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2007 Dell Ad #3

Even the conspicuous consumption page tops out at under 3 grand for their best laptop and under 2 for the gamer desktop - easily spotted by the sales pitched at that demographic: the RAM stick is brand-named "Corsair Dominator". My point here is that the common understanding of Moore's Law, if not quite backwards, is wrong to imply that the price we pay remains the fixed constant while the number of circuits alone varies. My 1982 professor stated as an axiom that "all chips cost $5", and that remains about true - but only manufacturers should care about that. Customers buy whole systems and there, the broad sociological consensus is that the generally popular purchase everybody has to go along with to "keep up", has taken only four-fifths of Moore's gains every decade: out of five doublings, we take greater power four times, and the fifth, we take as a price cut by half.

© Roy Brander, P.Eng 2007