Ongoing PC Sales Downturn Is The Longest Yet

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

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    Today's doom and gloom "decline of the PC" story comes to you via analysts from Gartner by way of Gamasutra. The funny thing about this story is that, just 90 days ago, the worldwide PC shipments beat estimates with 62.4 million units shipped. Compare that number to the current 68.9 million units in this article and I would say that was a 6.5% increase. ;)

    The third quarter of this year PC shipments 5.7 percent dropped year-over-year to roughly 68.9 million units worldwide. The reason that's a big deal, according to the firm, is that PC shipments have been down year-over-year for eight quarters in a row now, which means developers are making and releasing games amid what Gartner describes as "the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC industry."
     
  2. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yea, no kidding, PC's are a bit of a niche market.
     
  3. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    Just means that the advancements in CPU performance aren't as wide as they used to be. People are keeping their PC's longer. SSD's are a big part of that. They are a cheap and extremely effective boost to performance for any PC lacking one.
     
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  4. Quartz-1

    Quartz-1 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Does the Gartner analysis include upgrades of existing PCs?
     
  5. TwiceOver

    TwiceOver 2[H]4U

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    Yeah. I mean for our small business I can buy a brand new PC for ~$1000 or I can buy an off-lease for $250 and put a $60 SSD into it.
     
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  6. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    Or just not replace the ones they have. We have a ton of clients on Ivybridge i5's and i7's 4 years old and still going strong. Plenty of horse power in those machines, with 16 GB RAM and SSD's, for office and business application tasks.. What would be the benefit, aside from a little peace of mind, to replace them?
     
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  7. Ultima99

    Ultima99 [H]ardness Supreme

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    What this boils down to Steve, is a net 62% decrease in the reliability of this BS.
     
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  8. Lifelite

    Lifelite 2[H]4U

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    I wonder what the basis for their statistics are? Most people don't own a PC anymore, they have a tablet, game console, phone, etc.

    The rest of us typically custom builds our own PC to use...are those included in the metrics? Hell I don't ever usually buy every part for a PC, I just upgrade parts here and there as needed, except when I need to update chipsets once every 4 years.

    It would be nice to see how sales of components are compared to sales of prebuilt PCs/laptops.
     
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  9. Dawill

    Dawill Limp Gawd

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    I think that's only part of it. If I think about all the things I use my computer for it becomes less and less every year. Work, and some occasional gaming. Honestly if they had a console w/ same games as on PC w/ comparable perf I would drop my pc for everything but work.

    At the end of the day I just want to flip a switch and play a game. F all the setup and configuration and trouble shooting any issues. Console is way less tedious/work to launch a game. I'm saying this a self proclaimed computer expert. I deal with pre-release HW and SW all damn day long at my job. So it's not a lack of ability. It's a lack of desire to tinker with things if there is another solution that's good enough for 90% of what I want to do.

    Anyways, as others said, pc's are becoming a niche. This board has hardcore computer enthusiasts. So I fully expect some denial. However personal computers are a shrinking market. Nothing will bring it back. If they start releasing regular console iterations similar to phones, than i suspect the gaming side will start shrinking very quickly.
     
  10. TwiceOver

    TwiceOver 2[H]4U

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    Heheh, no. I'm replacing Core2 machines. I don't have many left.
     
  11. SDplus

    SDplus Limp Gawd

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    I feel that for me personally the PC hardware lasts a lot longer nowadays. Compelling software that demands upgrades is far and few between. Sure, I'm a component level user, but my main rig used to be completely upgraded including chassis inside 18 months. Now there is still parts over three years old in it but still kicking ass. And my other PC's are mostly even older.
    Also, the whole Win 10 free upgrade that works well on most older PC's has probably also helped people go on with their older rigs.
    Basically I think that we have lived through a 5 year period where people realized that they have no real reason to replace old computers, and there is no major new markets ready to fully utilize yet either.
     
  12. otherweeb

    otherweeb Gawd

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    Hell, I'm still gaming on my i7 -2600k Sandybridge overclocked to 4.3 after 6? years? Just upgrade video card every few years and moved to SSD. I think the core problem is programs and games aren't pushing CPU limits like they used to.
     
  13. Domingo

    Domingo Skip My Posts

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    In my office we're mostly rocking machines from 5 years ago. In 90% of the typical apps we use (browsers, network folders, MS Office, Acrobat, CMS, etc.) they perform just as well as the new machines.
    A SSD makes 5x the difference a new processor or RAM does.
    The impact of a new machine is really only noticeable with more intensive programs like Creative Suite...which only like 3 people in the building actually use.
     
  14. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

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    I am on a mediocre gaming laptop with a 960m and i7 6700hq which does what I need. Before that I was on a core2quad with a gtx 560 i think it was. Most of my gaming is now on console just because I got so tired of the system specific issues. Where a game won't work for me or a small percentage so it is low in the priority for fixing. Console, if it doesn't work for me likely it doesn't for anyone. And overall has been a better gaming experience for me. I am an avid WoW gamer so I do keep the PC running often.
     
  15. Design1stcode2nd

    Design1stcode2nd Gawd

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    They need to track component sales, GPUs, SSDs, mobos, etc.

    I've had tablets and have a large phone but I still prefer my PC for almost anything. Even just doing web browsing; the only time I prefer a phone or tablet is when I'm watching TV and can use it during commercial breaks or on the john. I do prefer a tablet over a laptop.

    I've made a number of changes recently as I just got into building pc's but after I get my new GPU I'd expect I'm done for a number of years. Only reason I'm getting a new GPU is I made the jump from 1920x1200 to 3440x1440 and need more horsepower.

    I'm glad I don't need to change hardware every year.
     
  16. amddragonpc

    amddragonpc [H]ard|Gawd

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    I haven't bought a desktop PC since 2001. The three (3) that are in the household now were built by my son and I. Sorry if there is a decline. It was purely unintentional.
     
  17. savagepagan

    savagepagan Gawd

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    What about ppl being more pc savvy? Instead of buying a new pc, they know it could be more price effective to replace one or two components to improve performance.
     
  18. yourgrandma

    yourgrandma [H]ard|Gawd

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    Can you even buy desktops in stores anymore? Everything i've seen recently is just laptop mobos thrown in small cases with external power supplies.
     
  19. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Quick, if we do not increase our sales every year or our profits every year, we are DOOMED I tell you DOOMED! :rolleyes:

    Desktops are available in every store I walk into so yes, you can easily buy desktops without issue.
     
  20. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    There's a lot of those out there. There are still desktops. But, I know a lot of the Lenovo smaller desktops are tiny laptop style mobo's (won't work in laptop, but very low profile) with SODIMM's. They suck.

    I like your user name, too. :D
     
  21. Azphira

    Azphira [H]ard|Gawd

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    No phone or tablet could ever replace my pc's duties.
     
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  22. sadsteve

    sadsteve Gawd

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    Well, then I don't know "most people". Everyone I know (coworkers, neighbors, friends and family) has at least one computer and most have two or more. Heck, my 82 year old dad has a desktop and a laptop.
     
  23. ManofGod

    ManofGod [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yep, same here, more or less. They are just a lot less likely to run out and buy a new one until that absolutely need to, unlike this gotta catch them all mentality of having to buy a new phone and tablet every single year.
     
  24. scobar

    scobar .

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    No one needs to buy a new PC every year to be current. We are not in the early 90's anymore where PC performance was increasing at an exponential rate. Now days, a PC from 4 years ago will still be able to get the job done vs back then. I have an x58 box that still holds its own, unless we are comparing power consumption, in which case it will lose.

    I don't get excited by hearing PC sales are down, but then look at my aging fleet, the only thing which forces an upgrade is new OS support, otherwise there is no need for me to upgrade.
     
  25. Wolf_Tech

    Wolf_Tech Limp Gawd

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    Easy fix stop bringing games out on consoles.
     
  26. Lifelite

    Lifelite 2[H]4U

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    Let me amend my statement, most people I know don't own a desktop anymore, and the few that own PCs own 5 year old laptops that haven't crapped out on them yet, but are not typically used.

    Not many people go out and buy PCs anymore, they grab a surface, ipad, android whatever, and stick to browsing on those.
     
  27. tetris42

    tetris42 [H]ardness Supreme

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    This trend doesn't apply to gaming. Gaming PC sales have actually been on the rise throughout the entire time that overall PC sales have been declining. This probably has more to do with businesses and average users not seeing the need to upgrade, whereas PC gaming is literally bigger than it's ever been:

    PC sales are slumping, but PC gaming is booming
     
  28. htpc_user

    htpc_user [H]ard|Gawd

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    In the old days you needed to step up to a faster single core cpu. Then the same happened for dual cores. Then you got quad cores and everything seemed to level out. Speeds stayed around the same and software, or at least games, got stagnant. I replaced my x2 4800 with a 955BE in 2010, and I'm still using it. That's 6 years on 1 cpu, and the motherboard I was using even before then. I'm just now seeing a reason to upgrade.
     
  29. Kalabalana

    Kalabalana [H]ard|Gawd

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    Totally agree, I am glad to see this sort of thinking.
     
  30. Chapeau

    Chapeau Gawd

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    Remember when new programs would totally cripple your system?
    - Can't remember the last time this happened in recent memory.... I guess the average user just doesn't feel the need to upgrade.
     
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  31. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I doubt it. They're looking at sales of prebuilt systems, not homebrew systems.
     
  32. Ducman69

    Ducman69 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    All that matters is how many PCs are in use in the average household, not how often they throw away their computer and replace it with a prebuilt one.
     
  33. Palladium@SG

    Palladium@SG Limp Gawd

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    The only bright spot in terms of volume wise are SSDs, rest of the components has been dropping volume for years.

    The DIY mobo market in particular is doing so badly in volume that ECS and Biostar has already abandoned the market and even the market leader Asus is earning peanuts out of it.

    GPU overall volume is also slumping hard, but it's more than compensated by Nvidia and their dominance in the expanding $300+ segment.
     
  34. TechLarry

    TechLarry Can't find the G Spot

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    Why upgrade? Anything sold within the last 3 years is more than sufficient for most any business or home need. The only thing that drives upgrades at all is gaming, and that's a limited market for high end stuff.

    Upgrades are where it's at.
     
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  35. tybert7

    tybert7 2[H]4U

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    I was an only child, but to you all with younger siblings, or nephews that are below age 18, are they gaming on pcs or are they stuck on consoles and mobile instead?
     
  36. DF-1

    DF-1 2[H]4U

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    they're talking about PCs. PCs != gaming PCs.

    general use PC might be dropping, but gaming PCs might be increasing, which can still make a net loss for all PCs.

    Nvidia keeps updating charts that gaming PCs are on the rise every year.
     
  37. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    if my customer base is anything to go by a lot don't have desktops. When customers call in about internet issues first thing we normally try is to see if they can bypass wireless or a separate router and try directly at their connection avoiding as much equipment as possible (so at ONT for fiber, dsl modem for V/ADSL, or cat5 drop for fixed wireless). A good number of people tell us they can't as all they have is a phone / tablet. Others ask if you can plug a laptop into a network cable. And when our techs go out on installs they aren't make sure desktops are connected as most don't have them. Those that do have old ones that they are waiting to die off to replace with a mobile device.

    And for most people that makes sense. At work I gave up having a desktop as I didn't see the point of having both a laptop for the field and a desktop in the office. Then I have to worry about having the same software on both, copying files to both... Using just a laptop keeps me more mobile. For people in school mobile devices are more functional for what they need. For anyone else it lets you surf from anywhere.

    that really only leaves them for niche things like gaming.
     
  38. Chas

    Chas [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ohnoez! Teh PeeCee iz dyeying!
     
  39. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai Death Incarnate

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    In my opinion I believe that the downturn has a lot to do with how long your PC can last now a days when being used for day to day tasks... even an original i5 is more than sufficient for day to day tasks add to that the explosion of decently capable tablets and it's no wonder why....

    I built a Core 2 Duo E8500 back in 2008 and I retired it in 2015... Now I use a Haswell i5 and that has more than enough juice to do anything I need it to. It is supplemented by a Dell Venue 8 and Venue 11 Pro...
     
  40. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Agreed. 10 or 15 years ago, a PC was good for about 3 years, but I built an e8400 for my mother in 2007. A couple of years ago I built her a new machine, because it wasn't enough for her Photoshop needs. However, my dad mostly does web, some Netflix and Excel and it's fine for that. Probably the worst thing about it is the MB has some issues that cause it not to wake-up from sleep. So we're talking 9 years and the only real upgrade to it is an SSD. I think he's a fairly typical home user.

    Last year I built a new I7, but truth is that my old i7 870 was probably good enough. I just felt like building something new after 5 years.