2017 has been the most interesting year for PC tech in a long time

And I really mean it. Its been a very interesting year – mainly thanks to the return of AMD.

You cannot deny that there has been a certain level of stagnation in the processor market for the last five (plus) years. Intel just plodded on releasing the same quad core chips with marginal improvements each generation – which in all fairness; did work out well for them.

A while back I recently upgraded my main system to a Ryzen 7 build after spending so long with an FX based system. Being a student at the time when I put the FX system together – being able to build a six core system for under £200 was absolutely fantastic. The performance was, for the time, fairly decent – but I don’t think I’ll ever experience such value for money again.

Unfortunately, AMD just didn’t follow up on the FX line. It’s (from a consumer standpoint) like they stopped altogether on the higher-end processor market. This is what gave Intel the increased dominance as of recent years.

However great it is for a company to have that “monopoly”, ultimately it’s the consumers that suffer. Some well placed competition in the market is what drives innovation forwards, and it’s clear to everyone and their dog that Intel is only this year willing to start innovating again.

I’m talking about Coffee Lake of course – finally bringing an end to dual core chips and moving the consumer market onto six-core chips for the mainstream market. Heck even the i3 is a quad core, and the i5 and i7s are six core chips. About damn time too – the industry has been yearning for higher and higher core count chips for the last few years.

This is what good competition brings for consumers – technology advances to outdo competitors. We need companies like AMD to shake things up, to be the underdog, the usurper. I, myself, own both AMD and Intel systems and personally I just want the best product from either company that suits my use case. Intel’s i3 is what powers my 2016 NAS, and it’s bloody awesome for the low power consumption. And I went with Ryzen since it’s damn good performance for the money.

So this is why this year has been so interesting. AMDs release has really shaken up the industry in a way that I haven’t seen for… Well since ever really. Even if you’re an Intel user, this can only be a good thing.

That’s my little “r/ShowerThoughs” inspired take on 2017. Here’s to innovation and progress!

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