CAD Manager's Q&A: Is Now the Time to Buy Hardware?23 Aug, 2006 By: Robert Green
Robert Green replies: Good question. It really is astounding how prices on really nice computers, workstations and laptops have dropped recently. With prices this low you can almost buy a new machine every year and just throw them away! There is a reason why the prices are dropping, though, and I think that CAD users should be especially wary of getting new hardware on the cheap right now.
As you may know, Microsoft will be releasing the next generation of its Windows operating system, called Vista, in the near future. (Note: This is why all the new dual-core computers say they are Vista ready.) When Microsoft finally gets Vista out the door, we’re going to see radically new use of Bluetooth, FireWire, dual-core processing and large, multiple-monitor setups that CAD users are going to want. This process may take a year, but it is going to happen; trust me, it always does.
So if you buy low-priced computer hardware now, how do you know you’ll be getting something that is optimized for an operating system that isn’t out yet? See why the prices are dropping?
My recommendation is, even though prices are super low, I’d stick it out for a while longer and wait for the Vista operating system to launch, unless your existing machine really must be replaced. I believe that we’re going to see new chip sets, graphics engines, faster RAM and better dual-core processing architectures that will be optimized for Vista in the near future. And you know what? Those machines will be cheap too!