Technology Nov 2007
PCs in 4-wheel drive
Multitasking power boost
The maturing of
digital media centre technology, the growing sophistication of PC-based
games, rapidly reducing hardware prices and performance advances are all
driving renewed interest in desktop machines. Many businesses also found
notebooks remained on the desk because workers typically had their own
PCs and notebooks at home helping put the PC back in favour.
It’s usually best to
buy ahead of your current needs to ensure at least 2-3 good years use
from your PC. An entry level machine for school projects, accounts and
basic web surfing can now be purchased for as low as $800, featuring at
least 1.5GHz performance, 1Gb RAM, 80-160Gb hard disk and a DVD writer.
Mid range offerings are typically 1.8GHz - 3GHz with 160-320Gb hard
disks and 1Gb-2Gb RAM ($1500- $2500).
IDC associate PC
analyst Oliver Clough admits it’s not easy to wade through all the
terminology. “Intel’s marketing of its various chip sets has become so
confusing that people no longer look at processor speeds. Regardless
they’re better off spending an extra $100 on RAM because most processors
are pretty quick anyway.”
Monitors are also
moving to high definition and widescreen. Cathode ray tube (CRT)
monitors are passe and even 17 inch LCD flat screens are being phased
out for 19 inch entry level. While there’s a current push to 20 inch
monitors, IDC says the market has essentially leapfrogged to 22 inch as
the new high end monitor at $400-$550.
The PC market is not expected to slow down any time soon with chipmakers Intel and AMD continuing to push quad core as standard, squeezing more onto chips and increasing focus on power saving, efficiency and boosting speed. Disk capacity is growing hugely to cope with the rapid evolution in digital content and increasingly we’ll see twin 500Gb disks and even full terabyte storage heading into the mainstream over the next year.
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