John Weland | December 30, 2020



Best of 2020: John’s favorite things

Here we are at the end of another year. This year was a bit rough on all of us, with COVID-19 and the political landscape on fire. But we still managed to find some things that we liked. Staff writer John Weland gave us a few of his favorite things from 2020. These only include items he has either reviewed or at least been hands on with during the year; not things that were just best on paper. ~Raven Knighte, Ed.

Best Pick for 2020 – Case

This year, my “best-of-2020” favorite case to review is/was the BeQuiet Pure Base 500DX. It is exceptionally quiet, has great air flow and looks amazing. All in a sub $100 package.

Pure Base 500DX lighting

Best Pick for 2020 – Power Supply

BeQuiet takes it again, this time with their Straight Power 11. I was hands on with the Pure Power and the Straight Power 11 series, and both were absolutely amazing. But the Straight Power takes the prize with its super quiet operation, super clean power output, and its 80+ Platinum certification. Although, for an entry level build, the Pure Power does meet all of the same standards with 80+ Gold certification.

Best pick for 2020 – GPU

In this category, I find that both the Radeon 5600XT and the 5700XT offerings by Sapphire provide awesome performance over their predecessors. If you’re on a budget and want great 1080p gaming, the Sapphire Pulse 5600XT is your go-to. If you have the extra money and want to prolong your GPU life span at 1080p, or venture in to 1440p, the Sapphire Nitro+ 5700XT has your back.

That being said; AMD did just launch the 6800, 6800XT and 6900XT – which, if you can find them, look to be absolute performance beasts. I didn’t get hands on with them, though, so I’ll hold off on making them a suggested GPU.

I would have also liked to have been able to test some NVIDIA offerings to make my evaluations more fair and give you all the best bang for the buck.

2021 Hopes

There were some new products launched during this year. AMD with their newest 5000 series Ryzen CPUs and 6000 series Radeon GPUs; NVIDIA with their RTX 3000 series GPUs; and the new and existing consoles and their respective libraries. I hope that in 2021 we will continue to see more innovation.

We are dealing with a host of bots and scalpers while we all try to cope with a global pandemic. 2020 has been a rough year for availability. I hope that the availability of these (and future) items will improve.

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