The slump in PC sales seems to last throughout the summer, and quite frankly Iím not really surprised as the 20 till 40% increase in PC sales we saw last year was rather unique. But quite frankly, why would you go shop for a new PC if thereís nothing really new out thatíd justify a purchase? Sure, nVidia once again has the lead in the graphics accelerator market and Intelís Pentium 4 leads in clockspeed with an impressive 1.8GHz clockspeed, 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 computer? Iíd only be so that I know it is faster, or that I can brag about my new GeForce3 instead of referring to my lowly GeForce2 GTS. 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 +1GHz top-of-the-line PC with all bells and whistles attached, but frankly almost any PC will do, even the budget-priced ones.
Fig 1. My garden, work in progress, but I should be able to finish it in the next two weeks.
On a different note, weíll be updating and posting new articles less frequently in the next two weeks as weíll be enjoying some well deserved rest and relaxation. Summer has always been slow both with new products coming out and less trade shows etc. to attend to, but weíll be keeping you posted if something important happens. Iíll be completing my Koi fish pond and finish up the rest of my garden, and will most likely be doing a column at least two or three times a week, if thereís something interesting to talk about.