How Fast Is Your PC? ~ Random Waves of Insight
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Saturday, October 13, 2007

How Fast Is Your PC?

I've got an old machine here, running with a mildly-upgraded processor at about 2 GHz. Every time something slow happens, I think, "Man, if only I had a processor that was 5-10 times faster!" Then I wonder why there aren't commercials pushing the new 10 GHz processors. Do you know why that is?

It seems like we've been at a standstill, developmentally wise. I've heard that there's only so much we can do with a certain amount of space, and that once our processors surpass a certain size threshold, the technology will no longer work. We're talking processors that get faster and faster as things get smaller and smaller, until things are so small that nothing works at all. Are we at that point now? Is that why I've only been hearing about the Intel Core 2 Duo for the last year?

Whatever happened to Moore's Law, which says that between every 12 and 18 months, processors should roughly double in speed? I remember before I upgraded the last time, my computer was getting pretty slow. The new "big" software and "complex" web pages were definitely putting some strain on my PC's resources. So I went out and got a new computer. Faster, more powerful, and so much more so that all the old "difficulties" were nothing for it. It's like that story where an ordinary person is bullied in their home town, then goes off and has some adventure, to return a different, stronger version of who they once were. A new version that doesn't take crap from anybody.

Right now it feels like my PC is taking "crap" from a few different areas that seem to hint at an upgrade, but not insist like before. I once had a theory that the hardware industry pushes the software industry to demand the latest hardware through the use of their programs. The truth is probably just that once you've got all these exciting new resources, you might as well make use of them. Still, I'm wondering why it doesn't seem necessary to upgrade. It doesn't even seem worth it. I want an upgrade that will make a difference, and last a few years. Not just a couple of GHz that will get me by for a few months. I want Terahertz!

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