Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 15th Nov 2007 19:01 UTC, submitted by Research STaff
Benchmarks "'What Intel giveth, Microsoft taketh away'. Such has been the conventional wisdom surrounding the Windows/Intel duopoly since the early days of Windows 95. In practical terms, it means that performance advancements on the hardware side are quickly consumed by the ever-increasing complexity of the Windows/Office code base. Case in point: Microsoft Office 2007 which, when deployed on Windows Vista, consumes over 12x as much memory and nearly 3x as much processing power as the version that graced PCs just 7 short years ago (Office 2000). But despite years of real-world experience with both sides of the duopoly, few organizations have taken the time to directly quantify what my colleagues and I at Intel used to call 'The Great Moore's Law Compensator'. In fact, the hard numbers below represent what is perhaps the first ever attempt to accurately measure the evolution of the Windows/Office platform in terms of real-world hardware system requirements and resource consumption."
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RE[3]: My old Pentium 166
by philicorda on Fri 16th Nov 2007 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My old Pentium 166"
Member since:

" For example, that P166 couldn't do video encoding/decoding for crap. It could barely handle MP3s, and forget about 3D games."

I beg to differ.
My P166 MMX laptop uses about 5-10% CPU playing back mp3s with Mplayer.
It can also run MDK:
at a decent framerate, while doing the 3d rendering entirely in software.

Software is not highly optimised nowadays because programmers no longer need to do so. This is a good thing as it makes code faster to write and more maintainable. It also encourages reusable code rather than tightly written special purpose code.

MULTICS is an example of this. The later *nix clones were simpler and more reliable as they no longer needed all the optimisation and memory sharing tricks required to run a multiuser OS in only 32kB of ram.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: My old Pentium 166
by joshv on Fri 16th Nov 2007 15:07 in reply to "RE[3]: My old Pentium 166"
joshv Member since:

Yeah, and I played Wolfenstein on my 286. Certainly it was rather highly optimized code, but it was also doing a hell of a lot less, with much lower visual detail. You simply couldn't play modern games, at an acceptable framerate on my old P166.

As for sound, there are certainly modern bitrates and codecs that would tax the P166, if not pegging the CPU, making it much more likely to skip when doing something else. And just forget about any modern video codec.

My point is that there are tasks that actually utilize much of the power available in modern systems - those tasks don't happen to involve editing office documents.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: My old Pentium 166
by Blackwizard on Sat 17th Nov 2007 09:46 in reply to "RE[3]: My old Pentium 166"
Blackwizard Member since:

It can also run MDK:
at a decent framerate, while doing the 3d rendering entirely in software.

Agreed. I also ran Battlzone ( on AMD-K5 with 100MHz frequency and 16Mb ram - it worked very fine even in software rendering mode (my video card did not support 3D acceleration at that time).

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: My old Pentium 166
by Rugxulo on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 06:21 in reply to "RE[3]: My old Pentium 166"
Rugxulo Member since:

I think a P166 would be plenty good enough for Quake. (But I barely ever bothered running it, seemed fine though.) And I guess .MP3 wasn't the best example (runs easily), but you may (?) have a point. Just saying, you don't need all these newer computers with tons of RAM just for multimedia and games. Heck, look at ye olde XBox 1 (PIII 733 Mhz) or even the (old but cool) Atari Lynx. Quite good without all the extra fluff! :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1