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Is computer technology going downhill?

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Aldebaran, May 1, 2021.

  1. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +7,987
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    Something interesting I've noticed while doing some laptop shopping lately....

    I bought a Toshiba laptop 10 years ago for $300 and it had a Celeron processor and 2GB of RAM and 250GB HDD. It lasted 5 years and admittedly wasn't very fast and gave me problems. HDD failed and I had to replace it once. It was my first computer.

    Then I bought my current Dell for the same price of $300 with i3 processor and 6GB of RAM and 500GB HDD and it's lasted me 5 years (so far) and has been everything I've ever wanted. Hasn't given me any problems at all. Quite a nice upgrade from the previous laptop.

    So, I figure I should be able to spend $300 again after another 5 years and get something that would be at least as much better now as my Dell is over that old Toshiba since just as much time has passed. But the current $300 offerings are ironically worse than what were available 5 years ago when I got my Dell. Hard drive capacity has dropped from 500GB down to 120GB (admittedly is a SSD instead of HDD, but that's the only improvement), the RAM dropped from 6GB down to 4GB, the processor went from Intel i3 back to the same Celeron as my Toshiba had 10 years ago, and the screen size went from 15.6" down to 14".

    Now that my current Dell laptop is 5 years old and I'm depending on it now more than ever, I'm getting rather concerned about what I'll be having to settle for if it broke down.

    With the current shortage of computer chips and other electronic parts, it got me to wondering if computers have increased in price over what they were before the shortage, or if technology in general is taking a turn downward.
     
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  2. Sketcher

    Sketcher Born Imperishable

    +7,429
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    Single
    US-Republican
    1) Prices of individual components fluctuate.
    2) SSDs are a giant leap over traditional hard drives in terms of speed, but price per gigabyte is much higher, and understandably so.
    3) Any $300 desktop or laptop purchase is a roll of the dice.
    4) How long a laptop lasts is a roll of the dice as well.

    I'd say if you got 5 good years out of a $300 laptop, you hit the laptop jackpot. But you can't count on hitting a jackpot every time you play.
     
  3. Sophrosyne

    Sophrosyne Let Your Light Shine.. Matt 5:16

    +42,310
    Christian
    Several things are happending
    1)Laptops are nowhere near as popular so they aren't cranking out nearly as many and thus the cost of designing and setup is not going to be spread out nearly as much as it was.
    2)The dollar is likely worth less than it was before
    3)the virus shut down a lot of manufacturing across the planet so supply is low and demand is high for everything till they catch up on a backlog of demand.
     
  4. Bobber

    Bobber Well-Known Member

    +2,452
    Non-Denom
    I know you were talking about lap tops but I would like to say a word of praise about my ACER desktop. I can't even remember how many years I've had it maybe over 15. Had it in to have it cleaned up a few times in the shops actually hoping they might say it's had the biscuit to justify buying a new one as it got the backscreen of death a few times (virus or whatever) But they'd say NOPE we can still clean it up and they always have. And this computer is in usage many hours a day for one reason of another. Served me well a pleased customer.
     
  5. d taylor

    d taylor Well-Known Member

    +2,063
    United States
    Protestant
    Single
    I believe technology will hit a ceiling could be soon or in a few years not sure. Kind of like running the fastest mile eventually the fastest time will be recorded and can not be topped.
     
  6. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

    +7,410
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Parts are lately more expensive. I'd like to get a larger SSD, and am wondering when prices will go back down.
     
  7. Pop D.

    Pop D. Member

    62
    +115
    United States
    Christian
    Single
    You could probably extend the life of your current laptop for several years. Dell laptops tend to be very user fixable, you should even be able to download their service manual for your model online.

    The most likely part to fail is the HDD, so be sure to keep everything backed up to an external drive if you aren't already. When the internal drive dies (or you need more storage space) you can search through 2.5" HDDs or even SSDs on PC Part Picker for a replacement.

    A very cheap, simple way to extend a laptop's life is to get a cooling pad to set it on. Might also want to consider installing a lightweight Linux operating system which would be far less taxing on your hardware.
     
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  8. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,798
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    No. They want you to use the cloud for your hard drive memory. I can't help but wonder why, other than the linking all your devices to your cloud data. Just feels a bit.... well.... they know all about me anyway....
     
  9. Freth

    Freth Seventh-day Adventist

    498
    +558
    United States
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    Single
    I have a Micro Center near me that has refurbished laptop and desktop deals all of the time. While the prices are slightly higher now, you can still find a decent system for $300-500.

    It's good to keep your old computers and invest in spares if you can afford them. I have something like a 7 PC redundancy, so if one dies I have spares. Laptops, I have 3 redundancies. Tablets I have 3 redundancies. Raspberry Pi I have something like 5.

    I'm set for the foreseeable future. lol Truth be told, I should get rid of some of them.
     
  10. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +7,987
    Non-Denom
    Single
    Yeah, that's something I'd really not want to rely on. I don't even have internet access most of the time, so I'd like my data files to be local. I don't have all that much anyway. In the 10 years I've owned computers (a grand total of 2), I currently have less than 90GB of used space on my 500GB hard drive.
     
  11. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,798
    United States
    Reformed
    Widowed
    I've got several hundred gig ....somewhere.
     
  12. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +7,987
    Non-Denom
    Single
    LOL! Well, I've only had one at at time, and now I'm finally seeing the need for a backup. It looks like I'm a bit late to the game on that idea. I like laptops because I don't have home internet, and the portability allows me access to public Wi-fi hotspots.
     
  13. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +7,987
    Non-Denom
    Single
    What do you guys think of buying a used laptop on Craigslist? I hadn't considered it before, but just now took a look and am pretty amazed at the deals! I've seen ones pretty similar to mine selling for $100.

    Or how about this one?
    "I have a Surface Pro 3 for sale, specs are as follows:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4300U
    GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4400
    RAM: 8GB
    SSD: 256GB
    OS: Windows 10 Pro
    Comes with everything pictured (Surface Dock, Pen, Touch cover, Tablet)

    Asking $200 OBO for it."

    Heck, I paid $300 for mine 5 years ago, but this would be a generation better processor, 2GB more RAM, and an SSD twice the size $300 would get me new. Or is this too good to be true? Never know on Craigslist. But I've never bought anything from anyone on CL before. I've only sold stuff.
     
  14. Freth

    Freth Seventh-day Adventist

    498
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    I'd make sure it's functional before buying it. Turn it on and take a look at the system page and drives to make sure that the specs match. Run it for a few minutes and if everything is in order, sure, buy it. The only thing that could potentially be a problem is if there is an overheating issue or some hardware is dying and it shuts off or shuts down off and on, but you may not see that on a test run, so you're taking a chance regardless.
     
  15. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +7,987
    Non-Denom
    Single
    I suppose it would also be good to make sure the OS is legal rather than something pirated. I wonder if there's a way to know. That's what I've heard could be a problem, even though Win10 is free. Not sure what could be an issue there.

    You might find this hard to believe, but I looked up my own computer model online to see the exact specs of it, and found that Walmart.com had a refurbished one they were selling for $364, and it's the same exact one I bought from Walmart for $300 5 years ago. That's saying something about the current price spike. It makes me wonder if I could actually sell my 5 year old computer for a profit. :idea:
     
  16. Freth

    Freth Seventh-day Adventist

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    On the system properties page (Windows Key + Pause), you will see if it's activated or not at the bottom of that page.
     
  17. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

    +7,987
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    Pause? I don't see a "pause" key on my own computer, except for maybe the F5 key that has a Play and Pause symbol on it. I tried Windows + F5 but nothing happened.
     
  18. Freth

    Freth Seventh-day Adventist

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    It's the break/pause key. Your laptop may not have that key, depending. You could right click on This PC in the Start menu and go to properties for the system properties page.
     
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  19. Aldebaran

    Aldebaran Star Power!

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    I guess I don't have that key, but managed to find it with the other way you said. That's using my own computer with Windows that came with it. One of the laptops I was looking at online claims to be running Windows Pro. I hope finding out whether it's activated or not would be done the same way.
     
  20. Freth

    Freth Seventh-day Adventist

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    Yes. The older versions you would right click on My Computer and select properties.
     
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