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Size Matters


I have a problem. Not the embarrassing only-tell-it-to-the-doctor type of problem, nor the honestly-it's-only-a-couple-of-glasses-a-night problem. No, my problem is my PC. It's too big, it's too noisy, and I'm getting really fed up of it.

My grievance stems from my love of PC gaming. For as long as I've used PCs I've played games on them and I'd probably go so far as to say that it was my interest in games that fuelled my push towards a career in computing (silly a logic though that may have been). The trouble is, making a PC that is fast enough for all the latest games not only costs a lot of money but also results in you having a monstrous computer that hardly fits under your desk, makes a huge racket, and generally is an annoyance to all and sundry. Why can't gaming PCs be just as small, quiet, and pretty as less powerful machines?

Now, at this point you may be thinking I've gone bonkers because "Of course a gaming PC needs to be big. It's full of lots of big, fast hardware!" Well, to a certain degree this logic is correct; to accommodate the fastest graphics cards you need a lot of space. However, apart from the fast graphics card, what else does a gaming PC really need? It's certainly not space for six hard drives, 3 CD/DVD drives, 5 expansion cards and a mountain of water cooling gear. In this day and age, it's just not needed.

You see, the digital world is changing. Now PCs are so powerful, most people can get by with just using a notebook for their everyday computing. So, the only reason to buy a proper desktop PC in the first place is either because you can't afford a laptop (becoming less and less common) or you want a super fast work or gaming station. On top of this, all our data can be backed up to network storage devices like NAS appliances or Windows Home Servers so we don't need masses of hard drives, just one fast one.

Also, USB hard drives, and memory sticks have now superseded floppy disks and CD/DVDs for transporting data - okay, you still need one disc drive to install games but for most everything else plenty of USB ports will do. Then there's expansion cards; what do people really use them for? It used to be the classic combination of graphics card, sound card, and Modem. Now, however, all but the graphics bit can be done on the motherboard so why have all the extra slots? Maybe have one spare, just in case, but that's all.

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