Retina is Driving PC Hardware

Posted in Computing

Nope, couldn’t do it. I took the new Macbook “upgrade” that I bought a few weeks ago back to the Apple store and told them that I’d stick with my 4-year-old battleship for now.

Quick aside – Apple’s hardware return policies are a blast from the past. Most products can be returned, with no restocking fees, for up to 14 days after purchase. It shows either extreme product confidence or excessive margins.

The portability advantages that the new laptop offered could not make up for the huge speed deficiencies of its low-power CPU. Even with the smaller screen, the lowered resolution (although retina effectively doubled it), and the newer processor architecture and faster RAM and solid state drive, the machine had a ton of trouble keeping up with more than 3-4 running at the same time1. Sadly, the Macbook did not live up to my expectations as a capable blogging, email and web browsing machine.

Taking a step back, I’ve been happy to see that after a few years of computing hardware stagnation, the emergence of retina/high DPI displays has reinvigorated manufacturers. Instead of having just PC gaming push for faster iterations of hardware (and really, the push was mostly graphics cards), we’re now seeing that bigger and sharper screens require a generation or two of new machines to keep up with the multiplicity of pixels.

Even if it means having to go back and upgrade all the monitors and motherboards and cables.

 


  1. And I had to remember that there are classes of computing device where running a few apps running in parallel is perfectly reasonable.