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04-12-2011, 10:16 AM   #1
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Computers and benchmark obsessions?

Every once in a while I like to see what's out there for the latest greatest technology. My Sony laptop is now three years old. It has what used to be considered a powerful Intel Centrino 2 Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz processor. But, as I look at a list of current benchmarks, it's right down there at the bottom. I've never followed or understood benchmarks, so it doesn't really matter to me. It runs as good today as it did three years ago and is fast.

Do benchmark tests sell computers? There seems to be an element out there that can't buy a pc without testing and knowing they have the fastest boy on the block. Would they even notice much without benchmark testing? Part of me believes that the computer industry sponsors all this testing to sell and I think I'm falling for it too. Here I thought I had a fast laptop, but on paper, it's now an old pooch. Darn it, now I suppose I'll have to get back in the game. Oh, and I have a 256mg dedicated video card too so it's not like I'm running a Model T....well, on paper I guess I am.

04-12-2011, 10:44 AM   #2
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The difference between computers and cameras would be, my old laptop,I can no longer get up to date software for, for surfing the internet, or doing many of the things i do.

My Pentax Program plus, should i choose to use it, will still take great pictures. I'm suspecting that computers are still a long way from when what they do stops increasing exponentially.

The real time dodge and burn effects on my current version of Aperture would be completely unmanageable on my old 500 mhz G3 iBook. Earlier this year, I found the latest version of Aperture was bogging down on my computer. You're left with a choice, up grade or go back to the previous version. Once you've spoiled yourself with a new feature, it's hard to let it go. To me, the difference between Aperture 2 and 3, was the difference between being manageable and being a cool filing program to store my files in before doing any heavy work in Photoshop. But it took a new computer to take advantage of those new features.

But if you have no reason to upgrade, apart from some paper specs, why bother? I wouldn't.
04-12-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Benchmarks don't sell computers.

Benchmarks sell hardware.
04-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #4
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04-12-2011, 12:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
Intel Centrino 2 Core 2 Duo T9300 2.5GHz processor
It still is a powerfull computer...and when all the comercial OS and software brings that beast down you still can make the choice to migrate to a resource efficient, not all about eyecandy, computing and efficient centered OS and software.
QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
it's right down there at the bottom
I have seen so many people with high end machines waisting their power on bloatware...or not using it to it's full capacity.
QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
and I think I'm falling for it too. Here I thought I had a fast laptop, but on paper, it's now an old pooch
Don't fall for it! it's a good machine and it's fit for 90% of the uses...only running some specialized software or very unefficient one may be troublesome (and i would say it would be much more a problem of RAM and in some cases dedicated video card's power, more than processor).
04-13-2011, 07:47 AM   #6
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Computers are getting faster all the time. I think the benchmark tests carry a little more weight because there is no clear cut judge to a computers performance. A few years ago, computers were judged on processor clock speed. That became a bad indicator because different processor designs actually performed tasks faster at a slower clock speed. This was most evident in the differences between Intel's Pentium and AMD's Athlon. The Pentium 4 had faster clock speed but the Athlon ran games much faster because of the design of the chip. Then Intel came out with the Core Duo and that had a much slower clock speed yet and so as to not scare customers, they stopped marketing chips by speed. The benchmark tests are used by reviewers to judge how fast a computer runs certain resource hungry programs. Usually they are games and some massive spread sheet to run through. They also use a video editing and photo editing program, usually Photoshop and Premiere. Video encoding is one of most demanding programs and worth checking that spec if you shoot a lot of video. On my 8 year old Pentium 4 desktop, encoding a few minutes of video can take a half hour or more.

There are a lot of things that determine how fast a computer runs. Memory, graphics, hard drives, etc, all make a difference. Benchmarks might be useful to help you make up your mind in the purchase of a new machine. Don't use it to compare your 3 year old laptop to something new because a brand new low end laptop is going to be faster. That's just the way it is. If you're happy with what you have and it's doing the job, keep it.
04-13-2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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Benchmarks & cars are all about ***** size.
04-13-2011, 11:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
Do benchmark tests sell computers?
It depends what they were measured against/with.

If for instance there is high benchmarked PC for 3d acceleration and you want it for Adobe Photoshop would you want it?

There is an underlying factor of does the PC (equipment as noted by lithos) work well with all the parts in it for the work you want it to do.

They can benchmark each individual component also however each component has the possibility of skewing the results of the whole.

So if you had the fastest everything EXCEPT for memory the system results overall would take a hit.

Replace the memory and the benchmark goes up.

Build a machine for photo manipulation and you may not have the fasteset gaming rig.

04-13-2011, 12:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aknot Quote
Build a machine for photo manipulation and you may not have the fasteset gaming rig.
Any machine today with a fair amount of RAM will do both...not the fastest at many things but it'll cope fine...A gaming machine will run photo editing programs and the inverse (maybe it'll not be able at the best levels of quality or speed but it'll cope fine, and will deliver satisfactory results).
Obsessing, and i'm not saying any of you do, about the specs of a tool kind of makes us forget that while it works, while it does the work we need it to do, all the considerations about it's aging,obsolescense and such are a bit pointless...And put harshly may have more to do with what Fl_gulfer commented than with real needs.
04-14-2011, 03:52 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Coeurdechene Quote
Any machine today with a fair amount of RAM will do both...not the fastest at many things but it'll cope fine...A gaming machine will run photo editing programs and the inverse (maybe it'll not be able at the best levels of quality or speed but it'll cope fine, and will deliver satisfactory results).
Yuppers but we are strictly talking benchmarks. So if you create a machine to get the great/best results for Photo Manipulation within a set benchmark it will not be the best Gaming rig (with benchmarks).

Each in its own right can do the others job however the benchmark will measure it for what its intended to do and grade it accordingly.
04-14-2011, 06:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aknot Quote
Yuppers but we are strictly talking benchmarks
True...my bad
the thing is that those types of tests make some people lose the perspective, in fact Larryinc expressed his concern:
QuoteOriginally posted by larryinlc Quote
Part of me believes that the computer industry sponsors all this testing to sell and I think I'm falling for it too
I was just, from my viewpoint, expressing that it is a marketing strategy that is not entirely connected to reality and real needs.
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