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Saturday, December 2, 2023

All the PC Gamer hardware reviews from 2022

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It’s been an interesting year for PC gaming hardware. After a supply shortage that spiked both demand and pricing we’ve had a slew of new goodies hitting our test labs, and maybe even your desktops.  Though maybe it’s not been the most exciting year.

We’ve had both the new graphics card architectures from AMD and Nvidia, as well as the first flush of Intel’s Arc GPUs, too. There have also been new processor generations from both Intel and AMD as well, with the red team finally launching a whole new socket with its AM5 Zen 4 chips. But somehow they still feel entirely predictable, rather iterative and/or infeasibly expensive, and rather risk-free.

But we have, of course, had the Steam Deck.

Outside of that we’ve had a host of stunning SSDs, great peripherals, new, ultra speedy memory, and a finally OLED gaming monitors. Of course, there have been some kit that hasn’t quite made the grade, however, and for some reason it always seems to have been me dishing out the absolute lowest scores of the year. Am I a bad person?

With scores ranging from 43% all the way up to a heady 98% (for a power supply no less) this has been a fascinating year of PC gaming hardware. December was the worst month for review scores, marking a rather inauspicious end to the year, with an average of just 74%. Though much of that is going to be down to me giving the faux-LEGO gaming keyboard our worst score of the year, dragging everything else down. 

Our best month, by contrast, was April with an average review score of 83%. There were no less than four separate products netting a score above 90% in April, and a lot of high 80s in there, too. February, the month of the Steam Deck, also averaged 83%, but over just 11 reviews. For us, that means April’s score spread over 18 reviews wins.

In total, we’ve reviewed 209 different products over the year, so let’s look back, month-by-month at every single one of them from 2022.

January 2022

Intel Core i5 1240095%

Intel Core i5 12400

Without the unprecedented overclocking potential inside the i5 12400 I’d be heartily recommending this chip forms the basis of your next budget gaming PC build. With it, this processor stands a good chance of becoming the legendary processor of Intel’s Alder Lake generation.


  • Great stock performance
  • Low power
  • Stays cool
  • Holy hell, does it overclock


  • BCLK OC may get patched out
  • Requires a whole new motherboard

February 2022

Steam Deck with Solid Snake85%

Steam Deck

It’s a handheld gaming system first and foremost, and it does that so well it’s almost comical how much cheaper it is than other handheld PCs, which tend to cost around $1,000. It doesn’t even make sense to call them competitors. The Steam Deck is in a class of its own.


  • Great price
  • Incredibly versatile
  • Well built
  • Can change the way you game


  • Bulky
  • Battery life takes work

March 2022

Photograph of the Alienware AW3423DW on a desk.95%

Alienware 34 QD-OLED (AW3423DW)

It’s been an incredibly long time coming. But OLED awesomeness has finally come to the PC. LCD technology still has the edge for latency, but this quantum dot-enhanced OLED screen is incredible when it comes to contrast, HDR performance, and response. Net result? Simply one of, if not the, best gaming monitors ever.


  • Fabulous contrast and colours
  • Stupendous pixel response
  • Genuine HDR capability


  • Not a great all-purpose panel
  • Latency isn’t a strong point
  • No HDMI 2.1

April 2022

Mountain Everest 60 gaming keyboard93%

Mountain Everest 60

Mountain has taken all it’s learnt from its first keyboards and created the best-feeling, most usable 60% gaming keyboard I’ve ever used. It’s solid, reliable, responsive, and offers the best typing experience around. It’s also good-looking and surprisingly expandable with the numpad accessory, alternative switches, and PBT keycaps.


  • Great typing feel
  • Reassuringly robust
  • Responsive
  • Optional modular numpad is great


  • Base Camp software remains a minor weak point
  • Overall package gets expensive

May 2022

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless held up in front of a bush.88%

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset delivers smashing sound quality that sits above many of its peers in the wireless gaming space. With impressive connectivity, fast charging, hot-swappable batteries, and great adjustability, it’s supremely versatile. It comes at a steep price, but I’m ok with that.


  • Smashing bass and audio quality
  • Intuitive and informative new Sonar parametric EQ
  • Comfortable, light, and highly adjustable
  • DAC is an amp and fast charging spare battery dock
  • Noise cancellation for mic and ear cups


  • Can only skip or pause music with headset buttons over Bluetooth
  • Frightfully loud glitch noises when going out of range
  • AI noise cancelling is a bit weak at the moment

June 2022

Ducky One 3 gaming keyboard in the Fuji colourway.88%

Ducky One 3 Fuji

The Ducky One 3 sets a high standard for gaming keyboards. It looks great, feels great, and is built to survive the apocalypse. Plus it comes in cheaper than some premium keyboards today.


  • Beautiful
  • Built to a very high standard
  • Will outlive most PC builds
  • Colour-matched cable
  • PBT keycaps


  • No Play/Pause/Skip keys
  • DIP switches don’t work on mine
  • Look elsewhere for RGB backlighting

July 2022

Corsair AX1600i power supply.98%

Corsair AX1600i

The Corsair AX1600i is the highest performance PSU available on today’s market, even several years after its release. Corsair did well to be the first to adopt GaN MODFETs and the totem-pole APFC converter in a desktop PSU and this gamble paid off. If there were a PSU to get close, it’d be the Be quiet! Dark Power Pro 1500W, but Corsair takes the top spot here.


  • Powerful with top performance in all sections
  • High build quality
  • Silent operation
  • Software control


  • Super expensive
  • Small distance between peripheral connectors

August 2022

Wooting 60HE gaming keyboard pictured with yellow wrist strap attached.91%

Wooting 60HE

The Wooting 60HE is also a success in once again proving a company needn’t be a massive operation to create a practical, fully-featured, and fairly priced product. The Wooting 60HE certainly isn’t cheap at $175(opens in new tab), though it feels a fair price for what you’re getting: a supremely well-rounded gaming keyboard with unmatched flexibility. 


  • Leading analogue features
  • Genuinely beneficial in-game
  • The best application around…
  • …which can even run in your browser
  • Vibrant RGB effects
  • Excellent quality
  • Highly customisable
  • Spare switches included


  • No adjustable feet
  • 60% size isn’t for everyone
  • PBT keycaps currently US only
  • F1 games don’t play nice with analogue functions

September 2022

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X CPU83%

AMD Ryzen 7 7700X

Zen 4’s least interesting chip might just surprise you.


  • Outperforms the 5800X3D in gaming
  • Hits 5.15GHz under full all-core loads
  • Eco Mode is ace


  • Struggles against Intel’s latest

October 2022

Nvidia RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics card83%

Nvidia RTX 4090 Founders Edition

In itself, however, the RTX 4090 is an excellent graphics card and will satisfy the performance cravings of every person who could ever countenance spending $1,600 on a new GPU. That’s whether they’re inconceivably well-heeled gamers, or content creators not willing to go all-in on a Quadro card. And it will deservedly sell, because there’s no other GPU that can come near it right now.


  • Excellent gen-on-gen performance
  • DLSS Frame Generation is magic
  • Super-high clock speeds


  • Massive
  • Ultra-enthusiast pricing
  • Non-4K performance is constrained
  • High power demands

November 2022

NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit three quarter shot on red.92%

NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit

The NZXT Streaming Plus BLD Kit is easy to recommend, and a great option for anyone looking to buy a gaming PC right now. Sure, you’re going to have to spend some time piecing it together, but you’ll do so knowing that all the components are guaranteed to work well together and you’ll potentially get a better understanding of your PC in the process.


  • Good components for the money
  • Genuinely fun to put together
  • Clear building guide…


  • Some parts of the guide are generic
  • And it takes time

December 2022

AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX photographed with box on a white background.81%


If the $999 price tag on the RX 7900 XTX can meaningfully stick around for a while, and by that I mean you have to be able to buy this card for that price tag or similar, the RX 7900 XTX will exist as a great 4K graphics card for an ultra high-end PC build in 2023. Yes, there are better, and the RTX 4090 is now undeniably the top dog for gaming, but It’s all about weighing up what you really need and what you can afford—i.e. probably not an RTX 4090. 


  • Much faster than an RX 6950 XT at 4K
  • Less power hungry too
  • $999 price tag
  • Much improved ray tracing capabilities
  • Frickin’ chiplets!


  • Not a consistent RTX 4080 competitor
  • Runs real hot
  • Consumes a lot of power
  • Low average clock speed

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