Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Older and Faster

My Dell GX260 Desktop computer:
  • Pentium IV 1.8 GHz (Socket 478), 512k L2 cache
  • 400 Mhz Front Side Bus
  • 485g Chipset
  • 1024 MB memory @ 130 Mhz
  • 200 GB Hard Drive, 7200rpm
  • Dual Boot Ubuntu Dapper Drake 6.06 LTS , Windows XP sp2 - Both completely updated
Nancy's Compaq Presario 5004US
  • AMD Athlon (Thunderbird) (SocketA) 1.1 GHz
  • 133 MHz Front Side Bus (Possibly 200 MHz)
  • Not sure on chipset
  • 1024 MB memory
  • 80 GB Hard Drive, 7200rpm
  • Ubuntu Edgy Eft 6.10 completely updated
All the major benchmarks show my computer to be faster. Processing speed, memory access, even my graphics card is suppose to be better. Objectively, mine is faster.

But, Nancy's computer seems faster. Not much, but just enough to be noticeable. Nancy also has a Apple iBook G3 1.4 GHz, but her Compaq Desktop is much faster. The iBook only has 512 meg memory, so it's not a fair comparison. But my desktop is a fair comparison. And subjectively, hers is faster.

Does it really matter?

Yes, it does. It doesn't matter which one is faster, just that it's fast enough for the user. In this case, Nancy's computer seems faster than some of the desktops I see at stores today. The only time we notice a difference is when it's rendering pictures. I'm sure a cheap upgrade in the video card would fix that, but it one of those "why bother" things. If she needed it for lots of photo work, we'd upgrade it. But Nancy surfs and writes. Not much gaming, video editing, or composite photography work.

My point is: The speed of the computer in not dependent on it's processor. I know, I've said it before. But it bears saying again. Making old equipment work is about finding the best parts. That's what makes this Free Geek thing fun.

Remember when I was painting the Laptop parts?
I really didn't mean to set the monitor frame that way. Then again, there's that whole subconscious thing. I am male, after all.

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