I was at a clients house yesterday afternoon, transferring over information from an old system to a new one he had just purchased. While doing the backup -restore stuff, he asked an odd question. Should he of waited to get a quad core vs a dual core processor? I found it odd for the following reasons.

He mainly uses his system for very generic applications like checking email, surfing the net and an occasional letter or two. Once in awhile he transfers some photo’s from his digital camera over to his computer and posts them on the web to share with other family members. Oh, and he likes to play solitaire and also hearts on his system. That’s basically about it. So would his dual-core 3.0 Ghz processor be able to handle the load? Obviously the answer was yes and with power to spare.

So I asked him why he had even given any thought to getting a quad system, and he mentioned reading an article in one of the major PC mags that said quad was in. Which makes one wonder. Was this article done to promote the next greatest cpu from Intel or AMD to satisfy the average users needs? Or was it basically to increase the profit margin of these two companies?

It seems to me that once our computers hit 2.0Ghz and above, that except for some games that require a bunch of horsepower, that the average user was not going to benefit that much. I’m not talking about faster boot times nor how fast a program pops up on our screens. I’m talking about what the average computer user does. Email, surfing, letter writing and some Windows game playing.

So after I had transfered over all of his junk, this guy is a pack rat with 4500 files in my doc’s alone, a ton of saved emails for some unknown purpose,  I could see the look on his face that his shiny new system wasn’t much faster than his old box was. To which I could explain that Vista wasn’t as fast as XP, that with the amount of junk he has on his system is akin to lugging around a one ton anchor on a row boat or sharing other thoughts that buzzed through my mind. Instead I completed the task I being paid for, picked up my coins and left.

I  guess I gave up years ago trying to explain the simple facts about computing that no matter how much the hype states that the next generation of processing power is going to knock your socks off, that for people who only their systems sparingly, they may not see much of a difference. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the added horsepower that the new system bring to the table.

What do you think? For the average user is a dual or quad core going to add to their computing experience? Will it make their fingers type any faster?

Comments welcome.

[tags]intel, amd, dual core, quad core, average, user, performance, hype,  [/tags]