First Quarter Desktop Computer Update

Computer technology has changed and will continue changing. When I think of buying computer technology, I think of the world of computers in terms of three tiers the current behind the technology lag computer, the former behind the technology lag computer, and of course the computer that is setting the technology standard. Understanding that rapid change will always be a part of buying a computer you need to protect your investment by being aware of how long it will take for the computer that you just bought to be behind the technology lag. It is also important to note at this moment that when technology falls behind the technology lag curve the price drops substantially then that technology disappears being replaced with the next big thing. The technology mantra is out with the old in with the new, early and often.

Current behind the technology lag computer system is running a Pentium? 4 Processor at 2.66GHz with 533MHz front side bus, 256 megabytes of Ram, 20 gigabyte hard drive, and a DVD player, maybe even a built in network card. A desktop system at this range is probably going to be offered with a 17 inch monitor. Deficits of this technology package are lack of a Compact Disc Writer (CDRW/CDR) or a Digital Video Disk Writer (DVDR/DVDRW), a smaller monitor at 17 inches, a smaller hard drive when hard drive size is exploding some of them are now over 200 gigabytes, and the biggest drawback in my mind the lack of 512 megabytes of ram. (Estimated total cost for this system $600-$900)

  • Pentium 4 Processor at 2.66GHz with 533MHz front side bus
  • Microsoft? Windows? XP Home Edition
  • 128MB Shared DDR SDRAM at 333MHz (Performs at 266MHz for 400FSB systems)
  • 40GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
  • 17 in (16.0 in v.i.s., .27dp)E773c Monitor
  • 48x CD-RW Drive

Now that we know what technology is currently behind the technology lag we can look at the computer that pushed the curve and could be charting the course for the future? We are talking about the new AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 Processor, 1GB Registered DDR SDRAM PC-3200, 120GB Seagate Serial ATA 8MB Cache, and the NVIDIA GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB. This is a less than learn, mean gaming machine, that is going to carry the field in every category that the current behind the technology lag computer has with a 8x DVDRW and the 30? NEC LCD3000 monitor. What sets this computer configuration apart is the ultimate graphics card with 256 megabytes of graphics memory which is equal to the Ram in the previous computer, the 64 bit processor which is a infinitely better than the 32 bit processors of old thing about it this way if you were drinking soda from a can with a straw and all of a sudden your straw doubled in size you would be able to drink twice as fast! In this case the computer is able to process functionally twice as fast because the processor space as doubled allowing for way more space to crunch the big numbers. (Estimated total cost for this system $3000-$4000)

  • 1-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service
  • Alienware Full-Tower Case (420-Watt PS) – Cyborg Green
  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 Processor with HyperTransport Technology
  • Ajigo High Performance Heatsink / Fan Unit for Athlon 64 Processors
  • ASUS SK8V – VIA K8T800 Motherboard
  • 1GB Corsair XMS DDR SDRAM PC-3200 Registered ECC – 2 x 512MB Module
  • GeForce? FX 5950 Ultra 256MB 8x AGP w/DVI & S-Video
  • AlienIce? Video Cooling System – Terra Green
  • 120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 Serial ATA 7,200 RPM 8MB Cache
  • 16x DVD-ROM – Black w/Software MPEG-2 Decoder
  • Lite-On 52x32x52x CD-RW – Black
  • 3.5″ 1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive – Black
  • Creative Sound Blaster? Audigy 2 ZS – 7.1
  • Integrated 3com Gigabit Ethernet Adapter
  • Microsoft? Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Multimedia Keyboard – Space Black
  • Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 – USB – Space Black
  • Microsoft Works Suite 2004
  • Free Alienware T-Shirt – Black
  • AlienAutopsy: Automated Technical Support Request System

Now that I have seen the future and it looks bright I have to take a step back to the bargain basement and show you all what computers are on the soon to be deceased list and are basically dead on arrival (DOA) to the computer stores, because all the profits have evaporated into the ether as the new technology brought down the price of the old. We turn to my favorite bargain basement computer dealer the one the only E-Machine, if you are not familiar with E-Machine they are a warehouse shipping model company think of a leaner meaner cheaper no frills Dell. E-Machine says that they have a computer for sale that only costs $399 so what could they offer.

  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2.60 GHz Processor 128KB L2 cache & 400 MHz FSB
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Chipset: Intel 845GV Chipset
  • Memory: 256 MB DDR (PC 2100)
  • Hard Drive: 40 GB HDD
  • Optical Drives: 48x Max. CD-RW Drive; 3.5″ 1.44MB FDD
  • Video: Intel Extreme Graphics 3D 64 MB Shared Memory
  • Sound: AC ’97 Audio
  • Modem: 56K* ITU v.92 ready Fax/Modem
  • Network: 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet

The only thing missing from this cut down bargain basement cutie is a monitor which can be purchased for around $99 at any major technology retailer. Making this E-Machine bad boy a $500 before tax bargain this is a working computer that will not jump through hoops or do anything exceptionally cool other than desktop processing and maybe a boring game like golf or something similar.

In conclusion, buying a computer is all about price! I recommend trying to buy just behind the edge of the technology curve in the technology lag. In case you have missed what exactly that means here is a simple example that will clarify the meaning of this mysterious term. Go to a technology store that sells computers like Best Buy, Office Deport, Computer Depot, or any of the other dime a dozen retailers. They get the best computers shipped to them and before they can sell the entire stock of what was the best technology changes and a new shipment comes in and now the retailer has both the new and the old. At this point a technology lag is being expressed between the best and rest so the retailer has to lower the price to make the inferior goods seem more attractive.

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