Best Of 2012 - SSDs: Kingston HyperX 3K
2012 has been a tumultuous year for SSD manufacturers. With raw speeds plateauing the focus has shifted to two other key metrics - IOPS and price per GB; it is in the latter of these categories that our next winner excelled. In April the Kingston HyperX 3K was the first performance SSD in our labs to break the £1 per GB barrier, and was a watershed moment for gamers who may have previously felt priced out of taking advantage of the massive performance boost SSDs bring to the table.
Best of 2012 - Graphics Cards: GIGABYTE GTX 680 Super Overclock
Could the award for best of 2012 truly go to any other card? NVIDIA and AMD designs have been nip-and-tuck all year for performance, and it took a jaw-dropping card design from GIGABYTE to eliminate any signs of pragmatism and go all out. The GTX 680 SOC was dominated by a huge bespoke heatsink dubbed the Windforce 5X, which cooled a GPU with pretty hefty factory overclock and left more room at the top-end. Taking top spot in our single GPU performance charts, the Elite GTX 680 SOC is a testament to occasions when heart, rather than head, has dictated product design.
Best of 2012 - Power Supplies: Corsair AX i Series
Corsair are the second manufacturer to gain two Best Of... awards this year. Following the success of the Hydro Series H100i is the latest in Corsair PSU range, the AX i-Series. Dave tested the AX1200i, an immense fully-modular PSU designed to take an overclocked triple CrossfireX/SLi system and come back for desert. Just as impressive as the loads it can bear are the nonchalant way it deals with these loads; fans barely reach whisper-quiet even at 87% load, and below 30% it can run totally passive. 80+ Platinum efficient and also sporting Digital Corsair Link diagnostic tech., the AX 1200i can add this readers award to the exceptionally rare Editor's Choice David was forced to give it.