J. Peterson's Writing About Electronics, Reviews, 3D Modeling, etc.

Tag Archives: Upgrade

After Ten Years, a New Computer

Four decades of personal computer purchases

Forty years ago, Moore’s Law was on a tear when it came to personal computing. Every year or two, CPU clock speeds doubled, RAM prices fell by half, and the compute power your OS and applications expected increased accordingly. You really had to buy a new machine every 2-3 years, or else your computer was hopelessly slow and out of date.

This slowed down by the late 2000s. The CPU chips had made the jump from 32 to 64 bits wide, and the clock speeds the processing chips ran at leveled off at around 3 – 4GHz or so. You could comfortably use the same computer for several years before replacing it. This is why the PC sales rate is a fraction of what it was 20 years ago.

My approach for buying my previous two computers was to get a top-end Macintosh and run Windows on it (I’ll explain the OS choice later). The fit, finish and performance of Apple hardware was excellent, and the selection process was very straightforward. When he returned to Apple, Steve Jobs paired the Mac product line down to simple groupings of computers making it easy to choose the right one. The rate of obsolescence had slowed down to almost a decade between replacements (though I may procrastinate on this longer than most). Read on for some history and how I selected a new machine…

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