As we bid farewell to the disparate collection of hours, days, and months we’ve come to know as 2021, let us pour out a wee dram and raise a glass in salute to the best PC gaming hardware released this year. In some ways it’s not been a golden year for PC hardware; it’s never been harder to build a new rig than it is right now, for example.
But despite the continual horror of the GPU market, and the fact that new budget hardware seems to have vanished in a puff of logic, there are still things to celebrate. If you’ve ever wanted to kit your system out with the sort of speedy SSD previously only available to data centre IT managers, then now is certainly the time. Likewise, Intel’s return to CPU form with its Alder Lake gamble seemingly paying off in the form of the impressive Core i9 12900K and the outstanding Core i5 12600K processors should bring a smile to the face of any gamer.
Competition is good for everyone, and if AMD and Intel are properly going toe-to-toe with high-quality gaming silicon, instead of one or other of them being on the ropes, the future is looking very rosy indeed.
There have also been excellent monitors, gaming laptops, and a host of quality new peripherals passing across our test benches this year, and we’re here to really celebrate those goodies that have pleased us the most. Over the past week we’ve been highlighting our nominations for the best products in ten key categories. And, while some have been a little tough to pick a winner, others have been completely obvious from the beginning.
I mean, the best graphics card ‘released’ in 2021 is almost a purely theoretical award in these GPU starved times of ours… But whatever, now is not the time to wallow in the gloom of the chip shortage, it’s time to end the suspense and dig into the PC Gamer Hardware Awards Winners of 2021.