[kwlug-disc] OT: New Intel desktop/laptop CPUs

Rashkae rashkae at tigershaunt.com
Sun Mar 7 14:10:57 EST 2010

Insurance Squared Inc. wrote:
> Does anyone running linux really need new hardware anymore?  It must be a real 
> niche app if you're running linux on the desktop and needing more speed than 
> hardware from 5+ years ago. Maybe I could see a memory upgrade to a meg or 
> two...but that's it. 
> I'm as keen on new hardware as the next geek.  But I bought a decent machine 
> about 5 years ago and I have 0 requirements in the office to upgrade my 
> hardware.  I did upgrade my memory - but not because it needed it, because I was 
> treating myself.  The upgrade from 512m to 3 gigs made absolutely no 
> difference.  My pentium 4 on a 533 FSB motherboard rocks everything I need in my 
> daily work.  And my office servers are from even longer ago than that.  I'm not 
> sure if Paul would even take my hand me down hardware :).
> I'd like to go out and buy a new $1000 machine, but if I did, I'm certain that 
> where I'd be is exactly where I am right now but lighter by a $1000.
> So what gives?   Why does someone running linux in a reasonably normal 
> environment need to upgrade his hardware at any point  between 2005 and 2015?

Decoding HD video on CPU (which most of us need, unless configuring the 
Nvidia decoding, whatever they call it again) requires Dual core, and 
probably benefits from 64-bit hardware.

Hard drive IO latency is always a big bottleneck, and the larger/faster 
drives you buy now would provide near twice as good performance as 
drives of 5 years ago, even if you still only use 6GB.

Video encoding, I can assure you, is much faster on quad core system.

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