– Computer Specs
Today we are going with an age-old pet topic of mine regarding computer specs and hence computer performance. Over the years we have seen many changes in computer hardware come and go. We have seen CD Rom’s, DVD Rom’s and more recently Blue Ray disks come and largely go again. We have also seen many Windows versions; Microsoft Office versions and virus-scanner versions also come and go.
The overriding trend here is an increase in software complexity and hardware power over time. Modern software has become way more complex than it was 10 or 20 years ago, and hardware has had to keep pace. We often have a customer telling us that their computer should still be fine as it has spent 8 of the last 10 years sitting in a cupboard. This statement could not be further from the truth.
The brain of a computer is the CPU or central processing unit which is an electronic device that has a set speed. Unlike us, the CPU does not wear out or get tired. All CPU’s have a power rating found at www.cpubenchmark.net which will enable us to compare models. Generally a good CPU from 10 years ago had a power rating of around 1,500 whereas today a good average CPU has a power rating or around 10,000. As you can see an average modern PC is around 7 times more powerful than an average PC from 10 years ago.
The above would not matter so much if all else stayed the same as far a software complexity is concerned – but nothing stands still in IT. The fact is – modern software applications need the power of a modern PC to run then efficiently. Taken to the extreme, the very best CPU from 20 years ago would not come close to being able to run Windows 10 – let alone any modern software applications on top of this.
That computer that you left in the cupboard for several years, did not become slower or wear out – it just became obsolete! Besides CPU power the other 2 main computer specifications are Ram amounts and Hard drive sizes. With constant transitions to more complex software, so too have file sizes grown. A good quality digital photo has grown from 200kb 15 years ago to around 8,000kb (8Mb) today.
If you have a computer connected to the Internet then you cannot reasonably expect the software on it to remain the same year after year. Software upgrades to more complexity will see the computer ‘appear’ to run slower year after year. The next fly in the ointment is the specs that are advertised on new computers!
Again we see slogans like “run rich multimedia applications” and “plenty of power for todays challenges” splatted on advertisements for many new “in store” computers that simply don’t have enough power to get out of their own way! Yes – we can find brand new PC’s advertised right now that have similar CPU specs (power ratings of around 1,500) that computers had 10 years ago!
Next week we will talk some more on this subject in the attempt to help reduce the multitude of people that quite literally throw their money away replacing an aging PC with a new one that is sometimes less powerful !
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is still contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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