Best PC Hardware 2021/22

Best PC Hardware 2021 3

So much goes on under the hood of our favourite PCs, and if everything isn’t just so, the whole thing fails to launch. This year brought the great GPU shortage of 2021, but CGM managed to check a few out, along with new motherboards, CPUs and more. We saw products from brands like AMD, ASUS, Intel, and NZXT and look forward to what 2022 has in store.

Here are CGMs nominees for Best PC Hardware 2021/22:

AMD Radeon RX 6600 GPU

Amd Radeon Rx 6600 Gpu Review 1

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 8.5
Price: $330

The Powercolor Radeon 6600 is based on the same 7nm Navi 23 that is seen on the RX 6600 XT. While the XT model may push the silicone to its limits, boasting 32 RDNA2 compute units and 2,048 stream, the new RX 6600 comes with 28 out of 32 CU’s enabled, which works out to 1,792 stream processors. It features the same allotment of 8 GB 128-bit wide GDDR6 memory, and also features the same 32 MD on-die Infinity Cache. Even if the RX 6600 gets 14 Gbps GDDR6 memory compared to the 16 Gbps memory of the RX 6600 XT, this still offers a solid card for people looking to get a step-up in their 1080P gaming experience. The 6600 delivers a respectable 2044MHz Game Clock speed, compared to 2359MHz in the 6600 XT.

AMD has kept most of what was good with the RX 6600 XT. While it is not as powerful and can’t reach the clock speeds of its bigger brother, the RX 6600 is a fantastic entry in the Navi 2 lineup. It brings with it all the latest and greatest at a price and feature set that is ideal for anyone looking to game at 1080P with all the bells and whistles activated.

Offering great 1080P performance, the RX 6600 is a great GPU that delivers some great results, and a price that won’t break the bank.

ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3070 OC Edition

Asus Rog Strix Geforce Rtx 3070 Oc Edition Review 2

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 8.5
Price: $634

ASUS has thrown everything into this 1440P gaming monster. We ran all our tests with the 12th Gen Intel range, and it delivers with even the most demanding games (looking at you Cyberpunk 2077). With the power of the 30-series architecture, and an Overclock mode that pushes the card to 1905MHz, the ASUS ROG Strix is the card to look out for, delivering power and performance in a stylish package. Featuring HDCP Support, two HDMI 2.1 ports, and three Native DisplayPort 1.4a, you should have all you need no matter your monitor or cable configuration.

The 3070 is a major upgrade over the 2070 range, not counting all the features Asus has thrown into this card. The 3070 is a noticeable upgrade looking at the CUDA cores on offer, pushing things from the 2304 on the GeForce RTX 2070 to the ridiculous 5888 CUDA cores on the GeForce RTX 3070. NVIDIA has opted to use the same 8 GB of GDDR6 RAM for the GeForce RTX 3070 as the GeForce RTX 2070, running at 7Gbps on a 256-bit memory bus with 448 GB/sec of memory bandwidth.

Provided you can find it, the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3070 OC Edition is one of the best 30-series cards on the market, and a great upgrade to push your gaming PC to the next level.

Intel i5-12600K CPU

Intel Core I5-12600K Review 5

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 9
Price: $289

With Alder Lake, Intel is gunning for PC builders of all kinds, with it offering a range of options for enthusiasts to people looking to just get an upgrade. The Core i9-12900K has an MSRP of $589 USD, and the mid-range Core i5-12600K costs $289 USD. While it is not a budget range by any stretch, Alder Lake is one of the biggest releases Intel has made in a while, and it delivers for people that demand the best for the money spent.

At the price Intel is releasing this new CPU, and the fact it brings all the exciting features seen on its bigger brother, including DDR 5, PCIe 5 and the new hybrid core design, the Intel i5-12600K CPU is a landmark release that is sure to shape up the PC landscape. It is a major leap forward, and even at the mid-range, Alder Lake is a force to be reckoned with.

With Alder Lake, Intel has delivered one of the most exciting and game-changing CPU releases in a long while, and the Intel i5-12600K CPU is proving to be the new mid-range CPU to beat going forward.

NZXT N7 Z590 Motherboard


Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 9
Price: $279.99

The new NZXT N7 Z590 boasts many of the features we expect from a board in 2021. It comes with PCIe 4.0 that lets it work with the latest in NVMe tech and comes complete with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth V5.2. It boasts a 12+2 DrMOS Power Phase Design that makes for better overclocking and overall thermal performance, and let’s not forget the NZXT shroud that hides most of the board, and just looks great in a new build.

The rear IO is what you would hope for from a mid-range board in 2021. You will find 1 USB 3.2 Gen 2X2 Type-C port, 3 USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports, 4 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, and 2 USB 2.0 ports. You will also find a wireless antenna connection, a RJ45 Gigabit LAN port, 5.1-Channel Audio Jacks, Optical S/PDIF, an HDMI 2.0 for onboard video, and a Clear CMOS Button if you need to wipe things down in an emergency. For most people’s needs, there should be more than enough ports connecting all the devices and accessories.

The NZXT N7 Z590 Motherboard is a well-designed main board that packs features and style in a complete package ready for anyone looking to build a new Intel 10th, or 11th gen PC.

Intel i9-12900K CPU (Winner, Best PC Hardware 2021)

Best Pc Hardware 2021/22

Writer: Brendan Frye
Score: 9
Price: $589

With Alder Lake’s Core i9-12900K, Intel has managed to deliver a very exciting new CPU that should have some new builders eagerly anticipating the potential. The CPU will offer a Max Turbo of 5.20 GHz, and features Intel Turbo Boost Max Technology. Two threads are allocated to each of the Performance-cores, with one allocated to each Efficient-core. 

This new CPU offers 16 cores, 24 threads, and 30 MB of non-inclusive LL cache, with 8 Performance-cores, and 8 Efficient-cores. The i9-12900K will also have a base power draw of 125W but will push all the way up to 241W when pushed. The CPU also features Intel UHD Graphics 770, if you can’t source a GPU in time for your newest PC build.

Intel has delivered on the promises made and delivered a true step forward in computing with the Alder Lake i9-12900K.

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