And the not so good hardware....
Typically we avoid sourcing hardware we know will score poorly in for review; you hopefully don't need us to tell you that a no-name generic case will be duff for example. Sometimes though manufacturers cut corners, mis-understand the market, or are just plain greedy when it comes to pricing. For whatever the reason, here's a select of hardware that didn't do so well this year.
Nvidia GeForce GTX 465
A heavily cut down version of Nvidia's first generation GF100 cards, the GTX 465 1GB had the high power consumption of the larger cards, with much less performance than the competing Radeon HD 5850 1GB. While at review we gave it a somewhat reasonable 6/10, it was made entirely obsolete just one month later by the release of the excellent GTX 460 1GB
. Swiftly consigned to the bin by Nvidia, in a year that's seen GeForce cards both good and bad, the GTX 465 1GB is the villain of the bunch.
Click to enlarge - the GTX 465 was redundant within a month of its release - rubbish
Intel Core i7-970
With a highly positive result from the Intel Core i7 980X
we had high hopes for its cut price, 6-core sibling. Sadly an £85 price cut still meant the i7-970 went on sale for a whopping £820, remaining out of all but the most affluent enthusiasts reach. The reduced price didn't mean better value though, as the i7-970 sacrificed much of the 980X's awesome overclocking performance. Given that overclocking is such an important consideration for CPUs, especially such highly priced models, this made the i7-970 larely pointless. A rare mis-fire from Intel in a year in which its dominated the CPU market.
Click to enlarge - the Core i7-970 was only marginally cheaper than the i7 980X Extreme Edition, but didn't overclock nearly as well - rubbish
Danamics LMX Superleggera
A CPU cooler that costs £99 should be enough to set alarm bells ringing, but we were hopeful that the Danamics LMX Superleggera, with it's unique liquid metal cooling system, might prove to be the next step in CPU cooling. It wasn't. Performance was around that of high performance air coolers, which don't require a cooler that weighs 1.2kg or integrated iron core shielding to protect your system from the electro magnetic radiation of its liquid metal pump. While the technology does admittedly work, the Superleggera didn't.
Click to enlarge - The Danamics LMX provided cooling as good as a decent heatsink, at three times the price and twice the weight - rubbish
What have been your hardware hits and misses of 2010? Let us know in the forums!