What Did You Say You Wanted For Christmas? . . .

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Thanks to all who took the time to write me!


What most of you really want is something interesting that will make a real difference, and you’re not finding it.

I wish I could make some computer execs read these emails. It should frighten the hell out of them. When the enthusiasts aren’t, how can they expect anybody else to be.

Again and again and again, the emails said something like, “Well, my machine is plenty fast enough right now, and there’s nothing out there that interests me much.”

Even those who planned on buying something were generally blase about it (with a significant undercurrent of irritation with the increasingly growing commercialization in this arena).

We’ll post some comments at the end of this article so you can see for yourselves.

Good News For AMD

While AMD’s share of the enthusiast market has been shaken, it has not been shaken out. 🙂 While Intel has grabbed back a significant share of the enthusiastic market; it’s still dominated by AMDers hanging on. A year ago, the AMD/Intel numbers were like 90/10; now it’s more like 70/30.

The loyalists are mostly hanging on. AMD support has been eroding, not collapsing.

Not So Good News For ATI

It’s still a nVidia world out there. Most of the (relatively few) who expressed interest in ATI said they were going to wait for NV30 and then decide. Somewhat more were just looking at NV30, and as many as all the high-end groups combined were looking for cheaper options.

ATI has succeeded in getting its foot in the door in more buying decisions, but still relatively few.

What should be of concern to both nVidia and ATI is growing resistance to the video rat race. Relatively fewer than in the past showed an interest in upgrading video compared to, say, CPUs.

Bad News For Via

For those interested in a new socket A mobo, the nForce2 is garnishing much more interest among buyers than Via. It may well be preferring the devil you don’t know to the one you do, and I suspect at least some potential nForce buyers are expecting more than this board delivers, but it sure seemed like people wanted AMD system despite Via rather than because of it.

What Looks Popular

The two products most mentioned were the TBred2s and DVD recorders. For the latter, the Sony DRU-500A, with its ability to record multiple DVD formats, looks like a hit in the making.

Somewhat behind them was a C1 stepping PIV and dual DDR boards, and the nForce2 boards. Surprisingly, the nForce boards were mentioned about twice as often as the Via KT400.

Rather surprisingly, there was considerable sentiment for what I call “tiny boxes,” small, low-noise computers.

Video actually mustered more votes, but they were widely scattered, and as noted earlier, the average comment was not exactly rabid with enthusiasm, more like “well, maybe I’ll . . . ”

Some want to hold out for Barton.

Remarkably few were interested in very high speed RAM.

On the cooling side, the Prometia cooling system got the most (but still relatively minor) level of attention.

Not Ready To Bite Yet

There was considerable pre-interest in LCD monitors. By “pre-interest,” I mean “the price isn’t right yet, but I’m beginning to keep an eye on it.” I suspect this will be one of the stars for Christmas 2003.

A lower, but measurable interest was also shown in serial ATA hard drives.

Your Comments

“I’m Bored”

State of computing right now? Sucks!

There is NOTHING to buy. On the AMD side of things, they let us all down, with Hammer not out and Barton delayed to the end of Q1 2003…
Throughbred B’s not being anyware to be found (not that that is reason enough to upgrade/buy).

Honestly, computers have gotten really boring this year. . . .

Seriously, I do scientific computing where faster CPU’s translates
directly into more work done, and even we’re at the point where I can’t
even justify the time to upgrade anything we have. I’ve been using a
1.33 ghz thunderbird on a kt133a board, with 1.5 gb of RAM, and making
things go 10 or 20% faster with an upgrade isn’t even worth my time. Not
when there’s the potential that stuff won’t work out of the box. . . .
We’re pretty much going to let things ride for a good while until the
gains are worth the potential loss of time.

I think I’ve reached the place where no enthusaist wants to be. My OC’d Athlon 1700+, GF4TI4200, and Epox-8K3A are all sadly “fast enough” to not warrant an upgrade for a long time.

I guess it’s time to start buying software!

I have more than enough HD space. My proc is more than fast enough and will remain so for some time. I have plenty of memory. Doom III isn’t out yet, so I don’t need a new video card. I almost think that computers are starting to get to the point of diminishing returns. More speed/space just doesn’t offer anything new anymore. The only reason I ever upgrade is gaming. If it weren’t for that, I’d still be using my pII 450.

Unless something new is very novel or in some way more useful than the current generation technology, there just isn’t a point to buying it. A cordless mouse or keyboard would be nice, but unless a meteor comes streaming through my window and destroys my old keyboard and mouse, there just isn’t any reason to upgrade. They’re just not that much more useful than what I have now.

I want a super charger. I want 8:1 pistons put in my engine w/ a rebuild. I want 19″ rims. I want stage 3 cams. I want the stage 4 clutch assembly. I want JIC full coil over struts.

In other words, I have a p4 @ 2.7 w/ a gf3 ti200. I do NOT need anything else, for the first time in a LONG time. I don’t feel the urge to upgrade any of my components. The only thing will be my GF card when Doom3 hits.

For the last 4 years.. I have basically dropped most of my spare cash into my PC. No longer. I now want all those parts I stated above, and more. I wanna get my car looking and running as pimp as my pc.

Honestly.. there is NOTHING coming out for the Christmas season that I “MUST” have.

For Christmas i would like a new

Simple as that, I just don’t feel that there has been
any significant increase in the performance of
computer hardware to warrant replacing what I have.
Sure an XP 2400+ or 2600+ would be nice to have, but they just don’t
warrant the money to purchase, I feel that that money
would be better spent in another area of my interests.

My attitudes last year around Christmas time was an
entire 180 degrees different. I was excited about the
new technologies coming out, and I couldn’t see myself
spending my cash on anything BUT computer hardware.
I’m not sure if all of this was inspired by the
dulldrums we’re experiencing currently but it would be
a flat out lie if I said that it didn’t affect it at

So for Christmas instead of spending 200+ dollars on a
new processor that would warrant minimal gains, or
investing in technologies that are barely poking their
heads out of the door, I would rather get something
that I’m confident would be worth the money, a new
guitar in this case.

It’s come to the point where PC’s have achieved market saturation and nobody needs to upgrade anymore. They’ve already got a PC that does pretty much everything they need it to do. Intel and AMD don’t seem to think this as they keep pushing out chips left, right and centre, but the majority of people don’t seem that bothered.

Gamers are usually the ones who buy all the high end gear, but I’m a gamer and I’ve “only” got an AMD 1500+ (clocked to 1800+) and a GeForce 3 Ti 200. None of the games I play have even stretched my system. Some of my friends have said “But what about Unreal Tournament 2003”. That’s not a problem, I aint buying it 🙂 I tried the demo, it ran great, but because it offers nothing new over Unreal Tournament, it’s not a worthy purchase.

My next purchase will probably be a new graphics card for when Doom 3 comes out. However, id will release a demo of Doom 3 and if it runs on my system well and still looks nice, I won’t upgrade.

My attitude towards hardware has changed in general in the past year. There was much more interesting stuff, more competition, and less hype. Paper launches were the most annoying thing i had to endure this year. I am a hardware enthusiast, and even though i cant afford much of it, it is still nice to know that people can buy it, instead of it being given to reviewers only, and actual consumers cant buy it for 2-3 months, that is crap. Another thing that is crap is timing launches to kill another’s launch. This Christmas, I dont even know if I will buy anything, my GF2 powered T-bird is fast enough for me.

A year ago, I was drooling over every new processor release because it offered a tangible performance increase, and that was what I wanted last Christmas.

But the market has changed that now I really don’t care about the fastest processor. I could care less if they released a 5ghz processor right now because I don’t see the usefulness to myself. My friends also have the same feelings in that the fastest processor is no longer a topic. I believe this came around because we have all we need.

For AMD to pull out of its s

I wish somebody, other than enthusiasts and businesses, would actually get excited and buy some of this stuff.

My mood on the state of computing.

Hardware- I’m bored. No significant changes in architecture. Same ol same ol since the very beginning. Everything is just patched for higher speeds, and more storage. This is not a complaint, just an observation.

Software- I’m bored. No killer apps in I don’t know how long. Nothing has made me want to run down to the store and buy it.

Desires, attitudes, and priorities now compared to a year ago.
I used to be a Linux junkie a year ago. FTP, Firewalls, Web Server, file and print servers, and just plain finding out what I could do with it. I just don’t have enough time for it anymore, and I wasn’t really accomplishing anything. Too many hardware incompatibilities with the latest and greatest.

Lately I have realized that a computer at home is for entertainment only, so I’ve switched to MS. I do a lot of video and photo editing and photo printing. DVD, MP3, video games, web surfing, video capture from tv, scanning, digital camera, etc.

After this PC is completed, I’m really not sure if
I’ll ever get another PC, unless something breaks. . . . I think Moore’s Law
will die shortly. In 18 months, if there isn’t as
much money coming in, the computer industry might turn
into an after market business like cat-back exhaust
systems and turbo kit upgrades on cars — make ways to
get more out of existing dirt cheap, mass produced
computers rather than make new ones.

I’m very upset that computer games don’t exist anymore. Not like before. I mean were are the titles?? Unreal 2003 and Doom3?? That’s all?? Wait, Hitman 2. Consoles are getting all the good stuff.

More Than Bored

The plain truth is about the only thing I want is Barton on SOI and I’m not
going to get it.

If you ask me what I think of the state of computing now, I would say
it’s pathetic. I don’t know how to explain it, but this is how I feel.

Everything is pathetic, the Internet, the greedy people online, the scams,
the spams, the recession, the flood of CS majors in college, the greedy
college doubling the tuition fees on CS course credits, the unemployed
CS/comp-engineering majors, the wannabe money-making-geeks, the lonely
geeks, the ever-increasing idiots on the forums, the games, the hardwares.
The people into computing these days are in it for the money. They don’t
give a sh*t whether the products they’re selling are well thought-out,
original, and done with passion. As an end user myself, I could tell the
difference. I guess the competition itself has ruined the fun of computing.
I hope every bit of damage these people have caused comes back on them!

I still remember the passion and joy I experienced with computers, but I
don’t know if I can get these same feelings back when I get my new rig. This
is the main reason I’m hesitating to drop the 1K on the new rig. Will I buy
the rig by Christmas? Maybe, maybe not.

The Last Enthusiasts

All I Want For Christmas Is Intel’s 2 Front Teeth, Kicked Out 😉

I want C1 stepping low speed P4’s at unheard-of pricing, because I want Intel to bury AMD. I want Intel to shoot the works with these CPU’s, enable HT on all the new stepping chips, and I want all mobo mfrs to update their BIOS’s with HT support enabled. And I want them all to go to 3+ghz at default voltage. Also, if it’s not asking too much, I want AMD to suffer low yield problems on their 2700+ and 2800+ chips and to charge an arm and both legs for them so they price themselves out of business.

Sorry my list turned into a rant.

Last but not least . . .

Does Santa Bring Holodecks Yet?

I want a computer that will replace my bitch wife.

Thanks again!



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