Ranting about how people prefer aesthetics over practicality

Monitors

For very long time computer screen had ratio of width to height equal to 4:3. Common resolutions were 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768. Every person who works with computer knows the more you can fit vertically the better. You can fit more text when you type or when you read. If you edit pictures, they also tend to be close to 4:3 ratio. But 24” monitor with 4:3 ratio requires much more pixels than say 24” with 16:9 ratio. About 15 years ago LCD panels were expensive. Nobody wants to buy panel with defective pixels and the less pixels the more chance to have no defective pixels. And manufacturers started to sell widescreen monitors. As result when consumers see 24” monitor for $300 and 24” monitor for $230 consumer vote with dollar and buy cheaper monitor. Average Joe doesn’t know anything about resolution and all they want is cheaper price. Many “journalists” immediately took thick pile of cash from manufacturers and start saying that watching movie is much better on wide screens and games requires more space horizontally then vertically. As result 4:3 monitors went to professional segment and their prices raises quite a bit. And after some time, manufacturers stopped production completely because profits were low, and it would be much more profitable to change that line to produce consumer monitors. As result, now it is almost impossible to find 4:3 monitor. Right now, you can buy 4:3 monitors only for medical facilities only and they are very expensive.

And now it looks like 16:10 monitors will have the same fate. It is harder and harder to find decent 16:10 monitor. Clearly it is much easier for manufacturer concentrate on mass production cheaper monitors than have many different segments.

I know most people still don’t care but I’m actually working on computer, and I do need that vertical space. Some people at company where I work did turn full HD monitors 90 degrees so they can fit more text in that screen. But now it became too narrow. Really sad for people who actually work on monitors.

CPU

Intel did attempt to inflate frequency of CPU because “people buy megahertz”. All Pentium 4 adventure was attempted to pull it off. And it worked to certain degree because again consumer sees: 3.5GHz CPU and 2 GHz CPU. Clearly first is faster because it has more “megahertz”. But in practice second one is faster. Intel gave up only because that technology did reach temperature limits and they could not make it any faster. I personally saw motherboard which CPU power connector and motherboard power connector were melted by Pentium D 4.2 GHz. I’m sure that if they were able to make it faster, they would continue their game. And people totally didn’t care that they are buying “popcorn megahertz”.

Cases

Any decent computer produces a lot of heat when it is working. Thus, it requires good cooling. After many years of computer industry found very optimal and very simple configuration: there is fan in front of case that sucks air it and there is fan on the back of case that blows air out. There should be no other holes in case. Cold air goes thru hard drives (not needed these days), then go thru video card and CPU and then hot air blows away. There is some loss in air pressure due to air going via cables, CPU heatsink and video card but there is also fan in power supply that blows air as well and compensate it.

But as everybody knows where air, there is dust. Dust is really bad for computer parts. It covers all of them eventually and considerably decreases heat transfer from these components to air. As result components overheating, creating stability issues or just decreasing lifespan of parts.

Again, solution is very simple. Usually front of case has meshed panel and all dust stays there. All you need is to vacuum that panel every 6 month or so and that’s it. Once in a year clean inside but usually there is quite little dust inside.

But again, manufacturers are trying to change game. Firstly, they introduced glass side door. How often do you (or someone else) look at your computer even if it does look appealing? 3 times, perhaps 5, I would say 10 most. Anyway, by some reason that idea worked and now it is impossible to find case without class door. Only extremely cheap cases are without door. Average consumer does not thing that metal door actually works as radiator and actually can transfer heat as well. It is not possible to break and even you scratch it, it will not look bad. Plastic or glass is much easier to scratch and immediately affect “look”, so you have to buy new one. I don’t even say that plastic or glass doors allowed manufacturers to raise price.

Next step was to remove mesh front panel. Now it is also glass or plastic and only narrow stripes of on the sides of the case. And I will tell you what happens next. As intake fan works sucks air with dust more and more these holes are covered with dust. Specially in middle range cases. As result far crates lower pressure in case and case stars to suck air from any other holes. It can be USB port on the case, headphones jack, even power button. Then it will suck air from sides of the case or even from back of the case. I seen really bad cases where video card supposes to blow air out but 2 intake fans fighting with blowing fan of video card because all other holes where covered with thick layer of dust. And worst part of it that this is not that visible to user. If you front of your case is covered with dust you will see it because you have to switch computer on, or you will plug some USB devices or headphones. You will see it sooner or later. And you will clean it eventually. When millions of holes in your case covered with dust it is much harder to spot and to vacuum.

RGB

And next step was made to put RGB everywhere. I seen videos where SSD disk overheats because of RGB produces too much heat. But people are so concentrating on aesthetics that they are ok to be impractical. Moreover, in these “green” days nobody cares that your motherboard, memory, cooling and storage actually have a lot of “Christmas” lights that actually consume power. They actually do produce heat. Not much but they do. Moreover, these RGB also pollutes environment because they have to be produced and they recycled. Again, very little but they do. Somebody can tell me about LED lights in TV or other equipment. But they are practical, and they play their role. RGB is useless. They don’t even provide joy of real Christmas lights because after few times people will never see them again. And I don’t mind that people buy RGB. What I mind that these days it is not possible to buy stuff without RGB. Why should I pay for things that I will switch off? I’m not eco-activist but why should I waste stuff if I can avoid it? But good luck to find motherboard without RGB. Even regular case fans will have RGB if it is any good. Only really basic fans do not have RGB. Soon all good RAM will have RGB and all good storage will have RGB because it will allow to charge more for the same product. And people will sadly buy it.

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