I agree with Jim Rapozas May 22 Tech Directions column: Gaming does "drive" performance in computer systems ("Tech Revolution: Game On," Page 41).
However, there is another very important source of "pushing the envelope"—intense engineering applications like CAD/CAM/CAE. Obviously, there are more gamers than mechanical engineers (the largest group of engineers consuming these resources), but the engineers are legitimate business concerns (as compared to gamers, anyway).
I think that there is a real need for the hardware (as well as the software) to improve. There is much that we dont do in the course of our design work because the computer systems cannot handle it. Even when we had the 64-bit PowerPC, we limited the complexity of three-dimensional models and the amount of analysis we did.
Stephen J. Schoonmaker
Shady Grove, Pa.