[Novalug] hardware plateaux??
franklin at elfie.org
Sat Mar 13 17:55:06 EST 2010
On Mar 13, 2010, at 10:01 AM, Beartooth wrote:
> Back in the day, I was told, the effect of Moore's Law
> was not that PCs got cheaper, but that what you got for a given
> price doubled. And there were fairly stable plateaux, almost like
> a staircase : one in particular ran close to $2000.
> At or above that you got a substantially better machine.
> But that was long ago and far away. Is there any such
> thing going on still? Or are prices and values, as I suspect, now
> all over the park??
Ars still does their System Guide, which pegs three major price points, but have since added "Specialty gudies" to cover more market segments.
We buy systems piecemeal, so you can't really call out price points for whole systems as easily as on components. Even when you're buying a pre-built Dell or Apple, you're still upgrading the memory or the CPU or the drives to get more somewhere. The price-to-performance graph for various speeds and models of a CPU line are still exponential, but the whole system cost depends on more than just that.
Each major vendor rolls out blocks of systems for each market segment, but the segments aren't defined on a linear scale anymore. Any one system will usually target one to three of a half dozen or so aspects to try to capture a certain segment. Netbooks balance price, portability and battery life, which is opposite of gaming systems that go for screen size, graphics and CPU power.
I think the larger number of marketing axes makes the value of systems seem to be all over the park. It certainly makes shopping for a system more difficult.
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