Computers, computers, and more computers. Sounds like a normal week on PC Gamer, but we're going to be throwing in even more computers this week thanks to Computex 2017, the tech trade show held every year in Taipei, Taiwan. As usual, we're on the ground at Computex to see the latest in PC gaming, and we expect some exciting new tech from companies like Intel, AMD and Nividia. We'll also be scoping out the coolest case mods from the show floor and checking in with the latest from local companies like Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte.
Computex officially kicks off on Tuesday, but today's opening press conference gave us a preview of the major themes of this year's show. As usual, the presenters spent time talking about the technology industry at large and the Internet of Things, which mostly seems to affect PC gaming by giving hackers giant botnets with which to DDOS gaming servers. More on our beat, VR got a mention, and most of the biggest exhibitors still make their big bucks in the PC space.
Here's what we're hoping to see from them this week.
What to expect from Computex
Given the leaks around Intel's upcoming i9 processors, it feels like a safe bet that Intel will go into detail about its new extreme processors at this year's show. With AMD making a strong showing with Ryzen, the pressure is back on Intel for the first time in years.
We've seen a fair bit of AMD's new processors lately, but its next-gen graphics cards using the Vega GPU haven't made their debut yet. We've seen one professional card, but this week could be the week for AMD to blow the doors off Vega. We'll likely also see some smaller updates related to FreeSync monitors, motherboards, and perhaps more on Ryzen.
Nvidia's keynote this year is devoted to AI, so this might not be the show for Nvidia to reveal its next line of consumer graphics cards (the 1100 series, if they stick with existing naming conventions). But we're holding out hope for those cards to make an appearance, as a fall 2017 release seems likely for the first batch of those new cards.
Expect a slew of new motherboards, as usual, but we'll especially be on the lookout for new gaming monitors. Asus and Acer have been neck-and-neck in this field the past two years, and we hope both have brought some new high refresh panels to the show.
Corsair recently knocked it out of the park with the killer, super-compact Corsair One tower. We don't expect to see a follow-up to that system so soon, but we do expect some new PC cases showcasing Corsair's typically smart design.
Microsoft won't be talking games at Computex, with E3 just around the corner. But we'll likely hear some new things about Windows, and see more of its new Surface Pro.
The opening press conference also highlighted several Computex design award winners, which is a good way to get a look at some stand-out hardware released in the past few months. Here are a few impressive bits of PC tech we saw at today's keynote.
Gigabyte Brix VR
The big challenge for VR when it launched a year ago was price: the hardware itself is expensive, and PC VR requires a beefy gaming rig to maintain that demanding 90 frames per second. But those system requirements have dropped remarkably quickly: the last-gen GTX 960 is enough to run the Oculus Rift hardware. Now we're seeing systems like the Brix Gaming VR from Gigabyte. Smaller than a Mac Pro, but still spacious enough to house a GTX 1060 GPU, an Intel Core i5-7300HQ (mobile) CPU, and M.2 storage. It's essentially laptop guts crammed into a seriously compact PC.
EpicGear Morpha X
But I've never seen a modular gaming mouse that includes interchangeable sensors. There may be some design drawbacks to making the sensor removable, but I'm excited to see EpicGear giving it a shot with the MorphaX. Imagine finding the gaming mouse that feels perfect for your hand, and being able to upgrade it to a new sensor every few years when new technology comes along. Exciting stuff. You can also swap out the microswitches for a different click feel (or if you just plum wear 'em out).
This is not your usual PC case. I'm not quite sure what to think of the Taku, but it's striking: a sleek metal design that would look great in the right entertainment center. Or under your monitor, as Cryorig shows it here. It's an ITX case, and the front panel slides outwards bringing the tray with it, which should make this case a bit easier to build in than it looks.