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Thread: The question of "Do people NEED this much computing power is ridiculous."

  1. #1
    Ultimate Member
    Join Date
    May 2000

    The question of "Do people NEED this much computing power is ridiculous."

    I've seen posts like this all the time. Someone casually says: "No one NEEDS this much computing power."

    This is fundamentally a ridiculous statement--and for several reasons.

    1) Companies and universities regularly invest in massive computing platforms so mind-blowingly powerful they make any desktop look utterly pathetic. These computers sell for hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, and are clearly bought because companies use their power.

    "Ok, says my theoretical naysayer--so SOME people need that much power--but most people don't."

    Again, a ridiculous statement for the following reason:

    2) The question of NEED is an entirely arbitrary one based on an exterior viewpoint. Life on this planet got along for 5 billion years or so without computers. Humans, fragile little things that we are, managed for at least forty or fifty thousand years without a C:\. Its entirely reasonable to say that in the long run humans don't NEED computers at all.

    The question of need is entirely relative to what the consumer intends to do with the power of the machine he has purchased. Frankly, if a person intends to do lots of MP3 ripping or watch DVD's on the machine without a high-end decoder, we recommend high end CPU power. If he's a gamer, we recommend high-end CPU power.

    There's one final bit to the puzzle:

    Given the constantly falling price of hardware, there's no REASON to use older technology. Even if we grant that an Office worker doesn't need a 1 Ghz+ CPU, try buying one a year from now. With current 1 Ghz chips going for $60-80, why on earth would anyone use something half the power selling for 90% the price?

    One final note: As much as certain people like to talk about not 'needing' the power of the machine they've purchased, a great many of the noted improvements introduced in Win2K and WinXP are only possible because of advances in technology. Plug and Play works now precisely because all of the equipment (or the vast majority of it) that is purchased on the market today is PnP compatible. The standard took a hammering when it was first unveiled because so much equipment did NOT support it--but times have changed and equipment improved.

    Did we NEED PnP equipment? No--but it sure as hell made life easier for those of us configuring PC's.

    Similarly, we may not NEED (in the grand scheme of the word) 2 Ghz CPU's--but I see no reason not to buy one.

    I'm ranting on this because I'm tired of it--anyone want to agree or disagree?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Columbus, OH
    The fact that I had to wait for this page to load for more than .1 sec proves that we need more computing power (bandwidth in this case, I guess you would say).

    Also, note that until my computer responds (i.e opens programs, processes tasks) just as quickly as I can wish them (and then maybe faster......? scarry.......) there is not enough computing power.

    Right on Dputiger!!

  3. #3
    Member flea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    There is no reason why we could not use p-100's with 16 megs, but im not a massocist, and i get very angry when i wait a year for mozilla to open, only for it to crash as soon as it encounters any html (last time this happened i went out and bought some ram to cheer me up )

    I dont have the latest hardware (k6-2/500), but i still upgrade occasionaly when i can afford it. I dont mind using lame hardware, but there's no point if you can afford to upgrade.

  4. #4
    Member cadetstimpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Oceanside CA
    You can never have enough power when it comes to Graphics Design and Digital Anamation...Adobe Photoshop, Solidworks, 3DStudio MAX, etc. Just as a rendering engine the power becomes important. If there was never the group of people to buy the cutting edge then it may never become mainstream and thus cheaper for us.

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member
    Join Date
    Mar 1999
    This thread is pretty random!

    - Brandon

    Randomness: Where do you want to go today?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Beemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Frost Bitten Canadian Boy
    Give me speed! The faster my machine is, the faster I get a project finished. the sooner I get the project done, the sooner I can do other things.

    When I was on dial-up I would ftp graphics and pages to the file manager and it would take a long time. Now I'
    m on Cable Internet and I get my stuff up to the net a lot faster and get way more done.

    An old 486 with paging RAM and non Pentium would take for ever to open Outlook Express just to send a simple little E-mail. It would take up to 5 minutes to complete the task, turn off the Internet connection, shut down the comptuter! Now I can do the same thing in a hurry to get off to work in a matter of seconds.

    I like the speed of things now and I can't wait until they get faster....Real Time Please!


  7. #7
    Senior Member club_med's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    I agree with you dputiger

    Some people seem to forget that by having a constant demand for 'faster, better, more powerful' machines we are in end effect pushing development and evolution of this industry.

    More powerful machinery = faster advancement/improvement/development.

    In fact I would think yes, we do NEED faster and more powerful machines all the time, in order to push our limits.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Yeah, it's all relative. It all comes down to "if I don't need it, then you don't need it" mentality.

    I remember when the Original (un-optimized) Unreal came out. I had a P200MMX overclocked to 233mhz with a 12mb V2. Performance was no where near what I wanted and I was ranting how the recommended system requirements on the box was total BS. There were still some nimrods who would respond saying the game ran "silky smooth" for them on their P166 and Voodoo1 and there was no justification to buy a new PentiumII based system. Yeah right.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Castro Valley, CA, USA
    "640KB should be enough for anybody" - Bill Gates

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