2020 is (thankfully) almost over, and that means that it is time to look back at the year and find the things that had a positive impact on the tech industry. While there has been no end of negativity, from product scalpers to toxic streaming, there have been some extremely bright spots.
The best CPU of the year is the AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. While the entire 5000 series of processors have been great, the 5600X sets itself out. It's just the right combination of cores and power at an attractive price point. Most importantly, its performance beats Intel's more expensive processors at common tasks, including gaming at 2K resolution. On the GPU side of things is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080. While there were a lot of new video cards that came to market, the RTX 3080 represented a massive single generation performance improvement. The processor also released at a price that couldn't be beaten, as was evidenced by the immediate sellout of inventory.
No good video card is worth anything if it isn't paired with a monitor that can support it. The Asus ROG Swift PG259QN is the gaming monitor to take advantage of those powerful cards. It offers 360 Hz refresh rate, allowing for major FPS for professional and aspiring gamers. Even if your system isn't capable of that kind of framerate, you'll still benefit from the best motion resolution Tom's Hardware's team has ever seen. But, if resolution is more important than framerate, the Asus ROG Swift PG43UQ offers the best 4K gaming performance on a giant screen. For storage, the Samsung 980 Pro is your best bet - if you're running a modern AMD system. This chip can reach 7 GBps read/write in a small M.2 package.
For the entire list of Best of 2020, head on over to Tom's Hardware.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.