The hottest desktops and PC components we saw at CES 2023

Computer hardware has been at the heart of CES since its inception 56 years ago with the debut of integrated circuits in TVs, and that tradition is still going strong, based on what we’ve seen at CES 2023. Innovation in desktops and CPUs and GPUs -s that drive them show no signs of slowing down, and CES remains a robust launch pad for this year’s tablet. AMD, Intel and Nvidia all used the show’s spotlight as a place to set the PC slate for the year, from a platform perspective.

We have highlighted the absolute best unveils in our wider Best of CES 2023 roundup. But we saw plenty of other things worth calling during our week in Vegas, and we’d be doing you a disservice not to break down the most interesting PC and component developments at the show, and those that show the most potential for the year ahead.


Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i

The Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i was the best all-in-one desktop we’ve seen all week, either because of its 13th-generation Intel Core CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series portable GPU, or thanks to its big, beautiful 32-in. The 4K screen. It’s just one of the best-looking desktops we’ve seen in years, with a design that looks like a cross between minimalist architecture and modern art.

Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i

(Credit: John Burek)

The large display appears to hang weightlessly in the air, thanks to a sleek metal loop stand that allows for effortless angle adjustment, and a base that holds all the PC components, from processor to ports. And it has a surprise or two, like Qi wireless charging built into the circular base, and a four-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with Dolby Atmos support.—Brian Westover


Acer Aspire S32 AIO

Acer Aspire S32 AIO

(Credit: John Burek)

The Acer Aspire S32 all-in-one desktop offers customization and flexibility with a handful of modular magnetic features that you can switch to the position where your webcam usually goes. For example, the included full HD webcam can be replaced with a higher resolution 1440p camera with built-in ring light. It’s a bit like the Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 laptop we saw the other day at CES, but in a desktop.

Built into the bottom of the desk is another magnetic accessory: an extra-large desk touchpad. It can be detached from the desk stand to be used with the keyboard or handheld. In addition to motion controls that the average mouse lacks, the touchpad allows for pen input. It’s not a complete replacement for something like a Wacom drawing board, but it’s enough to capture handwriting and doodles, and it enables interaction rarely seen on any desktop PC.

Acer Aspire S32 AIO

(Credit: John Burek)

The Acer Aspire S32 will be offered with the latest Intel 13th Gen processors (up to Core i7), and will feature a nearly borderless 32-inch display with 2560 x 1440 resolution. In addition, the magnetic touchpad is covered with recycled ocean plastic. But it’s the interchangeable cameras and the features turned into the drawing pad that set it apart, making it one of the most versatile AIO systems we’ve seen in a long time.—BW


Cyberpower Kinetix 360V Intelligent Airflow Series

The Kinetic case isn’t new (Cyberpower teased it a year ago), but it’s out there enough to make us wonder if it’ll ever make it to market. It want, at least in a few Cyberpower models, notably the Cyberpower Kinetix 360V Intelligent Airflow Series. At CES 2023, we got to see it in action.

Cyberpower Kinetix 360V

(Credit: John Burek)

What distinguishes the Kinetix is ​​its mechanical front panel, which is inlaid with hinged, triangular doors in three geometric clusters. The doors open and close in sequence, with a super-satisfying mechanical hiss, in different combinations according to the internal system temperature. The open or closed states allow more or less air flow into the chassis, in the upper, lower or middle zones of the case.

Cyberpower Kinetix 360V

(Credit: John Burek)

Is it necessary? Probably not. But that doesn’t stop us from lusting after this quirky mechanical beauty. Look for it in pre-configured Cyberpower configurations in the second quarter of the year, with the cover potentially sold standalone later. The price has not yet been determined.


AMD Ryzen 7000 V-Cache for processors

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

(Credit: John Burek)

Cache is an important part of any processor. Without it, CPUs would slow to a crawl, and adding more cache almost always helps boost performance. However, this addition increases costs as the chips get larger, but AMD overcomes this challenge with its innovative 3D V-Cache technology. This essentially places a second chip full of cache on top of the processors, as in the 100+MB cache in the Ryzen 9 7950X3D, announced at CES 2023. (This chip will ship with 128MB of L3; the company also announced two smaller 3D V- Cache-equipped chips in the Ryzen 7000 series.)

A graph of Ryzen 9 7950X3D performance

(Credit: AMD)

The performance gained from this additional cache is likely to vary greatly between different applications, but most should benefit from at least some of its inclusion. Unlike AMD’s last attempt to use 3D V-Cache, the company achieved this without reducing the clock speed of the chip or by disabling overclocking. When it launches, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D could very well be AMD’s fastest consumer desktop processor ever released.—Michael Justin Allen Sexton


AMD Ryzen 7040 series ‘Phoenix’ chips

AMD Ryzen 7040 series chips

(Credit: AMD)

AMD is bringing its new “Zen 4”-based Ryzen 7000 series processors to the mobile market, bringing significant improvements in both performance and efficiency. Instead of just porting Zen 4 directly to mobile, AMD is going a step further with its Ryzen 7040 series processors, which have been dubbed the “Phoenix” chips.

These Phoenix chips feature an AI engine to accelerate AI workloads and help further increase performance and energy efficiency. The chips are based on technologies acquired when AMD bought Xilinx last year, and the AI ​​engine can reportedly process up to 12 trillion AI operations per second to help with a variety of tasks, including content creation. Higher “Dragon Range” processors in the Ryzen 7045 series will lack the dedicated AI hardware, but will be the company’s top-of-the-line mobile processors with raw performance, encompassing the company’s HX series of chips. (This is also the debut of AMD’s new numbering scheme for mobile processors; read on for more information on that.)—MJAS


Intel N-Series Efficient Core i3 chips

A graphic of a stylized Intel processor

(Credit: Intel)

Like AMD’s Phoenix, this is a new-at-CES component line also around laptops. Intel introduced its entire 13th generation mobile processor line at the show, but the most interesting move in the consumer processor space isn’t about stuffing more muscle into (or squeezing more speed out of) a few millimeters of silicon. After last year’s seismic shift towards hybrid architecture, which paired powerful speed-focused Performance cores (P-cores) with power-optimized Efficient cores (E-cores), one of its 13th generation chip introductions is a step back from chasing more power, and instead chasing power efficiency. In a move that sounds like the processor equivalent of Cap’n Crunch “Oops, All Berries,” Intel has launched the Core i3 N-Series, which uses only E-cores to deliver maximum energy efficiency.

A table of Intel N-series processor specifications

(Credit: Intel)

It’s a big shift away from the usual arms race of climbing clock speeds and benchmark scores, opting instead to stretch battery life as far as it can go. By exclusively using E-cores in this new line of processors, Intel plans to make the N series hyper-efficient, giving you great performance for low-end tasks like web browsing and media streaming, but without the extra power consumption that comes with more demanding uses, like gaming. This could be big news for affordable systems, where a cheap home or work machine will be able to last much longer on a single charge.—BW


Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti

Zotac GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Amp Extreme Airo

(Credit: Michael Justin Allen Sexton)

The latest entry in Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 40 series of graphics cards is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, which was launched just before the opening ceremonies of CES 2023. We reviewed one of these cards and found that it offers strong performance in a wide range of games, especially in titles that use ray tracing.

A table of specifications for the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080

(Credit: Nvidia)

However, as with all types of PC components, price is key. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4070 Ti was introduced with an MSRP of $799.99, but it can be found at a wide range of prices from Nvidia’s board partners. At $799.99, this is the most affordable next-gen graphics card we’ve seen from either AMD or Nvidia so far, and it’s a pretty good value for that price. The trick, though, is finding one of these $799.99 models. We don’t recommend buying one of the RTX 4070 Ti models that are much more expensive than that. (Nvidia’s partners offer 4070 Ti cards that cost as much as $1,000.) These more expensive versions are quickly losing ground in the value-for-money wars of AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XT.—MJAS

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