CES 2022: what this year's hardware announcements mean for PC gaming

AMD Ryzen 7000
(Image credit: AMD)

CES 2022 brought with it a vast array of innovations in the PC gaming space that stretch out far beyond simple hardware advancements. From the latest graphics cards to innovations made in both mobile GPU and monitor technology, it's looking as though the new year will bring out a slew of advancements for all facets of the platform. 

While there were many notable announcements made at CES 2022 regarding more than just PC hardware, we're much more interested in what the new computing tech means for the future. As PC gamers ourselves, it matters far more to us to evaluate the new processors, graphics cards, monitors, and technology in terms of how it will change the current landscape versus getting hung up on the figures. 

Many of us like staying on top of the latest unveilings to ensure our systems rank as one of the best gaming PCs out there. It's looking as though 2022 could be one of the ideal times to consider building a new machine, especially if you want to make the most out of the best RAM for gaming

Below, you'll find all the announcements from CES 2022 that we can see making the biggest impact on PC gaming this year.

AMD and Nvidia both announced budget GPUs

AMD RX 6500 XT

(Image credit: AMD)

For almost two years, we've seen some of the best graphics cards for gaming being sold at far above what they justifiably should be. It isn't just the enthusiast-level GPUs that are being sold for exorbitant costs either, as Nvidia's cheapest current-generation video card (the RTX 3060) currently sells for three times its actual value. 

That's why the announcements of both AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT and Nvidia RTX 3050 desktop GPU are significant. With launch prices starting at $199 and $250 respectively, both video cards are attempting to bring the latest technological advancements made by GDDR6 memory to more PC gamers. 

This is all theoretical, though. It's all but guaranteed that both GPUs will launch in incredibly small quantities and be amassed into the video card climate that we're, sadly, all too accustomed to at the moment. We could be wrong, but we're willing to bet that the RTX 3050 and RX 6500 XT will sell out within minutes and be just as difficult to find as the likes of RTX 3060 and 3060 Ti stock and AMD equivalents. 

These budget GPUs show that the industry leaders are attempting to offer a cheaper solution in the graphics card market. Time will tell as to how effectively these models are received by both the press, and on a consumer level, but it appears to be the right move at a time where video cards are more elusive than ever. 

If you're torn between which model deserves your money, we've done a full RTX 3050 vs Radeon RX 6500 XT to see how these graphics cards stack up against each other based on the information available. Be sure to save the dates if you are after either video card; the RX 6500 XT launches on January 19 and the RTX 3050 arrives on January 27. We've got an RTX 3050 pre-orders page to get you up to speed on the newest RTX 30 series arrival. 

Gaming laptops will become far more power efficient

With Intel unveiling its new line of U-series and H-series mobile processors, we are likely to see blisteringly quick performance in a portable form factor. The highlight of which has to be the Intel i9-12900HK which the company has described as 'the fastest mobile processor ever created' according to its CES 2022 press release. In total, we're going to see 28 new 12th generation Intel Core mobile CPUs hit the market in 2022. 

What can we expect from the Intel Core 12th gen H-series exactly? It's been claimed by the chipset manufacturer that the new line will deliver up to 28% faster gaming performance than what was possible with the previous generation. What's more, support for DDR5, as expected, and faster data transfer speeds across the board. 

Intel Core 12th generation H-Series will be available in laptops starting from February, so it won't be long until we see what they can do in terms of raw gaming performance. From the sounds of things, however, it's looking like a new bar is going to be ushered in with exactly what's been possible through Intel mobile CPUs as we know it. Ensuring high performance in the latest titles in machines of moderate power, and those on the enthusiast level. 

RTX 3080 Ti laptop

(Image credit: Nvidia)

More powerful RTX 30 series gaming laptops

Nvidia announced that its reinforced RTX 30 series GPUs are getting mobile versions inside the latest suite of gaming laptops. RTX 3070 Ti laptops start at $1,499 with RTX 3080 Ti laptops are coming in with a starting price of $2,499. They aren't too far away either, as models are expected to hit the shelves on February 1, so the best gaming laptops could be getting even better. 

That's only one side of the story, however, as the new lineup of Nvidia RTX laptops will benefit from 4th generation Max-Q technology for more efficient performance. New features include a CPU optimizer, which can divert power from the chipset to the graphics processor and vice versa, as well as providing far better battery lifespans when in use through Battery Boost.

The claims made by Nvidia regarding RTX 3080 Ti laptops are particularly impressive. While the Titan RTX desktop GPU is an absolute powerhouse with its 24GB GDDR6 memory, the hardware manufacturer claims that the RTX 3080 Ti mobile will be faster. Nvidia has stated that the graphics processor can achieve above 120 FPS at Ultra settings in 1440p, however, with no official benchmarks released yet, those figures remain ambiguous. 

RTX 30 series laptops have been much easier to get your hands on than RTX 3070 Ti stock and RTX 3080 Ti stock with similar asking prices. As more PC gamers begin to turn their attention away from the standalone components and towards the prebuilt market, the added bump in power should bring more potential for rig replacements. 

AMD Ryzen 6000 Series promises impressive graphics

AMD Ryzen 6000 Mobile

(Image credit: AMD)

AMD unveiled its Ryzen 6000 Series mobile CPUs with some serious performance boosts over what's currently available. These new chipsets are built on Zen 3+ architecture and are reported to offer processing speeds of up to 1.3x faster with 2.1 times the onboard graphical capabilities than the current 5000 Series.

That second point might not sound like much on paper, but things become far more interesting when factoring in the AMD RDNA 2 advancements. The hardware company claims that the Ryzen 6000 mobile CPUs can 'smoothly play the vast majority of PC games in Full HD' according to the official press release.

This declaration of the new Ryzen 6000 mobile processors means a world of change could be coming for the world of cheap gaming laptops. While it remains to be seen exactly how effective these new APUs are going to be at running the latest titles in 1080p, the premise is certainly exciting. 

AMD has reported that the first rollout of AMD Ryzen 6000 Series processors are expected to launch starting next month inside of models made by Asus, Dell, and HP being confirmed so far. There are roughly 200 different units expected to be released in 2022 from both the gaming laptop world and inside commercial notebooks. 

PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 will be the new standard

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series

(Image credit: AMD)

The AMD Ryzen 7000 series desktop processors are built on 5nm Zen 4 architecture with some seriously incredible performance for PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5. As expected, we're getting a socket change from AM4 (which previously hosted both the Ryzen 3000 series and Ryzen 5000 line) to AM5. It's unsurprising seeing as both previous chipset generations were built on 7nm silicon. 

Will the latest line of AMD Ryzen 7000 chipsets outperform Intel's 12th generation models? It's hard to call right now, but what we do know is that both processor manufacturers are fully embracing the benefits of PCIe 5.0 and DDR5 for the fastest performance yet. Given the track record of the current Ryzen chipsets, we're confident that several models will be making an appearance on our best CPU for gaming list when the time comes. 

All we know for now is that the company is reportedly on track to release the AMD Ryzen 7000 series CPUs in the latter half of 2022. 

Gaming in 4K on PC will become more viable in 2022

Asus ROG 4K

(Image credit: Asus)

It's looking as though 2022 will be a stellar year for those wanting to invest in one of the best gaming monitors as CES this year has demonstrated. The biggest technological announcement made was that PC gaming monitors will be utilizing 4K at higher frame rates now through HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort. 

Although only the most powerful graphics cards are capable of providing 4K resolution at well above 60 FPS natively, these new gaming monitors releasing are a sign of things to come within the industry as the technology is adopted by more monitor manufacturers on a wider scale. 

No longer will PC gamers have to choose between a high refresh rate or a high resolution, as these upcoming monitors show. Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, LG, and Samsung among a few names launching 4K gaming monitors with high-speed panels. It won't be a resolution and refresh rate available to the vast majority of PC gamers right away, and likely not for the next few years to see widespread adoption. For those running bleeding-edge hardware, however, panel tech has now capable of living up to the behemoths of the video card world (such as the RTX 3090). 

High refresh rate 4K PC gaming monitors to look out for in 2022 include the LG UltraGear 32GQ950 which its UHD resolution and native 144Hz. Also of note is the Samsung Odyssey Neo G8 curved 4K gaming monitor complete with a 240Hz screen as well as Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro support. 

The Acer Predator XP32 FP and XP32 both impress with their 32-inch 4K 165Hz screen complete with DisplayHDR certification, though the price point is likely to be off-putting to some. The monitors are carrying an MSRP of $1,799 and $1,999 respectively. However, CES 2022 has proven that 4K high refresh rate monitors don't need to be exorbitant as the HP Omen 27u, complete with 2160p resolution and 144Hz screen will carry a launch price of $699. 

While likely to be far more expensive than gaming at high refresh rates in Full HD and 1440p, these 4K displays have highlighted that the resolution is much more viable than it was when considering the options hitting the market. While it's unlikely that some of the best cheap gaming monitors will make use of HDMI 2.1 capabilities in this fashion, the early-adopter asking prices are coming down which can only be a good thing heading into the new year. 

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Aleksha McLoughlin
Hardware Editor

Aleksha McLoughlin served as the Hardware Editor for GamesRadar from June 2021 until August 2022. Her main area of expertise was the PC gaming platform, which comprised buying guides, features, reviews, and news coverage on components and prebuilt machines. She was also responsible for gaming chairs and storage. She now works on a freelance basis while studying to become a university lecturer specializing in English for foreign territories. Prior to joining GamesRadar, she wrote for the likes of Expert Reviews, The Rory Peck Trust, No Clean Singing, Vinyl Chapters, and Tech Spark while also working with the BBC.