AI PC: Hype or Real Benefit

By Joe Callison
20 May, 2024

AI PC: Hype or Real Benefit

There is a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence (AI) and new AI personal computers being introduced in 2024. A resurgence in new PC sales is expected this year with the promise of upcoming AI features throughout the industry in both hardware and software. Microsoft will undoubtedly go big on AI at the Microsoft Build 2024 event held on May 21 through 23.

What is artificial intelligence?

HCLTech ( describes it in simple words as:

“Artificial intelligence is the science of making machines that can think like humans. It can do things that are considered “smart”. AI technologies can process large amounts of data in ways, unlike humans. The goal for AI is to be able to do things such as recognize patterns, make decisions, and judge like humans.”

All of us have probably experienced AI if we have used a personal assistant app on our smartphones, Alexa, or other smart devices. Facial recognition to unlock devices or search through photos for faces or objects are examples of AI. Identifying speech or songs by sampling the sounds captured by the microphone and even internet browser search engines are performed with AI.

What is an AI PC (or Phone)?

There have not been any special requirements for hardware to make use of AI to date because it has been employed almost entirely in cloud-based servers. As AI use increases, it would require massive growth in the construction of new data centers and the infrastructure to support using cloud processing only, Some of the AI processing is capable of being performed by powerful central processing units (CPU) and graphics processing units (GPU} hardware in our personal devices but would require a much greater amount of energy consumption and reduce battery life in our mobile devices to do all of it.

Since around 2017, the hardware in smartphones has evolved to include special processors more efficiently designed for AI-type functions. In an AI PC and newer phones, these are known as neural processing units (NPU). They are incredibly fast and efficient at doing the specific types of functions demanded by AI. For full support of the AI functions Microsoft plans to release beginning with the 24H2 fall update on devices, without heavy use of less efficient processors or the cloud, an NPU capable of 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) is recommended. Unfortunately, all the upcoming AI PCs to be released using either the Intel Core Ultra (Meteor Lake) or AMD Ryzen 8000G (Hawk Point) series processors are capable of less than 20 TOPS. Not even the Apple M3 is capable of 20 TOPS from its NPU. The next generation of Intel processors, known as Arrow Lake and Lunar Lake, is expected to be capable of 45 TOPS but won’t be released until the end of 2024, nor widely available until 2025. Interestingly, the iPhone with an A17 Pro processor already does 35 TOPS and Qualcomm has released ARM-based laptops with the SnapDragon X Elite processor capable of 45 TOPS.

Should I buy an AI PC now or wait for the next generation?

We will probably hear a lot this year about what will be coming with AI, but I would not expect to see a lot of it in operation to know what benefits it could have, especially for a senior computer user, until the end of 2025. There is no compelling reason to buy an AI PC in 2024 just for the AI benefits of the currently available hardware and software. If you want a new PC for other reasons, an AI PC will probably perform faster but will be much more expensive than non-AI PCs that are likely to be deeply discounted this fall. An AI laptop may have better performance and battery life than a non-AI laptop but at a higher cost.

For at least the next 2 to 3 years, AI may be more beneficial for businesses and research use, but many are reluctant to send their data to a cloud-based server for AI processing, AI Processing on local AI PCs that can handle it without requiring power hungry hardware may be preferred by those users.

Final Thoughts

The following is an example of using AI for research on the internet, This took a few seconds to be generated on a non-AI laptop starting from a simple one-line query::



Reasons to buy or not to buy an AI PC in 2024.


Using the web

Sure, here are some reasons to consider when deciding whether to buy an AI PC in 2024:

Reasons to Buy an AI PC:

  1. Powerful Hardware: AI PCs come with powerful CPUs, GPUs, and a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which is a specific piece of hardware set aside for AI work12.
  2. Future-Proofing: Buying an AI PC can future-proof your investment as it offers immediate benefits and sets you up well for the fast-moving world of AI13.
  3. Efficiency: AI PCs can handle AI tasks more efficiently, freeing up the CPU and GPU for other tasks12.
  4. Collaboration Features: AI PCs offer features like AI auto-framing, AI background blur, and AI eyesight correction in communication apps like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom2.
  5. Innovation and Differentiation: The growth of AI-capable PCs offers significant opportunities for innovation and differentiation in the industry4.

Reasons Not to Buy an AI PC:

  1. Early Stage: The inception of AI PCs has just begun, so many of the new advantages can feel quite rudimentary2.
  2. Uncertainty: There’s uncertainty about what an AI PC will actually be capable of doing5.
  3. Cost: The cost of using cloud servers compared with buying AI PCs for employees can vary and does not apply to the home user6.
  4. Battery Life: Some AI PCs have been reported to have just average battery life1.
  5. Limited Applications: Many apps are still being built, and the ‘AI PC’ era of computing will innovate heavily as we move forward2.

Remember, the decision to buy an AI PC should be based on your specific needs and circumstances. It’s always a good idea to do thorough research before making a purchase.

Posted by Joe Callison

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.