HotHardware's Best Of 2009 Awards - HotHardware

HotHardware's Best Of 2009 Awards

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It just might be the most baffling component to purchase when assembling a new desktop. The models numbers are weird and confusing, there's a plethora of options and form factors to consider. Yes, we're talking about the motherboard. Thankfully for you, we've got our favorite trio from 2009 below.


Asus P7P55D Deluxe
 

We couldn't recommend Intel's newest Core i7 and Core i5 processors without a proper motherboard to support them, and that's why the Asus P7P55D Deluxe is here. Chock full of features including intelligent performance enhancements, ATI and NVIDIA multi-GPU support, and an overclocker friendly BIOS, this $216 board offers serious bang for the buck if you're already committed to building a high-end (and potentially expensive) rig.



EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified

EVGA has earned a solid reputation in the gamer mobo market as of late, and the EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified is as solid as they come. Offering support for Core i7 CPUs, room for 24GB of RAM, more than a few PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, numerous SATA ports and a wicked look. You'll pay a chart-topping $425 to get this in your rig, but you'll be computing with the best of the best.



MSI 790FX-GD70
 
For the AMD crown we have the MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3, a mobo designed to suit AM3-compatible Phenom II chips that made waves earlier in the year. This one supports CrossFireX, HyperTransport 3.0 (handling speed up to 5200MT/s), room for 16GB of RAM, four PCIe 2.0 x16 slots and plenty of other connectivity portals. It will also keep your wallet happy at around $175.


The case. The chassis. The enclosure. It goes by many names, but almost always it gets taken for granted. When it comes to system building, however, real DIYers know just how important the right one is, so here are our top three from the past year.


Cooler Master ATCS 840

We found many things to like about the towering (yet classy) CoolerMaster ATCS 840 when we first spent some time with it. For just under $200, it's actually one of the cheaper all-aluminum, premium options when looking for a full-size case that can handle a few years of expansion, and there's even a choice now between black and silver.



Thermaltake Level 10

You knew there was no way we would pass over the Thermaltake Level 10 on this list, and while it failed to grab our top spot (there's little "value" to be found here), it's easily the case to get if money is no object and extreme design is your primary objective. This is probably the wildest, sexiest case we've ever seen, and if you have just under $1000 you don't mind parting with, it can be yours.


NZXT Panzernbox
 
We couldn't round out this list without including over favorite mid-tower of the year. The NZXT Panzerbox offers excellent air-flow, and the all-black, pure aluminum design is bound to suit just about anyone. There's room for four HDDs, a trio of optical drives and plenty of expansion cards, and at around $120, it won't break the bank.

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With a dual-core Atom 330 processor and Nvidia Ion graphics, I would like to nominate the Asus Eee PC 1201N as the best netbook of 2009. I'll take mine in silver!


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Agreed on the Asus Eee PC 1201N! Can we call 2009 the year of the netbooks? Even Costco has started selling them!

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The UL products just keep getting better and better as well as cheaper and cheaper and of course more capable as well. I was thinking about getting my daughter a netbook, but in many ways don't see much point as I could get a UL for a hundred or so more thats way more capable.

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Depending on her age, a Nvidia ION capable netbook would work well. The GPU would be good enough for most basic games (you can even play Torchlight on it). It would also be small enough for her to carry around, and you should be able to find a sturdy model that will last her a couple of years.

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Yeah I know gibbersome one of the things today is there are so many capable choices for so many different avenues. 1 of them may be better than the other but by only a few points which your not even going to notice in real time anyway.

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Wow it was quit a year was it not!

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I'd say the Thermaltake Element S at least deserves an Honorable mention! :-P Or was that 2008? Eitherway, I love that case :-D

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If you like the looks of the pricey Dell Adamo that's given honorable mention in the article, take a look at the Dell Vostro V13 with prices starting at only $449.


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Man and it comes with Ubuntu installed. Hmm. Tempting to get that for Jen. She has gotten used to using Ubuntu Netbook remix on my netbook. She actually finds it easier than booting into Win 7 on the small screen. I installed wubi and Kubuntu on her desktop, but she never uses it. She is a gamer though. Anyway off to actually read the article.

Edit: Just read the article. Nice read. The Corsair H50 is the first watercooling setup that I feel comfortable recommending As far as price/performance goes.

Also the Nvidia 3D Vision glasses are looking more awesome by the minute. I have been playing with the 3D Vision Discover as of late. Using the old blue/red style glasses that you can get anywhere. It works with any 8000 or up Nvidia card. I think ATI has something similar. The only games I have messed with are Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead. TF2 looks good, but you can't tell teams(blue and red lol) L4D looks awesome. If I had a 120hz monitor I could almost justify the $200 glasses. Still tempting though come tax time.

Also thanks for helping me with getting the 3D working Marco. It seems to be a Windows 7 issue. I booted into Vista and it works fine. I am still running the 7 RC though so idk.

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Nice find super dave! That dell is sexy!

I'd pimp one fo' sho!

And about the keyboard.... holy crap that thing is expensive... Just reading about it, i'm not sold lol Perhaps I just need to type on it.

I think this cheap rubber plunger dell keyboard gives enough feedback. But if you guys say the mechanical ones are better!! Do you guys know anywhere i'd be able to get a hands on experience with one?

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