Computex 2022 Highlights: All the Best PC Gaming Bits
To be honest, I found Computex 2022 a little disappointing; it’s usually the biggest event on the PC gaming hardware calendar, and had returned to Taipei after an all-remote show in 2021, but ended with only a handful of major announcements in the bag. We got nothing on Intel’s Arc graphics cards, and Nvidia’s keynote revealed new DLSS games, but was otherwise light on GeForce details.
That said, this year’s show wasn’t a failure either: there was new information about AMD Ryzen 7000, Corsair’s first crack at a gaming laptop and, finally, PCIe 5.0 SSDs that you can actually buy. One day. In the future. That’s on top of the wackier moon-firing tech on display, without which it just wouldn’t be Computex. So, in descending order – from interesting and sensible to flashy ridiculous – here are Computex 2022’s PC gaming highlights.
AMD Ryzen 7000: A closer look at next-gen processors
After using January’s CES 2022 to announce the Ryzen 7000 series, AMD has gone to Computex with its first meaty details about upcoming processors. The 7000 chips will rely heavily on a new Zen 4 core design to catch up with Intel’s best gaming processors, with higher clock speeds and a more efficient 5nm manufacturing process. AMD hasn’t named or priced specific models, but has demonstrated a 16-core Ryzen 7000 chip that could boost up to 5.5 GHz, which is equal to the maximum speed of the first Intel Core i9 processor. -12900KS.
The Ryzen 7000 will also update AMD’s desktop lineup in connectivity and peripheral support, with DDR5, PCIe 5.0 and 2×2 USB 3.2 compatibility as standard. Between the move to socket AM5 and just needing new chipsets, you won’t be able to install a Ryzen 7000 part on an existing AMD motherboard, although the three advertised mobo chipsets – X670E, X670 and B650 – all support at least some degree of overclocking and PCIe 5.0 capability. Expect a fall 2022 launch.
Apacer AS2280F5 and Zadak TWSG5: the first PCIe 5.0 SSDs
The Ryzen 7000 family will join Intel’s 12th Gen desktop processors in offering PCIe 5.0 support, but there’s just one catch: there really aren’t any PCIe 5.0 devices to buy. However, first blood on the SSD side goes to Apacer, who have announced two upcoming M.2 drives (including one under their gaming label Zadak). The Apacer AS2280F5 and Zadak TWSG5 claim the same 13,000MB/s sequential read speed and 12,000MB/s sequential write speed, more than double what today’s best SSDs can handle on PCIe 4.0; the main difference seems to be the TWSG5’s sextra heatsink option, a much thinner graphene strip.
Unfortunately, that’s about it for the details: Apacer didn’t reveal any capabilities, release dates, or prices. I guess they won’t come cheap, as PCIe 4.0 SSDs still tend to be a lot more expensive than PCIe 3.0 models, although those speeds seem pretty scary. 13,000 MB/s is about 23 times faster than a good SATA SDD! Crazy stuff.
Corsair Voyager a1600: a first ultra-thin gaming laptop
Computex 2022 saw Corsair launch its first-ever gaming laptop, the Voyager a1600, and for a first attempt it looks like very serious piece of kit. The 16-inch display combines a higher 2560 x 1600 resolution with a higher 240Hz refresh rate, the keyboard is fully mechanical with low-profile Cherry MX switches, and the chassis is as thick as the newest Razer Blade 17. That is, not thick. Not thick at all.
Like the Xeneon 32QHD165 monitor, Corsair’s other recent attempt to diversify its hardware output, the Voyager a1600 doesn’t come cheap. No UK pricing yet, but with two versions planned for $2700 and $3000, it’s expected to offer more than just a list of specs. Which, speaking of which, also includes an AMD Radeon RX 6800M GPU and either an AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS or Ryzen 9 6900HS. Both all-AMD configurations will also unlock various “AMD Advantage” features, like Smart Access Memory.
Asus ROG Swift 500Hz: man, that’s a lot of hertz
Here’s the ROG Swift 500Hz, which was touted during Nvidia’s keynote as “the lowest latency, highest refresh rate G-Sync esports display ever.” Which is hard to argue with, in part because no one has ever had the nerve to create a 500Hz monitor before. It’s actually quite modest in some respects – the resolution is 1920 x 1080, it’s just 24-inches diagonally, and it uses a TN panel – but it’s all in the service of pure speed. You’re unlikely to get 500Hz from a contemporary IPS panel, for one thing.
Yet… I don’t know, readers. To me, it seems like the reduced latency might be a more tangible benefit than that refresh rate, even for the type of hyper-paced competitive FPS gaming the ROG Swift 500Hz is designed for. Don’t believe the naysayers who claim there’s no visible difference between 60Hz and 144Hz, but anything above about 240Hz offers such drastically reduced returns that it’s hard to imagine 500Hz worth it. Not that no price has been confirmed, mind you.
Geil Evo V DDR5 RGB Hardcore Gaming Memory: RAM has fans in it
I’ll say this for Asus’ 500Hz display: while it’s useless, it doesn’t have any real, crackling, white-hot ‘why if’ energy. Not like Geil’s Evo V DDR5 RGB RAM, which showed up at Computex 2022 with its own little active cooling system. That means tiny RGB scalloped fans on each module, which draw in cool air to cool the memory while forcing hot air through vents in the middle.
“This FANtastic design makes what was once considered impossible a reality,” according to the marketing copy. So maybe I’m just being obtuse, and putting fans on RAM sticks is actually a Wright Brothersian moment of genius? But it’s unclear whether the overclocking advantage of this DDR5 will have as many applications as heavier-than-air flight. We’ll know for sure in July when the Evo V DDR5 RGB goes on sale.