Originally posted by twhitehead
Because of Moore's Law, I have often argued that any large costly computing project that does not have a strict deadline can benefit from merely sitting back and waiting a few years.
The Seti@home project for example can now process in one hour what it took a month to do when it started.
If they had simply archived their data during the first year of op ...[text shortened]... .
On the other hand a project that is helping to cure cancer, we want done as soon as possible.
My response is always that there will always be better technology tomorrow and that
your logic results in never doing anything and always waiting for the next advance.
Also, the constant need for more computing power and applications fighting over resources is
the driving force that makes computing power keep increasing.
Indeed, PC processing power [in particular graphics power] has stagnated of late precisely
because for the vast majority of users they had enough processing power and didn't need more.
Now that high end VR needs a significant increase in graphics power than the general PC has,
it's likely and expected to provide a big boost to what the typical PC is capable of.
For a number of years high end consumer Intel CPU's have stayed at 4 cores and not 6 or 8 because no
regular consumer applications existed that needed more cores. Their 8+ core models were server
grade only. The rest of their consumer chips featuring a relatively crappy on chip GPU to use the space
that the extra CPU cores would go. [helpful in laptops, mostly worthless in desktops]
Having a constant driving force for more computing power is what makes the manufacturers keep investing
in the technology development needed to achieve that greater computing power.
The Human genome project was completed years ahead of schedule because computing power grew
exponentially from the start of the project making what would have taken a decade at the start take only
a few years and can now be done in hours or days.
But the technology we have now that allows us to do that was developed by doing that project.
If we didn't do that project we wouldn't have that tech.
Certainly every increasing computing power makes many tasks easier.
But equally important is all the other technology, knowledge, experience, research that goes into a
project. And if you wait for the computing power to increase before you start then none of that gets
done. And the people who might be interested in doing it at the start have gone off to do something else.
They have short lifespans that they don't want to waste waiting around, they want to do it now or they are
On top of that, extreme computing power can make you lazy, you can get away with inefficiency.
If you plan your project for now, and today's computing power and you optimise as much as possible to
make your code as efficient as possible because you don't have unlimited computing power, then your
project will go that much faster when increased computing power does arrive.