Whenever we head to a tech convention, we try to do a little "trend-spotting", connecting the dots that link the various messages we get from manufacturers. It was no different at this year's PAX West, and we thought we'd share our thoughts with you, illustrated with a few videos we shot at the AMD, EVGA, and Gigabyte booths. Together, these behemoths represent the three most critical components to any gaming PC: the CPU, motherboard, and video card.
The CPU Wars
We've been saying this for a while, but Intel has clearly been overwhelmed by the success of AMD's Ryzen CPU line. Intel was at the show this year, but unlike last year, it didn't even showcase a single Intel product. The majority of Intel's booth was oddly taken up by rows and rows of Lenovo Legion PCs. Of course those desktops had Intel processors in them, but there was no marketing effort put into the display.
AMD, on the other hand, was doing a great job getting throngs of fans over to its booth, which happened to sit right across from Intel's. Gamers were lined up itching to have a go at some gaming tournaments powered by AMD CPUs and GPUs. The Force was particularly strong with Ryzen, and we had a chance to go one-on-one with Don Woligroski, AMD's Global Marketing Manager for desktop processors. He shared some thoughts on how AMD shook up the market with the spring 2017 release of Ryzen.
There's just no doubt about it - AMD has a hit on its hands, and knows it!
The GPU Wars
Folks, there's nothing left to say here. While Nvidia had a big booth at PAX West in 2016, it didn't even show up this year. And while AMD was clearly at the show, it wouldn't go on the record with us regarding its GPU supply shortages, even for its brand-new RX Vega lineup. At this point, if you're buying a video card for gaming, you're buying an Nvidia GeForce card. Both companies know this.
And perhaps it's the success of GeForce products that has allowed Nvidia board partners to think out of the box a bit. First up, we spoke with EVGA about what it takes to produce limited-run, ultra-high-end versions of its products, like the liquid-cooled GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 Hybrid video card.
Next up, we take a quick tour of the Gigabyte Aorus booth, where Gigabyte pulled out all the stops, showcasing new products in nearly every PC category, from cases, to coolers, to peripherals, and yes, even a gaming chair!
Gigabyte informed us that just about all the products featured in this video will hit the market in mid-September, and by that time, Gigabyte will be able to provide consumers nearly an entire Aorus-branded PC. The only areas it has yet to tackle are CPUs, RAM, and storage, and given the complexities of those markets, we doubt Gigabyte will wade into those waters anytime soon. In fact, Gigabyte informed us off-the-record that the massive spikes in RAM prices may soon be seen in the GPU market, as video cards of course pack in large quantities of specialized VRAM. Official MSRPs may not increase, but actual selling prices likely will!