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View Full Version : Specification Obsession: Is a Souped-up Computer Worth It?


MacBytes
Sep 1, 2006, 06:21 PM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Specification Obsession: Is a Souped-up Computer Worth It? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060901192105)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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wmmk
Sep 1, 2006, 09:24 PM
seemed a bit indescisive to me. still, it's true that .25Ghz really doesn't change the computing experience. i just wish there was a BTO superdrive option on the 1.83Ghz MB!

TheMacFixr
Sep 2, 2006, 03:41 PM
If you're a pro user, and do things like video editing and dvd creation, the fastest machine out IS the best choice. Sure I could spend half the money and get a slow machine, and then I spend hours waiting on it to compress my video, or I could spend the cash and get the fastest machine available, and rip through my projects in lightning speed.

If this story drove home the point that for every day tasks for the average computer user, the fastest machine is a waste of money...but to generalize it so much makes it a joke.

mjstew33
Sep 2, 2006, 05:49 PM
If you're a pro user, and do things like video editing and dvd creation, the fastest machine out IS the best choice. Sure I could spend half the money and get a slow machine, and then I spend hours waiting on it to compress my video, or I could spend the cash and get the fastest machine available, and rip through my projects in lightning speed.

If this story drove home the point that for every day tasks for the average computer user, the fastest machine is a waste of money...but to generalize it so much makes it a joke.
But, really, will .25GHz do that much? No.

shamino
Sep 5, 2006, 05:32 PM
But, really, will .25GHz do that much? No.
The author cherry-picked a point in time where there wasn't much difference between the high-end and low-end laptops. It usually isn't that close.

Look at today's laptops. A base model MacBook (1.8GHz Core Duo, 512M RAM, 13" display, 60G hard drive, Combo Drive) costs $1100. A stock 17" MBP (2.16GHz Core Duo, 1G RAM, 17" display, 120G hard drive, SuperDrive) costs $2800.

Sure, we're talking about a $1700 price difference, but you're getting much more of a computer. A CPU that's 20% faster, double the memory, double the hard drive, DVD burning, a faster GPU, and a much larger screen.

Sure, if you don't plan on doing anything more than checking your e-mail from hotel rooms, then these improvements don't mean anything. Heck, if that's all you plan on doing, you can probably get away with an ancient 68040-based Mac!

But most of us do more than that with our computers. And a lot of Mac users actually use the software it comes with (like iLife). All you have to do is work on one set of family vacation videos with iMovie/iDVD to realize that all those extra features are important. I don't know about you, but reducing DVD-encoding times by 20% (from the faster processor) is not something I would casually ignore as worthless.

Blackheart
Sep 5, 2006, 05:39 PM
So... for 30% more cost, you get:

33% more hard drive
100% more RAM
25% more CPU

What's the problem?

Allotriophagy
Sep 5, 2006, 05:45 PM
You do know that 0.25GHz is 250MHz? Does that make it seem more desirable?

That is 25% of my current laptop's speed...

amin
Sep 5, 2006, 07:03 PM
I've never been very much driven by specs. I bought the 867MHz 12"Powerbook right before 1GHz was introduced and bought a 1.5 GHz 15" PB when 1.67GHz was out and Intel was around the corner. Somehow though, ever since my job bought me a Mac Pro, I have become a spec whore. I am thinking of installing a pair of Raptors in RAID 0, and I don't even know why :confused: :o :rolleyes: .