MoJo wrote:Can you gave an example of something simple then?
Ask any teenager nowadays what they do with their PC
For example, transfer music to MP3 player via iTunes or similar, generating an image gallery with Picasa (possibly applying a few retouching filters to some images as well), use Windows Movie Maker to capture short video from webcam and add annotations et cetera then upload to YouTube.
There are lots of other applications and simple tasks people do with their home computers, for example: spreadsheet / document editing, reading e-books, watch TV / movies, listen to music, surfing the Web
In all these examples, no matter how big music library you have et cetera, HDD is not taxed enough to call it the bottleneck in the process. Look, audio editing can go from something as simple as making a few cuts and fade ins/outs with Audacity, but this is not as likely as using the PC to mix multiple audio sources together or go as far as to produce a track, because nowadays a PC is powerful enough to do basically anything, you name it, so it entices more and more people to do stuff that only "rich" people could do a few years back.
When talking about "everyday use" people often think about something as simple as listening to music. Now you can go and say that listening to music can be demanding as well and you are correct. I for example have Dolby Digital surround music ripped from DVD-Audio discs. While playing back these music files, the CPU gets taxed much more than when playing back PCM audio. My CPU is not by any means a high end CPU, but even when playing back these exclusive files the CPU is not taxed enough to make audible errors in the playback process. I also have full recordings of radio streams with some files going up as large as 5GB in size. Still, playing these files back doesn't really tax the CPU or HDD much to have any errors in the playback process. My files are special type of files though and I do think that my activities are practised only by a very small minority. Having that said and actually thinking more about what a typical user means with "listen to music", I get the image of someone playing back hundreds of small MP3 files with their favorite media player. You could do this few years back as well, PC technology again has advanced that much that the activities we do with our PCs don't tend to tax any resources enough to produce visual or audible errors (such as slow application response or skipping in the audio file).
Having this said and if you still think that audio/photo editing is something simple, then go ask someone who looks like a typical PC user. Sometimes they might surprise you as I know someone who doesn't really look like an audiophile (judging by his Hi-Fi gear in his house
) but who also records radio for long hours. What he does with Audacity is starting to be demanding though. Imagine a 2GB+ file in Audacity and you need to split it into multiple hundreds of small tracks. It's time consuming, but also pushes the RAM very easily to the max.
Sorry for long post