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The Demise of the Desktop Computer

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#31 PGHammer

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:25

+1 I work at an office store and see this everyday.

Bologna.

 

Why buy a new desktop when you don't have to?

 

Desktop computers (whether in a business, even a small business, or in a home) tend to get upgraded last for the very understandable reason that you CAN upgrade *piecemeal* - you don't have to upgrade the entire contents of the case.  (Even those much-maligned HP/Dell/Lenovo/etc. desktop PCs can, more often than not, be upgraded, albeit with varying degrees of difficulty compared to more ordinary desktops - still, it can be done.)

 

My current PC (which I built) is a case in point - the entirety of its hardware can be seen as *dead hardware*.

 

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (Kentsfield) - dead four years.

Motherboard - ASUS P5G41-M LX2/GB - Likewise, dead four years.

GPU - nVidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti (factory refurbished) - Dead two years.  (It replaced a Visiontek AMD HD5450 iSilence - itself dead three years.)

HDD - WD Caviar Green WD10EADS (1TB SATA 3.0-g) - Dead two years.

 

Yet this collection of dead hardware runs four operating systems (Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012R2, OS X 10.8.4 and OS X 10.9 DP2) - all of which are current, if not bleeding-edge.

 

I can do anything I could care to on this same collection of dead hardware - including current gaming.  (I was playing RIFT earlier today - fully maxed out at 1920x1080 with all the eye-candy turned all the way up.  And again - this is on *dead hardware*.)

 

Further evidence - my 3DMark (current) results.  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/914572




#32 Rigby

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:38

Desktops aren't going anywhere, but they are no longer in almost every home like they were in the late 90s. Teen girls and grandmas no longer need them to check their emails and Facebooks and play Angry Birds, but for serious work and gaming no mobile device can touch them. Same for upgrades and reliability; laptops are shoddy pieces of junk that rarely last more than a few years and are designed to be disposable and replaced. 



#33 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:44

I can't imagine not having a desktop to be honest. I do have occasional thoughts of a laptop for the space saving, etc but.. find it hard to adjust to the idea! 



#34 Andre S.

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:51

Still nothing replaces the desktop for comfort, power and productivity. For any job that implies using a computer all day, there's no acceptable alternative. Desktops are also still the most awesome gaming machines by a landslide. So I wouldn't say they're dead, they'll just remain popular in the areas in which they excel, and be replaced by more practical devices in the areas where they suck - i.e. mobility, facebook-checking-grandma-friendliness, etc.



#35 +Chicane-UK

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:52

Still nothing replaces the desktop for comfort, power and productivity. For any job that implies using a computer all day, there's no acceptable alternative. Desktops are also still the most awesome gaming machines by a landslide. So I wouldn't say they're dead, they'll just remain popular in the areas in which they excel, and be replaced by more practical devices in the areas where they suck - i.e. mobility, facebook-checking-grandma-friendliness, etc.

 

Agreed. If I got a laptop, I'd end up connecting a monitor / keyboard / mouse - then it sort of seems like there's no point in getting one! 



#36 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:56

Bologna.

 

Why buy a new desktop when you don't have to?

 

Desktop computers (whether in a business, even a small business, or in a home) tend to get upgraded last for the very understandable reason that you CAN upgrade *piecemeal* - you don't have to upgrade the entire contents of the case.  (Even those much-maligned HP/Dell/Lenovo/etc. desktop PCs can, more often than not, be upgraded, albeit with varying degrees of difficulty compared to more ordinary desktops - still, it can be done.)

 

My current PC (which I built) is a case in point - the entirety of its hardware can be seen as *dead hardware*.

 

CPU - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 (Kentsfield) - dead four years.

Motherboard - ASUS P5G41-M LX2/GB - Likewise, dead four years.

GPU - nVidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti (factory refurbished) - Dead two years.  (It replaced a Visiontek AMD HD5450 iSilence - itself dead three years.)

HDD - WD Caviar Green WD10EADS (1TB SATA 3.0-g) - Dead two years.

 

Yet this collection of dead hardware runs four operating systems (Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012R2, OS X 10.8.4 and OS X 10.9 DP2) - all of which are current, if not bleeding-edge.

 

I can do anything I could care to on this same collection of dead hardware - including current gaming.  (I was playing RIFT earlier today - fully maxed out at 1920x1080 with all the eye-candy turned all the way up.  And again - this is on *dead hardware*.)

 

Further evidence - my 3DMark (current) results.  http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/914572

 

So you're saying buisinesses and the average consumers have core 2 duos and 550TI's? LOL. Your hardware is in no way "dead". My both my rigs I built with 550TI's runs everything like a champ too, same as yours. Buddy, we're talking about people and buisinesses just coming off XP. I had a guy come in the other the other day with a lot of machines with a first gen P4, 512 megs of ram, and onboard video---and for the life of him couldn't understand why I can't install Windows 7 on it for him. Do you really think the average consumer is just going to rip open their machine and start tweaking???? Last gen p4, 3 gb of ram, 8800--hell yeah that'll run 7/8 just fine. So in other words, throw those things out and get new ones.

 

Hell, The new ultrabooks and AIO's we just got in have everything soldered to the logic board (minus the HDD)! You can't upgrade that s-#$! I absolutly hate Windows 8 and what it's trying to do, just as any other person, but that's where the market is going. Everybody wants a shiney toy that looks like a Mac with a PC price--and that's what they're getting. We have not ordered any a single desktop ever since I started working there. PM me and I will show you our invoices.They sit there on the shelfs and in topstock.

 

For the tech savvy crowd, desktops are here to stay--and I like that. You'd have to prey my rigz from my cold dead hands. For the consumers, restricted and locked down Ultrabooks, tablets, and AIO's are here to stay.



#37 Aergan

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 20:57

Agreed. If I got a laptop, I'd end up connecting a monitor / keyboard / mouse - then it sort of seems like there's no point in getting one! 

Ah but the beauty is the space / power saved, less constant heat output and you can take it with you if you want to. Mine sits on my desk more often than not these days but it's very useful for these reasons. I did used to use Shuttle XPC's but would still rather have a decent laptop.

 

Where I work, desktop replacement laptops are on a dramatic rise compared to traditional laptops, even for CAD.



#38 LaP

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:03

Boulderdash -- there will still be home desktop computers in 20 years.

 

That's a really bold call here.

 

20 years ago Windows 3.1 was celebrating its first anniversary and the 3DO was getting close to its launch date.

 

If you don't consider laptop as desktop then desktop computers wont probably be around in home 20 years from now.



#39 Arceles

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:05

I think the moment laptops have upgradeable parts and interchangeable chasis, that moment will be the end of desktop, for it gives everything that the desktop have had offered for years, but companies if anything are making them even more closed systems than before, soldering the processor and even the ram in some ocations.



#40 Blueclub

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:16

Desktops aren't going anywhere, but they are no longer in almost every home like they were in the late 90s. Teen girls and grandmas no longer need them to check their emails and Facebooks and play Angry Birds, but for serious work and gaming no mobile device can touch them. Same for upgrades and reliability; laptops are shoddy pieces of junk that rarely last more than a few years and are designed to be disposable and replaced. 

My last laptop lasted me 3 years, Sold it in the end as had to buy a faster laptop, with the one I have now, I don't think I will be changing it for a few years to come (by comparison, if I had a desktop, it would have been replaced just as my laptop did). It an HP Pavillion i7, perfect for work! And laptops aren't 'junk' I have dropped my laptop from the bed, had my 2 yr old step on it and it still works like a charm.

 

 

I think the moment laptops have upgradeable parts and interchangeable chasis, that moment will be the end of desktop, for it gives everything that the desktop have had offered for years, but companies if anything are making them even more closed systems than before, soldering the processor and even the ram in some ocations.

Most of the parts in a laptop are conveniently replaceable. In my HP Pavilion, I just have to unscrew 1 screw and I can change, RAM, HDD, Wifi, Keyboard, and BIOS. Agreed that we have not come to a point where we can 'upgrade' processors/motherboards conveniently, but replacing motherboard/processor is possible (with the same). Its also possible to 'upgrade' your laptop LCD.



#41 sc302

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:18

+1 I work at an office store and see this everyday.

Office store like staples, officemax, officedepot, caters to whom exactly....home users and soho.

 

Businesses will still opt for desktops simply because the users do not require a laptop and a laptop is easier to make disappear.  I would like to see what warehouses like ingram micro, shi, techdata, and the likes (these are warehouses that home users and soho have little to no access to) are doing.



#42 f0rk_b0mb

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:31

Office store like staples, officemax, officedepot, caters to whom exactly....home users and soho.

 

Businesses will still opt for desktops simply because the users do not require a laptop and a laptop is easier to make disappear.

 

Larger companies, probobly. But then again, BYOD is becoming increasingly popular.



#43 PGHammer

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:35

So you're saying buisinesses and the average consumers have core 2 duos and 550TI's? LOL. Your hardware is in no way "dead". My both my rigs I built with 550TI's runs everything like a champ too, same as yours. Buddy, we're talking about people and buisinesses just coming off XP. I had a guy come in the other the other day with a lot of machines with a first gen P4, 512 megs of ram, and onboard video---and for the life of him couldn't understand why I can't install Windows 7 on it for him. Do you really think the average consumer is just going to rip open their machine and start tweaking???? Last gen p4, 3 gb of ram, 8800--hell yeah that'll run 7/8 just fine. So in other words, throw those things out and get new ones.

 

Hell, The new ultrabooks and AIO's we just got in have everything soldered to the logic board (minus the HDD)! You can't upgrade that s-#$! I absolutly hate Windows 8 and what it's trying to do, just as any other person, but that's where the market is going. Everybody wants a shiney toy that looks like a Mac with a PC price--and that's what they're getting. We have not ordered any a single desktop ever since I started working there. PM me and I will show you our invoices.They sit there on the shelfs and in topstock.

 

For the tech savvy crowd, desktops are here to stay--and I like that. You'd have to prey my rigz from my cold dead hands. For the consumers, restricted and locked down Ultrabooks, tablets, and AIO's are here to stay.

The Core 2 (as a group) was EOL'd by Intel four years ago; that is why I referred to it as *dead*.  (I use the same definition for ALL the hardware I outlined - when the manufacturer of record stopped manufacturing the item in question.)

There is a difference between *dead* and *irrelevant* - a decidedly major difference when applied to hardware for desktops, which is precisely the entire point of my post.

The GTX 550 Ti still (as you and I agree) has all sorts of life left in it - despite not having been manufactured new by nVidia for two years.  (The same applies to AMD's HD57xx, which is the direct competitor in terms of age to the GTX 550 Ti.)

Portable hardware (laptops, notebooks, etc) generally has a lifetime of two years, if not less - due to the lack of upgradeability, the practical lifetime of portable hardware is less than that.  Portable hardware sells entirely BECAUSE of that portability - that is a trumping factor compared to upgradeability in the decision matrix.  (In the case of tablets, and especially Android tablets, let alone iPads, price is another factor, compared to Intel or AMD-powered portable hardware)

Desktops - entirely due to being able to be upgraded, even in piecemeal fashion - have a longer lifespan than any portable, regardless of who makes it.  Conversely, if you use your desktop less than your portable hardware, you may not feel as much pressure TO upgrade it, or the components in it, if it's even possible.  (Remember, the aforementioned GPU upgrade wasn't even $64USD in my case - even in the case of upgradeable portable hardware, how many upgrades - of any sort - are anywhere near that cheap?)



#44 sc302

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 21:38

Larger companies, probobly. But then again, BYOD is increasingly becoming popular.

Yep, mainly for phones and tablets.  Many companies will not allow personal devices on their internal networks as they don't have any controls over these devices. 

 

Lets say that I work at a company that makes chemicals that people injest to make them feel better and you found out that someone put a computer on the network and compromised the manufacturing of said chemicals, whos fault is that exactly? The user who brought their infected crap on the company network, or the companies fault for allowing such a thing to happen?  How would the company put on restrictions on something that they don't own?  It is the users machine right, they should be able to install whatever right...which means our company can't restrict that computer, which then in turn can create a security hole.

 

This goes the same for government facilities or facilities that have an HR department, can you imagine if your entire payroll was compromised and people had access to put whatever in their checks or if social security numbers were made public with everything that anyone would need to be able to create credit fraud?  What about schools, you think for a second that the BYOD computers are allowed to be on the same network as the registration servers or grading servers?



#45 PGHammer

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 01:04

So you're saying buisinesses and the average consumers have core 2 duos and 550TI's? LOL. Your hardware is in no way "dead". My both my rigs I built with 550TI's runs everything like a champ too, same as yours. Buddy, we're talking about people and buisinesses just coming off XP. I had a guy come in the other the other day with a lot of machines with a first gen P4, 512 megs of ram, and onboard video---and for the life of him couldn't understand why I can't install Windows 7 on it for him. Do you really think the average consumer is just going to rip open their machine and start tweaking???? Last gen p4, 3 gb of ram, 8800--hell yeah that'll run 7/8 just fine. So in other words, throw those things out and get new ones.

 

Hell, The new ultrabooks and AIO's we just got in have everything soldered to the logic board (minus the HDD)! You can't upgrade that s-#$! I absolutly hate Windows 8 and what it's trying to do, just as any other person, but that's where the market is going. Everybody wants a shiney toy that looks like a Mac with a PC price--and that's what they're getting. We have not ordered any a single desktop ever since I started working there. PM me and I will show you our invoices.They sit there on the shelfs and in topstock.

 

For the tech savvy crowd, desktops are here to stay--and I like that. You'd have to prey my rigz from my cold dead hands. For the consumers, restricted and locked down Ultrabooks, tablets, and AIO's are here to stay.

 

To upgrade a desktop PC, you need to merely be savvy with a Philips-head *screwdriver* and have a brain - that has been true since no later than, believe it or not, 1993 - when DOS+Windows 3.1 was still the typical OS loadout on desktops.

The trend toward CSM (meaning either corporate-stable or consumer-stable machines) came about for companies (and consumers) that could care less about upgrading any part of the PC - basically, they saw computers as *throwaway hardware*.  (Note that THAT trend began along with the beginning of the dot-com boom - when times were good economically.)  I bemoaned that trend then, and bemoan it even more today - it is, in fact, one reason I have demurred getting a laptop or even notebook for my personal use.