It's a good question, but a hard one to answer.
I think it's true a lot of software could be better optimized for speed. But there are various costs, the first is simply time from developers who know enough about the nuts and bolts of systems to do the optimization. Optimized code can be less flexible, making future updates or changes to software harder, although that's not an absolute rule. Optimization also becomes more complicated when code targets a wide range of hardware or platforms.>>11095>extended time when you load into an area and it gets put into RAM
Yes, exactly so.
And yes having specialized hardware for a particular problem is a huge speed-up. Things other than games can access the GPU, true. I use a video conversion program, and if I specially compile it, it will run through the GPU. But even there, the GPU can only encode some codex(es). When it works it does encoding ~100x faster.