Weekend Open Forum: Desktops doomed to irrelevancy?

By Jos · 164 replies
Mar 5, 2010
  1. MikLawry

    MikLawry TS Rookie

    I do not see mobile devices replacing desktop computers. Mobile devices offer the convenience of portability while desktops offer performance and expandability. Although sales may declince significantly, I highly doubt that business and familes thourghout the country will replace all of their desktops with notebooks, Netbooks, iPads or mobile phones.
  2. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,332   +135

    A few more comments (reading some of the new responses):

    I believe the context of "irrelevancy" is the cloud. It doesn't mean that desktops will not be sold, just that there won't be need for them when a fast connection to the internet is available. I imagine that the Google guy is basing this on knowledge of web applications that will be available, and I'm sure most people here including me are not familiar with all of them. Based on what I've read of OnLive, that could be true for gaming in three years. (GDC is in a couple of days, and I'm sure we'll hear more of OnLive then.)

    I'd also like to say that the people reading and posting on TechSpot represent a very small percentage of PC users, so while we might like our desktops and their upgradability and power, that doesn't mean desktops won't become marginalised. Even for gaming, the Radeon 5970 and even 5870 buyers are a minority. Even on this front, it's possible that external graphics cards for laptops will become a reality within the next 3 years.

    Regarding form factor, I agree that laptops aren't perfect for everything, and I'm sure nettops and all-in-ones (PC integrated into the monitor) and other such devices will remain. I think the definition of desktop to consider is the PC with custom components. This will likely become a niche market.
  3. desktop will always be first in new hardware, then it gets smaller after
  4. BlackRose0607

    BlackRose0607 TS Rookie

    I love my desktop, and I can't see them going out any time soon. There are a lot of businesses that require needing a desktop in order to do all the things that they need to for their businesses, and I mean A LOT of businesses. They need the power in them to be able to perform the tasks. I highly doubt that any business is going to go to being completely mobile for conducting their business, even in 10 to 15 years. A laptop for me would be easier in some ways, but I'd honestly rather sit at my desktop for what I do on it. Plus, it's harder to upgrade a laptop with software, hardware and stuff like that compared to a desktop. This guy was getting a little ahead of himself.
  5. Wolfleader

    Wolfleader TS Rookie Posts: 50

    I'm not sure myself on what to believe. The only system I own is a laptop and while it gets the job mostly done it does have a lot lacking in it. Then again in the next few years who knows what sort of hardware is going to come out...I think within the next ten years or so most people will have laptops as their main system and only those that require great power. Gamers, Media creators, ect ect will need much more.
  6. mv670

    mv670 TS Rookie Posts: 58

    unless these portable devices can have thier components upgraded without a need of purchasing a new device. Then no. Desktops will still be favored.
  7. Relic

    Relic TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,379   +16

    Well for me personally it's a no. While I agree that yes we're becoming more portable with our laptops and smartphones, we're storing files and work on someone else's server..I mean "cloud"...I will still want to have a desktop. Not only for gaming but also for having private files stored locally that no one else has access too. Yes OnLive is coming and I'm sure other services too, I just don't see them being viable in the next 3 years technologically speaking. Now 10-15 years from now is a different story and we might not as consumers have a choice any longer as developers push everyone into "cloud" gaming. Then it'll just come down to wanting private files locally rather then online. As someone above me pointed out, new technologies come along but that doesn't make the old one obsolete and never again used like a radio.
  8. megrawab

    megrawab TS Rookie Posts: 93

    The Google executive is right! Although I'm still using a desktop, laptops and smartphones are more in-demand these days because of people's requirement for mobility. Unlike desktop, smartphones and most laptops are handy that they can be carried by users everywhere. Besides, the capabilities of laptop pc's tend to surpass desktop pc's capabilities nowadays.
  9. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    I wonder since when ...... if you meant 'features' such as wireless connectivity/or bluetooth, then it make sense, otherwise, its irrelevant. Make no wrong assumptions here, as I use notebook for most of the time when I am not at home, when I am, I don't even bother to open the bag I keep it in.

    There are many reasons for avoiding notebooks whenever I can, few common ones, notebook keyboards are crappy/cramped mostly that is, clock for clock performance is never same between desktop or notebook, and in games, well you may be able to play at decent frame rates (again nothing to compare with desktops) with very expensive options out there, but you will have to put that damn thing on something solid to keep away the heat and may also need cooling pads etc. ;) ......... (hence the mobility argument in some situations goes out of the window again).

    The more correct argument in my view is, if you need to be mobile and move alot, notebook is a must for you, however, in other situations desktop still rules, and probably will continue to for foreseeable future.
  10. ceejay949

    ceejay949 TS Rookie Posts: 17

    If the laptop prices will be lower, then desktops are doomed.
  11. Jawshh

    Jawshh TS Enthusiast Posts: 392

    IMO desktops will only become obsolete if laptops get enough power to level a "fully-Geared" desktop computer and this is not the case right now. Desktops have always been used for heavy jobs and laptops for lighter ones, I usually use my laptop to read some ebooks, watch some movies or write some documents....I even use it as a portable HDD when I need to give a friend some data, lol.

    Nowadays, some people find it better to use a laptop instead of a PC. This is because, all of the latest laptops come with powerful processors and enough RAM to enjoy "lag-free" computing. So, why use up space in your home when you can get the same satisfaction from a laptop which doesn't take space and is so portable that you can even check your mails while using the toilet.

    However, laptops won't just cut it for CAD or heavy gaming right now but maybe this will be the case in some years...then, we would say adios to desktop computers.
  12. gunabut

    gunabut TS Rookie

    the desktop is not about to die as yet. I think you will find that the amount of desktops will start to drop slightly as users at home find they don't need them. However when used as gaming units or media then laptops are not as good. Still not good to leave a lappy on 24/7 !
  13. zaidpirwani

    zaidpirwani TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Desktops will never be REPLACED, though they may see a little decrease in their usage, but DESKTOPS are bound to keep on.....
  14. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Everyone should look at the computer as a household tool as well.

    Most households today have one desktop which is shared by multiple family members.

    And most of those households use their desktops for email, search, occasional office-stuff.

    As I see it, it is quite similar to the use of land-line telephones. Those are slowly going the way of dinosaurs, and replaced by the portability of mobile phones. I believe the only reason why they haven't just dissappeared entirely in the household is probably due to its low price, and (until recently) to get access to internet you NEED a land-line.
  15. waterytowers

    waterytowers TS Booster Posts: 101   +10

    I am a big fan of the laptop and portable devices but still have desktops for the power. I can certainly see why desktops may die a slow death over the coming years since laptops already have the grunt for general day-to-day tasks such as web browsing and office document creation. Laptops have already replaced desktops for many of these types of users. However, IMHO desktops will stay with us for some time as there will always be a need for a pc with a high end graphics card and cpu which can be overclocked, in particular for gamers and enthusiasts. Laptops do not have the cooling to allow for these types of users, mainly due to their form factor. The problem of heat needs to be addressed before laptops replace desktops completely and I doubt this will be over come in the next 10 years much less 3 years. As for cloud computing, that is even further away. Internet speeds are still too slow to leave everything in the cloud. In Australia we are only starting to plan for fibre to the home and most people are stuck on 1.5Mbps or less, when everyone is on 100Mbps or more then maybe cloud computing can be used effectively. As for cloud computing for business, they have all outsourced there servers to India so why move it to a cloud? can it get any cheaper?
  16. JudaZ

    JudaZ TS Enthusiast Posts: 284

    Well, since "gaming laptop" still is a joke and there is still no laptop that compete in anyway with a desktop system regarding storagespace and pure prefomace, desktops arn´t going anywhere anytime soon.

    (and it does not matter if the laptop cost $30.000 and is from alienware, a desktop still beats it for less money)

    Where can i get a Laptop with 16GB RAM 4TB Harddrive and quadcore processor with 3 SLI cards? that can run all days all year without problems with overheating... no where?
    Yeay .. so i'll stick with my desktop and us my laptop for the road when i dont do any more work then simple office tasks.

    "The Cloud" is good, but first of it assumes internet connectivity. And also alot of the time highspeed access. I run 100/100Mbit at home...and thats not neirly fast enough,

    You can't game from a remote system with full resolution and all the bells and whistles turned on to the max... it will be choppy and simply wount work. You need atleast 1000/1000Mbit to do that ... because you are always sharing the connection with others. Games lag today when only small amounts of data is sent fo online gaming...what would happen if you have to send all the data ... and your negbourhood all of the sudden decides to watch that "important" soccermatch in HD via the net all at the same time.

    it will take time untill broadband will be build out that can handle those speeds....the technonlgy already exists, but when will it actually be implemented?

    ...still you dont always have internet conection, but you always want to be able to access your files
  17. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Think about that statement.

    Sure, desktops can run such a configuration. However, how many people in the world have such a system right now?

    In fact, the question we should be asking is how many people in the world NEED (please differentiate need and want, a system to run games decently is a need, while triple SLI and watercooling is a want) performance that cannot be supplied by laptops today?

    Sure, that would include most gamers, but in the wider picture, we gamers don't make up a huge slice of the computing pie. Unfortunately for us, this generally does mean (even though we definitely don't want to admit it) that we need would become irrelevent to computer manufacturers.

    Few businesses cater to niche markets, and if the need for high-end computing becomes a niche, desktops become a niche market, and like all niche markets, prices are going to soar, and like I've mentioned previously, this just causes a chain reaction away from desktop computing.

    Which isn't really a disaster, since game-producers would just adapt to the growing crowd of laptop gamers.

    Just like how game-producers have to adapt to the fact that console gamers CANNOT upgrade their consoles, and therefore produce games which have to work brilliantly on 3-4 year old hardware.
  18. Fotis

    Fotis TS Rookie

    Since laptops became more affordable to buy and more powerful, a lot of people, including myself, bought a laptop. But there are some user categories that cannot use laptops to cover their needs, such as gamers...
    Moreover there are some tasks that are completed faster in desktops. And last, using a laptop you have portability but health issues are arising because if the posture using it..
  19. alexandrionel

    alexandrionel TS Enthusiast Posts: 94

    I don't have a laptop and when I will buy one, for sure it will not replace it.
    Instead, I was thinking just a few days ago how nice it would be for when traveling a mobile phone, with a qwerty keyboard and a huge screen, something like a Nokia N97, with some storage capacity and capability to run hd movies :D. I would just connect it to a big screen tv and just enjoy.
    I think it would be cool to have something like a motorola milestone or a nokia n97 with Tegra, but that for sure would never replace my desktop.
  20. Geek4life

    Geek4life TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Not at all!!!!!!!!!! I would never trade my desktop for a laptop now grated they are nice to have around college campus, coffee shops, ect ect. The simple face is (MID) or Mobile Internet Devices just do not have the capability to do run Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint. What are we going to have a government IT center by handheld devices LOL give me a break!!!!! Let me guess you see the next supercomputer in the form of a "SmartPhone"?????? The problem is most people have not experienced a good PC, what I mean is rich graphics, speedy processor, snappy SSD storage devices and a nice 24" vivid monitor to top it off. Not to worry though the good folks at AMD will change all this with Fusion.
  21. pyari

    pyari TS Rookie Posts: 66

    ya it someway true coz all people love portables it doesn't mean desktop replaced by laptops......desktops have its own value in many places like ISP's, data servers.....both are important on their way so on selling form desktop might be sold in few but laptops sold in more quantity......
  22. vineetchawla

    vineetchawla TS Rookie

    since i got a laptop, even i have not switched my pc in months. bu still heavy gamers cant compare laptop and pc in anyway.
    and one thing is for sure, laptops are going to stay for a really long time and this is and will be the most popular form factor for a long long time
    not any netbook or tablet ora smartphone.
    They just cant provide the same user interface or functionality like a laptop.
  23. unrealmp3

    unrealmp3 TS Enthusiast Posts: 51

    As long as PC gamers like to customize their systems, I don't see the desktops to go away anytime soon.
  24. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    haha what a ridiculous arguement... call me old fashioned but am i the only one who doesn't like charging batteries?
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    Wow, that's old school, you actually have devices that have user serviceable batteries? I thought you had to send your friggin' iPhone back to China, and let them do it for you.

    On a more serious note, I bought a laptop for 300 bucks, then just for laughs I shopped the battery prices. $100.00 dollars, 1/3 the cost of the computer. That's just plain rude!

    Then there's the privacy thing, I guess Google would like everybody to tell everything about themselves to them. That's rude also.
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