Are Desktop PCs Losing Relevance?

The chances that you’re reading this article on a tablet or smartphone are growing. This trend is just going to get greater as mobile devices become more affordable and perform at levels we’re familiar with experiencing on our desktop PCs. Screens on mobile devices are getting bigger, marking the dawn of a new era, whether you like it or not. If you’re reading this, you’re probably pondering about whether the PC is still going to be relevant in the coming years or not. Perhaps it’s time we seriously examine this idea and explore some possibilities of the coming market.

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Advanced image editing, video editing, and gaming are some of the biggest PC-centric activities that people do on a daily basis. Sure, tablets come close, but nothing beats having a beast that can handle the likes of Adobe Premiere and the latest games on the market. Slowly, but surely, tablets will be able to handle the workloads necessary to run today’s resource-hungry applications, but they’ll never take the strides that PCs are reaching every year simply because of the space advantage desktops have over everything else.

One of the reasons why some of the most powerful programs run best on desktop PCs is that they have tons of space. This space allows manufacturers to implement hardware that generates a lot of heat. Because of the space advantage, you can have large fans in your desktop that blow away all of the heat produced by the number-crunching beast.

There’s no argument here. Tablets have their merits, but the PC will always be one step ahead in hardware power. I doubt this will always be the case though. People used to think that a quad-core processor could never fit in a space smaller than a shoebox. I carry a phone in my pocket every day that proves this old assertion wrong.

But wherever you have more space to work with, you can always pack more of a punch. I highly doubt that PCs will go away. They’ll simply morph into something more awesome, like they always did.

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Seriously, when’s the last time you saw a tiny microATX PC at a gaming PC convention? Some people like it big, and they’ll never give up PCs. The niche for large PCs might shrink, but it will never entirely disappear. Full towers are still selling, and I predict that they’ll still be selling in 2017, just not in the same numbers they were selling at in the early 2000s.

A big tower gives you one thing that no other device on this green earth will ever give you: room. And with that room comes the ability to charge the computer up with an inordinate amount of hardware, which brings me to my next point.

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What other device have you ever used where you can change its GPU? Sure, Motorola is coming out with a modular phone in the near future, but does that compare to having the capability to personalize things like a PC?

First of all, let’s look at the problem with modular mobile devices:

  • They’re small, which means that you’d be limited in the amount of hardware you can actually cram into them.
  • Hardware is proprietary, meaning that you can only buy what the manufacturer of the case provides for you. And before you tell me that perhaps they’ll make cases that others can make hardware for, remember that all that hardware has to communicate, and it has to be compatible with the operating system running on the device.
  • Power and voltage limitations might restrict the capabilities of what you can mount.

You can literally modify anything on a PC. Don’t have enough wattage on your graphics card? Get a new power supply! Is the computer running slow? Slap on a new CPU and add some RAM to it. Want a new generation of CPUs on that sweet rig? Buy a new motherboard.

The hardware is far from proprietary. Literally anything you put onto the computer, as long as it’s up to spec, will work perfectly and harmoniously with whatever you couple it with.

And lastly, we come back to a redundant issue: space. Because of the enormous amounts of space inside of full tower cases, you have the possibility of adding enough hardware to drain half the power capacity of New York.

It’s important not to feel nervous about the rise of mobile devices. Just like the PC, they have their special place, but they don’t fulfill every role. Mobile devices are meant to help you out while you’re on the go. The PC is there waiting for you at home like a loyal servant, able to do everything else the tablet couldn’t do for you throughout the day.

If you’d ask me, the pair makes a wonderful couple.

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