How fast does computer technology advance?

Updated: October 21, 2018 | Contains affiliate links

We all know that computer technology is advancing very fast. It’s hard to determine however sometimes just how fast this technology is advancing. Yes, there are pictures online that will show you old computers and if you really look for it you will be able to find the major advances in computer technology. But when you upgrade your own computer you get the best picture of just how much is computer technology is really advancing. I am in the process of upgrading my computer and backup system and therefore I can provide a clear picture of this computer technology advancement. Just read on to see.

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I usually buy middle of the road technology

If you have been reading my monthly updates on how many digital pictures and videos I currently have on my computer, you would know that I usually buy older technology because the latest technology has a high price premium attached to it.

My current computer is old. I have purchased my current computer from Dell on October 22, 2002…that’s almost 8 years old !!! I have a very old computer that works great after a few upgrades (memory and disc space) and it has been sufficient for all my multimedia needs…until recently.

Having a new camera (Read my review of the Canon T2i) with lots of megapixels and HD videos, the rate of filling my hard drives has increased dramatically. In addition I was already running low on space on my aging Western Digital EIDE hard drives.

So, it was time to upgrade.

My old computer system was…pretty good for that time

I bought my old DELL computer in 2002 and I paid around $850. It was great then, but it was not the latest and greatest for that time. Take a look at the specifications:

  • Processor: Pentium IV at 2.0G, 512K Level 2 Cache , 400MHz FSB
  • RAM: 256 Mb (Later upgraded to 2Gb when memory was amazingly cheap)
  • Hard Drive: 30GB Western Digital 7,200 rpms – Later upgraded to
    two hard drives: one 100Gb and one 150Gb.
  • Video Card: Dedicated ATI with 128Mb memory
  • Operating System: Windows XP Professional edition (32bit).
  • Price: $850

My new computer is slim and light

I got my new Dell at the end of last month and I paid exactly $500. Again, this is a middle of the road computer in today’s terms…a consumer PC on the cheaper side. It’s a Dell Inspirion 580S and I am really impressed about how light it is. I hope it will last long enough because I tend to keep my computers for a long time before upgrading.

Take a look at the specifications of my new Dell Inspirioin 580S:

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-540 processor at 3.06GHz with 4MB Level 2 Cache
  • RAM: 4 GB at 1066MHz FSB
  • Hard Drive: 320 Gb SATA drive, 7,200 rpms (already adding a 1Tb Western Digital Green Power drive)
  • Video Card: Integrated (not my best choice but I’ll probably upgrade this later)
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home edition (64bit).
  • Price: $500

Is computer technology advancing fast?

Of course it does! I think my example proves it very well. What I am comparing right now is the default configuration when I bought both computers. I’m am not including the upgrades I have added to either
computer. This is the out of the box configuration.

So, let’s look at the details and compare computer technology advancement in just 8 years.

  • The new i3 processor from Intel is a Dual core processor…almost like having two processors instead of one. The clock speed is higher as well, but the main difference is that it is a dual core processor.
  • The Level 2 cache memory has increased 8 times (512k to 4Mb)
  • The RAM memory has increased 16 times (256Mb to 4Gb)
  • The front side bus speed has almost tripled (400Mhz to 1066Mhz).
  • The hard drive space has increased over 10 times (30Gb to 320Gb). Hard drive speed has remained unchanged.
  • The operating system has changed to 64bit to 32bit. This is an amazing advancement that all you computer geeks will understand.
  • In addition the new computer is much lighter and a lot thinner. This is just the icing on the cake

I think the comparison of the numbers show amazing advancement in only a few years.

How advanced will my next computer be eight years from now? Maybe it will also do pancakes in the morning :)

Essentials for organizing your digital photos

Here are the essential products and services I have come to rely on for many years to keep my media collection organized and safe. Even though these are affiliate links, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Excellent Lightroom and Picasa alternative. If you need a cheaper and simpler photo manager then ACDSee Photo Studio for Mac (save 40% until Aug 9th) or ACDSee Pro for Windows (save $40 until Aug 9th) is my preferred solution for organizing all my media. It has a very fast browser, great image editing and it's simple to use.

If you do a lot of image editing like I do, I recommend using Adobe Lightroom Classic CC via the annual Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Lightroom has best photo editing capabilities even though it comes with a steeper learning curve. If you do image editing, Adobe Lightroom is my favorite.

I recommend Backblaze Cloud Backup for affordable & reliable unlimited cloud backup. I have been using Backblaze for backing up all pictures & videos for more than 5 years now. All my invaluable digital memories are safe and secure. This is the best solution especially if you have a large quantity of media files.

Use a reliable & affordable external hard drive for backing up everything on your computer. It is absolutely essential for keeping all your memories backed up and safe.

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