The past year has been full of up and downs like every year. Here at LanOC we have been chugging away like always. In the past year we hosted two awesome LAN parties, revamped the entire website, and survived two big launches from Intel, a launch from AMD on the CPU side, and big launches from both AMD and Nvidia on the video card side. Last year when I did my recap we had published 116 reviews for the year. For 2013 we bumped it up to an impressive 158 reviews thanks to a helpful staff and great companies. To start the New Year, I wanted to revisit the products that I gave my personal seal of approval on with the Editor’s Choice award to see if they are still my personal picks.
Poetic Atmosphere Nexus 4
My Nexus 4 is still in perfect condition, that alone is reason enough to still love this case. Even after a full year I would still pick the Atmosphere as the best case of all of the Nexus 4 cases we tested. I know when I go to get my next phone; it will be on a short list of cases I will be interested in (assuming they make it for my next phone)
Steelseries Flux In Ear Pro Headset
Ironically, after months of no use through the middle of this year the Flux In Ear Pro’s got use again with the Shield and even more recently my new laptop. I was reminded quickly as to why I loved them in the first place. Of all of the headsets we tested this year, this is still the only set that ended up with an Editor’s Choice award and it is still well deserved!
Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard
Logitech’s first mechanical keyboard, the G710+ is still in use today here in the office on the Lunchbox 3. I don’t pack it up for LANs due to its size, but it gets a lot of use day to day. I have heard of a few of our readers picking up G710+s and ending up with issues with the backlighting. Although I haven’t had any issues and still love the keyboard, I would keep that in mind if you are on the market for one.
Asus Maximus V Formula
Our last Z77 motherboard sure did cap things off for the platform. The Formula is still a very impressive motherboard with its built in water cooling. I have a feeling that even if we look back years from now it will be one of the few boards that we remember specifically, much like the SR-2 and SR-X motherboards for their uniqueness. If for some reason your Z77 motherboard dies and you are looking for an upgrade I would still recommend it but obvious with newer CPUs available now it wouldn’t be on my must have list with a new build today.
Nvidia GTX 780
There is always something exciting about a new video card launch, especially when it starts a whole new series like the GTX 780 did. It really doesn’t seem like it was long ago when I took a look at the GTX 780 and its impressive all metal design. With the price dropping between now and the launch it is a card I would still be looking at. In fact, after swapping to Nvidia in my personal rig with the GTX 780 Ti I have been considering swapping the Ti out for two of the GTX 780’s for a little extra power.
Nvidia GTX 770
The truth is the GTX 770 is a lot of the same as the GTX 780. But I was so happy with its price point at the time as well as its build quality that it ended up with an Editor’s Choice award. The build quality and performance hasn’t dropped, but the price has, so the GTX 770 is still a card I would highly recommend. In fact one of our writers just picked one up!
Intel i7-4770 Haswell
Intel launched Haswell this year as their latest consumer focused CPU to mixed reviews. Specifically a lot of people who have upgraded in the past few years didn’t see a reason to run out and rebuild, but those who were planning to upgrade were very happy with its performance. No matter how you feel about it, the i7-4770K was and still is the fastest CPU you can pick up when you look at it’s per core performance. Because of that it still deserves its spot on this list, at least until next year’s model comes out!
Asus Z87 Pro
Asus changed things up in 2013 with the introduction of their gold motherboards. A lot of people haven’t been a big fan of the colors, but there have been a few awesome case mods popping up taking advantage of the gold styling as well. With the Z87 Pro, I was impressed by all of the features they packed in at a good price point. This is the board I would be looking at simply for its features, but obviously for styling it would depend on if I could work it into my theme.