The best way for me to put this in perspective is to turn back the hands of time to my early days as the owner of a personal computer, in the mid-1980s. In those days, I was in a position to upgrade frequently, even though it was fair to say that I could put off some of those purchases for a while without my workflow suffering.
Really, the main improvement for me was the upgrade from a 14-inch Apple color display to a 19-inch something-or-other. As an historical aside, that original 14-inch display soon became a 13-inch display because of a revision in the way display size was calculated.
In any case, I took advantage of my status as a tech journalist to upgrade Macs every year or so. In large part, the performance improvement was worth it more or less; that is, until the Power Macs arrived in 1994. With the promise of a high-performance RISC processor from IBM and Motorola, Macs held the promise of achieving amazing performance, but it didn’t quite work out that way.
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