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John S. Krill

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Marketing Weirdness October 10, 2000

by John s. krill

Everyone knows you need a lot of memory to run any Windows operating system. 64MBs is considered the absolute minimum. Almost all system vendors now sell systems with 64MBs of memory. Well someone forgot to tell this to Gateway.

In today's Orange County Register is an ad for a Gateway GP-Series desktop. Good price: $899.00. This system was a special deal because they are going to upgrade the monitor from a 15-inch to 17-inch (15.9-inch viewable.) Now here I would like to quote the ad:

A 17" monitor lets you simultaneously view and work on spreadsheets, documents or Web pages. Plus, this free monitor upgrade comes when you buy this Gateway(tm) GP7i-733se special desktop, powered by an Intel Pentium processor. It's designed to run even the most demanding business applications, so you can be even more productive.

It does have a fast processor (733MHz) and a good size monitor. So what's the problem? It comes with only 32MBs of memory. It better have a super-fast disk drive because it will spend a lot of time accessing the swap file as you work the all those applications simultaneously. Will you be more productive? In a word: No.

That fast processor and big monitor will only show good results with lots of memory. More memory will almost always out perform an increase in processor speed.

So read those ads carefully. What starts out as a good thing may end with much frustration.