Computex 2013 – Wha’ happen?

Before E3 takes all our attention with it’s teaser trailers and cut-scenes. I wanted to just share what I took from all the Computex coverage over the last week.

The big launch at Computex was Intel’s 4th Generation “Core” processor (Haswell) and accompanying chipset (8 series) but the real story is their targeting of the mobile device market. Smartphones, Ultrabooks and all-in-ones (AIOs) are all in Intel’s sights now with the combination of power efficiency and performance they claim from Haswell. Ultrabooks are Intel’s vision for the laptop’s convergence with tablets. The Ultrabook is super thin and can flip, slide or swivel its touch sensitive display to become more like a tablet. More details on Intel’s Ultrabook requirements slide below.

ultrabookreqs

So the desktop PC sees its slice of the market shrink again and with the PS4 and XBox One coming too, the pressure is on from two directions. But until AMD and Nvidia start shrinking their GPU products while maintaining performance then the PC gamer will still have his niche and of course cloud services are largely reliant on big ol’ server farms with acres of storage.

Going back to Haswell the really impressive feature is it’s power consumption. It has new sleep states that draw as little as 0.6W. The old race to 5.00GHz has been (forcibly) replaced by a race to 0.05W. So performance improvements come from gains in efficiency and are of the evolutionary variety (5-10% over the 3770K). Still if you were buying a PC soon and the 3570/3770 haven’t dropped in price then the Haswell would be the chip of choice.

On to E3!

Y4K?

Because it’s four times the number of pixels of 1080p (8M+ vs 2M+) and displays are starting to appear at something approaching sensible prices ( ~1500USD for a 50″ genuine Seiki!).

4k

Asus is supposed to reveal a 31.5″ 4K consumer display at Computex this week and I’m keen to see what price point they’re talking about. But as everyone knows, Asus is crazy.

The question your wallet is asking is will it make that much of a difference? Well a few things would have to come together to make it work for the early adopter. Due to the bandwidth requirements you’re most likely looking at a display port connection and only 30Hz refresh. The games would need to use really high resolution textures and high polycount models or it’ll look like minecraft. So to maintain a smooth 30fps at 3840×2160 while using high res textures and models you’re going to need some serious hardware. We’re talking a 500 quid graphics card for 25fps or 800+ for the solid 30. Ouch!

Still, these shifts in technology levels are always stupidly expensive at first so it’s not that surprising. All I know is that for my next upgrade i’m going to be thinking ahead to 4K and beyond in terms of graphics hardware and display.

Links:
Current 4K Gaming benchmarks @ PC Perspective
Seiki’s 50″ 4K TV @ Seiki Digital
Asus 31.5 incher @ Tech Power Up