Computex 2016 is all this week in Taipei, Taiwan — and it’s where you want to be if you’re interested in all the new components and gadgets that you’ll be using inside and around your gaming PC over the next year. All the major tech brands will have stands and exhibitions on show, with new technologies alongside PC overclocking and case modding competitions, as well as new peripherals like keyboards, mice and headsets. Here’s what we know is coming, and what we’re hoping for.
Both big CPU manufacturers — Intel and AMD — traditionally make significant announcements around Computex, so you can reasonably expect to hear something exciting soon enough. AMD’s powerful desktop Zen platform is a little way off still, though, so don’t expect to hear anything on that front. What you will hear more about is AMD’s new Bristol Ridge 7th-generation APUs, which combine a moderately powerful CPU with a moderately powerful GPU in a single silicon package — making cooling and energy consumption a little more efficient than having discrete parts.
New Graphics Cards
AMD is widely rumoured to be making a big reveal and announcement of its Polaris 10 and Polaris 11 graphics cards at a separate event in Macau on March 31, and there might be some partner cards on show at Computex too. They’re not expected to be as powerful as Nvidia’s recent GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070, but we’re hearing they bring excellent 1080p and potentially 1440p gaming performance to lower price points than ever before, which should be pretty tempting for mainstream gamers and not just the ones with $1200+ to burn. And, of course, expect to see plenty of third-party 1080 and 1070 cards.
New Laptops And Desktop PCs
The traditional Taiwanese PC vendors — Asus, Acer, Gigabyte, MSI, and the like — usually make extremely strong showings at Computex, and this year will be no different. ASUS’s big show is on right now, and we’ve already seen new desktops and laptops announced — be sure to tune in tomorrow to learn more about them. Miniaturised desktop PCs, like the incredible MSI Vortex G65, designed to fit into your home or office unobtrusively rather than requiring a massive tower case, are only going to get smaller and more compact as efficient CPUs and GPUs make their way into consumer hardware.
New Monitors And Peripherals
We’re hoping HP will be around showing off its new Omen monitors, including that fancy-lookin’ 32-inch Quad HD gaming panel. Outside of Computex, we know that Samsung is about to show off some new curved screens in Australia, so those should be on your shopping list too. FreeSync and G-Sync will be just as popular as ever on Asus, Acer, AOC and other brands’ gaming monitors, but what we’re really hoping for is a proliferation of big-screen 4K — like 32-inch, 4K displays with fast refresh rates and plenty of different connectivity options.
Virtual Reality And Wearable Computing
When we say wearable computing, we mean that literally. Computers that you wear. HP teased one over the weekend, MSI has its own backpack-sized virtual reality gaming rig, and Zotac kicked off the trend a couple of months ago. Virtual reality is already here with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, but it’s the certification — the SteamVR Performance Test, as well as the ‘Oculus Ready PC’, Nvidia’s “GeForce GTX VR Ready” and Intel’s “VR Ready” tags — this is what PC makers are aiming for. Acer has teamed up with Starbreeze for a new StarVR headset that, at least on paper, blows Oculus and HTC out of the water.