KitGuru Annual Awards 2012

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CPU
We start with processors, the heart of the modern system. Pricing has now been compressed so much that it doesn’t make sense to split hairs. What do we mean by ‘compressed’?  Well the APU chips from AMD can cost you £100 and Intel fastest ‘mainstream’ chip, the 3770k, is just over £240.

Intel and AMD’s line-ups have both been considered and here’s what we think is the best of each.

Intel
While the Core i7 3770k is a killer product and the new Extreme chips are, well, extremely good – we’ve chosen the workhorse processor for most enthusiast systems: Intel Core i5 3570k. It’s an amazingly flexible chip and very simple to clock around 4.5GHz – while those with advanced knowledge of voltage regulation can get a lot closer to 5GHz.

AMD
It’s generally acknowledged that AMD won’t compete at the very high end in the future, especially in light of the Q3 analyst’s call.
As the market moves toward more economical solutions and lower power consumption requirements, the product of the year for AMD becomes clear, it’s the chip that will provide the baseline environment for both the next XBox and PlayStation: AMD A10 5800k.

You can go with the slightly cheaper 5600k (and companies like Medion using a 5700 for pre-built systems), but the small increase in price gets you almost 50% more graphics processing (384 vs 256 units), which we feel is worth the difference.

There is a 3rd solution that we want to recognise in this section as well – and that is for something that is squarely aimed at serious professional users. In October, KitGuru Labs had to make way for a pair of Intel Xeon E5 2687W processors. Writing 29 pages of in-depth analysis is, as you would expect, really hard work – but with these £1,500 a piece processors, the devil was in the details.

The results we achieved in Cinebench 11.5 were simply staggering. The bottom of the KitGuru scale for this test is occupied by Intel’s 2500k processor, which scored a respectable 5.38. Take a Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition and clock it all the way to 4.8GHz and you score 14.1, which is pretty tasty. The dual Xeon configuration managed a stonking 25.41!

The score was so large, that it forced a resizing of our previous graphs – with almost every chip in the market now occupying the left half of the chart with the Xeons, over on the right edge, in a class of their own. For that reason, we’re confirming the Dual Intel Xeon E5 2687W Processor Solution one of our products of the year.

KITGURU ANNUAL AWARDS 2012 CPU KitGuru Annual Awards 2012

For both AMD and Intel, 95% of the packaging will be the same across a range of chips - but only one of them will be the KitGuru Annual Award Winner - so make sure you focus on the bit that matters!

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  • callum orr

    Great read. although it wouyld have been good to have a couple more categorys on the mainboard section, as there wasnt really a z77 winner at £200 price point? which is exactly what im looking into at the moment.
    just thought i would also let you know of typo on the best of the rest page as you have written ‘Winning in 2103′.
    great article though.

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  • Joanne

    That was really useful to help me shortlist parts for a new system build. Thank you!

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  • Kirk

    Some great products in this list, I have decided to get the corsair H80i and the seasonic 520W power supply next pay day.

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  • Nico

    Interesting to see some of these, I missed quite a few of the reviews this year, with so many updates on Kitguru it can be hard to keep track.

    Good work, very interesting reading.

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  • Neil

    I am surprised to see Corsair getting so many awards, their H coolers aren’t all that good. Noctua NH D14 is better than them all.

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  • Xtreme

    I would argue against OCZ, their fail rate is bad, I wouldn’t award them anything.

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  • HWExpert

    @Xtreme – thats not right. only sandforce 2281 issues, and they plagued everyone from Corsair to Patriot who used the same controller. OCZ just sold more so they are highlighted more.

    Vector is a different controller. well earned IMO.

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  • Kim Kan

    Was looking at the 302 and this has made my mind up. Wish they also did cheaper graphics cards cos I don’t want to spend more than £100.

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