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  • Computex 2024 Coverage Part 3: Wonderful Overkill AI Motherboards and Retro Displays
  • Computex 2024 Coverage Part 3: Wonderful Overkill AI Motherboards and Retro Displays


    Hosts: Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain
    Time: 33:51

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    Originally recorded June 2024

    Show Notes

    This will be our final episode covering Computex 2024 and while the trip was really good fun there were some rather discouraging take aways from the event. 

    • Having been absent from Computex since 2019 I quickly discovered that most of my friends in the industry have moved on and while Dennis is technically a veteran of the Computex scene the friendly and open nature of the show has changed to be more of a casual “here is our stuff” fancy garage sale.
    • Gaming hardware was no longer a primary driver. You could find gaming hardware but, the real excitement was around enterprise AI hardware.
    • Nobody knows how to market Enterprise AI hardware. The assumption is that, if you know then you know.  Most of the employees could not tell you what was special or new about the products over what you could clearly read on the card.
    • This shift marks another mainstream transition in computer hardware. We saw this happen with Overclocking hardware when EVERYONE dropped it at the same time.  If history holds true the writing is on the wall, gaming hardware will be reverted to the ultra-high-end and may eventually go away completely.

    These realizations really make you think about the future and how the enthusiast computer hardware landscape will change in the next couple years.  People have said that the custom PC has been dead for the past 20 years and sadly, I think it might finally come to pass.

    With that being said, there was still some rather amazing hardware on display starting with Lian LI. 

    Lian Li
    I didn’t know this but Lian Li was taken over by the son of the founder and while the rumors indicate that he runs the place like a drunken fraternity they do have some amazing products coming out that break the conventual norms we have come to expect.

    For instance, we have new chassis designs that have relocated the power supply forward allowing more direct airflow to your GPU.

    They also have new PSU designs that are using the larger form factor but have relocated the modular cable connections to be vertical in line with the cooling fan to better accommodate dual chamber case designs like the popular Lian Li O11.

    When hardware component companies moving toward this new “Lifestyle” approach to their product lines we will start to see more specialized designs to their products that not only makes them unique but less universal.

    I have always made fun of ASRock, not because they have bad products but, because they “think” their products are hand delivered from superior beings and believe that without their hardware the world would end.

    Simply put, they ignore me when it comes to sample requests or any sort of marketing support to promote their products.  It also doesn’t help that their employees stick around for a couple months before being off boarded for the new generation of squishy college grads.

    Despite this, they do have quite a catalog of products from ready built Enterprise AI and Storage servers to DIY hardware designed to suit any application.

    One of my favorites is the WRX90 W5 EVO which is not only a juxtaposition of popular cars but an amazingly insane motherboard for AI and Workstation processing.

    As an overclocker I do enjoy the Tachi line and find the just to Ryzen based overclocking motherboards to be a nice shift that I’ll need to check out.

    Noctua had a number of cooling related products on display, some were prototypes while others were real products for both the retail and enterprise space.  The highlight at the Noctua booth was their Next Gen 120mm fan which was an evolutional jump over the NF-A12x25 with a refined blade design and directional fan detail over the motor hub.

    Noctua claims this new design allows the fan to push a column of air without the use of any Focused Flow fins due to the blade design capturing the air and not allowing it to continue outward towards the tips.

    It has been a while since I visited with Sapphire, mostly due to them no longer selling motherboards or any gaming products in the USA.  Of course, you can still buy their Nitro graphics cards but, being an NVIDIA Zealot, I rarely pay attention.

    Thing is Sapphire does quite a bit in the China market including full system components, game themed hardware along with a number of enterprise ready components including AI ready servers and industrial machines.

    We have been reviewing a number of DeepCool products lately and slowly watched their digital display options improve from simple digit displays to full OLED screens. 

    At Computex you could see the next generation of these products from larger screens to full matrix panels to provide a pixel art retro feel.

    And like other cooling vendors they were offering specialized coolers for both Intel and AMD platforms and the unique physical and thermal requirements of each platform.

    Related Links
    Practical AI Hardware Presented by ASRock during Computex

    Episode 160 featured music:
    Little People - Start Shootin' (http://www.littlepeoplemusic.com/)