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Is the desktop dead?

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Your desktop: a decrepit dinosaur or invaluable tool? Kobus De Beer, components platform lead: Axiz, maintains that desktops still fill a definite need in the market – and might actually suit your needs more than a notebook…

Compared to the growth of the notebook sector (currently in the region of 30%), desktops seem to be doing dismally. As with everything though, this all depends on the angle from which you’re looking at the figures. While desktop growth is definitely not as buoyant as that of notebooks, it can definitely be described as “steady”.
When you look at this in the context of the size of the market per annum – approximately 1.3 million users in South Africa (double the size of the local notebook community) – it’s easy to see why desktop manufacturers and distributors don’t believe it’s on its way out just yet.
This means that even though notebooks are being touted as the answer to South Africa’s energy crisis, a desktop might still prove to be a more viable solution for your personal needs.  De Beer says that there are a number of reasons why.
The first and foremost of these relates to the simple equation of price versus performance. When it comes to getting the most possible value for your money, a notebook can’t touch a desktop. In spite of their size, desktops still usually prove to be more cost-effective in a traditional office or home setting.
A telesales environment is the perfect example of where desktops are ideally suited from a cost and functionality point of view. For an entry-level user, a desktop will typically fall squarely in the allocated price range, while meeting full functionality needs.
Specifications-wise, desktops also often make more sense. While you can pop your notebook in the car, you can pack more into your desktop. Quad core and 45nm technology for example still remains the sole domain of the desktop. This means that although you need a bigger area for your desktop, you can be booted up and halfway through a task before your mobile colleague has even logged on. Doing a simple price/spec comparison, you’ll often discover that you can custom-build a far better spec-ed desktop for less than the price of a very standard notebook.
Performance also remains a key area of consideration when it comes to tipping the balance in favour of a desktop. Desktops win hands-down when it comes to “whiz bang” graphics and processing power. There’s no comparison for a power user when it comes to creating complicated graphics, playing the latest games or running multiple applications simultaneously.
De Beers advice for anyone in the market for a computer is not to walk past desktops – walk to them and find out exactly how they can meet your individual needs and requirements. You’ll be surprised at just how much magic can emerge.