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PC gaming hardware we are most looking forward to in 2021

Despite the surge in new CPU and graphics card launches at the end of last year, 2021 is already becoming a very busy year for PC gaming hardware. Not only did we get Intel’s new 11th generation Rocket Lake processor by the end of March, but 2021 will also be Intel’s entry into the graphics card space with its new desktop Xe GPU. That’s not all, as Nvidia’s RTX 30-series GPUs are migrating to gaming laptops, and Microsoft’s Direct Storage technology can significantly reduce game load times. So we’ve put together this handy guide to all the exciting new hardware in 2021 so you can keep track of everything that’s coming.

Most of this year’s new PC gaming hardware announcements could take place next week on January 11th, when CES 2021 (aka Tech Christmas) begins. It’s here that hardware makers are announcing an accurate lineup of new game monitors, laptops, SSDs and more, and next week we’ll elaborate on all those announcements. But for now, there’s a rough stroke of what’s happening in the hardware world in 2021, and living people look pretty exciting. If you’re thinking about upgrading your PC lately, this year will almost certainly be the year to do it.

You can actually buy the best hardware of last year

Between AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPU, raytracing-enabled Radeon RX 6000 graphics card, and Nvidia’s next-generation RTX 30-series GPU, the end of last year should have been a great opportunity to upgrade your PC. I was actually able to buy damn things before they were all snapped by the bot.

For example, AMD’s Ryzen 5 5600X broke Intel’s competition in my CPU game testing when it was first announced in early November, and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080 GPUs are all better than the RTX 20. Showed significant performance improvements-the predecessor of the series. The only problem was that they all sold out in seconds and prices have remained surprisingly high ever since.

However, similar to the 2017/2018 GPU drought, the inventory shortages that plagued the second half of 2020 will eventually be resolved in 2021, if not yet known. The 2017/2018 price hike was triggered by a surge in cryptocurrency mining, but many of today’s equity problems are due to Covid-related delays early last year. Both AMD and Nvidia say they’re trying as hard as they can to meet demand, but it could take a few more months before everything settles down again. However, if that happens, those planning to upgrade will have to kit out new PCs for a long time.

Of course, we’re waiting for new inventory to arrive every week with regularly updated graphics card and CPU trading posts. If you want to get them, be aware of them.

Image showing the 11th generation logo of Intel's Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 CPUs.

Intel 11th Generation Rocket Lake CPU

Of course, if you’re considering a CPU and motherboard upgrade this year, it’s probably best to wait until Intel releases the new 11th Generation Rocket Lake CPU. It is currently scheduled to be released by the end of March 2021.

While Intel’s existing 10th generation Comet Lake CPUs perform significantly better than 8th and 9th generation Coffee Lake chips, Rocket Lake significantly improves the foundation of “next generation” PCs. Introducing important new technologies. Than the one that came before. The most important of these is PCIe 4.0 support. This doubles the amount of bandwidth available on the PC to process all the data. This has been a staple on the AMD side for a few years, but in 2021 Intel will finally speed up and take full advantage of new PCIe 4.0 SSDs such as the Samsung 980 Pro and WD’s Black SN850. , And a PCIe 4.0 compatible graphics card.

Support for PCIe 4.0 is also the key to unlocking the potential of Microsoft’s future DirectStorage technology (discussed in detail below). This is, among other things, set to dramatically reduce game load times and better match the ultra-fast console counterparts. .. You may need a PCIe 4.0 SSD to take advantage of it, but at least it’s not limited to AMD systems.

To give everyone a complete understanding of what PCIe 4.0 offers, Intel has confirmed that the Rocket Lake CPU also comes with a new 500 series motherboard chipset. Existing Z490 motherboards may get a BIOS update and add PCIe 4.0 support at a later date (assuming Intel will not switch to another new socket type in Rocket Lake, of course), but Comet Lake Unless you purchased it, we’ve already been anxious to upgrade last year, so it’s a good idea to wait for a suitable 500 series board to ensure full compatibility.

We also want to know how Rocket Lake’s game performance is compared to AMD’s recently released Ryzen 5000 CPU. AMD’s new processor was far ahead of Intel’s 10th generation Comet Lake chip when tested late last year, but I’m impressed if Intel can regain its crown in the Rocket Lake lineup. .. Not only does it significantly increase the speed of each generation, but it also means a more robust gaming platform that can be set up over the years to come.

Photo of Intel's DG1 Software Development Vehicle (SDV) from CES 2020.

Intel Xe graphics card

2021 is also the year Intel’s long-awaited Xe GPU will be introduced, bringing the necessary competition between Nvidia and AMD in the field of old graphics cards. For Intel’s XeGPU, there are still many things we don’t know about, such as the number and cost of production, but we know that it comes with GDDR6 memory and accelerates ray tracing. support.

This allows you to use Nvidia’s RTX 30 GPU and AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 card to put you in a fairly equal competition. I can’t wait to see how these overlap each other. You can hear more about what Intel has for the XeGPU at the CES 2021 press conference next Monday, January 11th, at 1:00 pm PST (9 pm Greenwich Mean Time).

A photo of the Lenovo Legion 7i seen from the front.

Nvidia’s RTX 30 GPU in Gaming Laptops

Not 100% confirmed yet, but if Nvidia’s new GPU doesn’t even appear on gaming laptops this year, eat the RTX 3080. This is one of the inevitable improvements in hardware and should happen at some point. We look forward to seeing how these work for all displays that are getting more and more refresh rates at 300Hz these days. the-go ray tracing.

That is, the world is still there for now, so many of us don’t seem to do so. necessary It’s a powerful laptop for playing games away from home, but if you tell me something in 2020, being able to play games in another room at home is when you’re working from home. Absolutely a gift from God. Sometimes it’s nice to have that separation, and if you don’t want other PCs to clog your living room, gaming laptops are a great way to achieve that.

Again, at a CES press conference next Tuesday, January 12th, at 9am (5pm Greenwich Mean Time), we might hear more about which of Nvidia’s RTX 30 series will be treated as laptops. There is.

A photo of AMD's CEO holding a Radeon RX 6900 XT.

Inexpensive Nvidia RTX30 and AMD RX6000 desktop GPUs

Speaking of Nvidia’s CES2021 press conference, we hope to get a glimpse of what’s also in the mainstream desktop RTX 30 family. The RTX 3060 Ti is a compelling graphics card for £ 369 / $ 399, but it’s still quite expensive as they progress, and it’s great to see Nvidia’s RTX line-up expand further into the potential RTX 3050 area. .. Of course, the RTX 3060 Ti name alone suggests that a regular RTX 3060 will exist, at least at some point, but the dream is to run these RT cores across Nvidia’s next-generation lineup.

The same applies to other AMD RX6000 families. We’ve already seen what the RX6800 and RX6800 XT can do in the 1440p and 4K markets, but we’re excited to see what (probably) the RX6700 and perhaps the RX6600 budget lineup will look like. The RX 6500 card can handle the end of the 1080p spectrum. Again, it would be nice to have full ray tracing support here, but we have to wait for this to happen.

AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Soo will give a CES 2021 keynote next Tuesday, January 12th, at 11:00 am (Greenwich Mean Time 4:00 pm). Therefore, cross your fingers to make a more juicy presentation.

Microsoft Direct Storage Technology

This isn’t much more sexy than many new graphics cards, but the impact of Microsoft’s new storage API can have a huge impact on future games. This is exciting. That’s because you should be able to enjoy all the benefits of the ultra-fast load times that console people are constantly hitting, as well as better, more efficient performance overall.

Based on the ultra-fast Xbox Velocity architecture within Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, DirectStorage is configured to streamline the entire IO (or input / output) system of a PC when it finally arrives. Allows you to load data into RAM and GPU. Banks are much faster than before, resulting in significantly faster load times.

Microsoft also hopes that DirectStorage will, in theory, give developers the opportunity to create a bigger and more detailed world than ever before. This is because there are no longer old bottlenecks that prevent developers from achieving a huge open world vision. Of course I believe this when I see it, but Ko, it’s good to dream of what will happen, right?

Unfortunately, you may need a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD to get the most out of it. It’s included in both new Xboxes, but I hope it will continue to work to some extent with older PCIe 3.0 SSDs. .. We need to know more when Microsoft releases a developer preview of Direct Storage later this year.

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The PC gaming hardware we’re most looking forward to in 2021

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