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?

10 thoughts on “Is Processing Power Becoming Less Important?”

  1. Id choose faster computer, slower internet.. depends how slow and how fast obviously.. and it’s really a question of the relationship between how you value these things but.. yeah.. i do a lot of stuff that require a tun of power.. music production, video production… 3D graphics.. so that power is totally critical to me.. but internet speed.. it doesn’t effect my day to day work as much really..

  2. Speaking of fast internet speeds, now that we have online app stores and websites to download media, is the computing world ready to ditch optical drives? Please respond.

    1. I think we have already seen that with the way that netbooks have gone.  Part of me thought about the same thing as you when I was watch the propaganda for the Chrome OS, the fact that it has the ability to reinstall itself if needed.

      I think it all depends on the way the Operating Systems go though because optical will always have a place as long as the OS’s stay as they are.  Well that’s my opinion anyway.

  3. Yes and no, for normal people that go use facebook, myspace, and youtube, etc. Its all about INTERNET SPEEEEED. But for people who make video games, music, animation, code stuff, movie type stuff like I do its all about CPU with processing powerr. Since people are demanding higher graphics and more gameplay etc for games it goes up for ALL developers.

  4. A slower computer and a super fast Internet connection is what I would want. This is the main problem with me! I have a Core i5 CPU with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145 with 3GB of RAM but what sucks is that I have a slow 512kbps ADSL connection here in India with actual download speeds of 50kb/s! THAT SUCKS HAVING A GREAT COMPUTER!

  5. Well i would prefer to have both fast internet and a fast computer which I do have at the moment, but I have been in both situations and my choice between your 2 would be a fast internet with a slow computer vs a fast computer and a slow connection. And yes I do believe for the general public as a whole internet speed is more important. They make up the vast majority of computer users vs gamers, video editors, producers, etc.

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