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What Was New In PC Industry In 2021?
The pandemic has had some great influence on the PC market, where OEMs shipped a record number of PCs and laptops due to the onset demand for personal computers during the COVID-19 lockdown. We saw PCs in new form factor, a lot of laptops and tablets came into the market at various price points.
Here are some of the major updates that happened in 2021 with respect to the PC industry and where the market is heading in the coming days. The PC industry includes laptops, PCs, CPUs, GPUs, and all the other peripherals associated with the same.
More Brands Started Making PCs In 2021
When brands learned that there is a demand for personal computing devices, unconventional PC brands, which were mostly into smartphones, entered the laptop segment. Brands like Nokia, Realme, and Infinix launched their very first laptops in 2021.
Despite being new players, these brands made some pretty interesting devices. Some of these devices even undercut the products from the legendary PC companies, which have been into making personal computers for decades.
Tug Of War Among Brands
When it comes to silicon, brands like Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA dominate the PC segment with their CPU and GPU. This year, Intel launched their most anticipated 12th Gen Alder Lake CPU to take on the AMD Ryzen Zen3 series of CPUs.
The 12th Gen Intel CPUs are also the first set of consumer processors to support technologies like DDR5 RAM, PCIe Gen 5 support, which further helps to improve the performance when compared to previous generation Intel CPUs.
The 12th Gen CPU from Intel is also the first set of desktop CPUs to offer a hybrid CPU cluster with P-cores and E-cores. Now, it is said that AMD is all set to launch Zen3 CPUs with V-Cache technology to take on Intel and vice-versa.
The Same Applies For GPUs Too
Though AMD has been in the consumer GPU segment for a long time, the brand was never able to match the performance of the NVIDIA GPUs. However, this all changed in 2021, where the Radeon RX 6800 and the RX 6800 XT could offer top-tier performance, similar to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 or the RTX 3080 Ti.
To prevent GPUs from going to mining farms, NVIDIA also introduced a technology called LHR (light hash rate) which significantly reduces the mining performance. However, even this has not helped to bring down the price of the GPUs.
Coming to GPU, Intel after a long time announced the launch of a dedicated graphics card under the branding Intel ARC. These graphics cards are said to hit the market by Q1 2021 and are expected to offer up to 4K gaming performance without any issue.
New Operating System For The World
When everyone almost thought that Windows 10 will be the last major OS release from Microsoft, the company surprised everyone with the launch of Windows 11, a 64-bit only operating system.
Windows 11 is available as a free update for PCs that are currently running on Windows 10 OS. However, there are a lot of stringent checklists that a PC should pass, which include features like the availability of TPM 2.0 chip and more to officially support Windows 11 OS.
With Windows 11, Microsoft introduced a new UI, which looks completely different from the previous generation of OSs. Not just that, Windows 11 also has features like native support for Android apps, improved multi-display support, and more.
Apple Went Big With Apple Silicon
Apple launched its first Apple Silicon MacBooks in 2020. In 2021, the company went big with the Apple Silicon -- Apple M1 Pro and Apple M1 Max. These are hybrid processors with integrated CPU and GPU which are more energy-efficient than AMD and Intel's offering.
Apple also launched a 14-inch MacBook Pro for the very first time along with a 16-inch MacBook Pro and resurrected features like MagSafe charger, HDMI port, and SD card slot. These are also the first set of MacBook Pros with a notch that houses a 1080p web camera.
With the Apple M1 Max and Apple M1 Pro processors, Apple finally cut the relationship with brands like Intel and AMD, which used to provide CPU and GPU to high-end MacBooks. Not just the MacBook Pro, the company also launched its first Apple Silicon M1 processor-powered iMac in 2021.