The holiday season is drawing near and traditionally has been one of the busiest times of the year in terms of new products being introduced. Iím afraid that this year is different; most of the products that launched are at best spit shined versions of older products. We have +$400 videocards that top the previous generations by a mere 5 to 10%, processors that are meant for a 64-bit version of Windows XP which is still under development as we speak, so where would you spend your money on?
Quite frankly, why would you go shop for a new PC, or parts, if thereís nothing really new out thatíd justify a purchase? Sure, ATi once again has the lead in the graphics accelerator market and for once AMD leads in processor performance with their impressive Athlon-64, but will that significantly increase your productivity, or rather will you really notice the difference in the applications you use? I doubt it, as for most enthusiasts, like us, increases in performance come in small increments, rather than with big leaps.
If I were to compare my current setup to that of last year it would probably be about 10 maybe 20% faster overall, something that goes unnoticed in most applications I normally use. So why upgrade? Or buy a whole new computer? Iíd only be so that I know it is faster, or that I can brag about my new Radeon 9800 XT instead of referring to my lowly GeForce4 Ti 4600. And really, how much computing power do you need for your everyday stuff? Most people only occasionally play games and use their computer mainly for accessing the internet, email, word-processing and maybe some audio/video processing. For that kind of stuff you donít need a +3GHz top-of-the-line PC with all bells and whistles attached, but frankly almost any PC will do, even the budget-priced ones.