Tom's Hardware 2020 Awards

Tom's Hardware 2020 Awards
2020 will go down in history as the year of COVID-19, but hardware enthusiasts will surely remember it as the year of the "great absentees". In addition to the total lack of trade fairs such as the Computex in Taipei, canceled due to the pandemic, the year that is about to end has in fact seen the presentation of many interesting products, which, however, have been practically impossible to buy. The lack of stocks and delays in production have deeply affected the hardware market, which has had to face one of the most serious shortages in recent years, with a situation comparable in some ways to that seen in the boom period of cryptocurrency mining: very few components available , sold at doubled or tripled prices.

Today at sportsgaming.win we want to retrace the past year, assigning our 2020 Awards. Before starting, we must make a premise: the Award is not awarded to the best absolute product, but to all those components, accessories and peripherals reviewed during the year that stood out for a particular aspect.

Categories

Processors Video cards Laptops Peripherals Accessories

Processors

AMD Threadripper 3990X - The best for workstations

With 64 cores and 128 threads, the Ryzen Threadripper 3990X is any professional's dream who takes advantage of the I assemble the high number of cores and parallelism. The top of the AMD range for the HEDT segment is unmatched and has no rivals, so much so that it can easily be considered the best processor for workstations. The operating system to make the most of it is Intel Clear Linux, but even the right version of Windows 10 will allow you to unleash the full power of this little monster.

As expected, such a CPU has a considerable cost: the price list of the Threadripper 3990X is equal to 3999 euros, but currently the processor has a price close to 5000 euros. A figure like this will be prohibitive for most users, but if you want the best CPU in this market segment, you have to be willing to spend what some would consider crazy.

AMD Ryzen 5 5600X - Best for the mid-range

Looking at performance, it's hard to believe that the Ryzen 5 5600X is a dedicated mid-range processor. The latest addition to AMD offers exceptional performance, brings with it all the improvements of the Zen 3 architecture and like the other Ryzen 5000, it also surpasses Intel in video games, the only scenario where the Santa Clara house processors still defended themselves well. All this is sold at a price list of around 315 euros, a figure that makes the quality / price ratio of the product really interesting, despite being superior to that of the previous Ryzen 5.

On balance, the Ryzen 5 5600X has only one problem: it cannot be bought, at least at “human” prices. The situation unfortunately unites all the hardware launched in the last part of the year, whether we are talking about processors or video cards: stocks are practically non-existent and it does not matter who is to blame: whether they are bots or production delays, enthusiasts who want a new PC will have to wait months before updating their configuration, unless they are willing to pay double (if not triple) the list price.

Video cards

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 - Best for 4K Ray Tracing

The presentation of the RTX 3080 has left PC gamers speechless: finally a card to play in 4K at 60 FPS with active RTX. All thanks to DLSS, Nvidia's Super Sampling technology that improves the framerate without significantly worsening the graphics quality. With a list price of 719 euros, the RTX 3080 offers great value, higher than that of all graphics cards of the last couple of years. For performance, price and additional features developed by Nvidia the RTX 3080 deserves our Award, but unfortunately again we are faced with huge availability problems. The situation is the same as told for the Ryzen 5 5600X: at launch, the stocks ran out within a few seconds and, from that moment on, the card was practically unobtainable. The high prices of the custom models have not helped and the few pieces available can still be purchased for only two, three times higher than the 719 euros recommended by Nvidia.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 - The better for QHD and FHD

For the RTX 3070, much of the speech made on the RTX 3080 applies: Nvidia presented a card with the same performance as the RTX 2080 Ti and put it on sale at a lower price that halved, with a price list of 519 euros (the RTX 2080 Ti was launched at 1279 euros). With features like this it's easy to see why anyone playing on mid to high end configurations wants this video card, but sadly (again) most have been disappointed. The RTX 3070 has in fact suffered the same fate as its older sister: stocks ran out in a flash and the card became unobtainable, except for paying even more than a thousand euros to buy it from the "scalpers". Similar speech for the aftermarket models, also afflicted by almost zero availability and with mind-boggling prices, thanks to the fact that some of the best versions cost more than an RTX 3080.

Laptops

Asus ExpertBook - The best for portability

If you are looking for a notebook that is above all easy to carry around, you will hardly find better. The Asus Expertbook weighs 990 grams and once slipped into the backpack, it will be like not having it. The lithium-magnesium alloy chassis gives strength and solidity, the design is elegant and the Intel Ice Lake processor offers all the performance needed for any office job. The autonomy and the very bright screen with anti-glare treatment make the Asus ExpertBook the perfect companion for those who work on the move, often away from the office and perhaps outdoors.

Still in the field of laptops, MobileLabs colleagues also tested and awarded some models. If you are curious to know which ones, we refer you to their article.

Peripherals

Razer Seiren Mini - The best microphone for emerging streamers

The famous and popular “headphones for gaming "provide a microphone, very often more than enough to talk to friends in voice chat, but not particularly suitable if you want to stream or record podcasts. If you have decided to take one of these two paths (or both), the best option is to buy an external microphone, able to give you more flexibility and a much higher recording quality. There are many models on the market and some even cost hundreds of euros, but you don't need to spend so much to have a device that is more than suitable for the purpose: the Razer Seiren Mini costs only 60 euros, but still offers excellent audio quality. The ease of use is almost surprising, the sober design and the extremely small size mean that it goes unnoticed, the possibility of mounting it on a rod allows you to position it wherever you prefer. While there are some notable shortcomings such as the absence of a 3.5mm jack and direct microphone controls, we have decided to reward the Razer Seiren Mini because it offers good features and functionality at a competitive price.

Logitech MX Anywhere 3 - The best mouse for working on the go

Those who often work on the go look for three things in a "travel" mouse: small size, lots of autonomy and ability to function on different surfaces. The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 offers all this: extremely small dimensions, a Logitech DarkFiled sensor that works anywhere (even on glass) and an autonomy of 70 days of use, with the possibility of using it for 3 hours with only 1 minute of charging. The mouse is symmetrical and can be used by left-handers without problems, connects via Bluetooth to up to three devices and integrates the magnetic wheel, already seen and loved on other Logitech mice. The personalization software completes a perfect product for those who work on the move. The list price is 90 euros, although at the moment the Logitech MX Anywhere 3 can be purchased for around 75 euros; the figure is high, but the product still deserves our award for its quality.

Accessories

Cooler Master Pi Case 40 - The best case for Raspberry Pi (or almost )

The world is full of cases for Raspberry Pi, we have had the opportunity to try the Cooler Master one and we were pleasantly surprised. The product appeared for the first time in a Kickstarter campaign and immediately won the hearts of fans, so much so that the fundraiser was fully funded in an hour. The Pi Case 40 costs 23 euros and is built with quality materials, dissipates heat well so as to avoid thermal throttling and is easy to assemble, which is why it is perfect even for the less experienced. It integrates a convenient programmable button if you use the Raspberry Pi as a real PC and the Pi Tool software also allows those who are impractical to do a slight overclock of the ARM SoC, without running into any problems. The Pi Case 40 has a single flaw: it makes it impossible to use HAT accessories, so make sure you don't have to plug them in to carry out your projects.

The products included in sportsgaming.win's 2020 Awards have all been reviewed and tested in the field by our editors. Devices that we have not tested were not taken into consideration. We reiterate that the Awards are assigned not to the absolute best product but to the one that struck us for a particular feature, function or other.

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