Desktops Dead?

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The Taiwanese are sceptical about the desktop market – Justified?

I came across a small article on DigiTimes that reports on the pessimistic outlook the motherboard makers have for the desktop market.I can relate, as when I go to my local computer show it’s become a pale imitation of what it used to be – not surprised to see laptops taking more of the floor space and component vendors taking less. In fact not only have the booths diminished, the component guys have shrunk down from over a dozen to two.

I thought this article was perhaps a bit pessimistic but not all the far from the mark – an excerpt:

“It’s been a long time since I myself have “built” a system from the ground up using OEM parts. Like I do with 12-packs of chicken breasts and cases of toilet paper, I now buy my computers from COSTCO in barebones configurations. If I need to tweak the hardware for better performance,  I shop on the Internet for modest upgrades. While some of my friends are still hardcore system builders, I firmly believe that the build-your-own practice will become a lost art form, and that it will not survive the economy.”

I’ll bet many of our readers can relate – I gave up building PCs for friends and relatives not only because I do not want to be the 24-hour PC guy on call, but also because the likes of Dell do a good enough job at a price I can’t really beat in a way the makes sense. However after building over 100 PCs, I still get kick when what I put together boots up for the first time. There are some of us dinosaurs still around but make no mistake – we are a dying breed.

I just saw a piece on a laptop for $348 (“Toshiba Satellite L355-S7915, a 2.2GHz Celeron 900 machine with 1,440 x 900 display, 3GB of RAM and a 250GB 5,400rpm hard-drive.”) – with netbooks exerting a strong downward pull on laptop pricing, entry level “full size” laptops are now competing strongly at desktop price levels. With mobility now becoming one of the most important PC criteria, it’s not all that unexpected to see laptops not taking over 60% of the consumer market, and growing.

In such an environment, bot Intel and AMD are trying to rekindle the old MHz wars – AMD rolls out the 3.4 GHz Phenom II x4 965 hoping to re-capture the CPU MHz crown from Intel. Seems to me that to some degree AMD and Intel are tilting at windmills. As hard as it might be to admit, the bare facts are that what we like to do – hotrod PCs – is dwindling. The number of enthusiast sites are down markedly and I sure don’t see it coming back to where it was.

The upshot is revel in what we do and enjoy it to the max. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing to be in a smaller club.

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