LAS VEGAS, NV -- CES wouldn't be CES without a plethora of new desktop gaming PCs ranging from the alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) brilliant, loud, weird, beautiful, absurd, amazing, ludicrous custom desktops to the small and capable mini PCs with an impressive performance punch. Here's the lot of them being shown off at CES 2018.
Acer showcased a new beastly gaming desktop by the name of the Predator Orion 9000. This massive full-tower PC can be equipped with up to a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-7980XE processor, 128GB DDR4 memory, and dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in SLI. Starting at $1,999, Acer seems to be settings its gaming performance sights even higher.
Asus announced its latest small form factor products / mini-PCs at CES 2018. Adding to its existing VivoMini and ROG GR8 II selections, the PB40 supports 8th Generation Intel Pentium Silver processors. Additionally, the PN40 supports 8th Generation Intel Pentium Silver and Celeron processors. Both systems sport a black metallic chassis. The PB40, when equipped with an Intel Celeron processor, is offered in a fanless design for silent operation. Both mini PCs feature USB 3.1 Type-C ports and VGA/DisplayPort/COM/HDMI support.
The company's gaming division, Asus Republic of Gamers, also introduced a new Strix-branded desktop gaming PC called the GL12, a micro-ATX Z370 platform that can be equipped with up to an Intel Core i7-8700K (which comes factory overclocked to 4.8GHz), 64GB of DDR4-2666, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X graphics. With M.2 PCIe SSD storage options and a plethora of gamer-centric aesthetic bonuses (tempered glass panels, slashed accents, RGB LED lighting), the Asus ROG Strix GL12 could be an appealing candidate for a mainstream gaming desktop when it arrives in Q2 2018.
CyberPowerPC brought some heavily equipped custom gaming desktops to CES 2018, showcasing a beastly new Hyperliquid II cooling setup in a Cougar Conquer chassis and a Luxe configuration with a Thermaltake Core P90. Hyperliquid II is a joint collaboration of CyberPowerPC, Thermaltake, Bitspower, and XSPC, all of which had a hand in the custom-cooled system's creation. The Luxe features a wall-mountable, open-air, two-sided chassis that puts all of the powerful water-cooled components on full display, and the new Syber L series is a CyberPowerPC-designed case for the masses, with a reasonable entry level price tag of $699 (for a Core i5 and GTX 750 Ti).
Digital Storm took CES by storm with a new custom SFF gaming PC that leverages a micro STX motherboard and MXM graphics for an insanely tiny footprint. Project Spark looks to ignite enthusiasts' need for wee PCs with one of the smallest PCs we've ever seen that features custom hardline open-loop liquid cooling for both the CPU and GPU. Spark is no longer a project -- we should see it in Q2 2018 starting at $1,299.
Digital Storm had another product reach production-ready status -- Project Modena and its premium tempered glass-equipped chassis with integrated and individually addressable RGB LED lights will be appearing in Digital Storm's system configurators soon. The company said it will be available with both AMD Ryzen and Intel Z370 platforms. Pricing is not finalized, but Digital Storm said Modena would have a starting MSRP between $1,000 and $,1,100.
The iBuypower Snowblind Element is the second generation of the impressive clear LCD display side window-equipped Snowblind we saw at last year's CES. This new version outfits the panel to its Element chassis and features "Halo" fans to keep the Snowblind running cool. Configurations start at $1,500.
Intel showcased its new Core i7/Radeon RX Vega M SoCs in two new NUC mini PCs. The premium version features an overclockable Core i7-8809G with Vega M GH graphics, which is purportedly powerful enough for Windows Mixed Reality, giving the NUC lineup more gaming performance than it ever had before.
Maingear introduced a new flagship F131 chassis that was designed from the ground up for its new Apex Integrated Cooling System, a clear acrylic reservoir/pump combo that adds some serious bling and customized performance to the company's open-loop water cooling options. Maingear's Apex ICS is specifically for the F131, and you won't find it anywhere else.
MSI rolled out updated versions of its compact Trident 3 Arctic slim-line PC and its Infinite X desktop computer. Both PCs are equipped with Intel’s 8th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia's GeForce GTX graphics cards. The Trident 3 Arctic can be outfitted with a GeForce GTX 1080 8GB graphics card and the Infinite X takes things up a notch offering a GTX 1080 Ti 11GB. We reached out to the company for more details on pricing and availability.
Origin PC revealed three new custom gaming PCs called the Millennium, Genesis, and L-Class. The Millennium and Genesis desktop PCs can be configured with the most budget-busting components available, with room for up to three 360mm radiators for AIO or custom open-loop liquid cooling systems. The L-Class takes things to a professional level with workstation-class parts (including dual-socket Intel C612 motherboards and Xeon CPUs, in addition to AMD FirePro and Nvidia Quadro graphics cards) for their Millennium, Genesis, and 4U Rackmount cases.
Velocity Micro didn't announce a new system so much as an updated chassis that will replace its flagship GX4 case when it arrives later in Q1. Details of the new CX5 were scarce, but the company said that it would feature many of the same configuration options of its current offerings. However, it has been redesigned to accommodate E-ATX motherboards for dual processor Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC platforms, with room for up to four graphics cards and six 3.5" HDDs. Velocity Micro said the CX5-equipped systems are planned to start at a price of $1,099.
CES 2018 brings us a new generation of Zotac Magnus and Zbox C mini-PCs. These new mini-PCs are equipped with 8th Generation Intel processors and boast improved graphics cards options compared to previous versions. Zotac also announced that its Zbox C is the world's first mini-PC to be equipped with Nvidia's Quadro P series graphics cards.
We also got a look at the freshly announced MEK1 Gaming PC. It was initially announced in December 2017, sporting a 7th-Gen Intel Core i7-7700 CPU and 1070 Ti (8GB) graphics card, but there's a new version in the works running an 8th-Gen i7 chip (Coffee Lake) and a 1080. The original is available via Newegg with a $1,600 config, although Zotac told us that you should be able to find configurations as low as $1,400. Expect the new version with updated components to cost a bit more.
The MEK1 that Zotac had in its CES suite was flanked by the Zotac MEK1 keyboard and mouse, a mousepad, a headset, a pair of game controllers, and a kitchen sink. (Kidding about the kitchen sink.) You can control the lighting via Zotac's "Spectra" software.
Update, 2/7/18, 3:10pm PT: Added Zotac MEK1 entry.