Fast is good. People like fast cars. Fast weight loss. Fast foods. Fast is also ideal when discussing technology. People are willing to spend more to get fast devices that allow for seamless gaming, web browsing, streaming music and movies or uploading photos. But how much power do you really need in your PC?

Are you paying for speed that you don’t need?

If you’ve ever heard of Moore’s Law, it’s probably being referenced in the following way: Every 1-1½ years, computing power roughly doubles. Over the last several decades, this prediction has been found to be pretty accurate. Consider that computers are approximately a million times faster than they were 30 years ago!

When people shop for a new workstation computer, one of the first features they look for is speed. Technology is getting faster and we’re growing more impatient, so speed is a prime consideration. But even the fastest PCs can only offer so much to the user experience.

If we look more closely at how an average gaming computer is used, much of the “fast” performance being described isn’t being used. It ends up sitting idle the large majority of the time, which means all that performance that the user paid for is actually being wasted. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.

You’re using your PC for internet connectivity tasks.

Generally speaking, the average workstation PC is used for internet connectivity: web browsing, music, movies, social media, apps, etc. All of these things need an internet connection to work.

With more efficient programming and better standards, these tasks have greatly improved and are not nearly as demanding. Not to mention, most of these tasks are dependent upon your internet connection and speed, not the performance of your workstation computer.

You’re also using your PC for productivity.

The second thing you’re using your PC for is productivity-related tasks such as writing documents in a word processor, editing spreadsheets or putting together a presentation. Today’s software is highly optimized and makes these tasks fast and easy. The only thing limiting your efficiency is how fast you can type and enter the data.

What do you need high performance for?

Most computers can handle the above tasks very well, so you don’t need to choose the most high powered system to take care of basic things. However, there are some items that require serious computing power. For instance, if you work on video editing, graphics creation, computer animation or computer-aided design, you’re going to benefit from a CAD workstation PC.

Gaming is another area to look at, as some games are very demanding on PC hardware. If you play games that require multiple monitors, large monitors or high-resolution displays, you will benefit from a high-end gaming computer. Otherwise, most of today’s budget systems will handle 3D gaming just fine.

We all like things fast. But do keep in mind that even the fastest computers are often limited by things out of our control such as internet connection or typing speed. Therefore, it often does not make sense to pay ridiculous prices for power, unless you are a serious gamer, video editor or computer animator.

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