Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

New Chips = New Deal

Intel Corporation has announced a whole new 6th generation family of CPU chips called "Skylake." A whole new chipset means that whatever computer you happen to be using presently is now one generation older. When I say "computer" I mean everything from mobile devices to desktop computers. The ripple effect of a new chipset is that we will shortly see another round of significant upgrades to both software and computer peripherals. Eventually, the changes will affect online programs. Most of these changes will begin to appear in the Spring of 2016. Quoting from the product introduction statement from Intel entitled, "Introducing 6th Generation Intel® Core™, Intel's Best Processor Ever"
  • 6th Gen Intel® Core™ processors set a new standard with new, sleek designs that are thinner than ever, are capable of starting in about half a second, and offer up to two and a half times the performance and triple the battery life when compared to the computers many people currently own.
  • 6th Gen Intel Core processors have been optimized to best run Windows 10, enabling new experiences, removing computing pain points and providing more secure computing.
  • 6th Gen Intel Core processor family is the most scalable ever for consumers and businesses, enabling the broadest range of designs from the smallest Intel® Compute Stick and All-in-One desktops, to 2 in 1s, notebooks and the first-ever Intel® Xeon® processor for mobile workstations.
Genealogists by and large are older computer users and in my experience are prone to have older computers with outdated operating systems. In the same announcement, Intel makes the following observation:
There are over 500 million computers in use today that are four to five years old or older. They are slow to wake, their batteries don't last long, and they can't take advantage of all the new experiences available today. Built on the new Skylake microarchitecture on Intel's leading 14nm manufacturing process technology, 6th Gen Intel Core processors deliver up to two and a half times better performance, triple the battery life, and graphics that are 30 times better for seamless and smooth gaming and video experiences versus the average 5-year-old computer. They can also be half as thin and half the weight, have faster wake up time, and battery life that lasts virtually all day.
 Let me pose a hypothetical situation as an analogy. Let's suppose that someone suddenly invented an electric car that you could plug into regular house current and recharge in five minutes or less and that would run 700 miles on a battery charge. How long do you think your gasoline powered vehicle would be a practical alternative? Although that type of change would be obvious, but new chipset from Intel is practically the same type of situation as set forth in the analogy. Most of the larger software developers have probably had access to the specifications of this new product for some time and changes will begin to appear immediately. Of course, manufacturers who use chips other than those supplied by Intel will be forced to upgrade their own offerings.

What do you need to do? You need to backup your data regularly. You need to be ready to upgrade your operating system. If you are one of those people with an older computer system, you need to seriously start planning for an upgrade in the coming year.

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