Skip to main content

CES 2022: everything from the tech show that PC gamers should care about

A picture of the convention center where CES 2022 is held.
(Image credit: Consumer Technology Association)

CES 2022 is happening right now, from January 5–7. However, as any excitable festival-goer knows, what happens with these things is you go hard on the first night and the rest is a write-off. In this case, that means all of the biggest gaming announcements from AMD, Nvidia, Intel and the usual menagerie of peripheral and component makers have happened already.

Following these announcements, we have a pretty good idea of how the next half-year is going to go in terms of major PC hardware releases. That's not to say everything will go exactly to plan, but we have all the information we need regarding the next generation of gaming laptops, prebuilt PCs, and do-it-yourself components.

CES 2022 has actually been a decent show for graphics card announcements, too. You wouldn't think it following months and months of low availability and disappointment, but Nvidia announced its most high-end GeForce card yet, the RTX 3090 Ti, and both Nvidia and AMD announced new graphics cards for the budget end of the market.

So if you need a refresher on the PC hardware blitz or just want a start of year catchup on where we're at, you'll find all the information from the show that matters for PC gaming below.

CES 2022 highlights

CES 2022 product announcements

AMD CES 2022 Product Premiere

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD's CES 2022 announcements

This was AMD's CES to conquer, and it absolutely smashed it. The red team came out with heaps of new tech to show off, and topped it off with the pièce de résistance, a glimpse of its upcoming Zen 4 chips.

The main event was AMD's Ryzen 6000 mobile processors, which are destined to power some of the top gaming laptops in 2022. The key to their PC gaming appeal lies in the RDNA 2 graphics silicon stuffed within, which AMD says it's up to 2x faster than previous Ryzen 5000 mobile chips. There's a whole lot to these chips, but the key thing is they look stellar for portable gaming and productivity, thanks to an improved Zen 3+ architecture. Arriving February.

AMD reports a significant performance gain with the Ryzen 7 5800X3D even over the Ryzen 9 5900X. (Image credit: AMD)

First teased in 2021, AMD has now announced that its first gaming chip with 3D V-cache is on the way: the AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D. This chip features stacked memory technology, which will massively increase the available memory within the CPU package—from 32MB L3 cache on the Ryzen 7 5800X to 96MB on the Ryzen 7 5800X3D. To do so requires advanced process technologies, but AMD and TSMC have nailed it to deliver a chip capable of competing with Intel's Core i9 12900K toe-to-toe. Arriving Spring 2022.

Cheap graphics cards? Never heard of 'em. AMD and Nvidia both released graphics cards you could consider on the budget-friendly end of the lineup at CES 2022. AMD's option is the RX 6500 XT, which will begin life at $199. How long it will stay at $199 is another thing entirely, but here's hoping it can for a little while after launch. Arriving January 19.

The Radeon RX 6000S series should make its way into slimmer gaming laptops. (Image credit: AMD)

Then onwards to Radeon Super Resolution (RSR), which is AMD's answer to Nvidia Image Scaling in that it works without requiring game support and is enabled within the Radeon drivers. It looks like a neat option when you're in a pickle, though we'll have to test it ourselves to find out how it fares. FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) is likely still your best bet where possible. Arriving within the Adrenalin driver package soon.

AMD also unveiled some new laptop GPUs over at CES 2022, because what is a CES without laptop tech. The new RX 6000S chips are intended to shave thickness and wattage, with the hopes of making for sleeker machines. Meanwhile, the RX 6000M chips are built to run quicker than ever, and hopefully deliver that portable performance we all crave in a gaming laptop. Arriving Q1 2022.

Nvidia CES 2022 Special Address

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia's CES 2022 announcements

Nvidia rocked up to CES 2022 with three major announcements for gamers, though I have to say I'm also pretty impressed by Nvidia's GauGAN2 AI Art Tool.

The biggest hitting news has to be the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti. This graphics card is a certified monster, Jeff Fisher said so during Nvidia's presentation, and I'm inclined to believe him after one look at its whopping great cooler. Of course, it's sure to have a whopping great price tag as well, though Nvidia hasn't confirmed that crucial detail just yet. More details to come later this month.

Gaming laptops have weathered semiconductor shortages relatively well, and can be one of the best ways to secure a gaming system right now. (Image credit: Nvidia)

It's the GeForce RTX 3050 that I'm the most excited about in terms of discrete graphics from the green camp. I'm hoping it has enough power to make Ampere worthwhile for budget gamers, and that it sticks around its starting price of $249. Those are some big asks in 2022, granted, but it's January and I'm trying to be more positive. Arriving January 27.

The RTX 3090 Ti may have been the biggest hitting news of the show, but it's the new RTX 3080 Ti and RTX 3070 Ti gaming laptops that are my star. Especially the latter, which promises ultra 1440p performance from $1,499. At that price, we'd see RTX 3070 Ti-grade performance at prices even the RTX 3070 can't match on Black Friday, but I suspect we'll find it fitted inside more pricier models. Arriving February 1.

Nvidia also announced that it is integrated GeForce Now game streaming into upcoming Samsung TVs, in a similar move to one LG made recently.

Intel CES 2022 News Event

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel's CES 2022 announcements

Intel's CES 2022 show was ruled by one thing: Alder Lake. The architecture is the first to span the entirety of both desktop and mobile processors from the company in quite some time, and that means we heard tell of products to wet both PC builder and portable gamers' whistles.

Alder Lake has now made it mobile, and you'll be surprised to hear that the Performance cores and Efficient cores of the desktop chips have been used to push performance in these portable chips, not power efficiency. It's clearly worked for the company, as Intel has once again claimed the "world's best mobile gaming platform" title. It should also mean we see plenty of great gaming laptops with these chips fitted in 2022. Arriving early 2022.

New Intel 12th Gen chips also come with fancy looking stock coolers. (Image credit: Intel)
Board walk

(Image credit: MSI)

Best gaming motherboard: the best boards around
Best AMD motherboard: your new Ryzen's new home

One thing still pending as the clock struck midnight on December 31, 2021 was non-K-series 12th Gen processors. Thankfully we didn't have to wait for long to get our hands on them in 2022. Intel has announced the full line-up of Alder Lake processors, such as the promising Core i5 12400, and these chips are already available at some retailers.

To go with your cheaper 12th Gen chips, you're going to want a cheaper motherboard than your high-end Z690. It's not that they don't go well together, but what's the use in a sub-$200 chip only to pay $300 or more for a motherboard. That's where the H670, B660, and H610 chipsets come into play. These offer more limited feature sets, but should work just great for many gaming PC builds. The B660 is particularly the one to look out for. Arriving imminently.

Intel also unveiled the Core i9 12900KS. This is the same fundamental processor as the high-end Core i9 12900K, though it is binned for faster speeds. It's claimed to be capable of pushing a single core to 5.5GHz, which is no mean feat for today's silicon processers. That should make a difference in gaming performance, but I can't imagine it's a huge improvement either way. Still, it's something to brag about. Shipping to OEMs in the coming months.

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.