Is Processing Power Becoming Less Important?

A member of the LockerGnome community sent in the question, “As more and more of our programs become web apps, do you think speed and processing power is losing importance in the computing world?”

As more and more of our programs are becoming web apps, the importance of processing power comes in to question. Is processing power becoming less important?

Web apps typically require very little in terms of actual hardware speed to run. In fact, the majority of the computational work is done by the host in the cloud. This leaves your system with the simple task of displaying the data and giving you a method to make changes.

Internet speed seems to be the thing you notice first. A slow connection to the web can put a huge damper on your experience in more situations than mediocre system specs. In today’s world, you need a fast Internet connection.

There are several types of users that will still require faster hardware. Gamers will still hunger for the biggest and the best systems as graphics continue to increase in complexity. Gaming worlds are becoming large enough to require more RAM and CPU speed.

Video and photo editors also benefit from better-equipped systems. HD video takes its toll on slower systems during editing and encoding. Programs like Motion and After Effects are incredibly huge CPU hogs, and there is no question that a slower system would bring their efforts to a crawl.

Still, for the majority of average users out there, having a faster Internet connection will have more of an impact on their experience than the latest and greatest CPU. This may be one of the biggest reasons behind the widespread acceptance of netbooks and nettop computers with underpowered processors and lackluster specs. These machines are extremely slow by today’s standards. All they really need is enough power to run a browser.

Which would you rather have: a slower computer and a super fast Internet connection, or a super fast computer and a slow Internet connection?