What the hell does that mean?

Pedophile comes from Latin. It means “child lover.”

Pedopecuniaphile just adds another Latin word. “Pecunia” means money in Latin.

So a pedopecuniaphile mean “child money lover.” Since that’s a bit of a tongue-twister, let’s shorten it to PPPs.

There are many, many PPPers out there. They tend to congregate wherever there is marketing and advertising for young people.

They prey on the emotional vulnerabilities of young people to fit in and feel important to sell their products.

I just can’t shake the feeling I’m in the midst of PPPs when I see the latest marketing onslaught for video cards.

Frankly, it strikes me pretty often as being spam on a webpage.

Making You Spend More

Just to get this out of the way, 256Mb of video memory appears to do next to nothing on current games or even Doom III, so I wouldn’t get too wound up about that.

The FX 5900 Ultra looks fine, and probably will beat out the Radeon 9800 in most things, but it’s going to be a $425+ card. The FX 5900 will be a $325+ card.

I don’t much care about the pricing of these cards, but what’s important is what’s happening below these levels.

If you look at the varying benchmarks, the cheapest card that stays in the ballpark is the Radeon 9700 Pro. That’s a $270 card these days. Maybe an overclocked Radeon 9700 Plain would still be good enough. That’s still over $200.

Eventually, we’ll see an NV35 “value” card. “Value” nowadays seems to cost about $250.

Get below $200, and the benchmark numbers go to hell. Spend $160 on a video card today, and you’re in the minor leagues.

A year ago, a good, reasonably competitive against the top-end video card cost about $150. Now a good, reasonable competitive video card costs about $250.

Then we get advance Doom III benchmarks, and guess what? You want to play Doom III decently, it looks like you’d better be ready to shell out about $250.

That’s a 67% effective price rise in one year, and barely anyone reviewing these cards notices. I guess they’re too busy selling product. Just whose side are they on, anyway?

Just who is going to be playing Doom III, anyway? People in nursing homes? No, it’s going to be people on the other end of the age bell curve; people more susceptible to emotion and ego instant gratification and less susceptible to memory and math and patience.

Pedopecuniaphiles, indeed.

The Change

If I thought that Radeon 9700 Pros would cost $150 six months from now, I don’t write this. That’s the problem. The strategy has changed for both video card companies. The prices on the high-end cards no longer drop like they used to into the medium level.

The medium-priced cards are no longer junior versions of the top dogs. Instead, they are top dogs of the minor leagues, and it looks like two very separate categories. Like PIVs and Celerons.

And that’s very bad news for us.

Wait Them Out

The purpose of the Doom III preview benchmarks is clear: Buy an expensive video card now (maybe with your income tax refund check if you’re in the U.S.) and be ready for Doom III.

Don’t do it. Wait them out. Show that you’re not a puppet to be played with on a PPPer string.

Doom III will be out in six months? Wait six months and see what the situation is then. If you’re still faced with a $250 entry fee to play Doom III, don’t buy Doom III.

It’s not their money; it’s your money. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, then put it in somebody else’s pocket, like a bank’s. It won’t go bad there.

You can defeat all the marketing schemes and conspiracies in the world with just one word: No.

No. Just say no. Not only is it good for your wallet, it’s good for your soul. No video card will ever make you a better person.

It’s a powerful weapon. Use it.

Email Ed

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