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Upgrade Frequency

How often do you upgrade your PC/Laptop be it home or work?

Prakash S
Saturday, July 05, 2003

I'm still on my Pentium 2 laptop I bought second hand in 2000. I only tend to upgrade when the computer becomes too sluggish for what I want to do.

Matthew Lock
Saturday, July 05, 2003

It depends...about  3 years for a notebook. Once they get out of warranty and they break...then they are not worth fixing.

I have gotten more out of a desktop. But, again, typically about 3 years is all I get.

I think the next upgrades for me (which are now due) will last a VERY long time.

I also am running a lot more test and beta software. Thus, I need a test mule also....

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Saturday, July 05, 2003

I upgrade my PC a lot, but it's more because I play games with it than because I develop with it. Where I am now, though, the only upgrade I can into the medium-term future is increased CPU speed.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, July 05, 2003

I replaced my 233mhz P1 in November with an AMD 2100XP, mostly because I wanted to do audio with my computer. The P1 did nearly everything I wanted it to do.

www.marktaw.com
Sunday, July 06, 2003

I got a sony pcg-n505ve laptop in August of 1999 for $1400 new, and I stilll haven't seen a laptop on the market  since that's made me want to upgrade.

I use w2k on it, and the only problem I've had was it was starting to get really noisy and a bit slow for some things. I then dropped it while it was on and the battery fell out, and it started crashing every 15 minutes or so.

I decided to try upgrading the 6GB drive to a new 40GB drive ($140) and reinstall windows 2000 in the process. It's super! The computer is so FAST again (more responsive it seems like than my girlfriend's xp tablet pc less than a year old) and quiet too (turns out it was the drive making ALL the noise). I lub it.

All I do is: ssh, windows IE, emacs, excel, ftp, p2p, play mp3s/mpgs on it, and it can handle all that fine so I don't see a reason to upgrade. 1024x768 celeron 333, 128MB of ram, pcmcia, usb and firewire.

pcg-n505ve lubber
Sunday, July 06, 2003

If you feel you're more productive with a top-of-the-line machine - e.g. if you're a game programmer and you're developing games that will be on the market 18 months from now, so they run at about 12 fps on your development machine and wait for the next greatest thing to arrive from Nvidia - then you probably have to upgrade something - CPU, memory, HDD or motherboard - every 6 months. It seems that the pace of platform (chipset->motherboard) evolution is so fast that a motherboard can usually can only take one (significantly faster to be worth it) CPU upgrade - e.g. I got my nForce2 board with an Athlon 2400+, and I'll probably get it a Athlon 3200+, then I'll have to change the board to get an Athlon64.

Maybe for more mainstream programming the upgrades can be a bit less frequent, e.g. once in 12 months. But having a machine more than two years old for active development seems to be a bit too masochistic for my tastes.

I don't get laptops. Do you really move around *that* much to bear the cramped keyboard, slow-response LCD screen, anachronistic video subsystem and should-be-criminal-offence prices for memory?

Unsigner
Sunday, July 06, 2003

"I don't get laptops. Do you really move around *that* much to bear the cramped keyboard, slow-response LCD screen, anachronistic video subsystem and should-be-criminal-offence prices for memory?"

Yes.

Cramped keyboard - I bought my own. If I'm going to be on it for any length of time, the keyboard comes with.

LCD screen is no slower than that LCD screens that everyone is vamping for desktops, and really not noticeably slower than my CRT.

Anachronistic video subsystem - my two year old Dell has a GForce 2 with 32MB RAM. While it's not a gamer's dream, it's a respectable video card. I also run the laptop at 1600x1200.

Memory prices - pricewatch.com, buddy. [grin]

Philo

Philo
Sunday, July 06, 2003

Im a bit of an upgrade junky and upgrade every six months.

James Ladd
Sunday, July 06, 2003

"Anachronistic video subsystem - my two year old Dell has a GForce 2 with 32MB RAM. While it's not a gamer's dream, it's a respectable video card. I also run the laptop at 1600x1200."

Well, it really is a respectable video card (and I'm a gamer). I can also envy you for the 1600x1200 display. But you most likely payed through the nose for that 2 years ago, didn't you?

The LCD-or-CRT matter is becoming a religious one, but I *hate* LCDs. Never seen one that doesn't blur terribly even at the slightest scrolling, and for graphics applications like Max or Maya it's unbearable.

Unsigner
Sunday, July 06, 2003

I won't argue with you on either cost or the problem with gaming on LCD's. But since I use mine for business (I game on a CRT), then it's fine for what I need.

Actually, I'm not sure that the LCD was really that expensive - I got the laptop (15.4", 1600x1200) in December 2001 for $3k. I've always figured the LCD was about $1200 of that. In late 2001 you couldn't buy an LCD that ran at 1600x1200 for less than $3500, and a 15" 1024x768 LCD ran about $600, so it was almost market price, if the standalone product existed.

Then again, I bought my 21" CRT for $500... [shrug]

Philo

Philo
Sunday, July 06, 2003

"LCD screen is no slower than that LCD screens that everyone is vamping for desktops, and really not noticeably slower than my CRT."

Image clarity and available brightness on a high quality stand alone is MUCH better than laptops, but that's to be expected when you have comparitively infinite power to draw. :)

My laptop is a typical 50ms refresh, but my desktop is a 20ms refresh. It's definitely visible on anything fast moving (run a game or a movie on both, and you can see it).

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, July 06, 2003

I know there's a lot of research that can be done when buying an LCD. Right now I think no matter what buying an LCD is a comprimise of one sort or another.

My friend has an LCD and every time she scrolls down my head swims because of the streaks everything leaves behind.

Then again, the clarity is better than a CRT and it's probably better on the eyes. The resolution is also fixed, which sucks. I'm at 1280 x 1024 right now on my CRT.

www.marktaw.com
Monday, July 07, 2003

I highly recommend http://www.short-media.com/ for computer hardware tech discussion. If you're looking to build your new PC, upgrade, whatever, check them out. They're very knowledable and great guys as well.

When the time comes, my next PC will be built with the help of that community.

www.marktaw.com
Monday, July 07, 2003

It's definitely easier on my eyes. I stopped having minor headaches when I switched from a CRT to an LCD about 4 years ago (laptop). The 17" LCDs are reasonably priced and support 1280x1024.

You will compromise image clarity with an LCD if you run at the non-native resolution, which is not quite as big an issue for games as it might sound (since the smoothing effect is actually a benefit to the image quality of games, whereas it's a hindrance to the quality of text). For me, being out of my 20s, I don't particularly want much higher any more. The 15" 1400x1050 on my laptop stretches the boundaries for me, although I sit closer to the laptop screen than I do my desktop LCD screen.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Monday, July 07, 2003

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