Computer Graphics World

October-November-December 2021

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 31 of 39

30 cgw o c t o b e r • n o v e m b e r • d e c e m b e r 2 0 2 1 T he second quarter of 2021 saw one of the biggest jumps in workstation sales ever — workstation market volume grew overall 30.6 percent year-over-year, establishing a record level of sales. Workstation notebooks have surged in sales and popularity due to COVID, gig workers, and creatives. I don't see the trend changing, although the COVID gold rush is probably over. In our data for Q3, which tracks GPU ship- ments, Jon Peddie Research (JPR) found that overall GPU shipments were down 18 percent in Q3'21 from the previous quarter. Keep in mind that our GPU data indicates GPU sales to OEMs. As such, they provide a leading indication of sales for the future. Given the great start workstations have gotten for the first half of 2021, workstations are likely to come out ahead, even if the numbers stabilize a bit. Lenovo agrees that the overall mobile workstation market has grown due to re- mote work and the ability to deploy mobiles fast. Also, mobile workstations have become more powerful by virtue of advanced engi- neering for cooling, weight reduction, and good old Moore's law. Manufacturers need every trick in their toolbox because the delta for performance isn't what it used to be. Moore's law is inevitably slowing down. The slowdown will be offset as users are able to access more power when needed with remote workstation hardware and soware located anywhere in the world. A larger, more pervasive trend beyond COVID, however, is the rise of gig workers and creatives. The terminology has changed, as well. In our bi-annual report on the con- tent creation market, creatives include the people working in DCC, illustration, imaging, publishing/photography, video, VFX, and so forth. They are separate from design and engineering professionals, the other major segment for workstations. Artists, graphics designers, illustrators, and modelers didn't get much attention by the press or the workstation builders. But that was then. Today, workstation builders are going out of their way to recog- nize and support those creatives who are also becoming more mobile. They are oen con- tract workers, and they are located wherever they need to be as much for their personal situations as for professional requirements. Soware is advancing and relying on GPU acceleration. Autodesk, Adobe, Avid, the rendering companies like Chaos and Maxon, the studio homegrown systems, and the game engines are all piling on that trend. Their sales and share price reflects it. That's why the big guns are interested in those creatives who scattered all over the world. They are buying or demanding power- ful machines to get their work done accord- ing to deadlines that are always insane. Those creatives have occupied a gray area between workstations and high-end PCs. They're oen not persuaded to spend the extra money for a workstation; you can argue that they have their points, but... they, more than anyone, need a rugged, guaran- teed serviceable machine that's certified to work with the apps they use. But creatives, because they are designers and artists, want a good-looking machine, not some heavy black clunker that looks like it's a throwback to the Cold War. The ma- chine will be with them almost all the time, and they want to proud of it, have it reflect their style, status, and pizazz. And the big five have come through. Generally, HP thinks of the creatives in three categories: creative consumers, pro- sumers, and corporate creators. The distinction is that both prosumer and corporate are getting paid, while creative consumers are doing it for hobby. HP cat- egorizes prosumers as those whose work Creative Impact WORKSTATIONS USED BY CREATIVES — ARE THEY DRIVING THE MARKET? BY JON PEDDIE Image courtesy Vancouver Film School. NOTEBOOK WORKSTATIONS HAVE REACHED PARITY WITH DESKTOPS AND ARE EXPECTED TO GAIN SHARE.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - October-November-December 2021