dslreports logo
site
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc
Search Topic:
uniqs
1358
share rss forum feed


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

Reddit: The Desktop PC is Ready for a Rebirth

Interesting discussion over at the Technology Subreddit:

The PC isn't ready to die, it's ready for a rebirth: Desktops sales have slowed because manufacturers have let their designs stagnate, but the need for a comfortable machine you can work on hasn’t gone away. Who will reinvent the PC and reap the rewards?

And a good point about the Core i7. As most of you know, I'm still using the i7-920--the initial entry-level high-end CPU. I probably don't "have" to rebuild--my coming rebuild this summer is more out of want than need. Heck, I've seen people push these as far as 4.0 GHz or farther with the right stepping.
--
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.



DC DSL
There's a reason I'm Command.
Premium
join:2000-07-30
Washington, DC
kudos:2

Desktops won't rebound unless the "one thing at a time" UX paradigm of Win8/iOS/Android is downshifted. For a mobile/handheld device it's one thing. That form factor is intended primarily as an information consumption device with limited interactivity. Desktops are intended for the information *producer* and knowledge worker. They are hobbled by the one thing at a time approach, and the pad UX DOES NOT scale-up properly for a device that isn't limited by a tiny screen. What's the point of a killer CPU if 99.9999999% of its cycles are waste heat?

Frankly, desktops should be no longer be marketed to the non-corporate user. That would allow manufacturers to focus on both general-purpose and purpose-specific features and capabilities that are critical to corporate users but have no traction with consumers, education, or gamers. Non-business users are simply siphoning resources for ever-decreasing returns.
--
"Dance like the photo isn't being tagged; love like you've never been unfriended; and tweet like nobody is following."



NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06
reply to Krisnatharok

It was never that "the desktop PC" was dying, just that the sales of new ones was dwindling (because the existing ones in use weren't dying and they still satisfied the needs for which they were bought--video probably more than anything else).
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

I disagree with that notion. I agree that my relatively old Core i7 920 / ASUS P6T Deluxe system is still going strong and showing no signs of obsolesces (for my use case). However, there are a class of computer users that would gladly use something other then a computer to do basic tasks like reading, writing, communicating, simple gaming and more.

Tablets and smart phones started in such a way as to be virtually useless without a computer,......right out of the box there were just bricks. However, many tablets and smart phones are fully functional (or mostly so) without the need of a computer which is a significant inflection point.

So now the scarcely computer literate have found a reason not to improve their skills in an area they may care little to nothing about and can still get things done.

Make no mistake about it, there will likely be many generations to come where the earliest experience with technology will be with a tablet or a smart phone,.....not a traditional computer.



NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

I didn't say that other computer "formats" weren't useful, nor did I mean to imply that. But a desktop was designed for everything except mobility, and simply making it smaller and self-contained (laptop/notebook) was not necessarily the best alternative. Sure, the touchy, little devices are best for their intended purpose--taking it with you (only the next room or everywhere else); but I don't want to take it with me, I want to leave it on the desktop. I can't think of anything worse that always being constantly in touch with everything and everyone and vice versa. However, just because other devices can take over those things which they do better (personal preference), that never meant that the desktop was "dying". Frankly, I think it's the keyboard that really differentiates them; if you never need that kind of input control for extended periods, then you really don't need a desktop/laptop.
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"



Octavean
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-31
New York, NY
kudos:1

I guess what I was trying to say is that there was a segment of the computer community that bought and used computers but didn't really want to buy and use computers. Given an alternative they would gladly take it and those that were previously counted among such users effecting PC sales may no longer be counted in such a way,...if they changed their buying habits

Some people are afraid of computers driven by a lack of understanding and or unwillingness / inability to learn. Simple solutions are a godsend for the quasi technophobe,.....

Desktop, All-In-One, laptop and so on,.....not everyone wants a computer. not everyone wants a tablet or smart phone either but for some people these dumbed down devices are all they are willing to manage.



NotTheMama
What Would Earl Do?

join:2012-12-06

said by Octavean:

Some people are afraid of computers driven by a lack of understanding and or unwillingness / inability to learn.

So, you've met my sister.

said by Octavean:

...for some people these dumbed down devices are all they are willing to manage.

Ahhh, yes... where would Apple be without them.
--
"...but ya doesn't hasta call me Johnson!"


Cthen

join:2004-08-01
Detroit, MI
Reviews:
·Verizon Wireless..
reply to Krisnatharok

.


SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA
Reviews:
·MetroPCS

1 edit
reply to Krisnatharok

Consumers who buy pre-built desktops are now flocking to tablets, netbooks, and laptops. The spending is still there, just shifted.

As far as a rebirth, have faith the 2nd coming is already upon us! An old pc becomes new again with a software refresh, a wireless keyboard/mouse, a new monitor or even a new hdd/ssd. I promise facebook will work just fine on that 10 year old pc.



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1

said by SysOp:

Consumers who buy pre-built desktops are now flocking to tablets, netbooks, and laptops. The spending is still there, just shifted.

*Some* consumers. But even those that buy tablets or laptops may not necessarily ready to completely give up desktop PCs.

I have 2 tablets, and I mostly use them as portable video players.

I also have 2 functional (and 2 waiting to be fixed) laptops, and I mostly use the working ones on occasions when my desktop is not available.
--
Wacky Races 2012!


SysOp

join:2001-04-18
Douglasville, GA
Reviews:
·MetroPCS

4 edits

I do have my eye on the lenovo helix convertible tablet, but there's no reason to give up a perfectly good desktop dual monitor setup with a 42" HDTV + 23" IPS in portrait mode.

Recently upgraded a 2007 desktop, dropped in a hex core cpu, plugged in a passive HD 6770 gpu, added a stick of ram, wireless keyboard, wireless touch pad, and wireless mouse. I don't see needing any more power for awhile.

But for the office, I am in the market for some new thin clients.


me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO
reply to Krisnatharok

Desktops wont ever be as big as they once were, I hate it buts its true. Most people think laptops are good enough. Heck my parents said they are never buying a desktop for themselves again, their laptops are enough for them. Then theres tablets, easier to maintain than a desktop, just what the soccer moms/yuppies of today want. Seriously, in a world where people will pay upwards of $100 just to have someone hook up component cables for them cause they don't want to be bothered to just match up the colors themselves, a tablet where you dont have to learn hardly crap sounds a lot better than a desktop where you have to learn to be at least semi-competent.

That and hardware lasts longer now days. For just web surfing and light stuff like minecraft a c2d and 7800 will do just fine. If it does good enough for people thats all they care about. May not be top of the line but good 'enough' is what most people strive for. At least it from what I can gather by talking to people at my college.



chrisretusn
Retired
Premium
join:2007-08-13
Philippines
kudos:1
Reviews:
·PLDT
·Comcast
reply to Krisnatharok

I'm not sure it's ready to die, but I just can't see a rebirth. I'm not sure what sort of design approach would be needed to make a desktop comfortable to work on. My box does me just fine. It's my chair, desk that provide the comfortable part.

I am amused at many of my friends who buy a laptop for portability, hook up a mouse and speakers because the touch pad gets in the way, the built-in speaker aren't good enough and the just park it on a desk in the house. It basically a laptop, desktop.

Folks who are in to smart phones and tablets are not going to switch back. At least the ones I know. They love and brag about how great it is to have everything available 24/7 anywhere any time. Me, I have a stupid phone and a desktop (more than one). I do have a laptop, it for work and it travels with me if needed, otherwise it sits as a laptop desktop.

My sister I think has the right idea. She has an awesome iMac Pro for a desktop and an iPhone for the portable part.
--
Chris
Living in Paradise!!


me1212

join:2008-11-20
Pleasant Hill, MO

Thats something I never understood. If you get a laptop why turn it into an overly expensive under powered desktop?

People may use smartphones/tablets for normal downtime computing, but it'll be a long time before they can do real work or host servers on them.

Kudos to your sister though, it may only be an all in done desktop made from laptop parts but thats really a good way to go. Phone for mobile desktop for home/when you need more power.



n1zuk
making really tiny tech things
Premium
join:2001-10-24
Malta
kudos:2

I think we may be looking at this the wrong way.

What drives the advancement in hardware? For a number of years, it seemed that new software application requirements outpaced existing hardware. This is what still drives the graphic card market.

Today, most fairly modern hardware is more than powerful enough to run what people are wishing to run.

Let's use the modem for example. In the late 80's, a 14.4k modem was enough horsepower to connect to the text only BBS. When we decided we wanted to download the racy GIFs (or the latest warez), only a 56K baud modem was the way to go. At the peak of AOL's run, the 1M DSL/cable modem was starting to show its limits. We now have 15M broadband, but are envious of those folks who can afford the 50M Ultimate packages.

For a number of years, one of the "Must Do" things we did when buying new software was to read the "Minimum Requirements" and the "Recommended Requirements" of the software application we were thinking of buying, as we knew the latest software may bring our desktop to its knees. When is the last time you've done that?

So, where did the software development go? It has moved onto other platforms -- The game console, the smart phone, and now, the tablet. That's where many of the top application developers have gone.

Until there is the development of "The Next Big Thing" for the desktop computer, the must have, want to run it, for the desktop, which will require more speed/memory/power for the desktop, there probably won't be much change in the platform.

The question is, what will that be?
--
Smoke 'em if you got 'em



ImpldConsent
Under Siege
Premium
join:2001-03-04
Mcdonough, GA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com
reply to DC DSL

said by DC DSL:

For a mobile/handheld device it's one thing. That form factor is intended primarily as an information consumption device with limited interactivity. Desktops are intended for the information *producer* and knowledge worker.

One of the best descriptions of the two competing technologies I have read (and will steal).
--
That's "MISTER" Kafir to you.


pnjunction
Teksavvy Extreme
Premium
join:2008-01-24
Toronto, ON
kudos:1
reply to SysOp

said by SysOp:

I promise facebook will work just fine on that 10 year old pc.

10 years is pushing it. Assuming someone bought a decent machine it would be a Pentium 4 2.x or Athlon XP 2x00+ CPU.

Unfortunately with how resource hoggy many web sites and flash content are those systems can be frustrating to use at this point.


kdshapiro

join:2000-03-29
Eatontown, NJ
Reviews:
·Optimum Online
reply to ImpldConsent

I couldn't agree more. It's fun watching Netflix on my ipad, or being able to use safari to do light browsing with limited interaction.

But when I need to actually do more than type at snails pace I hit the desktop. Video/sound editing, typing papers, remote support, and browsing is so much more comfortable with big monitors, core i7 980, 12 gig ram and 6 terabytes of hard disc space.

During Hurricane Sandy power outages, I was able to do work on my desktop hooked to the generator(albeit without internet), while the ol' ipad was dead due to the issues in the area.
--
Ken



trparky
Apple... YUM
Premium,MVM
join:2000-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:2
reply to Krisnatharok

As other people have stated already, for the vast majority of people out there their machines that they currently have do way more than really need it to do. If you take a look at most user's machines and look at the raw CPU usage numbers you'd probably find that the CPU is tapping its "virtual foot" while being completely bored out its silicon mind. Yes, I know that CPUs are constantly doing something but that "something" doesn't even come close to maxing the computing capacity of the CPU.

It's not CPUs that are the biggest bottlenecks in today's computers. Not RAM. Not the system bus. No, it's the traditional HDD.

HDDs have not kept up with the speeds and data transfer rates that we have been demanding from them. So in reality... it doesn't matter if you have an old Core 2 Duo or a fancy new Core i7, the speeds of the machine are going to be roughly the same because of the limited data transfer speeds of the HDD.

However, if you put an SSD into the system it will take off like a rocket. SSDs can even breathe new life into an old Core 2 Duo machine and make it feel like a new machine again.
--
Tom
Boycott AT&T uVerse! | Tom's Android Blog | AOKP (The Android Open Kang Project)


emig5m

join:2004-02-16
Columbia, NJ

1 edit

said by trparky:

As other people have stated already, for the vast majority of people out there their machines that they currently have do way more than really need it to do. If you take a look at most user's machines and look at the raw CPU usage numbers you'd probably find that the CPU is tapping its "virtual foot" while being completely bored out its silicon mind. Yes, I know that CPUs are constantly doing something but that "something" doesn't even come close to maxing the computing capacity of the CPU.

It's not CPUs that are the biggest bottlenecks in today's computers. Not RAM. Not the system bus. No, it's the traditional HDD.

HDDs have not kept up with the speeds and data transfer rates that we have been demanding from them. So in reality... it doesn't matter if you have an old Core 2 Duo or a fancy new Core i7, the speeds of the machine are going to be roughly the same because of the limited data transfer speeds of the HDD.

However, if you put an SSD into the system it will take off like a rocket. SSDs can even breathe new life into an old Core 2 Duo machine and make it feel like a new machine again.

SSD's are great (I run one for my OS/App/Game drive), but capacity is too small and price is too high still. I'm also glad that software doesn't push hardware into being outdated (obsolete) so quickly like it used to. I gave up on PC gaming for a few years because I got sick of spending big money on upgrades just to have them not run a game well six months down the road. I actually came back to PC gaming because hardware seems to stay usable for a more reasonable amount of time. But I agree about HDD's and I really want to see SSD's increase in capacity and lower in cost (so that I can use them for data storage other than just for an OS drive).

emig5m

join:2004-02-16
Columbia, NJ
reply to me1212

said by me1212:

Thats something I never understood. If you get a laptop why turn it into an overly expensive under powered desktop?

Power savings? My desktop PC runs on a 650 watt PSU (not including the monitor) and my laptop runs on a 65watt AC adapter including powering the display. Overly expensive under powered desktop? Well I bought a laptop with a 17.3" display, 750GB HD, 2.50GHz (3.1 turbo boost) Core i5, and 6GB or ram for $418.50 after rebate. I wouldn't necessarily call it overly expensive or really underpowered. Other than gaming at 1080p with all graphics settings maxed, I can do everything else I do on a PC perfectly comfortable on the laptop - even playback of 1080p HD video.