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Misinterpreting The Enthusiast

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Mankz 3rd March 2008, 09:28 Quote
Very good read.

I think you've voiced what I've been thinking. ;)
mrb_no1 3rd March 2008, 09:56 Quote
Richard S;
"Up to 10x more efficient!" Than what? Google's data centre? It's an ambiguity cheesecake.

lol, great example but its the kind of advertising used everywhere and i for one, find it so frustrating. Why not just give some useful information to the consumer, who knows it might be more effective.

nice article Rich, good read.

peace
metarinka 3rd March 2008, 10:00 Quote
actually I'm kinda happy for the death of the homebrew scene, only because I'm lazy. The exact same thing panned out a few years back for the watercooling community ( I started Wcing in 02 when it was extremely new) everyday a different competitor came out with a new waterblock using a different configuration and everyday the performance would creep up. you could spend hours trying to figure out which garden pump would work the best and which heater core or oil cooler would work the best. Eventually it became mainstream enough that company engineers worked out all the kinks and now really there's more or less a practical perforamnce ceiling that can't be topped and the best waterblock designs are all said and done and there's purpose built pumps and radiators. It was a big difference procooling .com more or less died as there was no real exciting news on the water cooling front and now manufacturers are offering decent prebuilt systems. of course all this is moot as processors got a little cooler from the pentium 4 days and heat sink designers got smart and now you can buy a $50 chunk of aluminum and copper that's just as quiet and works just as well as $200 worth of water, hose and pumps will do. In fact I'm using a stock cooler on cooler on my 7950 and the Stock AMD heatsink and I was surprised at how quiet and relatively cool they run with a slight OC. In the cost of buying a $200 cooling loop or $100 heatsink I could have just as easily bought the next higher up model cpu or GPU.

at any rate the reason I'm glad is because it actually makes perforamnce more accessable. sure there was a lot of fun to be had in figuring out whicher celeron or k7 had the timings and such that would allow you to O/C. there was also a sense in beating the system when a $100-200 part beat a chip several times as fast. But frankly now it's much simpler and you don't have to dig for the one obscure part that will fit the bill. Really I think it's the industry as a whole working out the quirks, nothing is new anymore it's all pretty established and now performance is mostly about small upgrades instead of revolutionary changes.

on the other hand I'm a little annoyed about the barage of "enthusiast" features. In all honesty things like OC don't need fancy dedicated software, I go into the bios, the 1st time I setup the computer, put my 10-20% OC on it, nothing fancy, nothing requiring hours of research and perfect timings and voltage. I set it once and forget it and never change it unless the bios gets reset. That's it I'm done. I think most of these features goto waste, or are used once for 10 minutes and never touched again, I'm also sick of the huge price hikes in motherboards because of all these new "features"

I honestly feel bad for soundcard manufacuters I used my soundblaster audigy pro-gamer (which I bought in 200) for 6 years until I switched to x64 and couldn't find drivers. I'm guessing a top of the line audigy with a breakout box might add one or two more features but honestly the sound would be hard to distinquish. I hate the ac '97 codec and I've never heard an onboard solution that sounds as good as a seperate card, but long gone are the days when an outboard card was your only solution and I have a feeling most gamers skip the soundcard altogether nowadays. Even the most hardcore gamer really only requires the soundcard to make noise and provide 5.1 everything else is lost on the average consumer I'm guessing, does any gamer care whether or not their sound is processed in true 24bit sound quality or the flatness of sound response? I got into the hobby of music production and what is ironic is that even the highest quality soundblaster is considered absolutely terrible and unusable for audio production, but that's a whole other story. long gone are the days you needed a soundblaster just to play doom with 32 voices at 16bit instead of 4 at 8bit

this is a long rambling post I'm not even sure if I disagree with you, but i'm not exactly crying. the mainstreaming of performance niches means bigger exposure which means you don't have to have a PHD in computer science to achieve the most out of your hardware. Anyone can drop the money now and not have to tweak for hours. It's boring but it works. I will agree that going to to far extreme with dual quadcores and 4x sli, 2KW PSU's. it is not practical and R&D money are best spent elsewhere but it's much like luxury cars. No one needs a bugatti veyron or porsche or whatever but as they say what wins on sunday sells on monday.
Ruggo 3rd March 2008, 10:00 Quote
Richard,
You sir are a wordsmith. Your article echoes my thoughts exactly on the current state of affairs in respect of not only PC's but the IT section as a whole. Although I applaud the manufacturers for making a lot of things 'easier', there just doesn't seem to be any fun/uniqueness any more. Your mention of the 2B pencil made me chuckle and made me reminisce of the days when I had to search bulliten boards to work out how many cylinders and what block sizes I needed to select for my new hard drive and the juggling of IRQ's to get a PC to work. Good times, good times.
UncertainGod 3rd March 2008, 10:26 Quote
Superb Article, very well done.
Flibblebot 3rd March 2008, 10:29 Quote
Excellent article. I can tell you guys have been thinking about things in the New Year release lull :D

I think the whole thing with the enthusiast community in days gone by was the ethos of tweaking your system to get the most out of it that you could. Obviously, in the early days, it was all about getting your system working :)

Learning about the pencil trick to unlock processors, learning which jumper did what and what was the best setting to get the most out of your system: that was what the enthusiast market was all about.

I think the problem is that we've reached a plateau in terms of how much processing power we actually need - yes, processors are getting faster, but we don't actually have many applications (specialist applications and cutting-edge games like Crysis excepted) that need that much power.

It's long been said that more than 90% of Word users use less than 10% of the functionality of Word. I think we've reached that stage with modern systems. Too much power and not enough to use it on.
PhenomRed 3rd March 2008, 10:55 Quote
the picture on the front page deceived me, but great article anyway. i'm happy with my 2-year-old video card, it runs all the games i want, even though crysis only goes on medium. the manufacturers seem to forget that most people with money have jobs to get that money, so they don't have time to play games, hence they don't need the top-of-the-line products
hawky84 3rd March 2008, 10:59 Quote
very nice, as I have always said buy old, overclock and spend some damn money on the actual game!
CardJoe 3rd March 2008, 11:21 Quote
I do all my modern gaming at work with the best hardware, so at home I enjoy playing the really old games and classics which I mouth off about at every chance. A 7900 is more than enough to cope with what I play at home and, as long as it can handle Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, then I'm happy.
Veles 3rd March 2008, 11:35 Quote
Great article Bindi, really well written. You also forgot to menton heatsinks too. I think that HS is probably the best example of what's wrong with the hardware industry. They're just catering to FPS gamers who are pretending to be enthusiasts by spending lots of money on the mega GT TDi components.

I've never really been much of an enthusiast, I have an interest but I never really got into all the numbers behind hardware, if I was stinking rich I probably would buy the stupidly good kit, but at the same time, I'd want stupidly good kit that actually has good drivers and works with games. I'm already guilty of this really, when I built my PC I probably spent about £200 more than I needed to, my 7800GTX is the overly l33t edition, my mobo and PSU was a "just in case I want to expand with SLI later on when it starts to chug", but at the same time, I've also got cheap and cheerful RAM, a mid range X2 (when I got it at least) and still use my onboard sound. If I could turn back the clock I would definitely have used a few better value parts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I do all my modern gaming at work with the best hardware, so at home I enjoy playing the really old games and classics which I mouth off about at every chance. A 7900 is more than enough to cope with what I play at home and, as long as it can handle Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, then I'm happy.

That's exactly what I find myself doing now, a lot of new games don't really do it for me, I find I'm playing more games like Fallout, Deus Ex and V: TM than I am Crysis and the like. If I get a new game it will usually be on the 360 because I don't have to bother with going through the hassle of bad drivers and all that crap. There are some exceptions though, Sins I am playing a lot, but that's not your typical "lets make amazing graphics then make the game", the graphics aren't too bad, they're not ground breaking but they're certainly not bad, and the game is really well made. Same with GalCivII.
[USRF]Obiwan 3rd March 2008, 12:51 Quote
hey, i still have the Soyo platinum mobo in my first price 2001 wc T2 themed mod, and guess what. It is still running at my work as a product showcase. ;)
fathazza 3rd March 2008, 13:52 Quote
....and my aopen tube mobo sounds great!
phuzz 3rd March 2008, 14:35 Quote
DDR2 is even cheaper now, I just picked up 4Gb of corsair for £63 this weekend :) (from scan)
I agree with Veles, for my last PC I decided to go for a DFI board so I could tweak it, in the end it was so flaky that for the last few years I've run it slightly slower than stock.
Now I'm going for a nice, mid-range Asus mobo that I reckon I can trust
Bluephoenix 3rd March 2008, 14:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
I think the problem is that we've reached a plateau in terms of how much processing power we actually need - yes, processors are getting faster, but we don't actually have many applications (specialist applications and cutting-edge games like Crysis excepted) that need that much power.

It's long been said that more than 90% of Word users use less than 10% of the functionality of Word. I think we've reached that stage with modern systems. Too much power and not enough to use it on.

I agree 100%

I am one of the few who actually have a reason to buy some of the top-range components, not because of e-peen injection, but because CAD analysis and modeling will tax a machine harder than even crysis. and when all my freinds go on about wanting something similar, I'm quick to point out how little good it would actually do them.

as I have said in threads past, the industry is poised for a split between its segments. Desktops will increase in power and specialization, diving into two segments: economical business machines, and high-powered workstations, with a third section being joined at the hip with media centers. the rest of the industry will likely focus on laptops, making them thinner and lighter, and more power efficient.

the end result is that the enthusiast community will continue to do what it does today in the desktop area, but I see a bright future for it in the laptop arena, tinkering to see what actually is possible in such a closed and oftentimes proprietary system (much like desktops until the enthusiasts got involved originally) maybe in 10 years we'll be shopping around for laptop parts like we do desktop parts?
sl1xx 3rd March 2008, 15:01 Quote
great article..just linking my friends upto it now;should give them something to think about.
D3s3rt_F0x 3rd March 2008, 15:05 Quote
"ambiguity cheesecake" makes this a good article as for me anyway it is truely something original.
wuyanxu 3rd March 2008, 15:34 Quote
superb read on this article.

i totally agree that the market is filled with useless marketing hype, that makes people buy need-less hardware that is way too powerful for what they need.

i mean, who on earth would need 2 graphics cards? apart from Crysis, there is NO game a single 8800GTX or 8800GTS G92 cannot max at a reasonable resolution (24inch or 26inch is the maximum reasonable res) those people buy 2 graphics cards are just the rich ones caught up by the marketing hype.

REAL enthusiastic should be those who can get the most out of their hardware, eg having the highest single card 3dmark score (me, for now )
Veles 3rd March 2008, 15:48 Quote
I didn't see a digg link so I made one http://digg.com/hardware/Misinterpreting_The_Enthusiast_The_state_of_PC_hardware

Feel free to make one with a better description
Firehed 3rd March 2008, 15:56 Quote
Ambiguity cheesecake? Are you guys that desperate for the cheesecake thing to catch on?

Nice article, anyways. Ah, the days of BH-5 and the P4 2.4c. Suffice to say, I've not bought the super-premium memory again since having spent $300 on a 1GB kit of CAS-2.5 PC4000, coughing up the extra fifty bucks to avoid the horribly slow *rolls eyes* CAS-3. It still pains me to think that I spent $80 on 4GB of much faster DDR2 a month or two ago.

I'm glad that the market has simplified itself somewhat, but so much of it still seems like a waste. What I - and many others, I expect - want in a motherboard is something stable, performs as it should, and has plenty of USB and SATA ports. That's it. Seriously. If it works and I can plug all my crap into it, I'm happy.
Bluephoenix 3rd March 2008, 16:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
superb read on this article.

i totally agree that the market is filled with useless marketing hype, that makes people buy need-less hardware that is way too powerful for what they need.

i mean, who on earth would need 2 graphics cards? apart from Crysis, there is NO game a single 8800GTX or 8800GTS G92 cannot max at a reasonable resolution (24inch or 26inch is the maximum reasonable res) those people buy 2 graphics cards are just the rich ones caught up by the marketing hype.

or those like me trying to get decent visualizations on specialist applications without paying the premium for enterprise grade tools ($1500 for 2 8800 Ultras or $3000 for 1 Quadro FX 5600?)

the higher end "enthusiast" parts are actually a good alternative to businesses who need power but don't want to pay workstation manufacturers through the nose.
Tim S 3rd March 2008, 16:23 Quote
I believe that a lot of the price premium in the Quadro is for the certification process. :)
Mankz 3rd March 2008, 16:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I believe that a lot of the price premium in the Quadro is for the certification process. :)

I thought it was to do with CAD optimized software :|
Tim S 3rd March 2008, 16:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mankz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim S
I believe that a lot of the price premium in the Quadro is for the certification process. :)

I thought it was to do with CAD optimized software :|

You're right in a sense - it revolves around the certification processes for the big workstation apps. See here: http://www.nvidia.com/page/partner_certified_drivers.html
speedfreek 3rd March 2008, 16:46 Quote
I remember back in the socket A days where you had an option of getting a motherboard without all the extra useless crap built in, I wanted one of those SOYO boards so bad too. Now I only see their name on those $300 24" LCDs at Office Max.
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