PC Shipments Continue to Disappoint

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maxeeemum

"declining 0.1 percent from the same period last year"

LOL! Looks like it stayed the same to me. My desktop PC is 5 years old with no need to buy a new one. That's the problem!

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maxeeemum

Yep! I agree on everything you said except for the last sentence.

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Xenite

Misleading story for one reason, they never count hardware sales in these numbers. Individual CPU and graphics card sales have been steadily rising and is projected to continue to skyrocket for the next 5 years.

Jon Peddie Research says the graphics market could exceed $63 billion in sales by the end of 2010, which is a growth of $4 billion over the previous year.

Buying a computer at a retailer is for suckers.

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Neufeldt2002

I'm of the belief that there is low PC shipments because of market saturation. Couple that with the fact that PC's are kind of stagnant in performance growth. A decade ago new PC's were twice as fast as last years models, not anymore, the gains just aren't there that people can justify a new PC. PC's that are a few years old still have lots of life, and for the most part keep up to the cutting edge models in what everyday people do. They just don't see the need to upgrade anymore until their current PC's break.

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Engelsstaub

Truth.

Most people don't build or upgrade PCs (like the readership of this magazine--it's a niche-market for enthusiasts.) While there is "some" gain from upgrading to the next gen of Intel processors, it doesn't translate to enough gain to justify a new purchase for most. Even Core 2 processors are still plenty fast and serviceable for 99% of the population.

Upgrading a three year old middle-of-the-road GPU (or, like most people, just buying a new PC with a better one) will net most people little even for gaming. If people can still play what they want to play the majority isn't going to drop 400 bucks on a new one just to get a marginal increase in frame rates and graphics. It's like trying to sell the general public on the virtues of decent headphones when they're used to and just fine with the crappy Apple earbuds.

I think most people just don't like wasting money on stuff if they can't flip it for even a fourth of what they paid for it in two years. The only smart thing to do (in PC Land) is build. But the general public will see this as "enthusiast" behavior just as they see good headphones as a sign of an "audiophile." (And to be honest, that word has as many negative connotations now as positive.)

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bling581

My PC is nearing 2 years old and it still can handle any game I install. I was thinking about buying a 2nd card for SLI but I run everything on max or close to max settings with my 580 and performs just fine. I've been having issues the past couple months with getting my system to recognize all my RAM so I've only been running 4 GB. When I have to start lowering graphic settings is the sign that it's time to upgrade, so we're not even close yet.

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Engelsstaub

Unless you're running a 32-bit OS, I'm not sure why you're having those RAM issues. That sort-of blows, but 4 Gb is still pretty decent for even most heavy usage.

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Gutter96

Engelsstaub, although we've had some disagreements in the past, you hit the nail on the head here. Couple your reasoning with software that doesn't use the available resources of hardware e.g. QuickSync on SNB & IVB cpus. If you could use QuickSync to encode MP3s and such, imagine how fast it would be! Why do you have to shell out big bucks for Adobe Professional grade products just to be able to leverage the power of your GPU (even the integrated Intel SNB/IVB GPUs) for photo editing? If more software could tap the potential of modern hardware that could be a big motivator to upgrade as it makes tasks quicker and easier.

Then there's gaming... The new source for my frustration. We have desktop CPUs that can execute 4, 8, or even 12 threads at once. Yet most games only take advantage of 2 (sometimes 4, but not often). Most games these days are console ports. An AMD APU has more raw power than an XBox or PS3. Hell, the GPU in the XBox is akin to a Radeon 1900. Any GPU made in the last 4 years has more grunt! I've got nothing against consoles, I own a PS3 and will prolly buy an XBox because I can spend $199 to play a game that will look as good as it does on a $1200 gaming PC! Make no mistake, I love gaming on my PC. But I also see that we're getting to the point of diminishing returns because the software isn't up to snuff! So where's the motivation to upgrade?

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Engelsstaub

I remember when I got Fallout 3 (admittedly a bit late to that party.) It was always freezing up on my quad-core first gen i7. I had to force it to only use one core and it ran much better.

I hear you on Adobe (as I use both Photoshop and Audition.) Incremental advances in technology are occurring all too frequently for most smaller software devs to try to keep up with. Unless there's big money in it it's understandably not worth their time.

Don't worry about the disagreements; this is rarely personal for me. We're all humans and most of us are über-opinonated. I've certainly done my share of being antagonistic.

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warlok180

I agree. When you look at the majority of people i.e., the general populace, most of them probably buy one computer and are one and done. As stated in the article, most of these people have shifted their new purchases towards better smart phones and tablets with no need to upgrade their computer. I read about this data on a different website and it stated that only Apple, Asus, and Lenovo showed an uptick in their shipments.

My personally built computer is about 3 years old and I was looking to upgrade. However, after thoughtful consideration, I settled on just upgrading my graphic card (GTX 670 from an ATI 6850). And you're right...the majority of games are just console ports and are not really pushing the hardware. Although, I will say that Mass Effect 2&3 and the Witcher 2 do look much better than their console counterparts.

So, my assumption is that this trend will probably continue as most people find smaller devices to accomplish the majority of what they do with their computers in the first place: browse the internet, play games, and read emails.

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Engelsstaub

You're right: the so-called Post-PC devices are likely playing a role for non-enthusiasts. (Tablets, smartphones, etc.)

I know this may be wishful thinking but perhaps Asus and Lenovo are still doing well because they are IMO about the only two (non-custom) PC manufacturers who produce consistently decent products and provide a level of customer service one would expect under warranty. To me that plays an important part in my repeat business and loyalty. Apple's customer service is normally above-average (as it should be when one pays "the premium.") I've had decent luck with Asus too and, though I've never owned a Lenovo, I've heard nothing bad from others who have.

Everyone I personally know will buy the cheapest PC (or Mac) they can get away with and milk it for as long as possible. Up until about two years ago my brother had the same computer for over ten years. (He's not too bright when it comes to computers but that's not unlike most other people I know. I can't fix crap on my car so I shouldn't criticize others.)

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