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Discussion: Why do people always buy computing power they never use?

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I've have a few friends that all bar one are in the alienware world and love their computers. And the last is a very happy i7 imac owner. And it got me thinking why did they upgrade their computers when their previous ones did 100% of what they use them for.

I want to ask for the opinions of the Mac-Forums crowd to answer this something for me. Many people, I think most home users and power users get to a point in their computing life where their computer does 100% of what they want it for. Sur in the future that changes. But for that time period they can do everything on their computer. But they still insist on upgrading their computers (be it new parts or new whole computers).

And most times the new one is still the same. For instance, my imac friend I mentioed above owned a C2D 24 inch imac, got it 2008. And now it 2010 last month he replaced it for an i7. So basically there was no new hardware structure change (like Motorola to intel) or software structure change (liek Classic to OS X) to worry about. He just wanted more computer power. And I know 100% of the extra computing power he got in the i7 he is not using. I know this cause he does the same things with it as he did the C2D imac. And it's a similar story with the PC users I know.

Why do people insist on replacing computers and parts (continiously upgrading) when their current computer/parts is not: old, broken, being phased out (like PPC Macs were) lost or other? it just baffles my mind. I know they are addicted to having the best but what do you all think?
 
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Because everybody wants the latest and greatest. They want things to be fast and shiny. It's the same reason people buy really expensive and fast and good looking cars when 99% of the time they'll be admiring it from the inside and driving the speed limit.

There's no logic behind it. People want what they want.
 
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Dur, it's shiny? :) Hey, honestly a dual-core pentium with 2GB of RAM will do what 95% of people use their computers for. Maybe your friends just can't resist the urge to blow a wad of cash on a cool new toy. I know that urge gets the best of me sometimes. :)
 
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Because they have disposable income to "waste" on said technology.
 
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I've just recently upgraded from a G4 QS 2002, to a Mini C2D 2.26GHz and I don't intend upgrading hardware-wise, for at least another 2-3 years.
I may upgrade the HD, RAM and OS, but I'm not planning on another Mac purchase for a while, yet, so as far as I'm concerned, technology can speed along at warp speed, but I'll skip along behind until I'm forced to upgrade. :Angry-Tongue:
 
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I get that bug occasionally as well (mostly for my motorcycle though :$), but I'm just as happy to say I got smokin' deals on a last gen prior to Unibody MBP for audio production, and a Powerbook G4 for everything else. It took me a good deal of time to decide on exactly how much Mac I needed, and I don't plan on changing again until I have to.
 
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Because they have disposable income to "waste" on said technology.

Disposable yes. Waste? It's their money, why should others worry about what they spend it on?
 
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Personally, if any of "these people" are like me.. I like to tinker.. I like to rip things apart to find out how they work, then put them back together..

That could be part of the equation.

The other part could be just because of the fact, like I said, they have money to blow on hardware that they don't need. Mostly due to the fact they want to stay (and can afford this), to stay on the leading edge of technology, and the fact they can afford to.

In my IT experience, people who have money to burn buy the biggest, most bad@ss system just because they can, regardless if they'll use it or not.

It's comparable to people I know who are well-off, who lease a decent car, then "upgrade" every year, just because they can, regardless if the car is a POS or not.

EDIT: @ baggss, I really don't care what other people do with their money, just as I'd like other people to not care what I do with my money. It's not my business, I don't care. Same towards me, it's my money, who are you to judge based on what I spend it on? I'm just stating a realistic scenario towards the OP, ya know? :)
 
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They just want to show off their awesome computer. I would if i had a beast of computer.
 
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Disposable yes. Waste? It's their money, why should others worry about what they spend it on?

Now that's an ethical question. Should I worry if a person buys a computer every year and the old ones are put into the trash, polluting the world with e-waste that takes hundred of years to break down if not longer?

Should I worry if people buy new computers on credit then lose their jobs can't afford the repayments, and lose said computer and other things like their house too. And if many people have this happen to them, hmmm the recent world financial crisis was in part caused by this mentality and the whole world suffered because it.

So to answer your question. I agree if they want to do anything with their money even hang themselves with it I don't care. But if what they do affects me in any way like the 2 examples above affect us all then I should be concerned.
 
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EDIT: @ baggss, I really don't care what other people do with their money, just as I'd like other people to not care what I do with my money. It's not my business, I don't care. Same towards me, it's my money, who are you to judge based on what I spend it on? I'm just stating a realistic scenario towards the OP, ya know? :)

I didn't say that you were judging anybody on anything. It was a simple reply to your post. I merely wondered why one would use the word "waste" in this situation. The use of that particular word implies a disdain towards someone who spends that money.

IMO, one should always buy the most computer one can afford. The extra power you don't think you'll need now may come in handy when you buy that new DSLR or Camcorder and want to play with RAW video, photoshop, create music or simply rip your DVD collection for your Media Center. The extra horsepower allows for a certain "future proof" aspect of the system to some extent and allows the user to expand their use of the hardware AND software.

Now that's an ethical question. Should I worry if a person buys a computer every year and the old ones are put into the trash, polluting the world with e-waste that takes hundred of years to break down if not longer?

Should I worry if people buy new computers on credit then lose their jobs can't afford the repayments, and lose said computer and other things like their house too. And if many people have this happen to them, hmmm the recent world financial crisis was in part caused by this mentality and the whole world suffered because it.

So to answer your question. I agree if they want to do anything with their money even hang themselves with it I don't care. But if what they do affects me in any way like the 2 examples above affect us all then I should be concerned.

I completely disagree with everything you just said (except the part about it being an ethical question). It is not my concern how people spend their money, trash their credit or ruin their lives. Frankly, I'm not concerned about the environmental impact, and there is a right way to get rid of these things and it's not the dumpster. Morally and ethically it's neither my right or my business to dictate any of that to another consumer. If people are too immature to manage their lives, it's their problem and no amount of regulation or imposed control is going to make it any better. Personal responsibility is key here, and way to many folks have always had someone to bail them out when things got rough, be it Mommy & Daddy, another Credit Card or the Government. In the end, it always leads to more poor decision making and the cycle continues. Make people pay the consequences of their actions and not only will they learn but they will become more responsible citizens.

That's just MY opinion though....
 
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I see your point but here is a simple example.

People screw up the ecomony as they did in the financial crisis as in my example in my earlier post. That makes my Australian dollar to US dollar exchange rate much worse. And in turn that makes the price of a Macintosh to me much more expensive. So I am paying for their mistakes. And yes I agree you can recycle e-waste. But many people do not. I agree recycling it is the best option though.

Maybe it only matters to people when it directly affects them. I do agree when you say "personal responsibility". And you suffer for your own mistakes. But when you're the one forking out the cash for someone elses mistakes, it hits hard.

I do not disagree with your opinion. Cause it's just how you feel. And I think a lot of others would share your opinion too.
 
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I see your point but here is a simple example.

People screw up the ecomony as they did in the financial crisis as in my example in my earlier post. That makes my Australian dollar to US dollar exchange rate much worse. And in turn that makes the price of a Macintosh to me much more expensive. So I am paying for their mistakes. And yes I agree you can recycle e-waste. But many people do not. I agree recycling it is the best option though.

Maybe it only matters to people when it directly affects them. I do agree when you say "personal responsibility". And you suffer for your own mistakes. But when you're the one forking out the cash for someone elses mistakes, it hits hard.

I do not disagree with your opinion. Cause it's just how you feel. And I think a lot of others would share your opinion too.

I get that. I think those that "screwed up the economy" should not be getting a free handout from any government to make up for their mistakes, be they individuals or Billion Dollar corporations. Unfortunately too many people in charge are more than willing to try and "fix" things on the backs of their respective tax payers.

All this is really off topic though...
 

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I would imagine for the same reason some people buy dualie pickup trucks and Hummers to commute to work ;)
 
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I would imagine for the same reason some people buy dualie pickup trucks and Hummers to commute to work ;)

But who's to say they don't need that vehicle for towing or working on the weekends? I personally drive a Dodge 2500 diesel, it's my only vehicle besides my wife's truck. But I tow a goose neck trailer almost every weekend so I see it that it is needed.

A lot of people try and judge and make assumptions about others and their lives. Sometimes you're right, but more often than not the old "assume" adage rings true.
 
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My gaming rig has only ever once not played a game at full graphic settings at 2560x1600 resolution. I'd still upgrade the video card when the new Nvidia cards come out...especially with some of the new things they're bringing to the table.
 

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But who's to say they don't need that vehicle for towing or working on the weekends? I personally drive a Dodge 2500 diesel, it's my only vehicle besides my wife's truck. But I tow a goose neck trailer almost every weekend so I see it that it is needed.

A lot of people try and judge and make assumptions about others and their lives. Sometimes you're right, but more often than not the old "assume" adage rings true.

I agree, and I made my post firmly tongue in cheek. We buy these things because we can, and often because we want to be prepared for what may come. Regardless, it comes down to a personal decision and people do things for their own reason. No generalization can be applied.
 
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Well, it's a Goldilocks problem. Either you have too little power, too much power, or exactly the right amount.

Too little is a disaster.
Exactly right is a hard target to hit, because it moves as we do new things and as technology moves forward.
Too much is actually the safest bet, so long as you don't go overboard. (Or if you can afford it if you do.)

But who's to say they don't need that vehicle for towing or working on the weekends? I personally drive a Dodge 2500 diesel, it's my only vehicle besides my wife's truck. But I tow a goose neck trailer almost every weekend so I see it that it is needed.

A lot of people try and judge and make assumptions about others and their lives. Sometimes you're right, but more often than not the old "assume" adage rings true.
My, but someone sure sounds defensive.
 
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My observations have been that those who constantly upgrade their possessions, whether it is buying the latest maxed-out computer, the biggest power truck, the fastest sports car, the latest in fashion, etc. are by far a small minority of the whole. Most people buy what they need, and use it for as long as it does the job they need it to do - sometimes even stretching that last point by making do with the "old way" when many have moved on to a new way. If one looks closely, there are way more older cars on the roads than newer, way more older computers being used than brand new ones, etc. etc. etc.

Specific to the question, why do people (who are, IMO, a small minority) upgrade computers when their current model does what they need, the reasons are probably as varied as the people themselves. Some do it just because of a desire to own the latest and greatest. Some do it in anticipation of their growing needs, making sure in advance that any new versions of their favorite applications will have the necessary hardware and OS requirements ready and waiting. And some do it because their current system does NOT handle 100% of their needs, despite appearances from outside observation.
 

bobtomay

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If most folks bought computers based only on what they needed, our technology would have become stagnant around the time of the P4 and the ATI 9800 from 2003.

Thankfully there was a large enough group that continued to push the tech sector to new heights.
 

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