Storage Informer
Storage Informer

Old PC Holding You Back?

by on Jul.09, 2009, under Storage

Old PC Holding You Back?

Laptops are helping more people do more of what they love in more places around the world.

That’s what we learned while collecting stories and footage from the UC Berkeley campus, Malaysia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. We mixed those stories with data collected by Intel computer performance engineers.

In this video:

  • HD playing on a new vs. a three-year older laptop
  • Editing high quality video at home or even the beach
  • Recording and mixing music at home, a club or with other DJ live over the Internet
  • A college field hockey coach helping students become well rounded adults with the help of her laptop and digital video camera

Today, high quality HD video and television shows are being served up to computers from ever more Internet sites like Hulu, Disney, Fancast,, and the networks ABC, CBS and NBC. Not only are they all offering Internet HD video, many people (myself included and each of our Intel Insiders) are creating HD videos and uploading them to various video sites.

If you go to NASA’s site be prepared for an HD video experience. And it is not limited to watching. New laptops and desktops are empowering people to do things with rich media they could never do before. But if you got your PC three years ago, that would mean it was built in 2005, before the onslaught of online HD video and the rise of sites like YouTube and Facebook

Intel engineers put older and new computers to the test, and here’s what we learned:

  • Compared to most Intel-powered laptops from 2005, a newer laptop from 2009 powered by an Intel Core processor can help you do more things, faster
  • The 2009 laptop can multitask better and perform up to two times better,
  • play HD internet TV shows, and can convert photos into videos as much as three-times faster than the 2006 laptop

Here is a place to learn about the latest Intel consumer technologies being used by PC makers around the world. If you’re interested in the sources for the old vs. new computer comparisons, check out the Intel performance site.

My Anecdotal Home Tests

At home, I have one desktop that is four years old. It helped my wife get through her PH.D program at UC Berkeley. But for the past few months, she feared that the computer was on its last leg, about to croak. I saw her trying to surf and watch videos on FanCast, the Comcast landing page. It worked, but it was painful watching her move from one video to another and then move to searching on Google, even when connected to the fastest home service Comcast offers.

I checked, and my two year laptop doesn’t choke like our old desktop. One other proof point for me is that my one-year-old MacBook is way better at editing video, photos and multitasking than my two year-old laptop.

I’ve been buying computers since 1986, and I’ve always tried buying one that will last at least three or four years. My first computers seemed to last four or five year, especially with a little memory upgrade. It seems now computers are getting much better much faster, so around the third year, I notice my patience wearing thin as computer begins bogging down when I’m working several browser tabs and other applications running at the same time.

I have a few four year old laptops I keep around, but they’re my clunkers for the kids to play with — they’re slower and just not as trusted as my newer laptops.

On the other end, I actually look forward to turning on my 2008 MacBook and quickly diving into my video editing and social media sharing.

I have heard that something like 2 out of every 5 or 6 consumer computers being used by consumers today are three years old or older — “over the hill” and possibly holding back their owners from fully enjoying the media-rich experience that today’s Internet offers.

Maybe some of these older PC are considered collector items by their owners. Or they’re waiting for the right time to buy that right model with specific mix of technologies inside and out.

If you have an old clunker PC story, please don’t hold back! Share it here.


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