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List of Upcoming PC Technology?

Old 05-21-04, 05:37 PM
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List of Upcoming PC Technology?

I'm getting back into the game of looking for a new computer and wanted to find a list of the technology on the horizon. Perhaps there's not a concise list anywhere but maybe one could be started here. For example, I know:

Video Graphics: PCI Express (3Q2004)
Optical Drives: Dual Layer DVD+R (around the corner)
Intel: 9xx Motherboard series + Prescott chip 4GHz and beyond
Microsoft: Longhorn (2006, perhaps midstep version 2005)
Hard Drive: SATA (Already here)
LAN: Gigabit (Already here)

etc. etc.

I know the crucial component in terms of upgrading will be the motherboard. I figure if I plan to buy a computer at the end of the summer then I can get a good base model that will be upgradeable in terms of these new dawning technologies. It does seem to me that some major PC technologies for home users are making a huge shift in what we have known, from the PCI Express to 64bit processing, etc. I think it would be worthwhile to have or be able to find an efficient list of the new standards or the approaching standards.

Does this make sense or seem worthwhile?
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Old 05-22-04, 12:08 AM
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I used to worry about such things changing in the computer market, but realized after a while it was futile anyway. If you are resonably fastiduous with your choices when you put together a system, things are usually fine with regards to features. The nature of the PC business is such that we usually upgrade every few years, and replace the cpu/mb/ram as a single step anyways, such that new features come onboard with the new equipment.

The most important things you can do when replacing/upgrading is to research your choice before buying, know what is the most popular, ranked best etc... then place your limits on price/features. Also, keep in mind total costs if you are considering an intermediate upgrade, is it really worth the cost of a minor upgrade, or is that money better spent on a complete upgrade. IE cpu upgrade, or cpu/mb/ram replacement at once.
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Old 05-22-04, 12:42 AM
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A lot of bluetooth devices
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Old 05-22-04, 02:11 AM
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PCI Express and SATA are the only real big ones. We've been using PCI for 10+ years and IDE for even longer.
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Old 05-22-04, 11:04 PM
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I'm in the same boat: I just woke up after a 3 year long butterfly dream.

Bluetooth is dying out, I wouldn't worry about it.
There's a "USB Wireless" coming out, although I think I read that they are just playing on the familiarity of the term "USB".

I've been paying attention to:

XP-64. The 64-bit version of Windows XP will finally let all of 64-bit processors do their thing to the best of their ability. BETA is out now. Q42004 for the real deal?

Buffer Overrun Protection/Execution Protection. XP Service Pack 2 is supposed to enable buffer overrun protection for the processors that supprt it (including the 64-bit processors from both Intel & AMD, I believe.) Buffer overruns are a huge source of windows virus exploits. This shouls help lighten the load quite a bit.

Hypertransport. New Intel & AMD processors support this.

Memory Controllers. The New AMD 64's have the memory controllers on board. They can now move massive amounts of data to/from main memory with worrying about the rest of the computer. Some new dual-cpu motherboards have dedicated memory slots for each CPU. This should be an area where big performance improvements are gained.

I'm pretty sure the new AMD 64's also ramp down on their power setting when they decect the system is idle or performing a low-intensity task. This improves the heat situation. I know I read about this, but I can't find the term they are calling this.

PAT. A feature of intel motherboards and new P4 cpu's, it does a good job of increasing memory performance. I thin the term "PAT" can only be used with certain chipsets; it might be referrred t as "memory accelleration" or "game acceleartion" on other chipsets. Both are supposed to be very nice.

And of course - HD-DVD, both standards. I haven't seen any news that there will be PC drives, but, there HAVE to be new drives for PCs.


O, I'm also looking at Thermo-Electric cools, like the Thermaltake SubZero. Since they can cool he CPU to lowr than amient air-temp (which neight air ofwater can do) I suspect they are going to be standard in the near-term 64-bit market.
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Old 05-23-04, 11:59 PM
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Here's a better question: How will any of these new technologies impact you? Are the benefits concrete and predictable, or vague and uncertain?

For instance, it's easy to see the benefit of larger hard drives. Modern hard drive sizes more than meet the MP3 storage needs of almost everyone, but even larger drives will facilitate computerized recording of broadcast TV. Imagine just having your PC record everything on primetime for the next six months... yep, that'd be cool.

On the other hand, faster processors offer no great value. Sure, the next generation of games will look a little nicer, but that's just a small amount of eye candy. In a practical sense, it's hard to see why a 3GHz processor won't completely meet the needs of almost everyone for the foreseeable future.

An even better example: Dual-layer discs may have absolutely no value for you. Everyone has standardized around DVD-9s - those are readable in almost every drive. DVD-18s may well be proprietary, so you'll run into problems playing them on other DVD players and drives. And they'll certainly be more expensive. Is doubling the storage space of an optical disc worth these costs? Doubtful.

And, my personal pet peeve is Longhorn; the advances they're adding seem boring and hopeless. Storing all of your files in a relational-database file system is not likely to help you, and will probably waste a lot of your computing resources (CPU cycles, memory, and hard drive space.)

So - stop worrying about the next generation. You may well end up paying top dollar for something you'll never use. When you find that you have a need for better technology, buy it.

- David Stein
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Old 05-24-04, 12:58 AM
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The only thing that really interests me is PCI Express. Of course, i'm mostly a gamer and my Radeon 9700 is still hanging in there very well.
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Old 05-24-04, 01:27 AM
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Originally posted by sfsdfd
An even better example: Dual-layer discs may have absolutely no value for you. Everyone has standardized around DVD-9s - those are readable in almost every drive. DVD-18s may well be proprietary, so you'll run into problems playing them on other DVD players and drives. And they'll certainly be more expensive. Is doubling the storage space of an optical disc worth these costs? Doubtful.
Just a FYI... Dual-layer discs are DVD-9s. The current standard writable DVD is 4.5GB. Commercial movie DVDs are generally DVD-9 which is a standard dual-layered DVD. (Or DVD-18 if they happen to be dual-layered, double-sided.) The new drives coming out will support writing DVD-9.
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Old 05-24-04, 02:55 AM
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BTX form factor is another one. The traditional mobo layout will be changed. Along with the case design.
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Old 05-24-04, 08:11 AM
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I am a computer professional and hobbyist who started out on a Timex/Sinclair back in the day. I am not rich. I like to game a bit. I always recommend that people save money and buy "latest technology minus 1 or 2". When 486dx-100MHZ was the rage, I spec'ed dx-66 or even sx-25. When Pentium 233 MMX was topdog, I was still pointing people to 166 or even Cyrix 686 for substantial savings. My point is that by dropping back to what was the latest greatest thing only 6 months ago, you usually save several hundred dollars for only a few percentage points net loss of performance in real world use. While all the new whiz-bang technology coming down the pike will eventually be considered indispensible, it is verrrry pricey. Right now if I were gonna buy a new home machine, it would probably be 3GHz, 800MHZ fsb with 2GB of RAM, a nice $150 mid tier video card, and one big hard drive for around $500. As it is, I don't need one, my trusty old PIII-600 with 384MB and a GeForce 4 Ti4600 will continue to do me well for another few years of standard use. It even plays UT2k4 (though a bit choppy at times).
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Old 05-24-04, 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by AGuyNamedMike
I am a computer professional and hobbyist who started out on a Timex/Sinclair back in the day. I am not rich. I like to game a bit. I always recommend that people save money and buy "latest technology minus 1 or 2".
I've always thought this way as well. I started out with a lower end P3 5 years ago and have consistently applied upgrades to max everything out.

The reason I feel differently about this time is because it seems the user is faced with all new standards at this point. Some like the dvd burner can happen anytime, but if I buy "minus 1 or 2" when the new standards come out, when it comes to upgrading I would essentially have to buy all new everything, especially with the motherboard. An older motherboard isn't going to support PCI Express, it won't support intel's change in processors (as well as not being BTX). So on and so forth. I'd rather bite the bullet I think upfront, so that when it comes time to upgrade, I can upgrade parts and not have to order a whole new computer comprised of the then standard technology.

I won't be adverse to buying a great computer of today's technology at super cheap prices to have an extra computer though. I already know that buying one of dell's 2400 super deal computers for a couple hundred bucks would give me a system much more powerful than what I have now. Luckily what I have now is serving my immediate purposes fine.
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Old 05-24-04, 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by X
Just a FYI... Dual-layer discs are DVD-9s. The current standard writable DVD is 4.5GB. Commercial movie DVDs are generally DVD-9 which is a standard dual-layered DVD. (Or DVD-18 if they happen to be dual-layered, double-sided.) The new drives coming out will support writing DVD-9.
Ah - got it. Sheesh, I've only been a member of DVD Talk for five years, you'd think I'd know DVD-9 from DVD-18 by know.

- David Stein
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Old 05-25-04, 11:59 AM
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Will you be able to buy an adaptor card to run a PCI-Express videocard? or would you be forced to buy a brand new motherboard?
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Old 05-25-04, 06:59 PM
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Probably not. The whole point of PCI Express is it is twice as fast as PCI. Even if there is a different form factor, you won't be able to take advantage of PCI-Express with an adapter as you'll be limited to the PCI speeds.
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