Raw and Burnt . . .

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When the name of the year changes, I’ll be in the market to put together three, maybe four systems, one for myself, the rest for Sixpacks.

This ought to be somewhat of a pleasant experience, but unfortunately, it’s not turning out that way because I see something raw and something burnt on my menu.

The raw item is, of course, Vista. Here we have an OS in the works for years, delayed a year, yet a month or two before release, the best people can say about it is “it more-or-less works.”

Even MS is saying Vista will run games 10-15% slower than XP. Some tests with the current release candidate indicate that MS might be a wee bit overoptimistic.

That might not be so bad if Vista had other computing virtues, but outside of some pretty pictures in the interface (which incidentally, is what slows things down for gaming), they’ve been cut out.

So what is one to do about the slowed-down video?

Well, for openers you buy twice the memory, but let’s try not to get bogged down on a single item when there is so much more to get angered about, like the double-power video card plus the extra-power power supply, plus the extra cooling required to handle the first two to compensate (OK, more than that) for the slower OS.

To me, this is a burnt offering.

Mind you, this isn’t a one-shot deal, either; the video people want a 225 and 300 watt provision made in PCI-E for future cards, so I guess they think this is going to a permanent deal.

Does anybody else feel a bit played, here?

Nonetheless, we should feel fortunate. Hard as it is to believe, MS hasn’t made a quad-core processor a Vista requirement, no matter what the CPUers might try to insinuate.

Intel will let us have for just $1,000 pretty soon (and eventually around $600) quite a bargain when two of those cores are essentially useless for 99% of the people 99% of the time.

Even better, Intel looks like Santa Claus compared to AMD, which plans to charge us $2,300/$3,000 for just about the same performance as the Intel $600/$1,000. Now I know AMD means it when they about customer-centric value.

Think this is all a bit of a waste? What is wrong with you? Are you not a technoho or something? You need to go to reeducation camp of this guy. He’s not satisfied with DP; he can’t get enough. In fact, he says, “More, more, more” so much, you’d think he was doing a porn shoot.

He does, however, point out one advantage of multicores that might have escaped you: think of all the power you’ll save when the system turns them off.

Geez, not even Gumby would try a stretch like that.

And I’m supposed to take all this seriously?

Bring In the Old With The New

That’s what all these items amount to; companies saying in effect, “We have you ‘hos. You can’t say no.”

This time, though, there are signs that’s what the hos just might do. Look at the comments following this article about G80 power. The ‘hos are enthusiastic alright, they’re enthusiastically making fun of it.

People aren’t too thrilled with Vista, either.

Imagine, just imagine what would happen if the ‘hos just said “No” when these things came along, said so publicly, and even more loudly with their wallets.

Obviously, a few of these items can be very safely ignored by all; the quad- or pseudo-quad cores for one. Not even Intel nor AMD think they’re going to sell any more than some thousands of them.

But a lot more space heaters DX10 cards are due to be sold than that, and Vista, well, hundreds of millions will expect to be sold eventually.

The way I look at it, you know Vista isn’t going to be quite right until SP1, and that won’t be for another eighteen months or so. Nor will heavily-DX10 games.

It will also take quite some time for the video folks to start fixing their power problem (if they even realize they have one).

Maybe people need to say “No” to Vista and “No” to these video cards, just to send a message. Not just “don’t upgrade a current system,” but also “don’t get them in a new one.”

Maybe you ought to tell your Sixpack friends ready to buy a Dell next year, “Tell them to give you a copy of XP or Linux with that, and if they won’t, tell them, ‘Dude, until I do, I’m not getting a Dell.'”

Not so easy to send a message when it comes to boycotting a video card they wouldn’t have bought anyway, but one can always tell those writing the first DX10 games, “I would have liked to have played your game, but until I can play it with a video card that won’t set my electrical wires on fire in my house, no.”

Impossible, you say? Well, just how well did Milennium Edition do for Microsoft, the Dusterbuster for nVidia?

Right now, I feel very inclined to pass on both Vista and these video cards on these new boxes until some people come to their senses, and they either offer me a good deal more, well, something for Vista, or a good deal less heat, in the case of the video cards.

In other words, I’ll buy what’s cooked. Not raw. Not burned. Cooked. And until the chefs figure that out, I’m not buying their spoiled new dishes.

I must admit that may not be much of a sacrifice on my part or my partners, but one ought to at least eat one’s own dogfood before suggesting it to others.

For those to whom it would cause angst, ask yourself this: If you don’t say “No” now, when will you? When the fuze blows? When the local environmentalists start denouncing you? When you run out of money?

But the only way we really talk to these folks is with our wallets, and when they give us too little for our money, or even worse, make us spend a lot more elsewhere just to be in a position to be privileged to buy from them, well, enough is enough.

Ed


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