How much staying power will future CPUs and GPUs have? | Ask an expert

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Q: Given how quickly new technology is developing, will we ever see another generation of the staying power of Polaris, Sandy Bridge, or Pascal?

A: That depends on how you define staying power. Is it based on a line of products being so good that they held their own against the lure of new, more powerful hardware? Or is it based on circumstances in which less innovation triggers indifference to fresh hardware launches?

Some people can (and do) argue that Sandy Bridge processors weren’t that good. Rather, the incremental gains in performance with Ivy Bridge and Haswell made Sandy Bridge look phenomenal—so much so that loyal Core i7-2600K (and even Core i5-2500K) owners are only now replacing them with modern CPUs. Intel’s Core processors offered conservative improvements across multiple generations until AMD’s Ryzen processors upped the ante.

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