MemoryMemory of the Year: Corsair Dominator Crazy Eight
OCZ FlexXLC 9200
This year has been a rather quiet year for memory, with prices moving here and there and some faster specced DDR2 stuff hitting the shelves. Innovation has been hard to come by.
Kudos to OCZ, then, for trying something different with its watercooled modules. Whilst they're going to be expensive and they're not even on the shelves yet, they're one of the coolest things we saw all year - memory heatsinks with WC barbs built right on. Nice.
However, the obvious choice for memory of the year was Corsair's Dominator memory - specifically the TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF. With an extruded heatsink design and a fan on top for ultimate cooling - with some real engineering in the thermal design - they also came at insane 'crazy eight' timings, making for the fastest modules currently available on the planet.
So fast, in fact, just looking at them will burn a hole in your wallet. However, if you've got the dough and the superfast system to stick them in, you won't find faster. Cracking.
Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF
ProcessorProcessor of the Year: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600
Core 2 Quad QX6700, Athlon X2 5000+ 65nm
This has been an exceptional year for processor architecture, with Intel's Core 2 Duo proving to be a pretty exceptional chip. It combined thermal awesomeness with a more efficient architecture for top notch performance. The E6600 was the best of the bunch, with plenty of headroom to overclock it beyond the speeds of the top-end X6800 chip, with a much nicer price tag. It's a worthy winner of our Processor of the Year Title.
We have one notable mention from each company camp. The Quad core QX6700 is in here for being the first quad-core processor on the market for enthusiasts, and for those 'mega-taskers' it will be a pretty massive performance boost - although perhaps not for those who just want to play games.
The Athlon X2 5000+ is amongst the first AMD processors to be built on a 65nm process. This is a big step for AMD, which is trying to catch up with Intel's process technology. The 65nm 5ks are not only fast, but stupendously low power too, making for some interesting thermal and overclocking properties. Kudos to AMD for making the leap to the next stage of manufacturing.
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600