ARM64 and AI are driving a 'Great Reset' in the Windows PC industry, a transformation unlike any witnessed in the past three decades

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Kaymd

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Thanks for the article Dan. But my main question: when is this AI Windows for desktop coming?
I understand that efficient laptops make lots of headlines, but beefy, unconstrained desktops are even more powerful (which is where I spend nearly all my computing time). Why won't this be released for your typical 14900k/4090 machine? Pretty sure it'll outperform any 28W ARM device on the market.
Is this just MS artificially constraining this feature to the new and shiny ARM machines for marketing hype?
 

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Rubino had to wipe the flying spitle from his mouth off his keyboard as he was writing this. The zeal in which he attacks x86 is palpable. I had to give my 8500X3D a hug.
 

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Thanks for the article Dan. But my main question: when is this AI Windows for desktop coming?
I understand that efficient laptops make lots of headlines, but beefy, unconstrained desktops are even more powerful (which is where I spend nearly all my computing time). Why won't this be released for your typical 14900k/4090 machine? Pretty sure it'll outperform any 28W ARM device on the market.
Is this just MS artificially constraining this feature to the new and shiny ARM machines for marketing hype?
M2 Ultra is not too far behind the 14900K in general CPU performance and smokes it in performance per watt. M4 Ultra (if there is such a thing) may surpass the 14900K by a large margin. Intel has a big problem with power draw. AMD and Intel need to up their game and fast.

Pairing an ARM SoC with discrete graphics will be verying interesting.
 

wpbazaar

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Thanks for the article Dan. But my main question: when is this AI Windows for desktop coming?
I understand that efficient laptops make lots of headlines, but beefy, unconstrained desktops are even more powerful (which is where I spend nearly all my computing time). Why won't this be released for your typical 14900k/4090 machine? Pretty sure it'll outperform any 28W ARM device on the market.
Is this just MS artificially constraining this feature to the new and shiny ARM machines for marketing hype?
You use your desktop PC for nearly everything? Cool

BTW your family complained about the PC fan drowning out Netflix and not being able to see past your gamer chair
 

TheFerrango

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You use your desktop PC for nearly everything? Cool

BTW your family complained about the PC fan drowning out Netflix and not being able to see past your gamer chair
Why would their family watch Netflix on the PC monitor when they could be watching it on the livingroom TV?
 

TheFerrango

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I really can't get on the hype train for AI-everything. Yeah, Copilot providing code snippets is nice enough, but nothing overall. I'll have to try it out one of these Copilot+ PCs myself to see what's what I guess
 

Kaymd

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M2 Ultra is not too far behind the 14900K in general CPU performance and smokes it in performance per watt. M4 Ultra (if there is such a thing) may surpass the 14900K by a large margin. Intel has a big problem with power draw. AMD and Intel need to up their game and fast.

Pairing an ARM SoC with discrete graphics will be verying interesting.
Yes, yes we are aware of the power draw issue with x86 desktop machines. But that's really not as important to me as a desktop user with discrete graphic cards. I'll take my RTX4090 with 14900k and 64GB of RAM anytime of the day over any laptop computer as of today (whether ARM of x86).
What I want to know is can my desktop PC run these AI services? If it can, then why not bring it to desktop?
Is this artificially being limited to so-called Copilot+PCs?
 
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Kaymd

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You use your desktop PC for nearly everything? Cool

BTW your family complained about the PC fan drowning out Netflix and not being able to see past your gamer chair
Don't know if you're just being sarcastic or serious, but have you used any modern desktop PC lately?
These new machines are dead silent. My 14900k+RTX4090 does not make a sound (and yest it's air-cooled too with a high end Noctua). I actually need to look at the lights to be sure it's on.
And they have performance. You won't appreciate how powerful the discrete GPUs are until you use them. Conveniently driving three 4k monitors at 165 Hz, all without making a sound. Practically unlimited RAM at 64 GB which I can expand anytime. Multi-tasking at its best.
So-called reviewers running synthetic benchmarks that drive the CPU and GPU at 100% for 30 mins are in no way remotely close to real use cases. Even demanding AAA games do not drive the machines that hard.

All that aside, my question is: when will these AI services come to desktop systems where power supply is 'unlimited', no 'battery life' to care about, and performance is abundant on GPUs?
 

The Werewolf

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Uhm... maybe. We'll see.

Microsoft has the attention span of a herd of cats and when they try something and it doesn't make a ton of money for them quickly, they tend to drop it. See: Windows Mixed Reality. Windows Phone phones. Surface Duo. Surface Neo... etc.

ARM doesn't really solve any real world problem for most people - it's just another complication. And even if it works perfectly and can run all existing software flawlessly (hint, even Apple can't do that and they have a far more closed and controlled environment), then people will be returning these and asking for a safer, more compatible system: ie. Intel or AMD. And as I've been pointing out, this isn't even the first time they've tried this: the Surface RT was ARM based and it came out and flopped badly 10 years ago.

Yes, it means longer battery life - but that's only relevant for laptops - and even then, we kind of reached the point of diminishing returns a while ago. How many NORMAL people use a laptop 15 hours a day unplugged and in a park or someplace they can't plug in? In reality, THAT killer feature would have been really fast charging batteries, not long duration ones.

And yes, it means cooler thermals, but again, most people aren't using their laptops in bed or with them on their actual laps. All evidence is that most people use laptops on their desks as desktop replacements.

If it were significantly cheaper, maybe - but it fails even there as ALL the new models are at the same or much higher prices than the Intel and AMD models. If I can buy an well established i5 laptop for $500 - I'm not in the market for a dodgy $1100 ARM laptop that may not run everything and otherwise really doesn't offer more benefits.

Worse, even though Intel and AMD added NPUs to their CPUs -- Microsoft kind of kicked them to the floor by requiring 4 times the performance without warning... so everyone who bought an Ultra laptop this season just got screwed... not going to leave a good taste in their mouths over "Copilot Plus" PCs - even if we assume most people want tightly integrated genLLM on their laptops (and the jury is definitely still out on that).

But the core failure here is that unlike Apple, where if you like macOS you have exactly one place to go, Apple, Microsoft is mainly a seller of software and everyone else makes the hardware - they can't actually force anyone to go in any particular direction - just do it on Surface devices and hope everyone else follows. However (and the tech press keeps misrepresenting this), they actually announced Intel versions of these devices a month or two ago as "business" models (because businesses do NOT throw out all their hardware on a whim) and contrary to the reporting, yes, anyone - even if you're not a business - can still buy them. There's just a smaller range of options and it comes with Windows Pro, so it's a bit pricier.

Is Windows on ARM a flash in the pan? Probably not. Given that everyone in the tech world from bloggers to CEOs wet their pants every time Apple does anything, ARM is probably with us for the long haul. Will it become the dominant platform for Windows?

Well, Intel has already announced a new CPU lineup for the fall that they claim blows away ARM for performance and thermals, so we'll see. My gut says this is at most a diversion, not a sea change.
 
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The Werewolf

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You use your desktop PC for nearly everything? Cool

BTW your family complained about the PC fan drowning out Netflix and not being able to see past your gamer chair
Ok, well, ad hominem attacks being a sign you really don't have an argument aside...

I'm using a desktop system right now with Ryzen 7 5800X and an RTX4060 and even when I'm rending graphics I literally cannot hear a sound from it. And let's not even get into liquid cooled systems.

Maybe you just don't know how to build/buy a good desktop PC system?

And that's ignoring NUCs - tiny i5/i7 systems 1/4 the size of a Mac mini with the same performance of a full sized desktop. Also almost completely silent. The hard drives connected to it make more sound.

Fan noise is far more an issue with laptops because you have to be right up close. That's typically not the case with desktop systems so serious false equivalency.

With desktops, ARM vs Intel/AMD really doesn't bring anything to the table.
 

worm_cans

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Uhm... maybe. We'll see.

Microsoft has the attention span of a herd of cats and when they try something and it doesn't make a ton of money for them quickly, they tend to drop it. See: Windows Mixed Reality. Windows Phone phones. Surface Duo. Surface Neo... etc.

ARM doesn't really solve any real world problem for most people - it's just another complication. And even if it works perfectly and can run all existing software flawlessly (hint, even Apple can't do that and they have a far more closed and controlled environment), then people will be returning these and asking for a safer, more compatible system: ie. Intel or AMD. And as I've been pointing out, this isn't even the first time they've tried this: the Surface RT was ARM based and it came out and flopped badly 10 years ago.

Yes, it means longer battery life - but that's only relevant for laptops - and even then, we kind of reached the point of diminishing returns a while ago. How many NORMAL people use a laptop 15 hours a day unplugged and in a park or someplace they can't plug in? In reality, THAT killer feature would have been really fast charging batteries, not long duration ones.

And yes, it means cooler thermals, but again, most people aren't using their laptops in bed or with them on their actual laps. All evidence is that most people use laptops on their desks as desktop replacements.

If it were significantly cheaper, maybe - but it fails even there as ALL the new models are at the same or much higher prices than the Intel and AMD models. If I can buy an well established i5 laptop for $500 - I'm not in the market for a dodgy $1100 ARM laptop that may not run everything and otherwise really doesn't offer more benefits.

Worse, even though Intel and AMD added NPUs to their CPUs -- Microsoft kind of kicked them to the floor by requiring 4 times the performance without warning... so everyone who bought an Ultra laptop this season just got screwed... not going to leave a good taste in their mouths over "Copilot Plus" PCs - even if we assume most people want tightly integrated genLLM on their laptops (and the jury is definitely still out on that).

But the core failure here is that unlike Apple, where if you like macOS you have exactly one place to go, Apple, Microsoft is mainly a seller of software and everyone else makes the hardware - they can't actually force anyone to go in any particular direction - just do it on Surface devices and hope everyone else follows. However (and the tech press keeps misrepresenting this), they actually announced Intel versions of these devices a month or two ago as "business" models (because businesses do NOT throw out all their hardware on a whim) and contrary to the reporting, yes, anyone - even if you're not a business - can still buy them. There's just a smaller range of options and it comes with Windows Pro, so it's a bit pricier.

Is Windows on ARM a flash in the pan? Probably not. Given that everyone in the tech world from bloggers to CEOs wet their pants every time Apple does anything, ARM is probably with us for the long haul. Will it become the dominant platform for Windows?

Well, Intel has already announced a new CPU lineup for the fall that they claim blows away ARM for performance and thermals, so we'll see. My gut says this is at most a diversion, not a sea change.
I think you're missing the bigger picture here. People aren't looking for higher performance from these portable devices. Business users and even most end users are getting by with the phone in their pocket, and these are just a companion to that with any software or website decently updated is written in a web app of sorts. X86 architecture will become a niche datacenter product in 5 years.
 

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