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How many cores and threads do you think are too many for a mainstream desktop?

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How many cores and threads do you think are too many for a mainstream desktop?

  • 6C/12T

    Votes: 9 6.9%
  • 8C/16T

    Votes: 17 13.1%
  • 10C/20T

    Votes: 41 31.5%
  • 12C/24T

    Votes: 13 10.0%
  • 14C/28T

    Votes: 2 1.5%
  • 16C/32T

    Votes: 5 3.8%
  • 18C/36T

    Votes: 16 12.3%
  • 20C/40T

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • 22C/44T

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 24C/48T and greater

    Votes: 26 20.0%

  • Total voters
    130

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,511
73
91
You probably know this better than I, but I was under the impression, that:
1) Most businesses "leased" PCs, not bought, and
2) Most of them were on a 3-year replacement cycle, although I could easily see a justification for that slowing.

I guess, I wonder about the "replacement rate", PCs that are five years old, versus three, and how many have failing fans, HDDs, PSUs, and the like, at those points in their lifespans.
I am using an AIO for work, a company-supplied 64-bit machine that sports an i3-3770. It's pretty mainstream, and it is 5 years old with no replacement in sight.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
628
766
136
businesses still prefer desktops for most office workers who don't travel.
With world population and economic growth, this should imply that the business desktop segment is growing. Is it?

I think notebooks have taken a lot of share in the workplace as well. And even for fixed workstations, I think there is a trend towards thin client and all-in-ones. But this is all my impression and intuition, I don't know the numbers from the top of my head.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,730
670
126
You probably know this better than I, but I was under the impression, that:
1) Most businesses "leased" PCs, not bought, and
2) Most of them were on a 3-year replacement cycle, although I could easily see a justification for that slowing.

I guess, I wonder about the "replacement rate", PCs that are five years old, versus three, and how many have failing fans, HDDs, PSUs, and the like, at those points in their lifespans.
Good point, all those off-lease PCs are coming from someone :) . I don't know what the typical lease period is these days, but some of the PCs being sold have pretty old CPUs.

Our customers are universities and more recently K-12 schools, where at least some of the PCs hardly ever get replaced. We were still supporting Windows XP until May 2017 because of old PCs in their computer labs.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
628
766
136
The discussion turned interesting. Thanks!

My intuition about the mainstream desktop segment, over the given time period 2019-2024, is that the ATX form factor, with low-cost dual-channel memory design, will trend towards 8-core and up. If you need any less, you would likely be better served by a smaller form factor, e.g. ITX or AIO, or a mobile solution, i.e. notebook, tablet or smartphone.

The upper limit will be down to competition, cost and memory technology, especially bandwidth available with dual-channel memory technology, and my guess is that we'll have 16 cores offered in the mainstream segment by 2024, but it may not go beyond that.
 

Vattila

Senior member
Oct 22, 2004
628
766
136
Considering the relationship between desktop CPUs, and cell-phone application processors, can we use the trend in cell phones, to extrapolate the trend in desktop CPUs? Just a thought, food for discussion.
It is interesting to consider that a modern smartphone with a docking station (keyboard, mouse and screen) would be able to do all that we consider typical nondemanding computing, including traditional business work, such as spreadsheets and word processing.

Already, you only need a box of actively cooled components for high-performance computing.
 
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gdansk

Senior member
Feb 8, 2011
666
364
136
I know that workloads vary between desktops and phones, but they do share the most common use case: web browsing. Here's an article from Andrei that I find interesting. Modern web browsers work well with many cores. I rarely use my desktop without a few browser windows open, usually while doing other tasks as well. I think 8 cores is the current sweet spot. Loading even a single web page can create that many active threads. Furthermore, if the past is any indication, the number of background tasks will continue to increase.
 

HutchinsonJC

Senior member
Apr 15, 2007
442
175
126
Treating this as a discussion of typical use is completely fruitless.
I entirely disagree. What makes anything mainstream to start with is it's popularity. And popularity, in this case, is going to be HIGHLY related to the business world. A fair chunk of the personal use world relies heavily on their phones or tablets. And a fair chunk of the personal use world also relies on their personal computer much in the same way the business world uses their PCs: Surf the net, check email, watch youtube, scroll social media, word document, spread sheet, misc other program or few.

I don't understand how you can discount the word mainstream and what THAT implies and instead favor to look at just the socket the OP mentioned as guidance and how far it can go.

How many cores you can cram on the CPU has nothing to do with what will end up being purchased... ie: What will be mainstream? Mainstream in the next 6 years is simply not going to include 12 core parts or anything more than that, for sure. It'd be absurd for mainstream use-case.
 
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killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,885
374
126
I entirely disagree. What makes anything mainstream to start with is it's popularity. And popularity, in this case, is going to be HIGHLY related to the business world. A fair chunk of the personal use world relies heavily on their phones or tablets. And a fair chunk of the personal use world also relies on their personal computer much in the same way the business world uses their PCs: Surf the net, check email, watch youtube, scroll social media, word document, spread sheet, misc other program or few.

I don't understand how you can discount the word mainstream and what THAT implies and instead favor to look at just the socket the OP mentioned as guidance and how far it can go.

How many cores you can cram on the CPU has nothing to do with what will end up being purchased... ie: What will be mainstream? Mainstream in the next 6 years is simply not going to include 12 core parts or anything more than that, for sure. It'd be absurd for mainstream use-case.

why would you purchase a full size desktop if not for full power? Because the case is pretty? why wouldn't they have more than 12 cores?> perhaps many of the cores sitting idle or low ghz till needed what does it harm? I guess it just depends how fast technology advances. You never know how thirsty for cores VR will be and how soon it will be before it takes off. How long until full length movies are displayed in VR. What will it require to broadcast or view?

The discussion turned interesting. Thanks!

My intuition about the mainstream desktop segment, over the given time period 2019-2024, is that the ATX form factor, with low-cost dual-channel memory design, will trend towards 8-core and up. If you need any less, you would likely be better served by a smaller form factor, e.g. ITX or AIO, or a mobile solution, i.e. notebook, tablet or smartphone.

The upper limit will be down to competition, cost and memory technology, especially bandwidth available with dual-channel memory technology, and my guess is that we'll have 16 cores offered in the mainstream segment by 2024, but it may not go beyond that.
Yes i agree if they are buying ATX then you will be 8+core. If you need less then you can use a nettop /aio / tablet / phone/ hell even a modern tv might even be enough for your word excel youtube tasks. Even if most people didnt use them they will still buy them.
 

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,511
73
91
Siince most people use phones and phones are at eight cores, does that mean mainstream computing (which = phones) is already at 8+ cores? What does that mean for 2024?
 

iamgenius

Senior member
Jun 6, 2008
620
40
91
I didn't read the whole thread, but I think a better question to ask would be: Since we kinda of reached a frequency maximum (~5GHz), and to improve performance the best logical action is to increase the number of cores...Is this great? Is it the only way to increase speed or better yet productivity? I mean it is like we have been climbing the frequency ladder, but now we are expanding sideways...What does that tell us? Will all software benefit from this expansion or be made to do so? Or will there be software that can be run equally well in today's computers as well as 202x computers (100+ cores)???

This came into my mind while scanning this thread. Thanks.
 
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Insomniator

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2002
6,288
171
106
Even in 2024 I don't see the basic tasks I see people use computers at work for changing very much. Maybe 4 cores will be the norm? I've been using a T440s laptop at work for 3-4 years... never felt the least bit slow and its got a low voltage 2/4 Intel cpu.

If you aren't gaming, rendering, modeling, or doing anything special that is system intensive heavy -- I don't see why Windows 11 and Chrome will be eating 8+ threads in 5 years.

Many people could get by with a chrome book attached to a big monitor. Seriously a well designed phone dock with the right software could probably be a mainstream computer these days running sure lots of cores but certainly only a fraction of the power a desktop cpu has. I have a 2700X to play and stream blizzard games and even then it sits under what, 30% usage?
 

HutchinsonJC

Senior member
Apr 15, 2007
442
175
126
You never know how thirsty for cores VR will be and how soon it will be before it takes off.
VR isn't going to be what most of a hospital staff needs or uses, isn't going to be what most State/Fed employees needs or uses, not going to be in banks. You're talking about something that is primarily going to be in what? advanced sciences or gaming, maybe something else that's not coming to mind right now. That's not very mainstream.

Edit: Not to mention something that's probably primarily a GPU oriented task.
 
Last edited:
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killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,885
374
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VR isn't going to be what most of a hospital staff needs or uses, isn't going to be what most State/Fed employees needs or uses, not going to be in banks. You're talking about something that is primarily going to be in what? advanced sciences or gaming, maybe something else that's not coming to mind right now. That's not very mainstream.

wow so your not talking about desktops? because hospitals and most state fed employees use micro atx workstations more often or am i missing these locations with giant atx desktops? Maybe your thinking of 15 years ago or maybe i am overthinking the term desktop. ?
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,350
6,580
126
Eh, "micro ATX workstation" still falls under the definition of "desktop PC". It doesn't have to be ATX or larger, nor does it have to be a tower form-factor.

Sometimes, I think that you just want to argue.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,885
374
126
really a workstation that a hospital uses falls under the same definition as a home desktop? so whats to stop anything with out a battery call it a desktop right?.
 

ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
1,511
73
91
Hospitals use AIO's . . . or medium and mini-towers. I have yet to see a Mac Mini or similar.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,350
6,580
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really a workstation that a hospital uses falls under the same definition as a home desktop? so whats to stop anything with out a battery call it a desktop right?.
Well, excuuuse me. Next time, I get a client that asks about building a micro-ATX desktop PC, I'll have to tell them, "Sorry, Micro-ATX isn't Desktop". :p
 

CuriousMike

Diamond Member
Feb 22, 2001
3,008
474
136
Even in 2024 I don't see the basic tasks I see people use computers at work for changing very much.
That's 6 years in the future.

What were we doing 6 years in the past?

What were we doing 12 years in the past?

Much the same we're doing now. If history is history, I agree with your statement.

The average office worker isn't likely to need VR or ray-tracing or video encoding in the next 6 years.
 

HutchinsonJC

Senior member
Apr 15, 2007
442
175
126
really a workstation that a hospital uses falls under the same definition as a home desktop?
First of all, when did the OP say ANYTHING about HOME? So why are you making that the "go to" comparison?

I agree with a previous poster who said that they think you just like to argue.
 
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whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
9,460
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really a workstation that a hospital uses falls under the same definition as a home desktop? so whats to stop anything with out a battery call it a desktop right?.
Well they are being used as desktops so yes.
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
106
why would you purchase a full size desktop if not for full power? Because the case is pretty?

Yes i agree if they are buying ATX then you will be 8+core. If you need less then you can use a nettop /aio / tablet / phone/ hell even a modern tv might even be enough for your word excel youtube tasks.
^ Why do people keep churning out these ridiculous "Either you need a Threadripper or you should go buy a tablet" False Dilemma posts? Back in the real world, who the hell wants spend 40-50 hours per week editing large spreadsheets / multi-page documents / presentations, etc, on a 7-14" screen or 10ft away from a TV? Likewise "desks" were invented for a reason. Chrome OS's cut-down office suites and printer / scanner drivers are significantly inferior to Windows, lack of local storage space & RAM, lack of 3rd party support software, touch-screens are horrible to type any large input on, and the whole experience of plugging keyb + mouse + monitor into a tablet isn't remotely the same as even a 5 year old desktop for things like fluid ALT-TABBing back & forth between browser (research) and Word (typing out research)...

For those struggling with this - desktops are all about the ergonomics / functionality. Many people buy desktops for the screen size alone without ending up spending double on paying a laptop premium, then having to buy a monitor, docking station, hub, etc, on top. And yes everything from ATX to M-ITX is a desktop PC. This isn't 1997. CineBench e-peen numbers don't even enter the equation at any stage for the average non-enthusiast. That's what real mainstream is. There is literally nothing you can do on an i5-8400 / R5 2600 that you can't on an i3-8100 / R5 2400G in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Firefox, Chome, VLC, etc. That hasn't even changed much from 2008 vs 2018 so why everyone thinks completely trivial tasks like "typing in Word" will grind to a halt in the next couple of years is beyond me. Even photo editing & video encoding is now GPU accelerated.

Why is a 600$ cpu expensive when you buy a 900$ cellphone?
Aside from the fact only a minority buy $900 phones, who says blowing $600 per CPU whether they need it or not is some "clever" build vs a gamer buying a $200 CPU and perhaps spending the additional +$400 saved on a GTX1070Ti instead of a GTX1060, a 1TB SSD instead of a 256GB and a new gaming mouse? Or an office of 12x PC's buying $100-$130 CPU then spending the $5.6k-$6.0k saved on new monitor's all round plus a new laser printer? Or a HTPC buying a $50-$100 CPU and spending the +$500 upgrading 2x 4TB NAS drives to 2x 10TB? Some very strange "advice" here if the decision to buy x hardware involves looking at literally everything else except the user's actual requirements...

How long until full length movies are displayed in VR. What will it require to broadcast or view?
LOL. "VR-TV" has already flopped even harder than 3D-TV precisely because in the real world (ie, mainstream), a family of 4x would rather just buy a decent TV than spend the best part of $10k on 4x matching headsets + 4x high-end PC's to all sit there looking like complete dorks when they invite friends over to watch a movie and thus will need that TV anyway... That and complete lack of bandwidth / cost / storage space. Most people with Netflix want more decent things to watch, not watch their subscription costs swell to pay for the Yottabytes of storage required to film everything in 360 spherical (which isn't even possible if you understand what's behind the camera of even simple shots).

Real mainstream = anyone who doesn't spend all day on tech forums arguing what mainstream is. Honestly, if everyone bought cars like some enthusiasts here demand main-streamers buy CPU's, then by 2024 everyone will either own a Porsche or a unicycle with absolutely nothing "permitted" in between... :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
51,350
6,580
126
Honestly, if everyone bought cars like some enthusiasts here demand main-streamers buy CPU's, then by 2024 everyone will either own a Porsche or a unicycle with absolutely nothing "permitted" in between... :rolleyes:
LOL.

"User: Grandma needs a PC to check her e-mail."
"AT forum user: Get her a gaming PC with an 8700K!!! She can overclock to 5Ghz!!!"

Edit: With the caveat, that my web browsing remains smooth, even with 100+ active content tabs open, with my 6C/12T Ryzen CPU. I do like 6 cores+ for web browsing, now that the browsers can actually utilize some / most of that CPU power, if needed. Then again, browsing was pretty snappy with my 4.5Ghz overclocked locked Skylake dual-cores, too.
 
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Indus

Diamond Member
May 11, 2002
6,834
2,349
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Windows 10 is not Windows 7. It has a bazillion tasks happening in the background. So the more cores the better.
 

PeterScott

Platinum Member
Jul 7, 2017
2,605
1,540
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LOL.

"User: Grandma needs a PC to check her e-mail."
"AT forum user: Get her a gaming PC with an 8700K!!! She can overclock to 5Ghz!!!"

Edit: With the caveat, that my web browsing remains smooth, even with 100+ active content tabs open, with my 6C/12T Ryzen CPU. I do like 6 cores+ for web browsing, now that the browsers can actually utilize some / most of that CPU power, if needed. Then again, browsing was pretty snappy with my 4.5Ghz overclocked locked Skylake dual-cores, too.
So, make fun of "AT Forum user", then make a statement that sounds just like it. ;)

Why would anyone want 100+ tabs open? How would you find anything in them? Even if you really have 100+ tabs, they aren't going to be all doing stuff. They will mostly be idle, so having masses of open tabs is more about have masses of memory, and then fast storage when you exceed memory.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,885
374
126
^ Why do people keep churning out these ridiculous "Either you need a Threadripper or you should go buy a tablet" False Dilemma posts? Back in the real world, who the hell wants spend 40-50 hours per week editing large spreadsheets / multi-page documents / presentations, etc, on a 7-14" screen or 10ft away from a TV? Likewise "desks" were invented for a reason. Chrome OS's cut-down office suites and printer / scanner drivers are significantly inferior to Windows, lack of local storage space & RAM, lack of 3rd party support software, touch-screens are horrible to type any large input on, and the whole experience of plugging keyb + mouse + monitor into a tablet isn't remotely the same as even a 5 year old desktop for things like fluid ALT-TABBing back & forth between browser (research) and Word (typing out research)...

For those struggling with this - desktops are all about the ergonomics / functionality. Many people buy desktops for the screen size alone without ending up spending double on paying a laptop premium, then having to buy a monitor, docking station, hub, etc, on top. And yes everything from ATX to M-ITX is a desktop PC. This isn't 1997. CineBench e-peen numbers don't even enter the equation at any stage for the average non-enthusiast. That's what real mainstream is. There is literally nothing you can do on an i5-8400 / R5 2600 that you can't on an i3-8100 / R5 2400G in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Firefox, Chome, VLC, etc. That hasn't even changed much from 2008 vs 2018 so why everyone thinks completely trivial tasks like "typing in Word" will grind to a halt in the next couple of years is beyond me. Even photo editing & video encoding is now GPU accelerated.


Aside from the fact only a minority buy $900 phones, who says blowing $600 per CPU whether they need it or not is some "clever" build vs a gamer buying a $200 CPU and perhaps spending the additional +$400 saved on a GTX1070Ti instead of a GTX1060, a 1TB SSD instead of a 256GB and a new gaming mouse? Or an office of 12x PC's buying $100-$130 CPU then spending the $5.6k-$6.0k saved on new monitor's all round plus a new laser printer? Or a HTPC buying a $50-$100 CPU and spending the +$500 upgrading 2x 4TB NAS drives to 2x 10TB? Some very strange "advice" here if the decision to buy x hardware involves looking at literally everything else except the user's actual requirements...


LOL. "VR-TV" has already flopped even harder than 3D-TV precisely because in the real world (ie, mainstream), a family of 4x would rather just buy a decent TV than spend the best part of $10k on 4x matching headsets + 4x high-end PC's to all sit there looking like complete dorks when they invite friends over to watch a movie and thus will need that TV anyway... That and complete lack of bandwidth / cost / storage space. Most people with Netflix want more decent things to watch, not watch their subscription costs swell to pay for the Yottabytes of storage required to film everything in 360 spherical (which isn't even possible if you understand what's behind the camera of even simple shots).

Real mainstream = anyone who doesn't spend all day on tech forums arguing what mainstream is. Honestly, if everyone bought cars like some enthusiasts here demand main-streamers buy CPU's, then by 2024 everyone will either own a Porsche or a unicycle with absolutely nothing "permitted" in between... :rolleyes:

I guess you are not in the same reality as me. Only a small minority buy 900$ phones? is that because they spend more than 900? So VR flopped because peoples desktops are not fast enough to handle it.. thus the reason to never expand our desktops future uses right?

You guys keep focusing on WORD.. Who said mainstream desktops are used for WORD? Really this is some kinda mix up to what the OP means when says Desktop because if EVERYthing is a desktop and Everyone only uses word right? no one could possibly have any future uses.
 

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