Hey what's up OCNers? I am bluedevil, I recently attended CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Instead of making several videos, I am just gonna make one. So sit back and enjoy, let’s get to it. If you also want to check out the thread it will be linked in the description below.
When I arrived in Vegas on Sunday night, the first thing that was on my plate was Samsung’s First Look event. Now mainly this event is for all the new TV innovations, but this year Samsung announced the new Odyssey line of gaming monitors, so needless to say I got a little excited having reviewed both the Samsung CRG9 and CRG5 last year. Kicking things off with the big bio, the 49” G9. The G9 sports the world’s first 1000R curved screen maintaining the same 32:9 aspect ratio as the it’s predecessor. While still a HDR1000 monitor, the G9’s biggest jump is in the refresh rate department, going from 120hz to a staggering 240hz all while running the same resolution of 5120x1440 with G-Sync compatibility, wrapped in a glossy white plastic shell. The next monitor Samsung announced, followed in the same footsteps of it’s G9 brother, the G7 opts for the 16:9 ratio, keeping the 1000R curvature, 240hz refresh rate with G-sync compatibility, with more traditional sizing at 32” and 27” with the HDR600 certification. My initial thought was to have a G9 flanked by 2 G7s. My review of the G9 and G7 should be available around the date of launch which should be available globally beginning Q2 2020.
Day 1 led off with the Corsair Press Event, which mind you was pretty limited, so I felt honored to be among the ones who could attend the event. Corsair had a few things to announce, first being the acquisition of Scuf Gaming, which makes controllers that a lot of esports gamers use. The next thing was Origin PC, yep Corsair now owns Origin PC. So nothing really is gonna change there other than there will be more Corsair cases to build with on Origin. The big announcement was, er um the “Big O”, a dual system with a twist. Business as usual with a mATX system inside the Corsair 280X, but the backside is where things get interesting. Configured with either an Xbox One S or PS4 Pro, broken down and liquid cooled with one of Corsair’s AIOs. Speaking of Corsair’s AIOs, the iCUE RGB PRO XT was announced, available in 240mm, 280mm, and 360mm variants. A new version of the K95 mechanical gaming keyboard was announced as well. This time with Elgato stream deck integration, PBT Double-Shot keycaps, and a cushioned leatherette detachable palm rest. Corsair also announced that in collaboration with Asus, iCUE will now be able to control all lighting on a wide variety of ASUS motherboards. Corsair being Corsair, didn’t want the air cooling crowd to be left out, the A500 Dual Fan CPU Cooler, is Corsair’s re entry back into the air cooling market, having 4 direct contact copper heat pipes, dual maglev fans, hopefully will put Corsair back in the air cooling market. Elgato, which Corsair acquired a while ago, had 2 new products to talk about, the KeyLight Air, which is a small compact studio LED panel that adds lighting to your setup for better content. Elgato also had the 4K60 S+ under its sleeve. A stand alone external capture solution, that records 4K60 to an SDcard, making it easier than ever to create online gameplay content. Everything from Corsair should be available now.
Next up for me was the AMD Press Event, which in short was exciting . After a few minutes of talk, AMD announced the new mobile 4000 series Ryzen processors. Starting off with the Ryzen 7 4800U, an 8 core, 16 thread mobile CPU, with Radeon 8 graphics all with an impressive 15w TDP. Touting to be twice as power efficient as previous 2nd Gen 12nm parts, we shall see in future reviews of the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7, Dell G5 SE, and the ASUS ROG G14. AMD also announced the Radeon 5600 XT, the little brother to the Radeon 5700 XT, positioned as the ultimate 1080P gaming GPU. AMD’s bigger announcement was the introduction of the 3RD GEN AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X. 64 cores, 128 threads with 288MB of total cache. Priced at almost $4000, this CPU is definitely not cheap, but would be an insane workstation CPU.
On Tuesday, I met up with the nice people at IBuyPower. IBuyPower is still a boutique builder, but as of late, is catering to the DIY builder as well. So starting off with the Revolt 3, which now has Intel’s Ghost Canyon NUC, but also has support for mITX motherboards. What is interesting with the Revolt 3 is that the case internals are suspended, this is to prevent damage in shipping as well as keeping vibrations to a minimum. Next IBuyPower showed me the Element CL. This case reminds me of a stripped down NZXT H510i, but with a custom distro plate in the front, and I must say it is pretty to look at. Having a front distribution plate makes for some very nice hardline tubing runs. IbuyPower wasn’t done there, the last case in the lineup is the Element dual. While at first glance you would think it’s a Lian Li O11 Dynamic, but it’s a bit more stocky, more cubish design. Having a separate PSU chamber means it’s neatly hidden away, while having ample water cooling support. All three cases should be available in Q2 2020 with pricing releasing later.
On day 2 for meetings, I was off to Silverstone. Boy oh boy, Silverstone had the revamp of the beloved Fortress case! Dubbed the Alta F1, while still maintaining the 90 degree flip, the F1 is made from machined aluminum, tempered glass and a steel back panel. Silverstone mentioned to me what OCN thinks of what configuration or configurations should be available at launch. I quite like the idea of dual tempered glass to keep the aesthetic up, but let me know. Target pricing is set for $150. Next up Silverstone showed me the successor to the ever popular SG13, cleverly named the SG14. Taking a new approach to PSU placement, the SG14 looks to be very good for cable management. Silverstone also had a SFF case that was extremely modular, a bigger faceplace and a new top plate is all that's needed to fit the needs of a higher profile CPU cooler and additional storage.
On my plate next was Cooler Master. Cooler Master had a little bit of everything, from new mice, keyboards, coolers, cases, PSUs and even gaming chairs and monitors! I will say that most of the cases and PSUs are more of a refresh, what came to a surprise was their line of gaming chairs and monitors. Starting off with monitors CM had two different models to offer, the GM27, which is a 27 inch 165hz 1080P Freesync display, and the GM34, which is a ultrawide 3440x1440P HDR400 display at 144hz with Freesync 2. Both panels are rated for 1ms response time and are low blue light capable. Gaming chairs for Cooler Master is a relatively new thing, but they are coming in with four different models. The Caliber R1 and R2 are Cooler Master’s entry level gaming chairs, depending on the features you would need. Comprised mostly of plastic, the R1 fits the standard to a gaming chair. The Caliber R2, takes those core features and makes them better, more comfortable, and most of all more durable. The Caliber X1 is in a league of its own. Built nearly of all steel and aluminum, the X1 can handle its fair share of a beating. Seeing what else Cooler Master had was a really cool display of the MM710/711 color display showing what colors they are playing with. Maybe CM will have a customization tool? Cooler Master also mentioned that they are toying around with the idea of re-releasing a newer, lighter version of the CM Spawn. That brings back some memories, so I am game. On the cooling side of things, Cooler Master had six newer coolers to show off. The Hyper 212 EVO V2, DT614, and the V8GTS ARGB on the air cooling front. In regards to all in one liquid coolers, the ML RGB V2, Illusion, and Vivid lines were all on display as well.
Then on the third day, I met up with the great people at ASUS. Now I knew going into this meeting, about the ROG Zephyrus G14 featuring AMD’s new Ryzen 4000 series CPUs, making it my first stop. Now I know that OCN isn’t always about gaming laptops, but I had to make an exception here. Fully kitted out, the Zephyrus G14 features an AMD Ryzen 4800HS 8 core / 16 thread CPU, a 14” screen with either a 60 or 120hz 1080P panel or WQHD 60hz IPS level panel with adaptive sync. Up to a RTX 2060 6gb, up to 32GB of DDR4 3200mhz, 1 TB M.2 NVMe PCIE 3.00 SSD, and the ability to charge via the USB3.2 Gen2 Type C port with power delivery, make the Zephyrus G14 the ultimate travel gaming laptop, or if you are me, editing workstation. So awarding the Zephyrus G14 “Overclock BEST OF CES 2020” was easy. The other thing that got my attention was the ASUS Swift 360hz 1080P monitor. On display were two of the same Swift 360 monitors, one running balls to the wall at 360hz, and the other at 240hz. If you ask me if I could tell the difference, yes, I saw the difference, mainly because I was looking for it. So again awarding the Swift 360 a Overclock BEST OF CES 2020 was again, EASY. The Zephyrus G14 is set to launch in the first half of 2020 with pricing not available yet. The Swift 360 does not have pricing or a release date yet.
Next stop was Gigabyte Aorus. The first product that Aorus wanted me to see was their new line of Aero laptops, which now features OLED panels. I must say that the Samsung OLED does look good, this being more aimed at the content creator, with support for 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and HDR400 certification. Moving over to desktop hardware, Aorus has a line of AIOs that are pretty aesthetically pleasing. Based on the Asetek pump design, these AIOs should be available in 240 and 360mm options. On the motherboard front, Aorus launched a few new motherboards in support of AMD’s new TRX40 socket as well as Intel’s aging X299 socket. Aorus also had a little something up their sleeve when it comes to M.2 storage, meet the Gigabyte Aorus RAID SSD expansion card that offers users an affordable way to upgrade to PCIe 4.0 without the need to purchase a new motherboard. The card, which has an enterprise class NVME RAID Controller with 4 x PCIe 4.0 slots, should get read speeds up to almost 20gb/s with writes almost as fast. Also the Designare line has 2 new additions, Designare DDR4 memory at 3200mhz and the Designare Portable SSD drives in USB C. Aorus also announced the world’s first liquid cooled eGPU. Dubbed the Gigabyte RTX 2080 Ti Gaming Box, original right, can be connected to any existing system via Thunderbolt 3. Gigabyte also announced it’s first WaterForce GPU, which is usually held for the Aorus branding, but this time with lower bins, to reduce cost to the buyer. Aorus also had 3 new monitors to show for CES, the G27F, a FHD, 144hz panel with a 1 ms response time, 8 bit IPS with 120% of the sRGB color space. The G27C, a QHD, 165hz 1 ms response time, VA panel with a 1500R curve thats 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, and lastly the G32C, a 32 inch version of the G27C with a HDR400 certification. All the new panels have support for both Freesync and G-Sync. All the new Gigabyte gaming monitors will be available Q1 2020.
Then I ran up to the Zotac suite at Caesars Palace. Zotac really is known for their Nvidia GPUs but this year at CES they showed me the new mini PCs they have been working on. First off is the dedicated line for creators, the Inspire Studio mini PC. Packed into a very tiny package, the Inspire crams a desktop sized Zotac Gaming RTX Super GPU as well as a 65w Intel i7 CPU, as well as 32GB of DDR4 memory, a 512GB NVME M.2 SSD, a 2 TB HDD, as well as all the connectivity as a full fledge desktop PC. The other exciting thing from Zotac, was the new ZBox with AMD Ryzen. A 15w Ryzen 3 APU with Radeon Vega 3 graphics are available in the new Zbox MA621, which is all passively cooled.
My next stop was the BeQuiet! Suite at the Bellagio. BeQuiet! had 4 new products to talk to me about. The first is the Pure Base 500, which I should have a review coming out soon, but with more mesh. Meet the Pure Base 500DX, the airflow brother of the Pure Base 500. So gone is the ability to swap out the top panel for a solid, more silent operation. Also new is the front ARGB strip that looks like it took notes from the Dark Base 700. Coming in either black or white, the Pure Base 500DX should be available for $100 with 3 installed fans in March of 2020. Be Quiet! has also been busy making PSUs, this time a completely digital PSU dubbed Dark Power Pro 12, in 1200w and 1500w Titanium rated versions. Pricing is set at $389 for the 1200w and $439 for the 1500w behemoth. Moving over to cooling, BeQuiet! had 2 new heatsinks to show off, the entry level Pure Rock 2, which comes in either black or silver versions and is expected to launch around March 2020 for $40 and $45. The Shadow Rock 3 also was announced, which is an update bringing an asymmetric design for improved RAM clearance. Coming with a 190w TDP rating, the Shadow Rock 3 should be available for $50 in the April 2020 timeframe.
Then I hit up EVGA, which had 2 new products other than the SR-3 Dark that was on display. The first product was the Nu Audio Pro, which is EVGA’s second fortay into the sound card market. The full Nu Audio Pro kit can be had for $299, which consists of a mainboard and daughter board for 7.1 surround sound. Both boards can be purchased separately for $199 and $119 respectively. Availability is set in the coming months. The other thing EVGA wanted to show off was an RTX 2060. This being the KO version, which back in the day was a thing, my guess is that there was a surplus of RTX 2060s left and EVGA decided to make a SKU to clear out inventory. Priced at $299, this is most likely to combat against the newly announced AMD Radeon 5600 XT. The EVGA RTX 2060 KO should be available now.
My fourth day I visited Creative Labs, as I normally do when I attend CES. My expectations to be honest weren't high, but I was pleasantly surprised. CEO Wong Hoo Sim, wanted Mark Henninger, an AVS forum editor and myself to go in a private room to demo a new soundbar with a subwoofer with Super XFi technology built in dubbed the Creative Super XFI Carrier. Both Mark and myself were a bit hesitant, but by the end of the presentation, both of us were in agreeance. Mark awarded that the AVS Forum BEST OF CES 2020. I however went back in and tested the positional audio on the new SXFI Gamer headset. Playing a few rounds of CSGO, albeit I am not the best player, I was impressed. Overclock BEST OF CES 2020 to the SXFI Gamer. Creative said that they are trying for $125 price point for the SXFI Gamer. Also just announced is the Creative Sound Blaster G3, a portable external USB C DAC AMP for consoles, so watch for that review to go live.
After Creative Labs, I trekked over to the NixeusTechnology suite. Nixeus had two monitors they wanted me to look at. The NX-EDG274K, which is estimated to ship Q1 2020, is a 4K 144hz, IPS Freesync Premium monitor with Adaptive Overdrive and Low framerate compensation. Seeing a 4K panel nowadays isn’t really exciting but when I was told the price, I nearly swallowed my tongue. 7 freakin 99. For a 4K high refresh rate monitor with adaptive sync. Dayum. Overclock BEST OF CES 2020 award. No brainer. Another product, not quite ready, is the super ultra wide monitor Nixeus is working on, the NX-EDG43. Running a resolution of 3840 x 1200 at 120hz with a pending Freesync certification. Pricing is anticipated to be around the $1000 mark, available around September 2020.
Next up was HyperX. HyperX has made a name for themselves with their Cloud gaming headset line, the newest addition is the Cloud Flight S. Adding in Qi charging to a gaming headset is much different than any other headset that has come to market. Internal batteries give the heatset about 30 hours worth of use on a full charge. An internal DAC has support for virtual 7.1 surround sound, and the HyperX’s NGenuity software controls the RGB HyperX logos on the side of the cans. Availability in Feb 2020 for $160. HyperX also had a mechanical keyboard, featuring their new Aqua key switch in both linear and tactile switch types, which should be available this month. A newish gaming mouse from HyperX also made its way to CES, the Pulsefire Raid.
My last stop of the day, EKWB. Now EKWB I have to hand it to, has not given up at addressing the AIO water cooling market. Attempts with their Predator and Phoenix lines, EKWB has announced the EK-AIO. Featuring a premium looking tubing along with RGB EK Vardar fans, this sealed AIO EK claims will be more price competitive to other AIOs currently on the market. Available in 120, 240, and 360mm variants. Launch is scheduled soon. EKWB also was showing off the new EK-Quantum line of pump/res combos, available in 120, 240, and 360mm with support for either DDC or D5 pumps. Think simple distribution block, I am gonna have to try this out in the future for sure. Lastly EK showed off the wide assortment of Magnitude CPU blocks that was originally debuted at Computex 2019. This time showing off AMD versions of block, however is holding back the launch date.
So being that I haven’t actually hit the show floor, Friday was the day. But I was on a mission to award the last 2 Overclock BEST OF CES 2020 awards. So I met back up with the great people at Samsung and gave them an award for the G9 240hz QHD Gaming Monitor. Seriously though, that was the best of show for sure. Then wondering around the show floor, I found LG. LG has been making some insane strides in their Ultragear monitor line. LG had 3 new Ultragear monitors that they were showing off. The LG 27GN95027, a 27 inch 4K 144hz panel, the LG 34GN850, a 3440x1440p at 144hz panel, and the big bio, the LG 38GN950, 38 inch 3840x1600p at 144hz. Just seeing LG put three of these boys together was just gaming bliss, award.
And with that, concludes my coverage of CES 2020. I am gonna leave you with a short montage of some of the custom rigs I had to the pleasure of seeing in person.
Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button on your way out, thanks again. bluedevil out.