The Four Most Exciting PC Gaming Trends From CES 2021
While the games themselves are not announced at CES, it is one of the most exciting events for PC gaming hardware every year. This year there has been no shortage of new products and announcements that will set the tone for the rest of 2021.
At a time when you still can’t buy a new console, CES 2021 has proven that the PC is still the best place for real, next-gen gaming. Here are the five PC gaming trends that prove it.
High-end laptop games are coming to AMD
Despite all of the successes AMD had in 2020, one of the areas Intel continued to dominate was high-end gaming. You couldn’t buy an AMD Ryzen-based gaming laptop that had something more powerful than an RTX 2060. But as CES has proven, that is about to change.
Brands like ROG and Legion have switched their entire range of games to the new Ryzen 5000 platform from AMD. For ROG, this includes laptops that use up to an RTX 3080, a first for AMD.
Why is this important for gamers? If you want to take advantage of AMD’s multi-core advantage over Intel, you now have laptops that excel in this regard without sacrificing gaming performance. Above all, it should bring the competition between Intel and AMD into full swing, which is always good.
HDMI 2.1 support for gaming monitors
Not everyone with a console keeps them in the living room. Some people all play at their desks, which is exactly what HDMI 2.1 gaming monitors are good for. A handful of these were announced at CES this year, from the 27-inch Acer Nitro XB282K monitor to the massive 43-inch Asus ROG XG43Q. With HDMI 2.1, these monitors can play games at 4K and 120 Hz, whether you’re playing on a console or a gaming PC.
Because of its size, the ROG XG43Q in particular has the potential to overcome the barrier between television and monitor. As more of these monitors and PCs support HDMI 2.1, you can expect that storage space to grow significantly and provide a better experience for hybrid console and PC gamers.
The RTX 3060 desktop supports mid-range gaming
Despite the announcement of the RTX 3060 Ti last month, Nvidia has already introduced the vanilla version of the midrange graphics card. Retailing at $ 329, the RTX 3060 offers an interesting counterweight to the raw processing power of the RTX 3060 Ti. It has fewer CUDA cores, though it still has more than the previous generation RTX 2080 Super. It also has fewer ray tracing cores than the RTX 3060 Ti.
However, this is made up for in memory. It has a whopping 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, which is even more than the RTX 3080’s 10 GB. We’ll have to wait and see how it performs when it launches in February, but it could turn out to be a fantastic midrange graphics card for gaming and content creation.
Gaming laptops take it to the next level
The introduction of Nvidia’s RTX 30 series laptop graphics cards was the highlight of the show for PC gamers. Not only do these offer a huge boost over the previous generation of mobile graphics, but they have also inspired a flurry of new innovations from laptop manufacturers.
At the high end, we’re finally seeing a transition to higher resolutions and refresh rates. When paired with the RTX 3070 or 3080, laptops like the Razer Blade now offer 1440p 240Hz screens for high-definition gaming without losing the fluidity of a faster refresh rate. Asus even launched the ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE, which has a 4K 120 Hz screen.
Meanwhile, gaming laptops are also becoming thinner and more portable than ever. The Predator Triton 300 SE is a good example. It’s a 14-inch gaming laptop with an RTX 3060 and the new 35-watt processors from Intel. Asus went a step further with its ROG X13 2-in-1, a 13-inch laptop that is no bigger than a nongaming laptop. To this end, Asus created the smallest eGPU ever made with the mobile RTX 3080 inside and a custom PCIe connection to boost performance. This type of innovation would not have been possible without the raw performance of Nvidia’s new mobile RTX 3080.