Note that I was talking about single thread performance, because that's what determines the worst case performance of a computer.
|Performance gains have been going through the roof from what I'm seeing.|
Only if you look at multithread performance. Single thread performance has only been inching along. And that makes sense, because getting more multithread performance is just a matter of getting enough surface to cram your cores in, or transistors small enough to make them fit in the existing surface.
|nVidia Graphics cards made a big splash going to the 30 series and their 40 series now is too.|
GPUs are massively parallel architectures, so also not included by my previous statement. That said, the 40 series, or at least the 4090, seems to be about just increasing the power at the cost of everything else in the card (performance/Watt, size, price, overall practicality, etc.). For all this, it doesn't offer incredible
performance gains, IMO.
I wouldn't describe GPU performance gains generation-to-generation as "stagnant", but I also wouldn't say the 30 series is an outlier in terms of improvements compared to its predecessors. If anything, the 20 series was more revolutionary for introducing raytracing (although I'm still not convinced that's not more than a gimmick to sell hardware).
|When AMD and Apple made waves with their powerful new CPUs, I hadn't seen that kind of hype around performance in a while.|
Ryzen's big deal wasn't really performance, it was core count. Intel had been sleeping in the laurels for years on that front. The original Ryzen 7s had mediocre single thread performance, but shone if you had a very heavily parallel and branchy task, such as compilation.
Apple's case is different, because they're working on an entirely different architecture than Intel or AMD. They can squeeze out more MIPS per Watt. However, just by looking at their dies they obviously have a pretty crazy number of transistors. It's not too difficult to get more performance by just throwing more transistors at the problem, if you don't care about optimizing yields.