Richard Swinburne rounds up his highlights from this year’s Computex tech show in Taiwan
Richard Swinburne reveals his highlights from the tech trade show in Taiwan.
Intel X299 and Core i9
Intel announced its new Core i9 range of LGA-2066 socket CPUs at Computex, including the massive 18-core Core i9-7980XE, along with variants sporting ten, 12, 14 and 16 cores. In case you were wondering, Socket LGA2066 is compatible with all LGA2011-era coolers, although your cooler will need enough headroom for the chips’ higher thermal design power (TDP). Several supporting X299 motherboards were on show too, featuring all flavours of RGB bling. Asus launched a bevy of boards, including Prime (X299-A and Deluxe), Rampage VI (Apex and Extreme), Strix -E and TUF Mark 1 and 2, while Gigabyte announced an X299 Gaming range. MSI also showed its X299 Gaming Pro with a carbon fibre effect, and I found the only public showing of the Gigabyte X299 SOC Champion and ASRock X299 OC Formula on the G.Skill booth too! Both these boards, and the Asus Prime X299 Deluxe, were paired with 64GB of 4GHz+ DDR4 Trident-Z RGB memory. Surprisingly, Biostar produced the most striking X299 board design, with a motherboard that’s wider than it’s taller – its EATX(++) GT9 Racing is massive!
Asus ROG Zephyrus laptop
At the Asus ROG press event, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was invited to co-launch the company’s Zephyrus gaming laptop. This 15mm ultra-slim laptop packs a full GTX 1080 GPU, and Asus still claims it has cool temperatures and sub-40dB noise. Instead of re-writing the rules of thermodynamics, the rear bottom edge of the chassis lifts and opens to give the laptop more breathing room, With the keyboard shifted forwards as well, there’s enough cooling to keep it slim and fast.
Expect it to cost a pretty penny though.
New GTX 1080 Ti cards
Two new GTX 1080 Ti cards that caught my eye were the Gigabyte Aorus GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition 11G, which had a triple-fan cooler on a four-slot card! Similarly, MSI showed off its
Get wood with In Win
In addition to In Win’s bizarre WinBot spherical case, which detects faces and offers voice control, its new 806 and Gaming Cube A1 concept chassis introduce wood into mainstream PC chassis design for the first time. The 806 design is much refined from the older 805, with quick-remove side panels, additional cooling fans in the roof area and magnetic fan filters; the bent wood also creates a bigger gap for airflow than before. GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z –a triple-slot, triple 8-pin socket monster, but with a goodlooking design and RGB lighting. Next up is the Galax GTX 1080 Ti HOF OC Lab Edition (these names are getting ridiculous), with a beautiful white PCB and largely see-through Bitspower waterblock on top – a very tasty design! Finally, EVGA launched its Kingpinedition card, with copper cooling fins and an impressive guaranteed overclock of 2GHz+.
Noctua spends 4.5 years developing fan
No joke – 4.5 years! With over 200 prototypes and new material analysis, it represents some serious R&D commitment. The results are, indeed, impressive. Noctua’s upcoming A-series fan has a 0.5mm gap between the fan edge and housing, which requires the strictest manufacturing tolerances. It uses military grade (bulletproof vest/combat helmet) Novel Sterrox Liquid Crystal Polymer (LCP) on the blades, and has a super strong steel-brass impeller design, so it can resist vibrations, even after years of use. The result is a fan that’s good for radiators, heatsinks or chassis mounts, and Noctua says one of its new fans has the same cooling power as of its current fans. At $30 USD (around £23) a pop, though, they won’t be cheap.
Lian Li Alpha 330
two Lian Li showed off its Alpha 330 steel chassis, which is highly modular. The front and top and be swapped around depending on your cooling needs, and it makes extensive use of tempered glass too.
MSI gaming storage card
MSI has invented an 8x PCI-E card that can house two M.2 PCI-E cards in RAID 0, plus a 2.5in SATA drive. The card also has several super-capacitors that protect data in case of power loss, and a blower fan to keep drives cool under the casing.
Cooler Master soups up Cosmos
Cooler Master’s new Cosmos C700P design uses meaty metal rails, and has an impressive curved full-window side panel. We’re told that the internal layout is still a work in progress, but the theme seems to be ‘cover everything that isn’t the motherboard’. Expect a copious use of RGB lighting and a premium price too. Cooler Master’s MasterBox Q300T also caught our eye – it’s an on-edge cube with extruding edges with an interesting shape, although it doesn’t look particularly practical.
Enermax Steelwing and SFX PSU
Enermax’s new Steelwing mini-ITX chassis has an interesting slatted front design and big glass sides, and Enermax has paired it with its new, high-powered modular SFX PSU. We’re not sure about the PSU’s placement over the motherboard, though, and while the case uses high-quality materials, it still looks pretty big for a mini-ITX chassis.