[Video] Tower PCs: An Endangered Species?

ATX form-factor desktops may fairly soon become retro hardware. This video explains why the tower PC is probably already an endangered species.

My review of the Odyssey x86J4105 mini PC included in this video is here:

And the two parts of my most recent Mini-ITX build are here:

Part 1:…

32 Comments on “[Video] Tower PCs: An Endangered Species?”

  1. Looks like your focus is on major PC manufacturing. Did you look at sales of desktop motherboards by ASUS, gigabyte, MSI? The sales of Intel and AMD CPUs? Then what you are talking about the desktop is dead does not line up with that market when they release and you can not buy those products because they are sold out on releasedates. You couldn't get your hands on DDR5 when Intel 12th Gen CPUs came out. The AMD R9 5900X, 5950X, and i9 12900k were very hard to get for the first few months when they released because they couldn't keep them in stock. GPU were hard to get because of crypto currency mining boon that plague GPU prices to be crazy high. If you look at popular games that are on PC, most people use desktop computers. People that do research that require powerful components to run their software use desktops. I guess the average person doesn't do any of these things, do not require the power of a desktop computer. But please don't say desktop PCs are a dying breed when you just look at numbers from HP, Dell, and Acer. People don't buy desktops from them, they build their own or go to companies like Orgin, iBuyPower and DigitalStorm.

  2. I have 4 Desktop computers (Win10, Win11ARM, Linux Mint, EndeavourOS), all of which are NUC sized, with the highest being 15W TDP (Intel & AMD "U").
    Looking forward to the Raspberry Pi form-factor becoming the default Desktop for the vast majority. But instead of low-powered maker-boards, they'll be full-powered M1/M2, Tensor, Snapdragon, Exynos, MediaTek, Rockchip, etc.
    The future of Desktop computing is looking bright, efficient, pocketable.

  3. What is it with old guys saying one tech is gonna die when another gets popular? That only happens when ALL parts of the old tech is vastly outmatched in every way at an affordable price. Since when can a phone or laptop run my high demand programs without feeling like its melting and not stutter? Tower pc's arnt dead or dying any time soon. Not even gonna start on where you got your stats from for this, youtube of all places.

  4. I still have a Tower and a Midi Tower on my desk. The Midi-Tower is modern with an AMD APU; 16GB DDR4 (3000MHz) and a nvme-SSD running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS on OpenZFS. The Tower is an original Compaq Evo Tower with a Windows 98SE activation sticker and with an Intel Pentium 4 HT (1C2T; 3.0GHz); 1.5GB DDR (400MHz) with 4 HDDs 2x IDE and 2x SATA-1. The software is very modern, it runs the latest FreeBSD 13.1 also on OpenZFS.

  5. I hope we don't go the route of smaller less replaceable or repairable devices. I've had my current tower case since 2018 (Cooler Master H500 Airflow.) I already have upgraded and the case itself has been excellent for me upgrading GPU, CPU, Motherboard, Storage to all SSDs. Only thing I wish this case had was a vertical GPU mount bracket or the ability too change it. Otherwise having the ability to take my mid tower atx case with me for years is nice. The way things are going you pay more for less and the ability to own less, I hate Apple products for this reason. Though I will say I did buy a 2011 Mac Mini a couple of years ago to tinker with and have a emergency TV computer for my needs or a family member if they need something while I fix their pc.

  6. I can see mobile phones with desktop capabilities like the Samsung Dex taking over one day. They already are good enough and have all the apps you need for work and entertainment.

  7. Mid tower pc's are still popular since many people still buy standard atx to itx motherboards. I still have my old tower being used for NAS cuz of the drive bays they offer

  8. Tower PCs probably won't go away. As the moore's law slows down due to reaching closer to absolute limits of silicon manufacturing but the demand for more compute power still goes up, therefore increasing power consumption or throwing more silicon at the problem with chiplets or 3D stacking is the way to go to increase performance.

    But either solutions require better cooling, and tower PCs in the consumer space is best equipped for the task. Even if revolutionary cooling methods show up like in-die cooling via micro channels, the projections that the power targets will go up consistently will eventually overwhelm the cooling in smaller form factors which likely enter into stagnation of compute performance and that makes the PC's performance scale better into the future.

    And with the upcoming electric vehicle takeover on most households, the electric power consumption will go up anyway so localized power generation can become popular in the near future and in the further future maybe upgrades to the electrical grid's efficiency might come too reducing the environmental concern on high power consumption on computers

    Plus there is a fast growing culture where people show their desk setups where having a desktop PC makes the most sense in those setups

  9. As a 'silver surfer' I need a full-size keyboard and a large monitor, and probably a wired RJ45 Ethernet connection. I don't really care about the size of the computer box they are connected to. A tiny mobile touch-screen PC is not in my future!

  10. Given the size of cooling solutions for high end parts, The specifics of the tower layout will continue to change but the needed space to contain the cooling.
    Laptops and miniature computers that use laptop parts have lower power and cooling needs, but come with both higher prices and lower performance.
    The tower concept may evolve but endure, albeit with a smaller market share.
    When it comes to system boards like a raspberry pi, jetson nano, and such. These have a home inside machinery and development environments, but won't straight up replace the power of a workstation.

  11. High end graphics will never be in a laptop or a phone as they create heat and high density that will create heat.
    Gaming will never be responsive and offer all the options a PC Gamer will want in a laptop.
    Lastly you will never see a 5.7Mhz Laptop with dual 4K video output and can also do high end video rendering.

  12. I had a small tower and i also had a tall server case i cut the io shape and welded the case up so i had a old server case with a modern io board on the back .I sprayed the inside with shiny gold paint and fitted a window.It was awesome ,Almost as good as the volcano which was a board with the componants on top and then covered in sprayfoam in the shape of a blob .It had cooling and a cd .I believe my mate The pc medic still has it in his loft .Thanks for this lovely vid mr barnet , Hugs from swindon .

  13. Yes they're somewhat declining but tower pc are for power hungry task and those pcs are populated with more than 1 cards like the graphics card, capture card, sound card, or other component cards. But the small form factor are commonly used in schools and office because their only purpose are to do light work and big towers are a space hog. light work such as word processing, photo and video editing, and 3d modeling for teaching because today there are just powerful enough in just a small box.

  14. Even back in the day when tower computers were the norm, I never upgraded any machine and that was very likely the case for most users. Although I remember helping a friend of mine upgrade his PC with a CD burner and a 3dfx Voodoo graphics card (to play Unreal), back when those technologies were brand new. When I bought my first Apple laptops, I was glad I could upgrade them because adding third-party RAM was much cheaper than buying them pre-configured from Apple and saving me a few hundred each time. Sadly this is no longer possible. After having bought a decently large monitor for WFH mid 2020, I also purposely switched my main personal device from a MacBook Pro to an M1 Mac Mini because I hadn’t used the portability at home anyway and when I’m out and about, I just use my tablet or even phone. For me, not only has the tower computer (in the strict sense) disappeared for years, but now also the laptop (except for work, where this form factor makes much more sense) because it was just too much of a compromise device for my type of use.

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