Technology has a way of advancing while reducing the cost of consumption over time.
Typically, this also brings down high-end technology rather quickly, and for less and better than what you could have bought a year or two before. There has been much debate about CPU prices recently, even though today you can get a pretty kick-ass processor for far less than just a few short years ago.
Today's QOTD is quick and simple:
Do you think CPUs are overpriced? Either way, why?
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Try to buy what is equivalent to a Core i7 920 10 years ago and see how many tens of thousands of dollars you would have to spend.
And of course, overclocking adds ALOT of value to a CPU, I can run mine at 4 GHz (50% overclock) and still be under the Intel specified voltage (we wont discuss temperatures right now ;))
Of course, top model CPU's are overpriced, but I wouldn't advise anybody who doesn't absolutely need the performance to buy one. And even then I would tell them: do you need Core i7 performance ? Ok, but the entry level model at 2.66 Ghz. See if that satisfies your needs. Need more ? Overclock it to 2.8, 3.0 or even 3.2. Most should be able to handle that efortlessly.
Buying a top model CPU makes no economic sense otherwise. You gain too little by spending too much.
If you're a home user you can get a very decent processor for gaming and otehr applications like a E8400, E8500, or a triple core Phenom at very competitive prices.
If you need a Quad Core you can also get it cheaply. Starting with the Q6600, quad cores are becoming increasinsgly mainstream, and the Phenom II has a very competitive price.
If you don't game much, and just need a general purpose PC, why not go for a Pentium E5300. powerful enough for games, and most applications, paired with a decent GPU, and you can overclock. And then you have lots of other models from AMD and Intel at various price points.
Nowadays the CPU market is like the Cellphone market: there's one for every need and every wallet.
Prices are fine, wattages are bit high.
Extreme+Top editions overpriced.
i7 920 cpu price ok, good performance, BUT motherboard+DDR3 overpriced.
Q9550+Q9650 good performance but overpriced after i7 in market.
Q6600+Q6700 overpriced now in comparison with 45nm CPUs.
Low-end ok, Pentium Dual Core E5x00 excelent prices.
AMD CPUs ok for now. AMD should have a CPU with performance similar to i7...
However, maintaining those high prices on older and inferior processors (like the Core 2s) seems to be inexcusable. I can buy a faster and newer Phenom II for the same price or cheaper as a Core 2 Quad. I can buy an Athlon for cheaper than a Celeron or Pentium.
Also, Extreme and FX-edition processors are ridiculous ($1k for a couple hundred MHz?). However, those processors in general are aimed at the enthusiast market, and as long as they stay that way, we can just ignore them. Both Intel and AMD were guilty of this, though AMD learned their lesson when their processors couldn't compete.