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Hardware  » Are desktops a dying breed?

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49 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 8/14/08
Posts: 329

OP  12/11/12 10:26:16 PM#1
I feel as though they are slowly being phased off in favor of laptops and tablets... Maybe it's just me. I want to invest in a new rig, but I'm on the fence because of this.

Novice Member

Joined: 2/23/09
Posts: 591

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

12/11/12 10:30:24 PM#2

"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"
~Lord George Gordon Byron


Novice Member

Joined: 2/03/11
Posts: 108

12/11/12 10:31:16 PM#3
No.  People generally own a tablet, or a laptop IN ADDITTION to a desktop.  In fact, I own all three.  Desktops aren't going anywhere, and are still the best computer experience.

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/14/08
Posts: 1583

12/11/12 10:35:57 PM#4
The basic laws of thermodynamics will ensure that desktops are always a better choice for gaming than tablets or laptops.



Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/10
Posts: 626

If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s FF-XIV.

12/11/12 10:37:27 PM#5
Yes places like walmart, officemax, and staples are focusing more on slim lines and all in ones. It is getting harder and more expensive to build systems just to keep up with these games. In 7 years we will probably have to build them all ourselves or oder them online like a specialty item. In the US anyway.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/03/08
Posts: 5072

Playing: Everquest 2

12/11/12 10:37:42 PM#6
They are just not going to be mainstream anymore. They will be computers used by builders who prefer to pick their own parts and build their own pcs.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/06
Posts: 1238

hatred is a prison, death a release.

12/11/12 10:39:59 PM#7
Originally posted by Weretigar
Yes places like walmart, officemax, and staples are focusing more on slim lines and all in ones. It is getting harder and more expensive to build systems just to keep up with these games. In 7 years we will probably have to build them all ourselves or oder them online like a specialty item. In the US anyway.

rofl in 7years the computer will build it self..

honestly if you tried to build a pc in 90-95 ya it was hard.. but now days HAHAH its like pluging in a freakin toaster... a 2yr could pretty much do it unassisted the rate pc building is going. 

so its not really that bad (plus the store bought systems suck anyway cases are bad, the builds are bad.. all around they are crap and over priced at that.)

CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 860 2.8GHz
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Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/07
Posts: 944

12/11/12 10:42:47 PM#8
Desktops tend to have faster cpu, more memory, and better performing graphics cards. Laptops and tablets may be trendy, but so where mopeds. Seen one lately? I haven’t. I’m not saying that laptops and tablets will all but disappear, but neither will desktops.

And to those who own a moped or have seen one. Consider yourselves privileged. I don’t care. Keep your comments about the moped still existing to your self. 

BTW when I built my first 4 MHz XT back in ‘87, I paid $1 / K for 640K of ram. And that was cheap cut rate ram.

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Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14670

12/11/12 10:49:30 PM#9

Nope.  For as long as there are people who need to use computers and don't need to take the computers with them, there will be desktops.  I wouldn't be surprised to see an increasing trend toward smaller desktops with Micro ATX becoming the norm even for most of the high end and mid-towers several years from now viewed about the way that full towers are today.  But those will still very firmly be desktops and not laptops or tablets.

Desktops have a number of huge advantages that laptops will never be able to replicate, including price, performance, reliability, customizability, and ergonomics.  Unless you foresee a future in which hardly anyone cares about any of those, desktops are here to stay.

Desktops are becoming less profitable for companies like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia to build hardware for, but not because they're dying.  Rather, it's because more and more people think they're good enough and don't see a need to replace them as often.  For consumers, if you only have to replace a desktop half as often as a laptop, that's a big advantage for you.  For a hardware vendor, you'd rather sell the hardware for two laptops than one desktops.

Reliability works out similarly.  In a desktop, if one part dies, you replace that one part.  In a tablet, if one part dies, you replace the entire tablet.  Getting to sell another processor because a memory chip failed can be lucrative, at least if you can convince people to buy the product category in the first place.

Much of the frenzy over tablets is because it's a huge growth opportunity.  If you want a desktop, a laptop, and a tablet, and you already have a desktop and a laptop but not a tablet, then guess which one you're going to buy next.

Furthermore, while desktops and laptops have some very entrenched vendors, tablets don't.  Will x86 or ARM end up being the dominant processor architecture?  Will AMD, Nvidia, Imagination, ARM, or Qualcomm be the dominant graphics vendor?   Or will none of them?  And consider that those questions aren't as strongly dependent as you might think, as if consumers commonly want, for example, AMD processor cores together with ARM Mali graphics, then AMD and ARM will get together and make it happen.  Yes, even in an SoC.

I'd be very surprised if Windows isn't still the dominant desktop OS 5 years from now.  My best guess is that Google Android will be the dominant tablet OS 5 years from now (for about the same reasons that it got that position in phones), but it's not hard to imagine a future in which iOS hangs on or Windows becomes the dominant tablet OS, or even some new OS that isn't on our radar just yet.  Or even a future in which no tablet OS has a majority.

And what about hardware?  Who do you think will sell the most tablet chips in 2017?  Intel?  AMD?  Nvidia?  Apple?  Qualcomm?  Samsung?  Someone else?  It's not really that hard to imagine a future in which any one of those vendors owns a majority of the tablet market.  Or none of them.  Going from selling virtually no tablet chips today (for Apple/Samsung (depending on who gets credit for the hardware in the first few iPads), you'd have to go back a few years) to a hundred million per year several years from now would be enormously profitable, and it's likely that someone will do it.  Lots of companies want to be that "someone".


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 240

12/11/12 10:52:33 PM#10

The real question in this day and age is what are you using it for. If you are just surfing the web, grabbing some music or interfacing with your social network then the price point may be in your favour. If you want to play/develop the best games, have them look amazing, have your software suites handle large images with ease or render larger complex scenes - then youre back to shopping for a quality rig.


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Joined: 4/06/04
Posts: 7213

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12/11/12 11:33:00 PM#11

After seeing all the laptops I repair daily compared to desktops? Not a chance.



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Joined: 4/29/10
Posts: 2950

12/11/12 11:36:45 PM#12
I don't want to game on laptops or tablets and I don't like the ridiculous prices of one week console games.

Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/06
Posts: 2206

12/11/12 11:40:03 PM#13

I would never play an mmo or any other game more technical than Angry Birds on a tablet..


I also hate playing on laptops.


If that shift were to happen,Id give up PC gaming altogether and just play console games for the rest of my days.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/03/09
Posts: 672

12/11/12 11:43:13 PM#14
I personally have no use for a laptop or tablet. If I am at home I can use my desktop whenever I want and if I am on the go I use my phone for any info I need.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/03/08
Posts: 1321

The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

12/11/12 11:46:53 PM#15
Tablets are good for some things but gaming....not so much.  Laptops are ok but if you use the provided screen it is just too small. Connect to a bigger screen and almost acceptable. Consoles are just too limiting...a step up from tablets but hate those controllers. Tablets, consoles and laptops are just not easily if at all upgradable. So, I think I will stay with my DESKTOP. 

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12/11/12 11:46:53 PM#16
Originally posted by JRRNeiklot
No.  People generally own a tablet, or a laptop IN ADDITTION to a desktop.  In fact, I own all three.  Desktops aren't going anywhere, and are still the best computer experience.


Ditto.  Much in the same way wireless networking hasn't replaced the wires.

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/29/12
Posts: 63

12/11/12 11:58:58 PM#17

Yes desktops as we know them will assuredly die eventually. Predicting when they will completely die off is another matter, they will continue to be around for at least the next 20 years in some capacity.

Doesnt mean anything for pc gaming, considering the definition of pc being "personal computer" i foresee that lasting forever.

Most business and workplace offices will slowly transition to fast compact processors that are more powerful then todays gaming computer but fit inside a pair of sunglasses.

Therefore office space required to store computers and the need to repair computer hardware will diminish over time.

User error and user computer training will always exist due to emerging ideas and new technologies.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/07/10
Posts: 819

"There is no progress. Everything is the same as it was. Form changes. The essence does not." RLS

12/12/12 12:12:47 AM#18
I believe over time yes, desktops wont be common in the workplace or home. However, desktops will keep a niche performance crowd, and increase in there capibilites (4D Nerological Virtual Worlds). This may take decades if not hundereds of years though.

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 4116

12/12/12 12:24:28 AM#19

Originally posted by dreamscaper
The basic laws of thermodynamics will ensure that desktops are always a better choice for gaming than tablets or laptops.

Not necessarily. There comes a point where more processing power does not improve the quality of the software.

Or more aptly - the processing power does not improve the quality of the developer - the software just does what it's told after all.

I don't think desktops are dead, or even dying - computing in general is just evolving. Desktops always will have some place, even if it gets regulated to a few niches. Gaming doesn't need tons of CPU (or GPU) power to be fun - if anything classic gaming should tell us that.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/06/11
Posts: 2281

12/12/12 8:13:13 AM#20
My sis uses a laptop where she used to use a desktop. However, I don't think desktops are going away. Unless you are on the move or like sitting with your laptop in .. your lap in the couch,..a desktop is much more comfortable to use.
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