The Biggest Announcements From Computex 2019 (So Far)

Image: Alex Walker (Kotaku)

Computex—one of the world’s biggest computing tech trade shows—kicked off its 2019 conference Monday morning in Taipei, Taiwan, and there have already been tons of big announcements. If you’re looking to upgrade your system (or buy something new) within the next few months, you’ll definitely want to scan through our roundup of the most notable announcements from day one:

Processors and GPUs

Ryzen third-generation CPUs

Image: AMD

AMD dropped several big announcements at the conference. One of the biggest was the unveiling of its new third-gen Ryzen CPU line, which launches on July 7. This includes AMD’s newest flagship CPU, the Ryzen 9 3900X, which features 12 cores and 24 threads and a 4.6GHz boost frequency. This puts the Ryzen 93900X ahead of Intel’s Core i9-9920X and i9-9900K, but at a far lower price point.

Four other CPUs round out the Ryzen third-gen lineup. Here’s the complete list:

  • Ryzen 5 3600: 3.6/4.2 GHz, 6 cores 12 threads, 65W TDP

  • Ryzen 5 3600X: 3.8/4.4 GHz, 6 cores 12 threads, 95W TDP

  • Ryzen 7 3700X: 3.6/4.4 GHz, 8 cores 16 threads, 65W TDP

  • Ryzen 7 3800X: 3.9/4.5 GHz, 8 cores 16 threads, 105W TDP

  • Ryzen 9 3900X: 3.8/4.6 GHz, 12 cores 24 threads, 105W TDP

While these CPUs are available for desktops, Asus’ ROG Zephyrus G GA502 gaming laptops are equipped with Ryzen third-generation CPUs. Acer also confirmed during Computex that the Ryzen 3000 series will also be present on some of its upcoming gaming laptops.

Intel Core i9-9900KS

AMD’s rival, Intel, showed off its own new gaming chip as well: The Core i9-9900KS, which includes an integrated graphics chip. It boasts 8 cores and 16 threads, with a base 4.0 GHz frequency and 5.0 GHz boosted frequency (applicable to all cores). This makes this CPU Intel’s fastest gaming chip currently available. TDP has not yet been disclosed, nor has Intel shared the pricing or expected release date, but it’s safe to say it will likely be one of the most expensive of the Core i9 series.

Radeon RX 5000-series Navi RDNA GPUs

Pivoting to GPUs, AMD also announced the Radeon RX 5000-series Navi GPUs. This new line is AMD’s response to Nvidia’s new RTX line of graphics cards, and AMD spent several minutes during its Computex keynote presentation showing off a Radeon RX 5700 card running benchmark tests alongside an Nvidia RTX 2070. The RX 5700 appeared to best the RTX 2070’s performance by about ten per cent—though ray tracing hasn’t been explicitly confirmed yet.

The RX 5700 will be released sometime in July, and AMD will provide more information during its live presentation at E3 in June.

Nvidia RTX Quadro mobile GPUs

While Nvidia has already announced its RTX line of GPUs, the company showed off a line of mobile Quadro RTX 5000, 4000, 3000, and Quadro T2000 and T1000 cards as well. These will bring the same Turing tech found on the desktop RTX cards (and beefy gaming laptops) to mobile workstations and smaller laptops. The upcoming Razer Blade Studio 15 Edition and 17 Pro Studio Edition laptops will both run on these new cards.

Motherboards

AMD X570 and PCIe 4.0

AMD was everywhere this year, which includes several new motherboards from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, and others that use AMD’s X570 chipset.

These motherboards will be fully compatible with the new Ryzen CPUs and Radeon RX 5000 cards, and will include PCIe 4.0 support. In fact, a couple of high-speed PCIe 4.0 SSDs on the horizon—a 4.95 GB/s-speed model from Corsair, and a 5 GB/s device from Gigabyte—will need a Ryzen 3000-series chop and X570 motherboard in order to reach their crazy data transfer rates.

However, this push to PCIe 4.0 also means that the X570 will not be quite so backwards-compatible with other chips. Check out AMD’s chart for explanation of which components will remain supported:

Graphic: AMD

Asus’ futuristic motherboard design

Image: Asus

On top of the X570 motherboards, Asus also unveil a new motherboard concept, which it’s calling “Prime Utopia.” The conceptual design features rear-facing expansion slots, swappable I/O ports, liquid cooling, and a programmable 7 inch OLED touch screen that displays info like temperature, clock speeds, etc. It’s a weird and innovative design that turns ATX motherboard conventions on its head.

Monitors

If you’re considering upgrading your monitor soon, there were several options shown off at Computex 2019 worth mentioning.

The ROG Strix XG17 (Image: Asus)

First, and wildest of all, are two “portable” monitors from Asus’ Republic of Gamers line. The first, the ROG Strix XG17, is a 17 inch IPS Full HD monitor that tops out at 244Hz refresh rate with a 3 ms response time and adaptive sync—in other words, virtually zero input lag and buttery-smooth video. It supports Micro HDMI and USB Type-C video input. Interestingly the Strix XG17 is battery powered, with an expected battery life of three hours when the high refresh rate is on (though it can be lowered to increase play time, and can be charged or plugged into a dedicated power source via the fast-charge supported USB Type-C port).

ROG Swift PG27UQX (Image: Asus)

The other portable Asus option is a 27 inch 4K Mini LED monitor, the ROG Swift PG27UQX. This particular model also sports high refresh rates up to 144Hz; Nvidia G-Sync; as well as support for DisplayHDR 1000, DCI-P3 97%, and Adobe RGB 99% wide-colour gamuts.

Photo: MSI

Another noteworthy monitor shown off at Computex 2019 is MSI’s Optix MPG341CQR gaming monitor that can change its settings for different users via facial recognition. The secs for the 38 inch monitor itself are impressive: 2440x1440 QHD resolution, 144Hz refresh rate with a 1 ms response time, 21:9 aspect ratio, 1800R curvature, and an anti-glare VA display. The kicker is that the monitor has a built-in “AI” that can recognise your face and change your display settings based on your saved personal preferences. It’s a neat idea, even if facial-recognition software feels creepy.

Other miscellaneous announcements from Computex 2019

While there were tons of big announcements at the show this year, there were some notable smaller ones, too. Here’s a handful we think are worth highlighting:

  • Nvidia is releasing Quake II RTX for free on June 6 to help show off the ray tracing power of its new RTX series of GPUs.

  • Razer will begin rolling out expanded cross-compatibility between its Chroma software and other RGB lighting systems. You’ll be able to use Chroma with a wider array of products that have programmable RGB LEDs, and more of Razer’s products will soon be compatible with non-Chroma software.

  • Mobile computing company, Qualcomm, announced a collaboration with Lenovo to create a Snapdragon-powered 5G PC. We’re not entirely sure how the whole 5G thing is going to shake out, but projects like this are at least interesting to see.


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