we have gone from Win98 to WinXP, from AutoCAD2000 to Autocad2009, plus third party add-ins, and gone to a newer generation of AMD processor, and those machines are so severely underpowered that it is very frustrating to try to use them. We can go to overclocked dual core and quad core processors that will be about 4 times as powerful, and get ahead of the software requirements temporarily. But if we go to Vista or W7, and now we are going from AutoCAD to Revit, so in a few years even the fastest i7 will still be a dog. (We put more demands on the CPU than Crysis ever will.)

    For gaming the upper level of contemporary processors seem to do OK, paired with appropriate GPU's, but games will grow in requirements as well. I remember when we used to play Descent at work, on 486DX-40 processors. Modern games have not increased the range of movements beyond Descent, but they have increased the detail of the graphics by a lot, and the CPU requirements as well. It is easily possible to build machines with dual core and quad core processors in the near-4 GHz range for gaming, probably 200-500 times the power of the 486DX-40 in a single core, and still struggle to play the game as fast as the 486 would play Descent with its low-res graphics of the day.
  18. long live overclocking :)
  19. joefriday said:
    The great thing about old hardware is that if coupled with old software, they run very fast and efficient. The unfortunate problem with this is 1.) everyone else is running newer software and operating systems, rendering you incompatible, and 2.) the internet unfortunately does not have a "56k" version. Flash and Java have effectively killed the ability of old hardware to navigate the internet. Anymore for complete enjoyment of everything the internet has to offer, a Pentium 4 2.4GHz or Althlon XP/Sempron of equivalent rating is really required, along with a high speed internet connection. That makes for a minimum hardware requirement of a mid-range 2003 computer in order to be fully internet compatible. 5+ years isn't bad life span out of a computer, and from what I can tell, I don't see anything on the horizon that will raise that bar anytime soon, as the internet seems to have maxed itself out on what it can do in terms of streaming content with the current network in place.

    I do wish there was an "internet Lite" version of the internet though, with smaller, lower res images and predominately text based websites devoid of flash and java.


    Now that we are moving to 20GB bandwith caps, that will take care of itself in short order. I fully expect bandwith caps to shrink the internet by 20% or more, and with a lot less bandwith consuming sites.

    And for the record, embedded systems have had multithreading support for multiple CPU's for ages; the system I work with, all I have to do is one command in software for 85%+ scaling.

    We have reached a point though, where diminishing returns will cause us to hit a brick wall with what we can do grapically (which I personally hope will force companies to improve game physics in the meantime).
  20. gamerk316 said:
    The Amiga OS (nope, its not dead :D) is 1MB in size. Its not the hardwares fault that software has become so bloated.

    id still be useing it if my old Amiga still worked :)

    We should see the current quad core cpu(s) live a very long life, as games make use of all 4 cores to optimize game logic, physic etc. At the moment dual core is fine.

    You should see a usable gaming life of 5 years from any cpu as long as its paired with a decent gfx card.

    I have an X2 6000+ @ 3.358Ghz and a manualy overclocked Zotac 9800GTX. I play Crysis with all the settings maxed, it plays great. I have been looking for a reason to 'upgrade', but I just dont see the point yet.
  21. MU_Engineer said:
    We had those programs then, but they were pretty basic and were still being actively developed and improved in tangible ways to about 2000 or so. After then, the products have become more or less mature and we've seen very few new real features and a LOT of bloated "bling," particularly out of Microsoft.

    There are three things that people do today that weren't really able to be done in 1994- audio, video, and 3D gaming.

    - Computer audio was in its infancy in 1994 and the 486s and P5 "FDIV bug" Pentiums out at the time are painfully slow at encoding audio and hard drives were too little to store much in the way of music that you were able to encode. It really took until we had CPUs in the few hundred MHz range and HDDs in the double-digit GB range to handle audio easily, which happened in the late 90s.

    - Computers could really only play back standard-def MPEG-2 video without hardware assistance (the old Hollywood DVD decoder cards, anyone?) when the CPUs got close to the 1 GHz range. It took until we had 3+ GHz P4s or 2 GHz+ A64s to play back MPEG-2 HD video and until very recently with ~3 GHz Core 2s and K10s to play back H.264 or other CPU-intensive HDTV video.

    - 3D gaming is still developing and obsoletes even the top-end computers today in a couple of years.


    Well the guy did say "basic" functions. My computer now gets done what I need done (homework, assignments, forum surfing, DVD and video playback, painting and listening to music). Unless that changes I doubt I will upgrade... 1Ghz Athlon X2 is enough for me... nice and snappy.
  22. nice athlon x2 @ 1 gigh. excuse me while i go barf. just kidding :P
  23. 0.8v vcore.
  24. amdfangirl said:
    1Ghz Athlon X2 is enough for me... nice and snappy.

    Bah...overkill! Sempron LE-1100 at 850MHz/0.8volt ftw. It runs my Media Center PC (although it will clock up if it CPU load is >80%)

    However, I do have my Celeron 420 in my daily rig cranked up to 2.66GHz with stock 1.3volt...only because the difference in idle power consumption between overclocked with C1E enabled and 1.6GHz/1.0volt was 2 MEASLY WATTS! I thought I might as well get some performance out of the deal.
  25. But, that's not what I do. Using painter X requires at least 1Ghz dual-core or a faster otherwise there will be lagg of 5 seconds after I put pen to tablet.
  26. p05esto said:
    I don't know. My Core i7, 6GB RAM, Raptor HD, Vista 64 really isn't that snappy at all.


    I dont know why your PC is running slow. I have the same spec (inc raptor) and my system is blazing fast, no lag at all.
  27. It is all about I/O ... but I am sick of explaining it to people.

    Nobody listens.

    /goes back to listening to the matresses flooping ...
  28. gamerk316 said:
    Now that we are moving to 20GB bandwith caps, that will take care of itself in short order. I fully expect bandwith caps to shrink the internet by 20% or more, and with a lot less bandwith consuming sites.


    20 GB per month is about 650 MB per day or 7.8 KB/sec 24/7. The Flash, Javascript, and ad-heavy "Web 2.0" stuff won't come close to that figure. Neither will e-mail or the amount of HTTP/FTP file downloading most people do. Streaming music won't either, unless you stream 128 kbps music for more than 12 hours a day. What will go over those limits in a hurry is watching a lot of online video, videoconferencing, and peer-to-peer applications. The cable ISPs *hate* online video and want to quash that, while the DSL ISPs *hate* any sort of online voice/video communication and want to quash that. Both hate P2P due to the fact that they'd have to upgrade their networks to really deal with it and they don't really like being bothered by the MAFIAA lawyers.

    Quote:
    And for the record, embedded systems have had multithreading support for multiple CPU's for ages; the system I work with, all I have to do is one command in software for 85%+ scaling.


    Basically any OS except for Windows and MacOS has supported SMP for quite some time.

    We have reached a point though, where diminishing returns will cause us to hit a brick wall with what we can do grapically (which I personally hope will force companies to improve game physics in the meantime).

    Reynod said:


    /goes back to listening to the matresses flooping ...


    I don't even want to know :o

    joefriday said:
    Bah...overkill! Sempron LE-1100 at 850MHz/0.8volt ftw. It runs my Media Center PC (although it will clock up if it CPU load is >80%)


    Bah, that's all overkill. My laptop has a C2D T7250 running at 600 MHz (100x6) at idle, down from the stock 800 MHz (8x100.) All SpeedStep-aware P6-class mobile chips I've encountered have a lower multiplier of 6x and the GM45 chipset drops the FSB down to 100 MHz yet for some reason the default idle on this chip is 8x100 rather than 6x100. I simply adjusted the EIST settings to correct this. However, Intel has locked the idle Vcore (Vcc_SLFM) at 0.850 volts, so I can't undervolt it any :fou:
  29. Vista is not a hog at all.

    Any CPU with 2 threads (HyperThreading or Dual core) with 2GB of RAM is enough for Vista.

    You need to have a CPU like that for Vista, because it uses a different process (different thread) for Sound and Graphics mixing. (dwm.exe for graphics, audiodg.exe for audio).

    In XP those processes were part of the kernel, and they couldn't split to other cores.

    Any single core CPU will run slow with Vista but on other CPUs Vista is going to be more responsive than XP.

    Vista needs more RAM because it uses a compositing manager (all textures are stored) and has HQ artwork (XP uses .ico files that were 32x32 or something).


    I have connected my Intel Atom (HyperThreading) netbook with a 22' Monitor running Vista, and for normal desktop usage I see no noticable difference to my desktop Quad Core PC. The only thing that can slow things is the hard disk, as notebook ones have slow response times.
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