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firelighter487

why do company's not sell older things brand new?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

so i've wondered about this for a while. 

 

why don't company's keep making older tech and sell it still?

if you for example want to get into MS-DOS or early Windows gaming, you'd have to buy a 20 year old PC, find an OS for it, and then hope everything still works. 

why can't i just buy a Pentium 2 or 3, a board for it, a GeForce 256 and Windows 98 brand new instead of searching thrift store's and online for those things and hope they still work? 

 

i suppose stuff that old would be easy and cheap to make with the manufacturing technology's we have now... 


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Because they're not in production anymore, and the lines for said things have most likely either been demolished or reworked to produce newer parts.


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cuz they can't massproduce it, and why would they? That's a VERY limited market

 

Say that 10 million people are very interested in tech.

 

All of them buy the latest. Of those 10 million, most probably around a 100 of them would buy something like that, old tech. The cost of dedicating factory space, shipping, material costs and all that would be massive in comparison to the profits, so nah.


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There are products where you can buy the same product again after 30 years but at this point you are no longer in the consumer market. This is mainly needed for applications where you want exactly the same part again to avoid testing/regulation.

 

Production cost would also go up for old mass produced items. Manufacturing evolves and you need to modify the workflow combined with lower sells mean higher prices.

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For software side of the topic - there's not a lot of programmers, who want to work on such old codebase/application, especially when there are so few potential gains (not much interest/profit). Especially when you have to work with really old legacy tools, such as MS-DOS, which is nowadays a hell to work with compared to more modern programming languages. And then to maintain compatibility...


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55 minutes ago, firelighter487 said:

if you for example want to get into MS-DOS or early Windows gaming, you'd have to buy a 20 year old PC, find an OS for it, and then hope everything still works. 

What's wrong with virtualization software?


oh geez

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39 minutes ago, firelighter487 said:

so i've wondered about this for a while. 

 

why don't company's keep making older tech and sell it still?

if you for example want to get into MS-DOS or early Windows gaming, you'd have to buy a 20 year old PC, find an OS for it, and then hope everything still works. 

why can't i just buy a Pentium 2 or 3, a board for it, a GeForce 256 and Windows 98 brand new instead of searching thrift store's and online for those things and hope they still work? 

 

i suppose stuff that old would be easy and cheap to make with the manufacturing technology's we have now... 

There are companies that guarantee a certain product will be available for 10+ years, like Microchip with their microcontrollers.

 

In the case of computers and chips in particular it has to do with MONEY and TECHNOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS.

 

It costs money to have a factory that makes chips, and the factory consumes money no matter if you make chips or not, in fact some manufacturing steps are so difficult to pause that it's cheaper to keep the production running 24/7 making some chips you may not need (and wasting money on wafers and chemicals) compared to pausing production for even a few hours. If you pause things, you basically have to throw out chemicals, wafers, have to go through cleaning and resetting procedures and so on.

So you can't keep an old factory running producing 24/7 various Pentium 3 or AMD Phenom chips and filling a warehouse, because there's not that much demand for it.

 

It costs money to make a chip making factory and the factory can make a limited numbers of chips ... well, it can "process" a limited number of wafers (discs of silicon on which chips of various sizes can be made). The wafers cost money, their size is typically fixed (let's say 10 inch in diameter)  and the time to make the chip costs money, so the smaller the chips you make, the more chips you get out of those discs. So, it's in their manufacturer's interest to reduce every structure as much as possible, to squeeze everything in smaller square or rectangle, so they can cut more chips out of a round wafer disc.

 

However, a factory can not simply reduce the manufacturing process as it pleases, factories are made from the start for a particular manufacturing process and size, like 65nm, 45nm , 32nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm , 12nm, 7nm and so on. 

So every time you reduce the size, either a new factory has to made which costs tens of millions of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars in the case of sub 30nm factories. Wherever possible, companies prefer to upgrade existing factories because it costs much less money compared to making a completely new factory but in the case of the newest generations like 14nm and smaller, upgrading is practically not possible due to too many differences.

If they don't upgrade the factory, big companies like Intel and AMD and TSMC can keep older factories to produce other things than what they made before. For example, instead of making video card chips at 65nm, TSMC can reuse the factory to produce Realtek audio chips, because such chips don't benefit. Or, chipsets can be made at 55nm (AM4 chips) or 45nm (some Intel chipsets I think) because there's no benefit to using smaller processes. Some make small tweaks and repurpose factories to making RAM or Flash memory or other things.

 

It's not cheap to change a design from a process to another... for example rearranging a chip from 65nm to 45nm even with automated tools would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The smaller the process, the more expensive it is... changing a processor or gpu chip from 14nm to 7nm for example would probably cost millions of dollars. Smaller chips like let's say an onboard network chip would cost hundreds of thousands to make it from the start at 14nm or 12nm.

 

So it's logical companies won't spend tons of money upgrading an old part to a newer process, validating, running it through all their tests for weeks, and then taking up valuable wafer space in the new factory when the demand would be extremely small. They have to recover their investment in the factory (if they own it), they have to recover the investments in research they made on the new chips, the tons of money they spent arranging the chip for newest process and all that.

 

Also, older chips can't always be simply moved from process to process. For example, let's say you want to remake the classic AMD K6-2 500 Mhz on socket 7 - that one was made on 250nm process and was running at 2.2v for the core and 3.3v..3.6v for I/O

On modern processes like 14nm you basically can't use such high voltages like 3.3v, the transistors and internal structures inside are too small... so AMD would have to find an old factory that still does 90nm or some process that would still work.

Other chips like for example Phenom x4 or Phenom 2 x4 were made at 65nm and 45nm - those factories were long time upgraded to 32nm or 28nm, or repurposed to make chipsets, ram , flash chips, whatever was more profitable, so again it would cost too much to start making new batches. 

 

 

 

 

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24 minutes ago, duncannah said:

What's wrong with virtualization software?

Older games assumed the system clock would run at a specific rate, and tied in their internal timers to that clock rate and timings in the game depended on this.  So old games runs way to fast on a modern CPU.  

 

You are able to limit the CPU with software but I haven't seen any software that manipulate the system clock.

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1 minute ago, Kroon said:

Older games assumed the system clock would run at a specific rate, and tied in their internal timers to that clock rate and timings in the game depended on this.  So old games runs way to fast on a modern CPU.  

 

You are able to limit the CPU with software but I haven't seen any software that manipulate the system clock.

DOSBox can do this: https://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Configuration:CPU


oh geez

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