Well here we are, 16 years into the new millennium and the rate of technological development shows no signs of slowing down. As the KitGuru Editorial Team sat down to discuss the best products of the year, we were constantly reminded of how much can change in just such a short period of time.
From the launch of the 1.4GHz Pentium 4, to Intel’s 6700K Skylake chips touching the 7GHz mark in August this year.
Back in the year 2000, Samsung’s R&D team created the first 512Mb DRAM, while this August saw the launch of the PM1633a – a 16TB solid state drive that effectively removes one of the mechanical storage sector’s last ‘wins’: Superior capacity. 3D Vertical NAND memory promises a lot in terms of capacity/cost in the near future.
Arguably the biggest steps forward ‘into a new tomorrow’ are about to happen in virtual reality. The fundamentals haven’t really changed over the past 15 years (in as much as you wear a headset and a computer presents you with an alternative reality), but the Virtual Reality world is becoming more realistic and we’re seeing a glut of new, affordable technologies preparing to hit the mass market – including the Valve/HTC headset and the Rift/Touch from Oculus. Developer editions of the Microsoft HoloLens are being touted around the $3k mark, but that will change – especially if Asus and Gigabyte get into the market in 2016.
After the huge impact of the Maxwell architecture on the market, 2015 was a relatively slow one for graphics. Right now, all eyes are on the rumours that nVidia taped out its Pascal/GP100 chip in June 2015 and shipped 9 engineering samples in September. It could feature four stacks of HBM2 memory, offering gamers 16GB desktop cards and Quadro cards for professionals with up to 32GB. Final yields and pricing will likely be at the mercy of TSMC’s new 16nm FinFET process. We don’t yet know what AMD have planned but HBM V1, showcased by AMD with their Nano and Fury range of cards has paved the way for future innovation in the VRAM segment.
As with last year’s awards, we’ll start with the items closest to the heart of your PC and work our way out to the retailer that you, the reader, voted as the best place to buy technology.
So what were the ‘Best of the Best’ products in 2015?