The Computer Industry is Evil

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[ 2005-February-17 12:49 ]

One of the greatest evils of the computer industry is the so-called "megahertz myth." The myth is that if a computer has a higher CPU clock frequency, it is faster. In reality, there are a huge number of factors that influence "faster," such as the workload, CPU architecture and operating system. One of the worst effects of the megahertz myth is that companies sell their PCs with a ridiculously tiny amount of RAM, but outfit them with the fastest CPUs they can. The example I saw today is a six-month-old HP Pavilion ze5600 laptop. It has a 2.6 GHz Celeron CPU in it, and 196 MB of RAM. That would be insanely small for a PC that was purchased 3 years ago! My rule of thumb when buying computers is to drop the CPU speed down one notch and double the amount of RAM instead. The result will be a much more performant system.