Workstation PCs have Returned
Intel and AMD are at it again, and the newest battle in their ongoing war signals that the end is, in fact, not nigh for traditional desktop devices. In the latest round of fighting, both Intel and AMD release near server-quality processors with a dozen or more cores and high clockrates (with insane overclocking ability). Apparently, these two companies see prospects in the desktop market and refuse to cede to any version of reality where mobile ARM chips such as Qualcomm's Snapdragon, Samsung's Exynos, and Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin have the only growth market.
Intel extended their existing lineup of i3, i5, and i7 processors to now have a more powerful i9 variant. These high-end processors were included in a refresh of the entire lineup now known as the X-Series (X for extreme, obviously). They pack in anywhere from 10 cores on the i9-7900x to 18 cores on the i9-7980XE. AMD is competing by adding Threadripper-branded processors into their Ryzen lineup in late July 2017, just a few days after the publication of this post. Threadripprer processors are an extension of the Ryzen line, based on the Zen core architecture, and contain two models: the 1950X with 16 cores; and the 1920X with 12 cores. All processors mentioned from Intel and AMD have two threads per core. Specific core frequencies aren't known for all processors mentioned, but they are generally set fairly high at stock factory conditions ranging from 3.0 and 4.0 Ghz prior to overclocking.
The desktop is dead, long live the desktop!
Tech specs and news aside, this implies that there is a growing market for performance based workstations. From professional and amateur gaming to content creators for the web, desktops seem to have already died and those that remain are transitioning into what we once referred to as workstations. The good news for desktop lovers is that the distinction is semantic at best, and the good news for those who wish to see all desktops eradicated in favor of iOS devices and smartpens, well... there's a special place in technology hell for you. Long live the desktop!