[rescue] Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Sun Jun 5 12:59:03 CDT 2005

Sat, 04 Jun 2005 @ 22:25 -0500, Patrick Finnegan said:

> Do they?  Maybe I've just isolated myself from such idio^Wpeople, 

They aren't idiots, they are just average joe's who have other things
to do besides conduct system comparison tests that are beyond their

Exactly what do you expect a customer going into a CompUSA to use as a
buying metric?  They look at the specs, one of which is MHz.

It's not like the industry has given them anything else to work with.

In fact, I'm willing to bet that 99% of the people who scream "MHz myth"
have absolutely no idea how else to compare two different CPUs either.
They are just sheep of a different color, that's all.

The majority of the consumer market is buying into the same family of
CPUs.  In that context, there is nothing mythological about MHz.  That's
why AMD came up with an equivalence rating for their CPUs.

It makes sense in the market they participate in.

I think though, that other factors are slowling becoming more important,
but that their isn't much support and information for them in consumer

> but I don't hear anyone really talking about clock speeds anymore.
> Even Intel has stopped emphasizing it so much since they released
> their Pentium M.

Hmmm... I still see MHz prominent in the ad copy everywhere I look, even
on laptops with the series M CPUs.

Back in the 80s, you almost never heard about clock speed.  It was all
about which programs would run, a few questions about graphics, and
wether or not Printshop would run on it... :)

> AMD makes it hard to determine the actual clock rate as well.  You
> still see it on basically all non x86/non AMD processors to demark
> speed though.

On Opteron, yes.  The others all have an Intel equivalence rating.

Beyond that, most good sellers also list the full specs as well.

> Anyways, most people I know don't care about clock speed at all
> anymore.

A lot of consumers either will, or they will ask other questions like
"Does it run XXX fast?" instead.

But if they are largely on their own, they look for metrics to compare
systems with, and MHz is still a popular one.

I think they (are starting to) realize the metrics aren't very good, but
they don't really know how else to judge things.  At least not yet.

I see the same thing happening slowly with regards to operating systems
too.  A lot of people are questioning Microsoft and are unhappy with
them.  The problem is they don't know about alternatives and/or there is
little support for them.

It's a self-fulfilling prophecy: if there were non-MS support, I think
consumers would flock to it.

> I think it depends a lot on the exact market you're looking at,
> but most people seem to want the cheapest machine with the biggest
> harddrive that you can get from Dell or Best Buy.  Neither of those
> sell Mac's, which my be another reason limiting their popularity.

To a point, this is true.  Modern PCs have so much overkill power for
home usage, that it almost doesn't matter what you buy.

There is one *big* exception: games.

That's still driving system power up with each passing month.

Now that we have all this power, I wish we'd start spending the money on
higher quality.

Shelf-space is a major factor, and some companies are downright bullies,
striking deals, making threats, and using lawyers to make sure the
customer never sees or has a hard time seeing the alternatives.

Microsoft is very bad for this, and another one is Creative.  They spend
a lot of time making sure other, better, sound cards never get shelf
space.  That's one reason they make so many different "models".  It's
not a matter of offering choice, it is done to take up more shelf space.

That's also why they and a lot of others use boxes several times larger
than what they need to use.

If we had a truly level playing field in free enterprise, the world
would look very different than it does right now.

shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["Castles are sacked in war, Chieftains are
scattered far, Truth is a fixed star, Eileen aroon!" -- Gerald Griffin]

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