Moore’s Law: My Guide To Buying Tech

There is this joke that me and my friends revisit every once and a while that is the epitome of every gamer who buys a console. When the original Xbox came out I thought it was amazing, unfortunately I was a late adopter and I got it for my birthday from Circuit City (I know right) Guess what came out that November? The Xbox 360! The next year for Christmas my family got me the Xbox 360 after we found out that the Xbox original games could not be traded in, it was such a bummer!

It reminded me of when I was younger we had this bulky PC that was as big as my torso and had the amazing storage space of 150mbs. We still own that PC, for memories and hopefully its gaining value, but a couple years later after moving we invested in a family PC for the house. This amazing computer had 50gbs of storage and it ran Windows 95. This was also when Windows XP came out so eventually when we upgraded the next year, we also got a laptop. My evolution with technology has been quite the learning experience that I have come to reconcile with. Because like me; have you ever been frustrated with the fact that there is a new iPhone or new model of your phone every year? Are you a gamer listening to the rumors of the next generation coming out soon but you’ve been waiting a year or so to wait to get into it? Well here is my guide to learning how to not only buy tech but to also avoid the fear of missing out because you feel behind.

Moore’s Law is the theory that processor development doubles about every 18 months, roughly every two years. This premise was made by the co-founder of Intel in 1965, to which the CPU had only been around for a few years. But the trend has indeed continued for the last 50+ years now. For a regular consumer, a computer that is $600 today could be  half that amount the next year and be obsolete in two or three years.

Moore’s Law is more of an observational theory of a trend that is really the goal of the electronics industry. Pushing the limits, innovating design, minimizing costs, and consolidating systems to improve functionality. While it is agreed that at some point we will reach the limits of Moore’s Law, it is a ways off for the consumer.

Gordon Moore – Co-Founder Of Intel & Namesake of Moore’s Law

So obviously how this applies to the consumer is on the surface telling us to wait before we go out trying to buy the latest device. If you don’t believe me, lets look at some actual evidence:

 

Microsoft entered the phone hardware landscape not too long ago and one of their flagship phones, the Lumia (Nokia) has had a long history. I won’t go back too far but one of the early Nokia released in September of 2010; the Nseries Nokia N8. Then in June of  2011, the predecessor to the Lumia 800 and 900 Windows Phone came out. With more than twice the ram (1gb), a better user interface, great features, and Hd capability. The old phones was just one of those QWERTY slide up phones. Two years later we get the Nokia Lumia 900 that sported a higher performance CPU for less RAM and more storage space. Followed by the Nokia Lumia 1020 the following year which offered more performance, a better camera…etc..etc.

Now the point of that example, is that the phone industry is the prime example of Moore’s Law in the most interesting way. The phone industry allows for various forms of flexibility in regards to cost, availability, manufacturing, and performance. Its a smart business model and at the same time consumer friendly when you look at it with respect to your wallet versus one device every year. Using the Microsoft and Nokia model, there are mid step models in between each iteration and model number. the Lumia 920, 925, 928, 950 the Lumia 1000 and with respect to the model numbers, they have used the numbers to also signify that the base model is being upgraded with new specs; so the Lumia 900 upgraded to the 920 and the 920 to the 950, so on and so forth. Then you also have the 950 XL which is a bigger version of an already big phone. The mobile industry is probably the main front of Moore’s law for the consumer.

Now you might be asking how do I use Moore’s law if there are so many versions. Well in regards to your wallet and the latest gadget, you have options. Hypotheticaly speaking the Samsung Galaxy S5 is an old phone, if you found one it would probably be obsolete and cheap. But lets say you got a S6 Edge,  mind you we are on S8, you can get this phone for less than $250 USD currently at some retailers. You see knowing Moore’s law you should be able to go between the two dates of the phones and have a value in your head of where you want to fall on the price and capability. Last year I purchased a Moto X Pure Edition for $300 and for some reason its price is currently up to $460. I’d consider this a rip off because the Moto X style came out in 2015, where the Moto Z came out in 2016 and is running at $499. What comes next is what is good for your wallet and what you want.

You see the Moto X doesn’t have moddability as the new Moto Z style of Phone. So do you want the modibility? Then the Moto Z Play, which is a mid range model is directly between the two versions with a performance increase and a battery increase. compared to the Moto X. There is also the Moto Z Force which is higher than the regular Moto Z.

Now this is all debateable, there are so many brands, mid range phones, low range phones, high range phones. I hopefully didn’t get my information switched. But I use Moore’s law to give me an idea on how much I should spend, what phone I should look for, and who is taking more money than the phone is worth. iPhone is a different beast just because its a sole developer and manufacturer with the iphone 5 currently running for $150, the 6 is less than $300 and the 7 is less than 600 (I actually found a refurbished one for $300) but I have the plus and I need a big phone so thats a hefty penny upwards of $900. Thank goodness for phone plans and upgrades. Given that, this opinion probably only applies to people who buy their devices out.
Or better yet, Laptops, Tablets (WiFi), Computers, Processors, and consoles.

Sidebar:

Now if you’re a gamer, I will tell you Moore’s law in regards to the PlayStation Pro and the Xbox One X is what the future asks for these days. You can either wait for PS5 or get the PS4Pro then wait for the PS5Pro. Going into the future thats what I predict Sony will do, have the base model PS5 then also have the PS5 Pro model. Nintendo has been doing this with the Nintendo DS for the last couple years, and people keep buying them. So while we can complain about why you shouldn’t get them, you must also admit there is a market for people with that kind of money.

Just a helpful graphic for your PC Gamers. So you can get an idea on why your 2009 trusty PC build ain’t up to par today.

But there is no need to fear, you’re not missing out if you do it right.

I currently have the orginal PS4. I’m going to buy a PS4 Pro by the end of the year then hopefully PlayStation will make the smart move so I can move on to the PS5 PRo, that way I’m already getting the latest and my PS4 PRo is already the mid step upwards to the PS5 versus staying behind on the original PS4 and my games sucking. This is a topic for another time which I will be glad to do. But I hope you guys found this somewhat enlightening.

Side Bar X2 there is debate on whether or not Moore’s Law is still relevant. Due to more generational and incremental pushes. We currently might be reaching the precipice.

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