Sponsored by Intel
Why now is
the best time
your old PC
HAVE YOU HAD a heart-to-heart with your home PC lately? If it’s more than a
couple of years old, it may be struggling to support your new digital lifestyle.
Don’t believe it? Then ask yourself a few questions. Where do you store
your photos today: in a shoe box, or on your hard drive? Are you still buying
music on CDs, or picking just the tracks you want at i Tunes? Have you made
an Internet phone call on your PC? Used your Webcam to chat with the grand-kids in Seattle? Instant-messaged your significant other while browsing airfares
for a weekend getaway? Produced a home video and uploaded it to You Tube?
Downloaded last week’s episode of Lost If you can’t already answer yes to
most of these questions, it probably won’t be long before you can.
We’re constantly inventing new things to do with our PCs, expecting them
to act as our post office, newspaper, telephone, television, library, darkroom,
video editing suite, jukebox, home theater and global flea market. And we’re
impatient—we want all of these jobs performed quickly, securely and simultaneously. Multi-tasking isn’t just for working moms anymore.
Your PC processor needs a posse
The simple fact is that we’re creating more new jobs for our PCs than
most were built to handle. Machines that were state-of-the-art just a few years
ago may be barely adequate today, and each new digital device that enters our
lives adds a new straw to the camel’s sagging back. Without downloads to the
PC that nifty new iPod is just expensive costume jewelry. That 7-megapixel
camera will churn out thousands of huge files to store, sort and process.
Many new software programs are multi-threaded—games in particular—with
several separate tasks attempting to run at once. In most PCs all of these
workloads compete for execution space on a single microprocessor—the
PC’s silicon brain—and eventually even the fastest may struggle to keep up.