Welp, Intel just snagged McAfee. At first I was like "uh... what? that aquisition makes no sense." But after thinking about it, I thought that it'd be kind of cool to have a security device of some kind that you pop into one of the slots on your motherboard which analyzes everything that goes through your computer, thus taking that task off of your CPU. Yeah, software antivirus takes a significant amount of computing resources. That's actually one of the top things that makes me claw my eyeballs out about Windows. People go out and buy a modern, fast PC, then they put Windows on it, and between their antivirus and all the other bloated garbage that collects on Windows, by the end of the week their running a 486. :-)
Anywho, a device that plugs into your motherboard to analyze all the crap flowing through your PC wouldn't work. The inteligence would have to be built in to your CPU and/or Ethernet card, or else all that stuff would have to flow through this "security device" and that'd be a bottleneck. Then again, adding inteligence into your CPU or Ethernet card to do that would also slow things down. Let's face it, security on your PC slows things down just like security at the airport does.
So, the answer is for OS makers and software authors to take the time to produce optimized and secure software, so that we can all stop this madness. Everyone wouldn't have to buy new PCs every friggin 3 years if software was written with more care. But I'm sure Intel isn't a cheerleader for this effort. Optimized software would mean less hardware sales! Oh noes!!!
Meanwhile, I'm happily using Linux on 6 year old hardware. :-)