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KitGuru Annual Awards 2012

Whenever KitGuru runs a poll on which upgrade our readers spend the most time considering, the winner is invariably graphics.

To this date, apart from SSD, there’s almost nothing else you can do with your system to increase measurable performance than boosting your graphics grunt.

Given that a KitGuru reader might spend anywhere from £75 to £1,000, we’ve decided to appoint 2 winners per group.

One for ‘Makes your heart beat faster’ dream cards and the second for cards that will ‘make anyone’s life better’.

As the demands made by modern games increase - so does the power of the GPUs themselves. By a lot.

Definitely an area where you want to consider letting your heart rule your head, if you can afford it. While the GTX660 has been phenomenally successful, the turbo-charged 4GB version of the GTX670 from Asus really pumped our nads at the high end – beating many dual GPU solutions in the process. So the winner of our inaugural nVidia graphics product of the year award is the phenomenal Asus GTX670 Direct CU II.

In the mainstream, closer to £200, there are few cards that can stand against the Gigabyte GTX660 Ti Windforce. Once it established itself on the KitGuru performance charts, many a competitor tried to drag it down – but none succeeded.

You can stack all the Bumblebees you want in a pile (and augment them with All-Sparks etc), but surely you’ll never topple Sapphire’s very own Megatronic warrior: The 6GB 7970 Toxic.  It’s an absolute monster and an engineering tour de force. In Crossfire it comfortably beats the Asus GTX690 and VTX 7990 cards in our last graphics group test of 2012. It’s not cheap, hard to find and it might make the lights in your home flicker, but it crushes the latest games like paper cups.  Sure, you’ll need to sell your car, but who cares about driving anyway, right?

For the mass market, the Tahiti LE version of AMD’s 7870 arrived in December. It brought with it 7950 levels of performance – but was priced down closer to £180. That’s hard to ignore. For pioneering this kind of affordable power, the winner is the VTX3D HD7870 Black.

With the Asus GTX670 DCII OC and Sapphire's 6GB Toxic at the top, we also have the highly affordable VTX3D HD 7870 Black and Gigabyte Windforce GTX660 Ti to complete a powerful line up of winners.

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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.

  • Joanne

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

  • Kirk

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Xtreme

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

  • 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.

  • 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.