2018 COMPUTEX OB­SER­VA­TIONS

PCPOWERPLAY - - Pcpp Hardware & Tech Special -

A THEMELESS YEAR

With no new moth­er­board chipset or GPU to hang a mil­lion prod­ucts off and spur a mar­ket­ing war of iden­ti­cal prod­ucts in heated bat­tle, and with the VR-Ready craze in the dust, and not much else to bind the in­dus­try to­gether in a united front of fren­zied man­u­fac­tur­ing, it came to AI and deep learn­ing to fly the weakly wav­ing theme flag. Nvidia’s Jensen gave a ter­rific pre­sen­ta­tion about driver­less cars and ro­bots, some en­ter­prise prod­ucts were big on deep learn­ing, and faint hints of con­sumer prod­ucts with user-aware­ness were men­tioned, though with noth­ing ac­tu­ally on show.

Let’s call Computex 2018 the Year of Hints that 2019 Will Be the Ac­tual Year of Deep Learn­ing.

RGB THEY’RE NOT DONE YET

Each year we think we’ve hit peak RGB. And each year we’re wrong. Asus threw down the gaunt­let with its new Thor PSU, which has a big OLED screen on the side to mon­i­tor power draw. More no­tably – Asus is now do­ing PSUs. Also, Asus is now do­ing ROG AIO CPU coolers. But not like the oth­ers. These have big OLED screens that you can cus­tomise with pic­tures of things. Like a pic­ture of a PSU with an OLED screen, for ex­am­ple. Cooler Mas­ter also had a new OLED PSU. This is just the be­gin­ning. OH GOD.

SPIES, THEY’RE EV­ERY­WHERE

There we were, half way through Com­pany TT’s tour, when a com­pany-shirted em­ployee of Com­pany M care­fully went from prod­uct to prod­uct, tak­ing sev­eral close up pho­tos and writ­ing notes. No one seemed to care, not that it was in a se­cret area, or any­thing; it just seemed very brazen to us.

TAI­WAN’S AIR RAID DRILL WAS EXCELLENT

At pre­cisely 2:30pm on the Mon­day, dur­ing Nvidia’s key­note, just as Jensen was hit­ting peak Jensen, ev­ery phone in the room went off at once with an alert siren, the sound of which we’ve never heard be­fore. It was a city-wide air raid drill, dur­ing which ev­ery­one had to be off the streets. Most im­pres­sively it was pretty tricky tech­nol­ogy, we thought, that the au­thor­i­ties had to make ev­ery phone go off at max­i­mum vol­ume, with the same sound, even though they were all set to silent. It was also im­pres­sive to ob­serve Jensen just-barely con­tain his frus­tra­tion. 30 min­utes later at 3pm on the dot it hap­pened again, at the ex­act mo­ment Jensen was wrap­ping up with the big crescendo.

He re­ally did get shitty that time. Good job, Tai­wan.

I MEN­TIONED THE WAR ONCE, BUT I THINK I GOT AWAY WITH IT

Dur­ing AMD’s presser, CEO Lisa Su in­vited var­i­ous part­ners up to talk for a mo­ment about their new­est AMD-pow­ered lap­tops. All went well un­til the Asus chap had his mo­ment, mut­tered some­thing about an AMD CPU, then loudly pro­claimed “and it’s got Nvidia graph­ics!”. Crowd fell silent. Crowd then mur­mured. Mur­mur rose to crescendo of laugh­ter and a few boos.

Asus chap re­alised his er­ror and skulked off.

1. We are to­tally not telling you who did this... 2. Is OLED the next RGB? We kinda hope not... 3. Yeah, okay, maybe it is. 4. “Hello, my name is WEEEEEEEEEEEE-EEEEEEEEEEEEE...”

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