Wanted: New Cheap Stuff

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I’ve been talking quite a bit about MP3ing lately, and when I do that, as surely as you see green leaves in the spring, I get emails like these:

“I come here for overclocking information, and I don’t want to see anything else but that. The name of your site is Overclockers.com, so just talk about overclocking.

I just wonder if these folks write letters and cancel their subscriptions to Sports Illustrated when the swimsuit issue comes out. 🙂

People don’t buy computers to overclock them. They buy them to use them.

We like our audience. It’s really tough to overclock behind prison bars, and it’s hard to buy new equipment if you’re paying off a lawsuit. So, don’t protect yourself for your sake, do it for ours. 🙂

If you want to be an ostrich and stick your neck in the ground while wearing blinders, it’s your life. We just don’t think that’s a smart idea.

The Price Is Not Right

It’s not like we’ve had other things to talk about, anyway.

When we look at the current and near future picture, what we see coming is either good but not cheap or cheap but not good.

Within the next couple weeks, we’ll get a 200MHz FSB PIV and a Canterwood and a Springdale and work with that, but frankly, we don’t think most will join us in the festivities simply because most will find it too much money for not enough additional oomph.

Actually, that’s not true. Half of those who won’t buy will stop at the word “Intel,” a third won’t get past the price tag, and only the remaining few will get to the “oomph” part. 🙂

Those folks will play with $50 CPUs the rest of the year, and it’s not a bad idea. Problem for us is, that’s not news, and any improvement in the socket A line will be minimal for the rest of the year.

Even those who might buy an Intel system are mostly waiting to see if Springdale can’t get the job done for a lot less than Canterwood.

Since the price on the PIV/dual channel mobo/two sticks of RAM isn’t likely to drop much below $350 in the somewhat near future, this will be of interest to only some.

nVidia will come up with the NV35, and it will do what the NV30 should have done, but how much real hullabaloo was there over the Radeon 9800?

The real news in the video card market is that neither nVidia nor ATI wants to give you an uncrippled card for less than $200 anymore, and that’s bad.

Opteron? If people won’t shell out $500 for a PIV core system, you think they’ll want to shell out the same or more for an Opteron system? If this nForce3 board ends up costing anything like the other Opteron boards, about twelve hobbyists without another good reason to buy one will buy one.

So much for the summer.

The fall looks little better. We’ll see Prescott, but we know that’s going to be $600 for a while, so forget that in 2003.

Athlon64? That’s what most people are going to eventually want, but again, the price had better be right, and odds are, they won’t be early on. The only real action for Athlon64 might be for the “little” ones with 256K cache, and again, they had better be cheap, or you won’t bite.

Based on earlier surveys, most people want to see a 4GHz equivalent out of Athlon64 before they’ll even start to think about shifting from socket A. It’s iffy we’ll see that this year, and much iffier we’ll see it at the kind of prices people seem to want these days.

On The Back End

We’re on the backend of 130nm technology. Interest in computers tends to fade on the backend.

The next big surge in performance (and interest) won’t come until 90nm CPUs become available.

The real question for this audience is “Will I buy an Athlon64, and if so, when?” and that won’t get a reasonably conclusive answer until sometime in 2004.

In the meantime, outside of a few sideshows, for the wise, it’s a matter of waiting around and saving up.

Email Ed

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