The coolest components of Computex 2018
It’s that time of year again, when all the top PC hardware manufacturers fly out to Taipei, Taiwan to show off all their new stuff. Unfortunately, with the flurry of new announcements, it can be hard to keep up and figure out which new components you want powering your next PC.
Don’t worry, we here at TechRadar have collected together all the best components of Computex 2018 in this convenient gallery. From behemoth 32-core CPUs to the best RAM that’s lit up like a Christmas tree, you’ll find components here that will blow your mind. So, sit back, relax, and check out all of these beautiful bits of silicon and aluminum.
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Cooler Master MasterCase 500M
At first glance, the Cooler Master MasterCase 500M might look like any old case, but featuring tempered glass, RGB everything and, most importantly, the ability to customize everything – the Cooler Master MasterCase 500M is poised to be the best PC case for anyone who wants to build a killer set up their own way.
While most modern PC cases will have removable bays and great cable management capabilities, the MasterCase 500M takes it to the next level by including nine covers for clean building, including a power supply cover so you can decide whether your PSU is worth showing off. Top it all off with a swappable front cover that lets you choose between performance and aesthetics, and it’s clear why this case is a winner.
MSI B450 Tomahawk
Yeah, we know, its a brown circuit board, but bear with us – the MSI B450 is a compelling AMD Ryzen motherboard. This thing rocks four dual-channel RAM slots specced at 2,933MHz, it also packs as many features as the lower-end B450 chipset will support, making this one of the potential best motherboards for budget builds – that is, if the MSRP is reasonable, which we don’t know yet.
The B450 Tomahawk also has two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back, which is honestly a pretty great addition for a B450 board. The only thing we don’t really like about this board is that it’s limited to just one M.2 slot, but that’s a pretty minor flaw for an otherwise fantastic-looking motherboard.
PNY CS2080 XLR8 AIC NVMe SSD
PNY announced a new line of NVMe SSDs at Computex 2018, and while that may not be especially newsworthy on its own, the fact that this CS2080 XLR8 NVMe line doesn’t just support the M.2 form factor, but also support for the AIC (add-in card) form factor makes it worth paying attention to.
This is especially true when you consider the fact that PNY seems to be positioning this drive to be a cheap and effective upgrade – this means it might not feature speeds that will melt your face off, but it will be accessible to those looking to upgrade to the next generation of SSD storage.
And, the fact that it supports AIC means that it’s not just limited to PC, the best Macs will have a chance to upgrade to faster storage as well.
G.Skill Trident Z RGB Royal
If you’re the type of person who thought that RGB RAM was taking things too far, you might want to look away. The G.Skill Trident Z RGB Royal might just be the most beautiful RAM we’ve ever laid eyes on. Not only does it feature customizable lighting, but it also has a smooth metal finish, and the lights themselves have a unique crystal texture. It’s breathtaking.
It’s not all about lights though, this RAM is unbelievably fast. Specced at over 5GHz, this is likely the fastest RAM that will be available to consumers for some time. We can’t wait to get our hands on it to see how far we can push it.
EVGA X299 Micro2
The EVGA x299 Micro was one of the best high-end Micro ATX motherboards we’ve used in a while, so the idea of a follow-up that improves on an already great setup has us pretty excited.
Not only will this board support existing Skylake-X chips, but it will likely be pretty future-proof, as future Intel processors may just be compatible with the X299 chipset.
And, while we don’t know what the pricing for this board is going to look like, EVGA has said that it’s targeting the same general price as its predecessor, so expect to pay about $300 (about £224, AU$400).
Cooler Master Hyper 212 concept
Speaking of follow-ups to amazing components, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 concept is the follow-up to Cooler Master’s elite air cooler, the Hyper 212 Evo. This was one of the best CPU coolers for years – and arguably still is – precisely because it delivers efficient cooling performance without breaking the bank.
If Cooler Master can somehow improve on that classic design, the Cooler Master Hyper 212 concept might end up being the best CPU cooler of 2018.
And, we’re not going to lie, the RGB lights on the fan look amazing, and will add more value to an already value-rich package.
Intel Core i7-8086K
We knew it was going to happen – but we’re still excited to get our hands on the Intel Core i7-8086K. This absolute beast of a hexa-core processor hits 5GHz on its turbo boost without having to overclock.
This alone makes the Intel Core i7-8086K likely to become one of the best processors. Unveiled as part of Intel’s 50th anniversary, Intel is going to celebrate by giving 8,086 of these awesome chips away to customers.
You can enter the contest here. If you win, Intel will take a couple months to get the product shipped to you, but if you’re a recipient of one of these lovely (read: free) pieces of silicon, we expect you won’t really be complaining.
Aorus RGB Memory
Gigabyte, and by extension its Aorus brand, has made a name for itself with some of the best motherboards and graphics cards over the last decade or so. And, like many other hardware manufacturers, Gigabyte is branching out into RAM, so that its customers can have a consistent aesthetic in their builds. And, while we haven’t been able to test it ourselves yet, the simply named Aorus RGB Memory is looking like a winner.
Not only is it speedy, but it features full RGB illumination. And, when we say ‘full RGB illumination,’ we mean it. The dual-DIMM kit actually ships with four sticks, two of which being dummy RAM units that don’t have any memory chips – they’re just there to make sure you don’t have any gaps in your lighting. Now, that’s what we call progress.
Patriot Viper M.2 SSD
In 2018, it seems like M.2 SSDs are determined to completely overtake SATA as the mainstream storage interface. And, with products like the Viper M.2 SSD, we think it may just happen. Just like the PNY drive we mentioned earlier, the Patriot Viper M.2 looks like it’s going to be a budget drive aimed at gamers. And, with the suggested 3,200Mbps read and 3,000Mbps write speeds, this might end up dethroning the WD Black PCIe as the best SSD for gamers, depending on its launch price.
What’s perhaps most exciting about this drive is how close it seems to be to coming to market. According to this report from Tom’s Hardware, it seems like Patriot is planning on releasing this drive within the next month or so. We can’t wait.
AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation
Well, we saved the best (and the biggest) for last. We knew that AMD was going to announce the follow up to its beastly Threadripper CPUs soon, but we didn’t know that it would announce a 32-core, 64-threaded monster. We were under the impression that the Ryzen Threadripper 2nd Generation CPUs would follow in the steps of Ryzen 2nd Generation and just offer higher clock speeds and power efficiency. The fact that AMD was able to pack 32 cores into a CPU that will be coming out later this year is still blowing our minds.
This won’t be a cheap CPU, but it's sure to be one of the most powerful CPUs we’ve ever gotten our hands on. We can’t wait to get it back to our offices so that we can test it out for ourselves in our full review.
Bill Thomas (Twitter) is TechRadar's computing editor. They are fat, queer and extremely online. Computers are the devil, but they just happen to be a satanist. If you need to know anything about computing components, PC gaming or the best laptop on the market, don't be afraid to drop them a line on Twitter or through email.