CES 2021 has kicked off this week as a virtual event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and today saw two big keynotes from some of the leading PC hardware manufacturers: Nvidia and AMD. A lot was shown off today, and sometimes not in great detail, but here’s a recap of everything that happened and what was announced…
Intel’s CES press conference has officially confirmed that their Core 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors will be launching by the end of Q1 2021. Not only that, but the Blue Team has also given us some early first-party performance numbers so we can see what kind of performance we can expect.
Previous rumors put the Rocket Lake launch in March, and given the end of Q1 2021 is March it’s likely we’ll be seeing the official launch sometime around then. No specific date has been revealed yet, but we’ll surely hear more about that in the coming months.
This year CES is a little different as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shut down the original physical convention and replaced it with a brand new virtual CES. Unfortunately it means you won’t be able to gawk at a lot of the tech on the show floor, but it at least means it’s a lot easier to watch some of the more important keynotes like Nvidia or AMD.
Both keynotes will be taking place in a few hours on both Nvidia and AMD’s respective YouTube channels, and also seem to be taking place back-to-back. First up is AMD at 8am PT (11am ET, 4pm GMT), followed by Nvidia at 9am PT (12pm ET, 5pm GMT) - although Nvidia’s YouTube livestream says it will be starting 15 minutes earlier than that.
Nvidia is gearing up for their very own CES 2021 virtual presentation later today, where they’re expected to announce their lineup of RTX 30 mobile graphics cards as well as their own version of AMD's Smart Access Memory (also known as ReSize BAR) and possibly even reveal a new GPU for the desktop market.
Rumors have been spreading regarding the RTX 30 mobile series, but recently we got a look at the most legitimate looking leaks of specs before the official reveal. Although none of these specs have been confirmed, nor is the entire data table complete, it’s good to see what kind of performance we might be able to expect.
Nvidia will be hosting a “Special Broadcast Event” event tomorrow for CES 2021, and rumors have been circulating about what exactly the Green Team will be revealing. Now just a day before the event starts, Nvidia has shared a (very) brief look at what’s coming, including a possible RTX 30 series reveal.
RTX 30 mobile series + Smart Access Memory
2020 was plagued by many issues and disruptions to the gaming industry, despite it being it’s most successful yet. However, one of the biggest sectors impacted was the PC hardware industry which saw an incredible amount of demand for such low stock. Now, after even more issues with scalpers, increased manufacturing costs and many more means 2021 will be the most expensive year for PC gaming hardware enthusiasts.
So unfortunately for those who decided to wait for stock and prices to stabilize, may end up having to pay more with even less stock available thanks to a boom in cryptocurrency and miners buying up lots of new cards.
Intel is currently trying to break into the GPU market with their very own series of discrete desktop graphics cards. Their first design, the DG1, is aimed at laptops, but DG2 is aimed at the desktop segment and some recent leaked specs point to potentially similar performance as AMD’s RX 6000 series.
The leaked specs come from Intel’s recent 100.9126 driver, which lists different device IDs for the DG2 GPU. The first entry reads “DG2 128 SKU”, which references the 128 Execution Units previously rumored, but the second entry says “DG2 512 SKU”, implying that the latter variant has 512 EUs. If that is true, then Intel’s DG2 graphics card could be on par with AMD’s RX 6000 series in terms of raw shader power.
Nvidia’s latest GeForce driver contains some important fixes for some major security flaws that you should download right now. Although it’s unlikely any of these issues will affect you directly, they can potentially lead to “denial of service, escalation of privileges, data tampering, or information disclosure.”
There are 6 vulnerabilities in total that have been fixed by the latest driver, including an issue with the “kernel mode layer (nvlddmkm.sys) handler for DxgkDdiEscape” which could lead to a “denial of service or escalation of privileges.” Luckily, this can only happen locally, which means an attacker would have to literally have access to your physical PC in order to do something, but it’s still a major security risk.
Intel hasn’t officially revealed yet when their next 11th Gen Core processors based on the Rocket Lake architecture will be launching, but several key partners seem to have already let the info slip early and revealed that they will be launching in March this year.
It all started when an MSI representative for customer support revealed that the 11th Gen CPUs would launch by the end of the first quarter of 2021, so basically by the end of March. However, this post was later updated to say that it was purely based on rumors.
AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series was revealed last year with only 3 SKUs in the lineup: the RX 6800 XT, RX 6800, and flagship RX 6900 XT. Since then rumors of an RX 6700 lineup have been circulating, and it looks like they may be launching by March with an official announcement at the virtual CES conference.
AMD is set to host a virtual CES keynote on January 12th, the same day that Nvidia will also be hosting their own keynote. It was originally rumored for the RX 6700 GPUs to be revealed at the event, but new info suggests that whilst this is still true, they’ll only launch by the end of March.