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 Post subject: Is it me or have things slowed down considerably?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:13 am 
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The interest and the products just aren't there anymore?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:51 am 
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Or is it that the baseline noise of average PCs has gone down so much lately that silencing them isn't so interesting to a wide audience?

Or is it that almost all of todays PC sales are laptops? Laptops might not actually be silent, but most of them are pretty darn quiet. And even when they are not the opportunities for silencing mods are pretty limited...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:46 pm 
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people are buying more laptops net tops notebooks etc. they are busy with their smart phones. the traditional desktop unit is going bye bye. most new desktops will be quiet all in ones. we are a disappearing breed I am afraid.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:32 pm 
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80+ Gold PSUs coming to market
SSDs becoming a viable option
2.5" drives actually being able to fit all your data

I think things are pretty nice.

Then again, I don't predict much happening in the cpu cooler field or the fan field, both seem to have good products already.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:50 pm 
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This industry is extremely cyclical. I would expect things to pick up again eventually.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:25 am 
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The top-line CPUs are 125 watts and the GPUs are slowly getting there. The available cases are not big enough to hold the coolers needed for these power hogs. People are wondering things are supposed to be getting smaller but why are they getting bigger. Most people just do email, word processing and web browsing on their computers. They have no need for all this power. My friends are thoroughly surprised when I tell them I am building a PC for myself. I am a dinosaur. So the PC's are killing themselves out of the market. Or maybe they have already.

There is some hope that mini-ITX might rekindle the interest in desktop boxes, but it might be a question of too little too late.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:02 am 
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I think you're all on the right track...

- Most of the computers sold are lower end systems where noise isn't generally a problem. (And even if you find out the hard way that the laptop you bought is too noisy there's not much to do about it.)

- There are still two types of computers where noise is an issue: All in one HTPCs and high end gaming machines.
While hard core gamers complain on OC-oriented sites that they can't provide quiet cooling for their power hungry monsters, at least some from the HTPC crowd find their way here...

Cheers
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:29 am 
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I've been away from the forums for a few weeks. Looking at the latest threads and articles on the main site, there doesn't appear to be much that's really "new". Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there's lot of activity going on at SPCR headquarters. But from a general perspective, things seem to be slowing down somewhat. The interest doesn't seem to be as enthusiastic as it once was. Maybe people know too much now? (A good thing, mostly.) Perhaps they are armed with enough knowledge of quiet computing and availability of quiet components that it's just become common.

Remember the fuss when the original Sonata was released in 2002/3? What about the celebrations and seemingly unending discussions when the P180, P150/Solo, Ninja etc arrived? Now people have moved on and are seeking different solutions. As someone else said, it may be just a cycle. Interest and enthusiasm may be renewed.

Yet something tells me that movement in the DIY desktop computing sector (which will affect quiet PC enthusiasts) will continue to slow while smaller form factors and portable computers become more popular and take over the mainstream. While I appreciate that computers have become more affordable and simplified (simplicity is very important to me) in the form of the netbook revolution, I also feel concerned and sad for the desktop. However good a portable PC is, it's just not the same as a desktop. A desktop computer, like a car, like an acoustic piano and organ, has presence and character. It takes up space, takes effort, it can be modified, enhanced, it stays with you for years, becomes a part of your life and takes up a hobby in it. Netbooks, ultraportables, mobile phone PCs and SFFs are just commodities, readily replaced and superceded, and arguably with higher failures and less upgradeable.

It will be a sad day when the old fashioned PC parts stores are driven out of existence by falling demand in the desktop and enthusiast market. Gone will be the day when you can go to a brick and mortar store and get some RAM, HDD, CPU, case, fans etc from your local retailer. PC parts stores may have to become online only: many of them are already going down that route. I personally prefer to go to a shopfront store as you build a relationship with that company over time. You can also see and handle the products before purchasing (important as products are sold under a myriad of model codes and subcodes). Plus, it gets you out of your house and takes some effort (something that people do less these days).

Those same PC corner stores will either have to adapt to changes, reposition their focus or have to sell up or crash down. It may be sooner rather than later that your local (or not so local) shopfront or r(e)-tailer may just become a glorified netbook/notebook mobile/internet/gadgets store with a few upgrade parts here and there. It will be sad, for me at least, when that day arrives.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2009 6:09 pm 
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It's pretty easy and not too expensive to build a powerful, zero moving parts PC. Since I did so a while back, I haven't seen the need to stop by and discuss things.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it me or have things slowed down considerably?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 3:58 am 
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rei wrote:
Is it me or have things slowed down considerably?


laptops
handhelds
game consoles

all more popular than ever

producing reduced demand for desktop computers

unfortunately desktop parts still have room to grow. for instance, cases still suck. but things move slowly because of low demand, so here we are


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:09 am 
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I think wireless networking played a role as well. All 3 of the things Luminair mentioned really come into their own when you consider wireless networking.

1) Laptops - With wireless networks, you can now use your laptop anywhere around the house, or even on the go. Hotels, coffee shops, work sites - just about everywhere has wireless network access now to work and play on the go.

2) Handhelds - I would throw both netbooks and smartphones in this category. You can now do things on a smartphone like updating facebook, taking digital pictures and uploading them, basic documents, emails, gaming, etc from anywhere thanks to wireless networking. One of my friends only has dial-up internet at home because he owns an iPhone and does 90% of what he wants from his phone, not his PC.

3) Game consoles - Especially with the advent of affordable HDTV's, gaming consoles can let you do easy multi-player games over your wireless network and look brilliant on a 1280x720 or 1920x1080 HDTV, with the latter being comparable to what many consider a high-end PC display.

By nature, a desktop PC isn't something you can take with you anywhere, and with "life on the go" being both a marketing slogan and a work ethic for many people, I think traditional PC's will see a transition towards fixed-base operations like servers and high-end graphics workstations, with everything else being taken over by mobile devices or at least small devices, as a game console is small compared to a desktop PC.

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 Post subject: I know, but I don't come to SPCR every day, now, alright? :)
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:11 am 
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When I got my AX-7, it was amazing. An undervolted Panaflo kept it all running smoothly for years. Now? Newegg has at least four good CPU HSes off the top of my head, and enthusiast stores have more.

When I got my P80 HDD, it was pure bliss. Not even notebook drives at the time were that quiet. Now? For any given size, I have 2-5 different models to choose from.

But, even then, I had to do custom ducting, and to keep video cool, as well, monitor temps regularly, and tinker, tinker, tinker.

Now? I could get anything from a Solo to P18x, Corsair PSU, tower heatsink, big video card heatsink, 2-3 of several 120mm fan options, and build an overclocked whisper-quiet desktop nearly out of the box, as long as I avoided the very fastest CPUs and video cards. I could do all that for <$1000, in my sleep.

Also, the word got out. A typical white box or big vendor machine is quieter than just a few years ago, by default.

There's still a need to be vigilant, and there will still be innovations to come, but I think we have reached a great plateau, as it concerns the desktop. Also, Intel crippling the Atom doesn't help (where's my 4-DIMM slot microATX Atom?). Things are slower, but not in a bad way at all. I think it's like complaining that cars aren't getting safer at the rate they were a couple decades ago.

I'm far more excited by possible desktop iterations of Instanbul than I am 3.4+GHz Phenom IIs or 4GHz i7 CPUs. Likewise, I'm a giddy schoolboy about the possibilities of ARM Cortex A9 based 'smartbooks' (very light netbook w/ proper keyboards and display, with solid X and ALSA/OSS4 support? I'd love one).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:20 pm 
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piglover wrote:
Or is it that the baseline noise of average PCs has gone down so much lately that silencing them isn't so interesting to a wide audience?

Or is it that almost all of todays PC sales are laptops? Laptops might not actually be silent, but most of them are pretty darn quiet. And even when they are not the opportunities for silencing mods are pretty limited...


I agree with the laptop sales increasing..
silence by no means has gone down. Speaking of silence, I had a hp 6735 given to me its about 10 years old now, sooner than later(633mhz celeron <100mhz sdram), never ran correct on its 100 watts. I attached a 300w, updated it and am here with it...
I let the only fan remain the psu for a few days. Talk about silent...it is as if I could stick my tongue on the board and know it aint big amps, just by sound and appearance, and my eyes stay wet to get up close to it. Try that with a prescott, or core2 or any amd...
it goes to show it is all overclocked 386 today. now split into more hypocrisy called cores. when the watts goes back up to that of the prescotts, silence will be a big achiever as usual.



This blast from the past was necessary for me...it is still a mad world with no standards.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Maybe everyone is getting more deaf as they age...and the younger set from earbuds :lol:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:23 am 
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what?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:57 am 
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Looks to be more products than ever which allow for quieter pc builds without so much thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it me or have things slowed down considerably?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:03 am 
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rei wrote:
The interest and the products just aren't there anymore?

It's already got easier and technology doesn't arrive gradually but in annual/bi-annual architecture changes at least for CPUs/GPUs. Intel's new wave of products is coming in Jan 2010 and subsequent months.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:09 pm 
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SSDs
Integrated Graphics on the CPU
SATA 6GBs
USB 3

I think it's about to all start changing faster than most will be able to keep up with.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:02 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
SSDs
Integrated Graphics on the CPU
SATA 6GBs
USB 3

I think it's about to all start changing faster than most will be able to keep up with.

Which is often the worst time to upgrade. You may be stuck with hardware that doesn't support the new "standards". But 2010 should be a great year, if not one of the best there was, to upgrade to new and modern (and affordable) hardware. That's if the economy holds up and the exchange rate over here is strong relative to the US.

Things feel like they're "slowing down" but when you look around, there is actually more products out there than ever before. I have no desire to keep up with it all but I still make an effort to keep up to date with the products that interest me.

Computer hardware as a hobby is a relatively affordable one. When you think what you get from a good motherboard and CPU as the basis of the whole system and what it enables you to do, it is astounding what you get for your money these days. People (in the US especially) complain about almost any component costing more than $100. It really isn't much when you compare the costs of hobbies such as photography and music. If you are serious about those, you either have to be quite well off, be funded/subsidised by someone or work yourself to the ground and eat salt crackers and tap water for the rest of your life, if you are fortunate enough to even do that.

Unlike in many other technological hobbies, PC manufacturers on the whole actually try to improve their products with each cycle (necessary in order to continue and survive in a rapidly changing and ruthless industry) rather than release cynical upgrades to keep the cash flow going -- as you see in the digital camera and musical instrument industries (mainly in the consumer end).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 4:43 pm 
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People are getting notebooks true, but in a couple of years most of them are going to be running a media hub in their house, or fileservers as they where called "back in the day".

When mainstream people run fileservers there is going to be a shift to interest in green computing I think. Computer systems, running cool so you can hide it behind a door not using up to many watts, because it is going to run 24/7 for years and nobody wants a 150 w fileserver.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:10 pm 
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erkan wrote:
People are getting notebooks true, but in a couple of years most of them are going to be running a media hub in their house, or fileservers as they where called "back in the day".


Why would average non-technologically-oriented users want a media hub - let alone a self-built one where they micro-manage their components? HTPC's are currently - and probably forever will remain - a very niche market. Netflix and Hulu are only beginning to flex their muscles, but Netflix, at least, is already available on some consoles, and such sites are gaining content by the minute. Consoles, and even some TV's, can play media content via USB ports. Photos can be posted on Flickr and Picasaweb. And the list goes on. IMO, media streaming will rely more and more on centralized, powerful servers from big companies - not home users. Heck, even piracy will suffer a big blow once Netflix will have more and more movies, for example. And besides, for the purposes of connecting your media together, we've had specialized devices like A/V receivers for ages, and will get even more specialized, easy-to-use things for the modern age.

As far as gaming PC's go: With the exception of a couple MMO's (WoW), video games on consoles are vastly outselling their PC counter-parts, and game publishers are releasing crappy console ports (*cough* CoD:MW2 *cough*), instead of true PC games with content that PC users typically expect. And sure, there have always been console ports, but when game series like Call of Duty and GTA - which became popular because of their original PC counterparts - get rid of good features from previous releases on their Windows versions, it's a bad sign for the PC gaming market.

I'll side with those that say that the desktop market is dying. Not that we DIY computer nerds were ever a majority - and a sizable minority will surely remain for many, many years - but I bet we'll start seeing some of the companies that dealt to our specialized demographic dying out or changing their focus sooner than later. Remember when Asus was known primarily as an awesome motherboard manufacturer, and not the brand behind the netbook revolution?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:16 pm 
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shleepy wrote:
Why would average non-technologically-oriented users want a media hub - let alone a self-built one where they micro-manage their components? HTPC's are currently - and probably forever will remain - a very niche market.

Looking through the forums, you would think everyone has or wants to own a media centre/HTPC and runs it 24/7. A lot of people have no need for one. Now or ever.

shleepy wrote:
I'll side with those that say that the desktop market is dying. Not that we DIY computer nerds were ever a majority - and a sizable minority will surely remain for many, many years - but I bet we'll start seeing some of the companies that dealt to our specialized demographic dying out or changing their focus sooner than later. Remember when Asus was known primarily as an awesome motherboard manufacturer, and not the brand behind the netbook revolution?

Specialists will die out for sure. Regarding the comment on ASUS as motherboard manufacturer being behind the netbook revolution, it think it was quite logical for it to do so, and for others to follow. Most mainstream PC brands are made by only a handful of OEMs anyway with a lot of the parts coming from Far Eastern manufacturers like ASUS, MSI, Foxconn, Samsung etc. That they shake up the PC industry was a clever move on their part and it helps to keep the Mum and Dad brands honest. I'm surprised that Gigabyte hasn't released their version of the netbook yet as they've been taking the fight up to ASUS (and often winning) for the past couple of years in the desktop field. Maybe they do and I just haven't seen or heard of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 20, 2009 11:41 am 
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All of the above. Notebooks are now 70% of the market in unit sales. Ther small, low power, inherently quiet PC's are being purchased an large numbers by corporations who are impressed by their low total cost of ownership. Power for hundreds of PC's and the associated air conditioning does add up.

The primary market for a high powered, traditional desktop is a workstation PC. These are used for photo editing, video editing/encoding, 3D modeling and other tasks involving massive number crunching. Its nice if these are quiet, but the typical user does not strive for ultra quiet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:33 am 
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When I first got into silencing it was very rare for a PC enthusiast to be interested in anything other than overclocking and using extreme cooling solutions to do so.

There weren't that many off-the-shelf products aimed at lowering noise levels out there and Zalman were just finding their feet (with Antec's Sonata just around the corner).

Having a truly quiet system in those days was genuinely unusual and other computer enthusiasts were always amazed when I let them (try to) hear my PC. These days aftermarket products and manufacturers now caring about energy saving and noise - largely because they've discovered there's a market there and have learned how to appeal to them - make it so easy, and that's no bad thing.

As long as budget allows, anyone can build a quiet PC these days. The need to come up with innovative little solutions to duct airflow or suspend drives is dying.

I might be making this up, but I'm sure I recall MikeC mentioning that he can even see the day when SPCR will no longer be necessary or will need to find a slightly different take on the niché.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:32 am 
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Computers are spreading through our homes, our DVD player is soon a computer. Our kitchen is going to be a computer. Everything is a computer.

I have notices many sound systems now comes with fans, or what about game systems, just look at consoles for example, it started with the Dreamcast that had heatpipes and 40 mm fan, now xbox360 is the victim of loud noice and huge energy consumption.

Who wants to buy a 55 inch plasma that uses 600 watt and has four 120mm fans?

Who wants a silent notebook that hits 90c during serious use?

Work has just begun.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:52 am 
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erkan wrote:
Computers are spreading through our homes, our DVD player is soon a computer. Our kitchen is going to be a computer. Everything is a computer.

Soon, human beings will be a (part) "computer". Externally, people already are in a way: they have phones, audio players and technology gadgets as part of their daily clothing. There will come a day when it will be possible to have them all implanted in a chip form inside the body, where one may even access the internet and outside world without wires or another form of gadget. It's not science fiction fantasy. I recall a radio documentary on BBC on the subject. Governments have been wanting to implant their citizens with ID chips for years and it looks like it will eventually happen, one way or another.

erkan wrote:
I have notices many sound systems now comes with fans, or what about game systems, just look at consoles for example, it started with the Dreamcast that had heatpipes and 40 mm fan, now xbox360 is the victim of loud noice and huge energy consumption.

Who wants to buy a 55 inch plasma that uses 600 watt and has four 120mm fans?

Who wants a silent notebook that hits 90c during serious use?

Work has just begun.

Bigger (inefficient) appliances=more power=more heat=more cooling required=more noise=etc.

So, you just got your PC as inaudible as possible and down to 5W. What about that TV, home theater, fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, 4WD, SUV, etc. "Oh, but my PC is silent and just uses 5W." Saving one tree, destroying ten others... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:51 am 
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erkan wrote:
Computers are spreading through our homes, our DVD player is soon a computer. Our kitchen is going to be a computer. Everything is a computer.

I have notices many sound systems now comes with fans, or what about game systems, just look at consoles for example, it started with the Dreamcast that had heatpipes and 40 mm fan, now xbox360 is the victim of loud noice and huge energy consumption.

Who wants to buy a 55 inch plasma that uses 600 watt and has four 120mm fans?

Who wants a silent notebook that hits 90c during serious use?

Work has just begun.


Let us not forget noisy DVR's. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Is it me or have things slowed down considerably?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:50 am 
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Well, us do-it-ourselves'ers are a dying breed, just like them big fellers who know how to make those iron shoes for the big 4-legged animals in the posters on my daughter's room's walls.

And I understand it. We grew up in a time, when retailers went out of their way to sell you the biggest pile of hardware-junk that could ever be assembled by drunken taiwanese fishermen on April 1st. But now all storebought systems are okay. They even have enough RAM now.

There are only 2 reasons to built yourself: hobby & saving a little money, although even your saving get smaller every year. Now, not everybody can have PCs as their hobby. I don't fly kites or sing in a Gospel choir, why should I expect Joe Average to engage in an intimate realtionship with his E-Mail-Machine?

Plus, it's really hard to get a really loud PC these days. Stock coolers are surprisingly quite, for CPUs and GPUs.
Gone are the days of 120w CPUs that would never clock down and were barely held alive by puny aluminium sheets and a screaming 5000 rpm fan that couldn't be controlled if your life depended on it. Or 40mm fans on GPUs and Northbridges, hard disks that sounded like somebody sanding a metal door, PSUs with 50% efficiency and cases where the only case fan on the back was 60mm and the cutout was still two thirds obstructed by metal.

CPU coolers are about as good as they will ever be without any new technology involved. So who cares about a review that will show that a new model falls in the same 2°C window all the other monster tower coolers fall?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:56 pm 
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For me the last few years have been interesting indeed. Not that long ago I had to upgrade from a single core A64 to a dual core Opteron costing something like 350$ just to meet the needs of my new "power app" - decoding 1080p HD movies.
Then I also used a power hungry nForce4 motherboard, and a 350$ graphics card. All this in a huge Antec P180.

Yesterday I made a mini-upgrade. Went from 780G+4850e to 785G+605e. Not because I needed it but because it's fun. The new motherboard has some nice undervolting abilities and I will be able to sell my old hardware so why not? Didn't have to reinstall WinXP, dreaded that a bit.
The 4850e was something like 50$, the 605e was 130$ (outrageous! I newer thought I'd buy another >75$ CPU again). Idle power consumption went up a bit but is still low enough for comfort imo.

Stuff like SSDs and large, quiet HDDs have greatly improved my computer experience, as have fast internet access. For the first time ever I have more bandwidth (at least downstream) than I know what to do with.

I feel maxed out. :D

_________________
Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 750 Ti | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 277
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
The same question is being asked at Hardware Central Forums. Aside from computers becoming a commodity, the quality improving and notebooks taking over, an admin there made the point that the site is getting a lot of views rather than posts as people seeking answers can often find them with a forum search of the by now substantial volume of solved problems.


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