Past Winners that are still in use
Winning the award this year is great, but managing to stick around for years after that when new products are always coming out is even more impressive. So here I am looking back through past winners to see what is still around.
Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
Wow, we made it completely through 2019 and with all of the GPU launches still nothing knocked the 2080 Ti off of its perch. I still use this all of the time in my main system and it is still a monster.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
Good audio quality, a solid microphone, and most importantly for me swappable batteries. I always forget to charge my headset so having a fully charged battery always ready is really the only way to go for me and the Arctis Pro Wireless, while expensive, is still the only option that provides that!
Logitech PowerPlay Wireless Charging
The PowerPlay wasn’t perfect when it launched. It was a little oddly shaped for my desk and was thick causing the hard mouse pad to cut into my wrist. But even with all of that I still use it daily. I just love not having to worry about changing my G Pro Wireless and this is the only way to make that happen.
There still aren’t a lot of other options similar to the Protect right now that could integrate with our smart home products. So even though I’m not happy with Google changing Nest and dropping a lot of their integrations I was still considering picking up another protect for our basement even.
Asus Strix GTX 1080 11Gbps
So the first three products here are all for the same project build. They all went in our Iris build. Which reminds me, I need to do an update. The GTX 1080 11Gbps and really any of the 1080 or 1080 Ti cards have all aged extremely well. Because of the mining craze, these cards had a longer lift in general, but even now that the RTX cards have been launched the GTX 1080, especially this card from Asus is well sought after and for good reason. Performance is still amazing and this card has a clean look and great cooling where some of the cards like from MSI stuck with their bright red trim.
Asus Strix Z270i Gaming
Now the Z270 platform as a whole didn’t age as well. It was replaced quickly by Z370 and that was replaced quickly by Z390 but really those new boards haven’t really changed much from Z270, just the chipset itself and a few small aesthetic changes to make it look like a new board. So the Iris build with its 7700K may look out of date with it being three generations old. But this is still a solid platform.
Thermaltake Core P1
The foundation of our Iris build was all around the Core P1. I spotted it when Thermaltake introduced it and hounded them to work with them on it. It was the perfect case for our Iris build because the goal was to show off crazy colors with its water cooling loop and RGB lighting and it did just that and is still running strong. I have to clean the dust out of it from time to time, but with the open design that is easy as well.
Autonomous DIY SmartDesk Business Edition
Sit or stand, if I had to only pick one I would never go with a standing desk. But being able to switch between both has been great for me. Especially with a job that has me sitting far too long every day. The Autonomous DIY SmartDesk Business Edition has been running rock solid for almost two years now and even handled our move well. In fact, I was able to compact it down to a smaller size for the move so it would take up less room in the truck. It isn’t really any different than the multitude of sit-stand powered desks on the market with the exception of its weight capacity. Because of that, it has done well while lifting up my four 24 inch monitor setup and solid wood desktop. Not to mention handling me leaning on it when it is in stand mode.
Vortex Pok3r RGB
I have a thing for tiny keyboards on everything except my main PC where I need a full number pad. The Pok3r is my favorite of all of them. You get RGB lighting, a compact footprint, and it doesn’t require any software. The build quality is also top notch. I have different Poker models with both my wife and I’s LAN rigs and then I use the Pok3r RGB with our test benches to save space on my desk. I really thought Cooler Master was going to replace the Pok3r in our LAN bags this year with their new 60% boards but I just don’t like the flat chicklet style keycaps that they went with.
Sound Blaster X7
Out of everything from 2015 things have thinned out a lot and the Sound Blaster X7 is the only thing left. I don’t see this one going anywhere anytime soon unless Sound Blaster brings out an updated version. There just isn’t anything that can compare for PC audio without completely getting into home audio equipment. The X7 is a great DAC, has a powerful AMP inside, and offers a few on desk connection options for headphones. Combine it with a good set of bookshelf speakers and a powered sub and you are set.
The D-Frame Mini which I have been using hasn’t gotten any use this year with the new SFF cases like the Sentry 2.0 replacing it means there isn’t anything left from the 2014 year.
2013 and 2012
Both lost their last winners last year