Mikes Rant Christmas Edition – The 5 Tech Winners Of 2020
Mike Sanders / 4 weeks ago
There are many reasons why 2020 may have been more than a little disappointing to you, but despite the overwhelming negative feeling most people will have in wishing good riddance to 2020, that doesn’t mean to say that it’s been bad for everyone. – Let’s, therefore, take a look at five of the most impressive tech wins that have occurred over the last 12-months! – Well, in my opinion at least!
AMD Radeon 6000 – ‘Big Navi’
AMD had been talking about ‘Big Navi’ for quite some time and for many, it always seemed doubtful that they would be able to produce a graphics card that was truly capable of performing shoulder to shoulder with the best that Nvidia had to offer! – I mean, even comparing the honestly excellent 5700 XT to the 2070 Super was something of a moderate stretch.
Following the official launch of the Radeon 6000 graphics series back in late October, however, it’s hard to deny that against all expectations, AMD has done it. After years of sub-par attempts, they finally have some graphics cards that can easily be compared to Nvidia’s top-spec designs. It has even in some respects possibly led to Nvidia having to go on the defensive as a recent report suggested that they were going to delay the 3080 Ti just to make sure it truly is better than the 6800 XT.
For the first in (arguably) a long time, however, if you own an AMD Radeon graphics card, and specifically a 6000 series model, you don’t have to mutter it under your breath. You can say it loud and proud!
The Gaming Industry
COVID-19 required many of us to spend (willingly or not) extended periods of time at home and, as such, most people decided to use this unexpected spare time to catch up on a little gaming. Well, it’s not as if you could go outside and do something, is it?…
This ‘lockdown’, however, has had some benefits. Particularly for the gaming and hardware industry since Coronavirus restrictions began in March. Although it is clearly pending some end-of-year financial announcements, the bottom line is that 2020 looks almost certain to be one of the most lucrative years for anyone in the gaming, hardware, or peripheral business!
Yes, in some instances, and in specific regards to developers, the lockdown has led to a number of major gaming titles being pushed back until 2021 as most look to attempt (in clearly limited situations) to continue progress while working from home. I think, however, that on the whole, the gaming and hardware industry is going to come out of 2020 largely feeling pretty good about itself!
Oculus Quest 2
Even with me owning a VR headset, I’m still not entirely convinced that the technology is quite ready yet in terms of mass ownership. I mean, maybe it is and just more consumers need convincing, but with the launch of the Oculus Quest 2 earlier this year, it’s hard to deny that this latest updated model has done remarkably well in giving that sector of the tech industry a bit of a good firm kick in the right direction. – Early demand for the Quest 2 has been excellent and, although pending the release of some official figures, it is understood that the sales are currently in excess of Facebook’s (who own Oculus) initial expectations.
Admittedly, with the entry-level model starting at £299, there is still not exactly an inexpensive access point to virtual reality. I would, however, say that the Oculus Quest 2 is undoubtedly one of the best options out there. particularly so given that it’s available at a price that most enthusiast PC gamers could potentially be willing to throw their wallets at it as a, and I use this term loosely, casual purchase.
You can, incidentally, learn more about the Oculus Quest 2 via the link here!
Apple iPhone 12
The Apple iPhone 12 was originally intended to release around September this year. With COVID-19 causing more than a few logistical problems, however, it was decided to delay the release until October. Despite this coming so relatively late in the year, however, and much later than what the initial hype was building up towards, the Apple iPhone 12 has still proven to be amazingly popular with consumers.
At a point where you would’ve been forgiven for thinking that demand for Apple products was in something of a decline, the iPhone 11 definitely showed signs of encouragement in 2019, and, with the release of the new iPhone 12 now, it seems that many people have been happily making the upgrade. – In a somewhat lateral way of thinking, it’s entirely possible that the lockdown may have been one of the key reasons for the iPhone 12’s popularity and success. Specifically, as people with nothing better to do decided to see if they were eligible for a phone upgrade, and lo’ and behold, a brand new iPhone was available.
As much as I absolutely love my Android phone, I must admit that I am a little jealous of the iPhone 12. If, for no other reason, than it’s absolutely amazing camera quality! – Is that enough to make an owner out of me though?… Hmm, not quite yet!
AMD Ryzen Market Share
Following the release of AMD Ryzen back in 2017, owning a Team Red processor is something to no longer be ashamed of. Not, incidentally, that you ever had any reason to be (coming from someone who still happily owns and uses a system with an FX 8350 CPU inside). The success of Ryzen in the comparative benchmarking charts to Intel, however, is undoubtedly being translated in the overall market share figures. And of the two, I daresay AMD probably places higher importance on the latter!
Based on the chart below, which solely covers the desktop market share, you can clearly see that for the first in 14 years, AMD is on a steady march to have a market dominance over Intel. Something that if you’d suggested it just 4 years ago, people would’ve laughed at you.
More so, however, given the relative infancy and difficulties in currently obtaining a new Ryzen 5000 processor, we can’t help but see AMD continue to improve. Particularly as Intel throws relatively weak responses such as the Comet Lake-S back at them. – Things may, of course, change late in 2021 when Intel launches its Alder Lake-S platform which, incidentally, I believe will be amazingly potent. For the time being, however, things are all going Ryzen’s way!
Mikes Rant Christmas Edition – What Do You Think?
So, there you have it, the 5 biggest technology wins I think 2020 has seen. And yes, I know I risk being called an AMD ‘fanboy’ for including them twice, but I don’t care. It’s my list and, quite frankly, the facts don’t lie!
What do you think though? Do you think I missed something important out from this list? – Let us know in the comments!
If you enjoyed Mikes Rant, you can check out more via the link here – Alternatively, for more of his Christmas-related rantiness, check out the link here! They’ll be a new rant (nearly) every day between Christmas and New Year!