Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Resurgence of the Desktop PC

There has been a surprising amount of talk recently about an expected desktop PC resurgence that is being caused by the Windows 7 upgrade cycle. We’re hearing talk of growth in demand of desktop PC components and motherboard components (and even possible shortages of certain chips such as CPU VRM ICs) for the corporate, home PC and enthusiast PC markets. Who woulda thunk it in this mobile age of cheap netbooks and software/services? Here’s one interesting theory from a wandering Swede on China’s role in desktop PC resurgence: China saves the desktop PC, for now. An interesting read that suggests that it is the reduced size of modern desktops that is helping them gain acceptance among younger PC users.

Here’s another theory that contributes to the resurgence of the desktop PC market: the amount of PC enthusiasts simply keeps increasing! A recent conversation while visiting friends in Folsom revealed that senior high school kids in the US can learn how to assemble their own PC at school – if they have the correct subject choice that is. Now how many 17 year olds did you know when you were at school who could build their own PC? I knew none. Today by contrast they must constitute a significant percentage of students in developed regions and when more people can DIY PCs, more people will DIY PCs!

Another theory that I have experienced firsthand is that netbooks are helping to highlight the performance and better experience advantages that desktop PCs offer. Consider that a netbook is limited to a 10 inch display with built in speakers; youtube now has an HD option that looks good on any 20 inch + screen with proper speakers. Not to mention high definition content with 7.1 surround sound or resource intensive PC gaming!

The point is not that desktops will dominate the PC market again, but rather that they still have a place in our lives. The era of the one-size-fits-all PC is long gone. Now we are entering the multiple x86 system era where consumers can own a personal netbook, media center, work desktop/notebook and home/gaming PC all at the same time.

How many different computers do you own?


  1. I own 8 (between my wife and I), then again I work for a PC hardware maker...

  2. Uhm, only four computers in the house these days and a console. But then again, I'm considering building a new HTPC as soon as some of the new toys that was on display at CES comes out. It looks like we're finally about to get some really decent HTPC hardware which hasn't really been the case until now.


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