The Consumer Electronics Show is one of the most exciting events of the year if you're a tech nerd. There are new laptops, new desktops, printers, networking hardware, quirky gadgets, PC components, console accessories, and much, much more. It's an enormous show, arguably the biggest of the various tech events each year and the next one is just around the corner.
As the press releases start winging their way to us, we're starting to get particularly hyped for a few select pieces of hardware. We're not sure if they'll all be there, but we've got our fingers crossed all the same.
Here's what we're most excited to see at the upcoming CES 2019.
AMD Ryzen 3000
It's fair to say that in the CPU market at least, AMD had a fantastic 2017 and 2018. The first and second-generation Ryzen chips have proved incredibly successful and are competitive with Intel in almost all price brackets in almost all tasks. The Ryzen 3000 series is likely to continue that trend.
We know the chips will be 7nm in size, halving the size of existing 14nm Intel CPUs. That could mean we see huge performance gains in both single threaded and multithreaded tasks, potentially leading to AMD taking the performance crown from Intel for the first time since the AMD 64 era. If that happens, it will be a watershed moment in the PC component market and with no sign of Intel coming back with sub 10nm parts of its own anytime soon, AMD could retain it for years to come.
CES 2019 is expected to see the first debut of these chips and we'll finally learn how capable they are.
Mid-range and mobile Nvidia RTX cards
Nvidia's RTX Turing GPUs were impressive, if rather expensive, when they debuted in August 2018. The 2080 Ti was an absolute powerhouse, and the 2080 and 2070 worked as good analogues for the 1080 Ti and 1080 respectively. But what we don't have yet is a mid-range RTX solution. CES 2019 could see such a card debut.
An RTX 2060 and/or 2050 would not likely support ray tracing as it's incredibly taxing, even on the most powerful of GPUs, but DLSS is certainly a possibility. If Nvidia were to release a new 2060 with 1070-like performance but for $250, that'd be quite impactful. However, considering the price of other RTX cards, it would be more likely to be in the 300+ bracket.
As for mobile GPUs, we're expecting to see a few Max-Q 2080 or 2070 designs at CES too, offering laptop gamers the chance to play some of the latest experience at ultra detail levels and high resolutions. Again, ray tracing is probably not going to happen, but on the highest of the high end laptops we wouldn't rule it out entirely.
Nvidia isn't the only company which might have new GPUs on show at CES 2019. AMD is also expected to debut a new generation of graphics cards in the new year known as Navi. We don't know much about this new-generation as of yet, other than it too will be based on a 7nm design. That should mean a big boost in performance, as well as reduced power draw and cooling requirements over AMD's previous Polaris and Vega architectures.
Rumors of strong performance have us cautiously excited for AMD competing directly with Nvidia. One suggested that the flagship Navi card could offer RTX 2070 beating performance for just $250. That would be a huge leap in performance over what AMD's last cards could do and at what cost, but if true, 2019 could be the year of AMD.
Qualcomm 8cx laptops
In the much-more entry-level segment of the market, Qualcomm has been talking up its next generation Snapdragon hardware, called 8cx. With a new octa-core CPU and Adreno 680 GPU, the chip is designed to compete with Intel's Core i5 CPUs head to head in the mobile space, but offer much longer battery life. Think 20+ hours on a single charge with a full Windows install on an always connected machine.
That means LTE connectivity, it means high-efficiency, and it also means gaming ability. It won't be great, and Intel hardware will likely remain more powerful, but CES 2019 could see the debut of some brand new laptops which could be your next upgrade when you're looking for a replacement for your aging Intel machine.
But that's just a fraction of what we expect to see at next year's CES 2019. It's just around the corner so we don't have long to wait. What are you most excited to see?