Computex 2005

We visit Taiwan's big show and ogle the hardware
— 12:22 AM on June 13, 2005

WHEN IT COMES TO trade shows for computer hardware, Computex is second to none. Situated in Taipei, Taiwan, Computex takes place in the shadow of the world's tallest building, Taipei 101. The annual show allows Taiwan's incredible bounty of technology manufacturing companies to showcase their wares to one another and to the world. The show floor offers up a bewildering mishmash of off-brand media players, cell phones, USB flash drives, motherboards, and miscellaneous gadgets, all presented by teams of young Taiwanese booth babes dressed in ways that suggest their culture never experienced the full impact of modern feminism.

All of the big names in motherboards and graphics cards are present, as are the smaller ones—not to mention the obscure and the start-ups. Also visible everywhere is the presence of these companies' chip suppliers, including larger North American semiconductor firms like Intel, AMD, ATI, and NVIDIA. A line of Asian women dressed up as ATI's Ruby snakes between the convention center halls on motorcycles while a competing pack of NVIDIA-themed pixies hands out leaflets beckoning showgoers to a partner's booth. It's unintentional comedy gold, and it's also the best place on earth to see the latest in computer hardware.

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