Celeron Or Pentium Ii? Celeron or Pentium II? Author: Pallav Gupta Instructor: Lisa Anne Culp Fall 1998 The computer industry is flourishing because of the advent of new, powerful processors. Recently, Intel Corp. released its Pentium II-450 MHz chip: the fastest processor on the planet. But because the chip is overpriced, Intel is also marketing the downgraded version of a PII, the inexpensive Celeron-333 which has a 128K cache compared to the PII’s 512K cache. To potential computer buyers, this situation presents a dilemma because they must decide whether to opt for price (i.e. buy the Celeron) or speed (i.e.
buy the PII-450). In an attempt to answer this question, Lincoln Spector of PC World and Christopher Yates of PC Week analyze the two chips in their articles entitled Double Feature and Intel Celeron Cache in With New Power, published in October and August of 1998 respectively. In this paper, a rhetorical and discourse analysis will be performed on the two articles to examine the similar and different strategies used by Spector and Yates in presenting their arguments. The strategies will determine which article is more convincing. Since the articles are present in magazines that pertain to the genre of computer and computer writing, it is first also necessary to analyze the genre. Comparing and contrasting the magazines can obtain an introduction to the way material is presented and organized.
The criteria for the analysis include the types of articles present in the magazines. In addition, analyzing the sources of evidence used to support the claims can provide crucial information to the kinds of appeals (i.e. logos, ethos, or pathos) used by the authors writing in the genre of computer writing. Other similar factors such as article length, ads, and the advertisers can also be examined. But the demographic data of the magazines is of utmost importance because it describes the audience and thus, defines the way authors write for their audience. PC World and PC Week have a circulation of 1,125,000 and 305,443 respectively.
The former is published monthly and the latter is printed weekly. Eighty-eight percent of the audience of PC World is male and the remainder is female, with ages ranging from 25 to 54 years. Thirteen percent of both magazines’ readers are employed by the computer industry, while 59% of PC World’s compared to 13% of PC Week’s readers work in some sort of management (SRDS 445). In addition, Online survey results show that most readers of PC World have a college education with 31.1% holding a bachelors, 15.3% a masters, and 3.9% a doctorate degree. The high educational statistics indicate why the average annual income of the readers is $73,884.
Because demographics for PC Week were unavailable, it is hard to make comparisons with PC World’s. But because most of the readers are employed in management and other technical areas, one may assume that the readers of PC Week have a college education. Because the readers are diverse in terms of their employment status, the magazines contain a variety of articles. Although different types of articles are present in each magazine, they all focus on the subject of computers. In general, PC World concentrates more on the hardware (components) of computers than PC Week does.
lawsuit, while another could address the rumors and the possibility of a merger between two giant corporations like Oracle and Creative Labs. But whatever the article type may be, the claims in the articles must be verified by concrete evidence. In the genre of computer writing, statistics and data are the main source of evidence that is used to support the claims in the articles. Thus, the use of logos is prevalent. Statistics in this paper implies the use of numbers and experimental data. Certified lab results displayed in the form of graphs are used to convince the readers that PC World provides accurate information.
In addition, flowcharts and diagrams effectively communicate complex ideas. Numbers such as percentages and price figures are abundant throughout the magazine. On the other hand, PC Week uses statistics in moderation. Unlike PC World, which uses them to explain all its statements, PC Week uses them to emphasize the main points of its articles only. PC Week also quotes many CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations to prove its assertions. Both magazines sometimes include statistics in their ads. The similarities that exist between the magazines are the ads and pictures, the advertisers, and the article length.
About one-third of each magazine is dedicated to ads. The products advertised include software like Adobe PhotoShop and hardware like modems, printers, and network hubs. Specifications, prices, and pictures of these products are featured. For example, a Compaq ad in PC World will print a photo of one of its computer models and say, Model 6300: Intel Pentium II Processor @ 350 MHz, 32 MB SDDRAM .. $1719.00 (173). Fancy pictures of motherboards, dialog boxes, and zip drives help capture the audience’s attention and coerce them into reading the articles or the ads. The advertisers of ads that are placed between articles and in the opening pages of the magazines are rich corporate firms like Hewlett Packard, Dell, and IBM.
Ads of small companies like TigerDirect Sys., which have smaller revenues, are crammed with other advertisers towards the end of the magazine. Most of the articles in the magazines range from a quarter of a page to a page maximum. However, each issue focuses on three to four main topics. For example, the Y2K (Year 2000) problem can be analyzed in four to five pages. These articles are nicknamed Topics of the Month. One such topic of the month is the performance analysis of the Celeron chip against the PII-450 chip. The author of Double Feature, Lincoln Spector of PC World, argues that although the PII-450 is a fast chip, it is overpriced.
He supports the new Celeron-333 chip, which provides quality performance at an economical price (55). To convince the audience of his viewpoint, Spector makes effective use of organization, tone, his role as a writer, and language in writing his article. Using several ways to present his evidence, Spector maintains the reader’s interest and skillfully persuades him or her to believe the article. The author presents his evidence by using different methods that appeal to the logical senses of the reader. The first strategy used is comparing and contrasting the two chips. Comparing and contrasting not only provides background information on the chips, but it also helps focus the reader’s attention on the author’s thesis. Spector reports, [Celeron] ..
run[s] like a [PII]-333 but shows up in systems starting at just $999 (55). He further mentions the Celeron is a price/performance winner, thanks to its built-in secondary cache, a crucial feature that the original Celeron lacked (55). To contrast the PII and the Celeron, Spector says, PII-333’s cache .. operates at half the processor’s speed. In contrast, the Celeron’s cache .. functions at full [processor speed] (57).
Because of the logic of the argument that the Celeron runs as fast as a PII and is relatively cheaper, the reader is convinced in Spector’s argument that Celeron chips are a better deal. To strengthen his argument further, Spector makes use of rebuttals to claims that support the PII-450. By using rebuttals as evidence to tarnish the reputation of the PII chip, Spector is successful in reinforcing his point in the reader’s mind. Although he acknowledges that the PII-450 performed 8% faster than .. [the] PII-400, he describes the boost as unnoticeable and insignificant (56) for the $140 to $300 [the reader will spend] for a PC that’s not much faster on business apps (55).
When it comes to games, Spector appears impressed by the PII-450 for it outstripped [the] fastest PII-400 .. (56). However, he dismisses this event because the results were due in large part to the impressive Millennium G2000 graphics card that [the PII-450] machines use[d] (56). The use of rebuttals allows Spector to brush off the superiority of the PII. Spector provides the final blow with statistics and data.
Abundant statistics and charts are present in the article to help Spector support his thesis. The statistics include percentage values like 8 percent faster and 3 percent variation (56), computer prices such as $2675 Compaq Deskpro [and] $999 Avanta E333 (57), and other numbers like 99 frames per second [and] score of 176 (56). In addition to statistics, Spector uses precise, graphical, and well-organized charts that show actual lab results to indicate the performance of the Celeron against the PII. Legends and other information necessary to understand the charts are provided. At a single glance, the reader sees that the Celeron performed as well as a PII-333 with scores of 171 and 172, respectively.
However, the PII-450 received an insurmountable score of 198 (56). Upon assessing the scores, the reader might question Spector’s credibility for there is a huge difference. However, an anticipating Spector, uses another chart entitled, What Your Dollar Delivers to show that the Celeron-333 start at low prices of just $999 while the PII-450 begin at prices of $2700 (57). By using test results and statistics, Spector’s credibility skyrockets because he is successful in dispelling any doubts the reader might have about the Celeron. Although Spector succeeds in logically convincing the reader of his goal, he still needs to develop his credibility. How does the reader know that the information he has provided is valid? By mentioning pitfalls, Spector shows his concern for his reader. He develops a relationship similar to parents advising their children on f …