The hottest desktops and PC components we saw at CES 2023

The hottest desktops and PC components we saw at CES 2023

Computer hardware has been at the heart of CES since its inception a whopping 56 years ago with the debut of integrated circuits in televisions, and that tradition remains strong based on what we saw at CES 2023. Innovation in desktop computers and the CPUs and GPUs that power them shows no signs of slowing down, and CES still remains a robust launch platform for the annual list. AMD, Intel and Nvidia all used the show spotlight as a venue to set the PC plate for the year from a platform perspective.

We emphasized the absolute best unveiled in our broader Best of CES 2023 roundup. But we saw plenty more worth mentioning during our week in Vegas, and we’d do you a disservice Not to break down the most interesting PC and component developments at the show and those showing the greatest 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, neither because of nor thanks to the 13th Gen Intel Core CPUs and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series laptop GPU of the big, beautiful 32-inch 4K display. It’s easily one of the best looking desktops we’ve seen in years, with a design that looks like a mix of minimalist architecture and modern art.

The Lenovo Yoga AIO 9i

(Image credit: John Burek)

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


Acer Aspire S32 AIO

Acer Aspire S32 AIO

(Image 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 flip into the position the webcam normally sits. For example, the included full HD webcam can be exchanged for a higher-resolution 1440p camera with a built-in ring light. It’s a bit like the Lenovo ThinkBook 16p Gen 4 laptop we saw at CES the day before, but in a desktop.

Another magnetic accessory is built into the base of the desktop: an extra-large desktop touchpad. It can be detached from the desktop stand to be used alongside your keyboard or handheld. In addition to gesture controls that the average mouse doesn’t have, the touchpad allows for pen input. It’s not a full replacement for something like a Wacom drawing tablet, but it’s enough to capture handwriting and doodles and allows for an interaction rarely seen on a desktop PC.

Acer Aspire S32 AIO

(Image credit: John Burek)

Offered with the latest 13th generation Intel processors (up to Core i7), the Acer Aspire S32 sports a nearly borderless 32-inch display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. In addition, the magnetic touchpad is covered with recycled ocean plastic. But it’s the interchangeable cameras and touchpad-to-drawing pad capabilities that set it apart, making it one of the most versatile AIO systems we’ve seen in quite a while.—SW


Cyberpower Kinetix 360V Intelligent Airflow Series

The Kinetic case isn’t new (Cyberpower teased it a year ago), but it’s so widely used that we wonder if it would ever make it to market. It will, at least in some Cyberpower models, notably the Cyberpower Kinetix 360V Intelligent Airflow series. We got to see it in action at CES 2023.

Cyberpower Kinetix 360V

(Image credit: John Burek)

The Kinetix’s standout feature is its mechanical faceplate, inlaid with hinged, triangular doors in three geometric clusters. The doors open and close in sequence, with a highly satisfying mechanical hiss, in various combinations depending on the internal system temperature. The open or closed state allows more or less airflow into the chassis in the top, bottom, or middle zones of the case.

Cyberpower Kinetix 360V

(Image credit: John Burek)

It is necessary? Probably not. But that won’t stop us from craving this quirky mechanical beauty. Look for it in pre-configured Cyberpower configurations in Q2 of the year, with the case potentially sold on its own later. The price has not yet been determined.


AMD Ryzen 7000 V-Cache for processors

AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D

(Image credit: John Burek)

Cache is an essential part of any processor. Without it, CPUs would slow down, and adding more cache almost always helps boost performance. However, this addition drives up costs as 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 its processors, as in the 100+ MB of cache in the Ryzen 9 7950X3D announced at CES 2023. (This chip ships with 128MB L3; the company also announced two smaller 3D V-cache-equipped chips in the Ryzen 7000 series.)

A graph of Ryzen 9 7950X3D performance

(Image credit: AMD)

The performance gained from this additional cache will likely vary widely between different applications, but most should benefit at least partially from its inclusion. Unlike AMD’s recent attempt to use 3D V-Cache, the company has achieved this without reducing the chip’s clock speed or disabling overclocking. If released, the Ryzen 9 7950X3D could very well be AMD’s fastest consumer desktop processor ever released.—Michael Justin Allen Kuester


AMD Ryzen 7040 series “Phoenix” chips

AMD Ryzen 7040 series chips

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD launches its new “Zen 4”-based Ryzen 7000 series processors to the mobile market, bringing significant improvements in both performance and efficiency. Rather than just porting Zen 4 directly to mobile devices, AMD takes it a step further with its Ryzen 7040-series processors, dubbed the “Phoenix” chips.

These Phoenix chips include an AI engine to accelerate AI workloads, further increasing performance and power efficiency. The chips are based on technologies acquired when AMD acquired Xilinx last year, and the AI ​​engine can reportedly handle up to 12 trillion AI operations per second to perform a range of tasks, including creating content to help. Higher-end Ryzen 7045-series “Dragon Range” CPUs won’t have the dedicated AI hardware, but they will be the company’s top-end raw-powered mobile processors that include the company’s HX series of chips. (This also marks the debut of AMD’s new numbering scheme for mobile processors; read on to learn more.)—MJAS


Efficient Intel N-series Core i3 chips

A graphic of a stylized Intel processor

(Source: Intel)

Like AMD’s Phoenix, this line of components is new to CES in addition around laptops. Intel unveiled its entire line of 13th-gen mobile processors at the show, but the most interesting move in consumer processor space isn’t about cramming more power (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 the 13th Gen chip launches is a step backwards from the Chasing more power, and chasing power instead 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 for maximum power efficiency.

A table with the specifications of the Intel N-series processors

(Source: Intel)

That’s a big departure from the usual arms race to increase clock speeds and benchmark scores, opting instead to extend battery life as much as possible. By exclusively using E-Cores in this new line of processors, Intel plans to make the N-series hyper-efficient, giving you good performance for low-lift tasks like web browsing and media streaming, but without the extra power draw which accompanies more demanding applications such as games. This could be big news for budget systems where an inexpensive home or work machine can last much longer on a single charge.—SW


Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Ti

Zotac GeForce RTX 4070 Ti Amp Extreme Air

(Image 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 launched just before the CES 2023 opening ceremony. We tested one of these cards and found it to offer strong performance in a variety of games, particularly 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

(Image credit: Nvidia)

However, as with any type of PC component, pricing is key. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 4070 Ti launched with an MSRP of $799.99 but is available across a wide price range from Nvidia’s board partners. At $799.99, this is the cheapest next-gen graphics card we’ve seen from either AMD or Nvidia, and it’s pretty good value. The trick, though, is finding one of those $799.99 models. We don’t recommend buying any of the much more expensive RTX 4070 Ti models. (Nvidia’s partners offer 4070 Ti cards that cost up to $1,000.) These more expensive versions are quickly losing ground to AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XT in the price-performance war.—MJAS

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