What’s going on?
Before we get into it, I want to establish something. I’ve been a die-hard PC fan for 20 years. I continue to believe they offer some significant advantages that competitors cannot compete with. I’ve been working with Apple/Mac computers for the last 2 years. I believe they offer significant advantages beyond anything currently capable.
With that out of the way… here’s what I see coming our way in the next few months.
Early to Mid 2021
We’ll see Intel release a big update that fails to perform to expectations without extreme measures. They will also launch an ARM architecture that promises awesome capabilities.
Digging deeper…. – ARM
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “ARM” – it is the same backbone that runs all Android phones, some tablets, TVs, and other devices. They’re everywhere in the technology that we use every day, however, they haven’t made it into the PC realm as a mainstream processor due to restrictions on how they “process” information. This will have an interesting side-effect seen later on, perhaps.
Gimme that GPU! IT’S MINE!
GPU’s will come out, but the recent jump has caused a bit of caution in approach. I’ve seen hints at some graphics driver’s challenges. Bumps are to be expected with a nearly double the performance jump seen. I’m not saying don’t buy them, they’re sure to have the bugs squashed (you may not even encounter them). Of course, that’s if you can get your hands on one.
Next on the shopping list… a new computer…
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will hit us a bit harder than last year. These items will likely be impossible to get around holidays.
Throw a monitor in too, you probably need it
We’ll see some nifty features come to monitors meaning… if you’re staring at this text and it’s blurry, blocky, or huge (and you didn’t tell it to be) perhaps it’s time to consider getting one of the “cheaper” models. They’ll all be dropping and you’ll be able to find some good deals, maybe even at your local big-box store.
“Big Red” AMD’s triumph won’t die!
I cannot foresee a situation where AMD’s latest-gen processor will lack in comparison to it’s bigger brother, Intel. I know, I know, I love Intel way more, but just please… at least recognize the team we’re on is no longer the “winning” team. We are now playing the “long game” which is stall as much as we can until Intel digs their heads out of the sand.
You’ll continue to see a run on laptops, sometimes difficult to place your hands on. This is again, only a prediction, but this will be due to companies recognizing that the work-from-home situation that their employees are in is no longer going to be as “short term” as they thought it was going to be. This will drive demand because many of those businesses have been relying on outdated laptops due to a variety of circumstances, one of which is that it costs less to lose that asset if it’s abandoned, destroyed, or irrecoverable.
Beyond that, many of the current “work-from-home” militia will begin to recognize that their laptops just won’t cut it in the 2021 age of VPNs and remote desktops. We have more to keep track of on our screens today than ever before. If you can’t see an app because your laptop screen has limits, then the next instinct is to get a stipend to buy a new laptop from work.
This will impact our supply line harder than it did any of the times we’ve experienced so far. While the protections that are in place currently are proving to be able to continue “limited” production, that production will continue to shrink. Its growth is not predicted until late in the year at the earliest. This is, in part, due to the limitations of the spread of disease, but we’re also now seeing new variants of COVID that will expand at a much more significant rate than previously seen. It could also be more deadly… yay.