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General Chat Thread, The Decline of the desktop PC . . . . in General; Well my home PC has started showing signs of terminal illness, hardly surprising as parts of it are well over ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    The Decline of the desktop PC . . . .

    Well my home PC has started showing signs of terminal illness, hardly surprising as parts of it are well over 7 years old and the youngest part is 3 years old at least, so I start looking around for a replacement machine. I was struck by how little choice there is in the desktop PC market these days, without a doubt it is starting to become hard to find decent desktop PC's for sale. My local electronics stores barely had more than 6 models each on display, and on-line retailers barely seem to stock any these days with prices being relatively speaking quite high when compared to laptops these days.

    Have we now reached that tipping point where the traditional desktop PC is starting to become an endangered species?

    From my point of view it's annoying. Most of the world might want to go mobile and portable, but I quite like having a desktop PC to work at, upgrade and pull apart as I see fit; it seems it may not be this way for much longer. Don't get me wrong I like laptops and mobile devices, but I like the security a desktop PC gives me, as my data always feels somewhat vanerable on a mobile device.

    How long before they become so expensive that they are reserved only for specialist users and applications?
    Anyone else noticed this decline?

    Mike.

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    featured_spectre's Avatar
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    Most places seem to do customisable PCs nowadays rather than stock models as it is better for them to do so rather than just have models that nobody wants.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Most places seem to do customisable PCs nowadays rather than stock models as it is better for them to do so rather than just have models that nobody wants.
    I'l give you a few examples.

    Pixmania have a grand total of 6 desktop PCs to choose from, but hundreds of laptops.
    E-buyer have 166 models, but a large number of these are thin client devices or high end HP workstations. They have 243 different laptops to choose from.
    Dabs have 240 desktop PCs to choose from, 20 odd of these are the high end HP worksations, but a whopping 456 laptop models.

    I knew Desktop PCs were set to decline, but I wasn't expcting it to be so sudden as barely 6 months ago there seemed a lot more choice.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    I haven't used a PC at home for about 2 years now, use laptop and IPad2 as its more convenient to watch the TV and manage phone as well as doing server work etc.

    Our house is not really large enough and the teenagers like to sit downstairs with their laptops also so no room for a desktop.

    Don't think that the desktop will die out altogether as education and business will always find that desktops are by far more resilient than laptops and more cost effective in the long-run.

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    Have to agree, I've still got the desktop PC I built years ago and can't bare to get rid of it - its worthless now but spent loads on new graphics cards, motherboards etc etc

    Have used laptops at home for the last few years to the point that today when I decided to see what data was on an old desktop I realised I'd gotten rid of all the keyboards I had

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    I woudln't be without my desktop PC at home, fine I have my Macbook (running Windows 7 ) and my netbook but cannot live on just that I like many screens and all the shinyness I get with a full on desktop PC

    I always build my own PC however for myself (and may do for work as well actually) and then I can choose the bits. If you don't fancy building one Mike how about getting someone like CCL Computers to build you one?

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    If you don't fancy building one Mike how about getting someone like CCL Computers to build you one?
    I've ordered the bits to build a new one now actually, I was hoping to avoid the hassle of having to put it all together as my time is quite stretched at the moment so wanted to just buy one ready built, but just couldn't find one that fitted my needs. In the past I've always built my own machines - the one that's just gone wrong was self built and upgraded several times in its life. I think I'll just take all the parts to work and ask one of my techs to put it together for me this time.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Our desktop is coming to end of life too. I would much prefer to replace it with another.

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    I’m seeing a lot of Schools recently ditching laptops and going back to PC's...for reliability and ease of use. At Home PC's are dead ( I still have one and will always have one) Laptops and Ipads have taken over ...but for Business and Schools they will always be required.

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    I just brought a used base unit from eBay, first gen i3 with 3gb of ram. Upped the ram to 8gb, addded my 1tb drive. And a 20" screen and its great,

    I tend to kill laptops after 2 years, I take mine everywhere. It's been newcastle, London, Cornell, done a few partys with drunks,

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Well my home PC has started showing signs of terminal illness, hardly surprising as parts of it are well over 7 years old and the youngest part is 3 years old at least, so I start looking around for a replacement machine. I was struck by how little choice there is in the desktop PC market these days, without a doubt it is starting to become hard to find decent desktop PC's for sale. My local electronics stores barely had more than 6 models each on display, and on-line retailers barely seem to stock any these days with prices being relatively speaking quite high when compared to laptops these days.

    Have we now reached that tipping point where the traditional desktop PC is starting to become an endangered species?

    From my point of view it's annoying. Most of the world might want to go mobile and portable, but I quite like having a desktop PC to work at, upgrade and pull apart as I see fit; it seems it may not be this way for much longer. Don't get me wrong I like laptops and mobile devices, but I like the security a desktop PC gives me, as my data always feels somewhat vanerable on a mobile device.

    How long before they become so expensive that they are reserved only for specialist users and applications?
    Anyone else noticed this decline?

    Mike.
    I am curious, what is the spec of your old PC?
    As for choice, it doesn't help that many PC manufacturers have gone out of business in the past few years, and margins are very low now as parts are now almost commodity items although the hard drive shortage will bump up costs in that area shortly I suspect. It would be just as cheap, if not cheaper if you were to re-use your old case/DVD drives etc. to build a new one from scratch IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtdmitchell View Post
    I’m seeing a lot of Schools recently ditching laptops and going back to PC's...for reliability and ease of use. At Home PC's are dead ( I still have one and will always have one) Laptops and Ipads have taken over ...but for Business and Schools they will always be required.
    Schools, yes - and businesses to some degree but I haven't used a desktop in nearly 5 years. Both at home or work. Docking station at work has my peripherals and monitor connected - allows for far better hotdesking, too.

    I've got to admit - when I first got a modern laptop (That is a laptop that was equivalent to desktops of the time) I refused to let go of my desktop. Then, one day, I realised I'd not powered it up in 3 months with the exception of getting the odd file off it. I've got various chassis and bits at home which I've kept 'just in case', but they're all going this weekend when I clear up the spare room. I can appreciate why people want to keep their desktop, but I can't quite understand. Laptops are just so much more convenient and sociable.

    To be fair, I'm not really a gamer any more though. I have a few things I like to occasionally waste time on and they all work on my laptop, but for everything else the XBox is fine for me.

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    I still think the Desktop will still be around for a long long long time. We here prefer to buy Desktops then laptops at work, I always prefer to buy a desktop at home then spend more on a laptop. I dont think there is a decrease of desktops but more along the line of more people just buying laptops. If you think 6 years ago what the average of desktop per house hold was I doubt it has declined at all, only thing is more people are buying gizmo's gadgets and little cheap laptops to ski the internet. I would always prefer a gaming PC above a laptop. The laptops/gadgets per house hold has probably gone through the roof but then again most house holds probably didnt have endless amount of PCs every where to begin with.

    Just my opinion. When the same spec laptops are a lot lower in cost and less easier to damage then PCs then we shall see

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Have we now reached that tipping point where the traditional desktop PC is starting to become an endangered species?
    The traditional desktop PC as a packaged device sold on the highstreet? I shouldn't think they'll be around much longer - there's just more efficient use to be made of retail space, if nothing else, and as has been pointed out keeping a bunch of rapidly aging desktops in stock is far more risky than simply building them to order.

    I think the average home user is far more likly to want a laptop, tablet or all-in-one PC/TV these days, although I'm sure Dell, RM and so on will continue to provide more robust, static desktop machines for business and education use. I can see the business or education "desktop" becoming an all-in-one, though, with few user replaceable/upgradeable parts. I have no idea how large the top-end PC gaming market is these days (the sort of games that require a PC with twin water-cooled graphics cards), but I shouldn't imagine it's nearly as large as the market for games for dedicated consoles and would imagine it'll start to decline in a few years.

    The area that surpises me slightly that more people haven't gotten involved in is the home server market. I'd have thought there'd be companies queuing up by now to offer small devices to replace your broadband router that provide broadband, file storage/backup and a central point to connect/sync all your various devices. I think that is what your current home PC will eventually morph into over time - a device that sits at the centre of your home network and takes care of networking and file services. It probably won't have a display, and should be as small and discreet as possible (future motherboards will probably do away with expansion slots and use USB / Thunderbolt / etc connections instead).

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    Don't worry, give it 2 years and laptop sales will look like that compared to tablets. To me unless you do a lot of travelling with work or are at uni I don't really see where a laptop will fit in. IMO as they start to hit <£200 people will swing towards tablets for their facebook/web browsing. People who do serious work/gaming will always need a desktop.

    Obviously there will be people thinking "but tablets are crap to type on, I'll be sticking with my laptop", but that was also said about laptops compared to desktops - in fact I know several people who still connect a usb keyboard to their laptop...



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