5 things I expect to see at Computex 2024

Computex logo in busy show floor in Taipei
(Image credit: Future)

Computex is always the most exciting time of the year for us computer people, as this is when all of the biggest players in the industry show up in one spot with all their latest wares and innovations. It does't hurt that it's in Taipei, which is an all-around lovely city to visit (especially the Night Markets).

But unlike the past few years when there wasn't a whole lot of revolution in the industry, 2024 is absolutely the year when AI is going to stomp its way all through this conference, touching on everything from the individual CPUs powering the best laptops of the year to come down to peripherals and other computer-adjacent gadgets that are going to incorporate their own AI innovations into them.

Whether any of it is genuinely useful remains to be seen, but there's no doubt that AI is going to be the talk of Computex. However, that won't be the only new tech being shown off here in Taipei. So, based on what I've seen from this year so far, here's everything I expect to see at this year's Computex event.

It's all about the AI PC

The microsoft copilot logo at the May 20, 2024 Microsoft press event

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Like I said before, this year is absolutely going to be the year that OEM across the board start pushing AI PCs as a thing. 

Since everyone bought new computers in 2020 thanks to the lockdowns and the need for multiple people to work from home at once, everyone more or less bought new computers and peripherals, like the best webcams, in 2020, so there hasn't been as much of a need for people to buy these things in the past three years.

That is nowhere more apparent than in laptops and desktops, which are higher-ticket items and so are replaced far less frequently than a keyboard, mouse, or PC gaming headset. This has been reflected in the PC market contraction we've seen post-Covid, with even Apple struggling to sell new MacBooks in 2021, 2022, and 2023.

This year, however, the AI boom and the introduction of NPUs into AMD, Intel and Qualcomm mobile processors means that new laptops can do all kinds of new AI-powered tasks that weren't possible before, and these new AI PCs might be just the thing to convince people that now is the time to upgrade from their four-year-old PC. 

Qualcomm will make a splash

Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Qualcomm has been well-known in mobile computing circles for many years, having largely dominated the smartphone and tablet market for all devices not made by Apple. But Qualcomm isn't as big a name among PC users, who are much more familiar with the ongoing AMD vs Intel duopoly that's existed for over a decade.

Apple makes its own chips now, and MacBooks certainly have their devotees, but the vast majority of people are using a Windows laptop or PC, and the limited number of Qualcomm-powered Windows devices that have been released to date have been...not well-received, to say the least.

That might be about to change, however, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Plus and Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite, two SoCs that could give the Apple M3 a run for its money. We still don't know how well Windows will be able to run on Qualcomm's Arm-based architecture, but given Microsoft's big Qualcomm and Copilot+ PC push just before Microsoft Build last month, there's a lot of buzz around these new Snapdragon X devices from leading OEMs like Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others, and I expect these to be very well represented at Computex.  

Intel and AMD need to play catchup

AMD Ryzen 7000

(Image credit: AMD)

Now that Qualcomm looks poised to enter into the PC processor space in a big way this year, AMD and Intel can't afford to rest on their laurels right now. There's been a lot of buzz about next-gen AMD and Intel mobile processors in recent months, and if they don't want to lose out to newcomer Qualcomm, they will have to give customers a reason to stick with their respective x86-based chips.

While no one can predict any specific announcements, I fully expect that AMD and Intel will lay out their next-gen AI PC processor plans during their respective keynote speeches, given by AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger.

Nothing major on the GPU front

MSI RX 7900 XTX Graphics Card

(Image credit: MSI)

As for the GPU market, it's safe to say that there won't be anything major announced during Computex beyond some new small form factor and maybe some new watercooled GPU models.

The current graphics card generation has only just wrapped up with the January and February releases of the Nvidia RTX 4000-series Super edition cards and my current top pick for the best graphics card on the market right now, the AMD Radeon RX 7900 GRE.

Any news about AMD, Intel, or Nvidia's next-gen discrete graphics cards is still many months away at the earliest, so don't expect any big GPU news to break next week.

More wood paneling on your PCs than a midwestern basement in the 1980s

A Corsair One i500 on a desk

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

After about a decade or more of gaming PCs and peripherals sticking fast to the prevailing stealth bomber aesthetic (though not so stealthy, thanks to all that RGB lighting), things have started to shift noticeably when it comes to gaming PC design as of late.

Exemplified by the Corsair One i500 gaming PC, wood and other natural materials are starting to make their way into the builds of many popular PC gaming devices, and I expect that there is going to be a lot of natural materials incorporated into many of the components, systems, and devices on display next week.

And while this is good for the environment, as most of these materials are also going to be coming from recycled materials, it's honestly just going to be a nice change of pace after looking at so much of the same for the past decade. I can't wait to see all the cool new designs for myself starting on Tuesday, June 4. 

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John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Threads @johnloeffler.

Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 (just like everyone else).