A very different CES 2021 still yielded exciting innovations
Like so many events that preceded it in 2020, COVID-19 has paved the way for a radically different CES this year. The global stage for innovation would have usually taken place amidst the bright lights and bustle of Las Vegas, but instead CES 2021 had to become their first ever all-digital event. While many industry events have translated particularly well to a virtual alternative, the ordinarily very hands-on CES was an odd experience to say the least. However, although it didn’t quite have the awe-inspiring impact it would have achieved in the flesh, it was nonetheless an impressive platform for the reveal of many exciting new releases.
Intel 11th gen CPUs came into their own
Intel announced a whole wave of new 11th gen series processors, including their 10nm Core vPro and Evo vPro mobile chips, N-series of Pentium Silver and Celeron CPUs for education, and Tiger Lake H35-series for “ultraportable” gaming. The best news by far, however, was that the Core S-series Rocket Lake desktop processors would be launched in March 2021. These chips will be led by the flagship i9-11900K, offer faster DDR4-3200 memory, and a 19% increase in IPC performance. Alder Lake is also on its way, built on Intel’s 10nm SuperFin architecture with both high-performance and high-efficiency cores. Finally, production of Xeon Scalable Ice Lake CPUs will be kicking off in Q1. This series will help boost performance, security, and efficiency in datacentres. We can’t wait to see what else Intel has up its sleeve this year, particularly as VMware’s Pat Gelsinger has recently become its new CEO.
Less is more for AMD
Comparatively, AMD kept its cards a little closer to its chest this year. Their biggest reveal of the event was the launch of the Ryzen 5000 series of mobile CPUs. Based on the same 7nm Zen 3 architecture as its desktop predecessors, the mobile equivalents promise an uplift in performance as well as longer battery life. The announcement was also accompanied by new Ryzen 9 5900 and Ryzen 7 5800 processors, which offer a lower TDP than the 5900X and 5950X. There was, though, a certain absence of Big Navi talk from the chipmaker, aside from the fact that the RDNA2 GPUs will be appearing in gaming laptops in the first half of 2021.
NVIDIA expands its graphics card line-up
Further adding to its already significant RTX 30 series of graphics cards, NVIDIA announced the new GeForce RTX 3060 at CES. An Ampere desktop GPU, the RTX 3060 is a compelling alternative to the RTX 3060 Ti and 3070, with 12GB of GDDR6 memory as opposed to 8GB, and a boost clock speed of 1.78GHz compared to 1.67GHz and 1.73GHz respectively. A notable difference, however, is that the 3060 only boasts 3584 CUDA cores, a modest count that doesn’t quite measure up to the 4864 CUDA cores of the 3060 Ti and 5888 CUDA cores of the 3070. The 3060 is expected to become available in late February, but with NVIDIA’s recent stock shortages in mind, it may be an even longer wait.
While the virtual CES 2021 wasn’t quite the same as its physical counterpart, a lot of interesting releases still made it a very worthwhile event. We’re looking forward to the launch of these products so that we can start getting them into our rack mount PCs. If you would like to find out more about these announcements and when they might become available within our product range, get in touch with one of the team.