Category Sponsors

THE WINNERS

In a mighty triumph of democratised consumer electronics, you, the people, have spoken. Your excellent opinions, vast experience of using things and liking them – or not – has come together for the very first (of many!) annual Australian PC Awards.

For your time, we thank you.

For your opinions, we respect you. And, so does the PC industry, which, each year, makes new and improved gear, innovating all the way, to win your hearts and dollars. They listen to you, and via these awards, will take enormous pride in their wins.

Thank you too, to the many sponsors that helped us get this off the ground, and to the many people behind the scenes at Nextmedia that worked hard to pull this together.

There was a huge turnout for the voting, with many thousands of people having a say. It was quite humbling for us to see how you embraced this.

The ultimate goal, of course is to reward those that make great gear with an acknowledgement of a job well done. This extends throughout all levels of the product chain, from the engineers and R&D people that create products, the people that actually build the gear, the channel and resellers that bring the gear to you, and the support staff that make sure all is as you expect.

And now, to the winners!

Gold Award Best Company

There are many tech developers and companies all vying for your attention and money, but which one went that extra mile to become the best of the best?

Presented by The Australian Computer Society

Best company

Finalists

Motherboards

The foundation of any PC build, motherboards serve as the backbone of the machine, connecting all the components and allowing them to pull together to get the performance you want.

Best motherboard company

  • Asus

    Asus is a vast technology company with a huge range of motherboards. The range includes products in every category and form factor, including the high-end gaming ROG series.

    asus.com

Finalists

  • Asrock

    Launched in 2002, ASRock is famous for quality products at affordable price. Its motherboards deliver great features and the brand is popular in Australia.

    asrock.com

Best premium motherboard

  • Asus ROG Strix X299-E Gaming

    A full set of features for Intel’s X-series CPUs, including high-end audio components, M.2 heatsink cooling and Aura Sync RGB lighting.

    asus.com

Finalists

  • ASRock X370 Taichi

    The Taichi family continues to impress thanks to its combination of great value and features. Heaps of expandability plus Wi-Fi make this an excellent choice for not too many dollars.

    asrock.com

Video Cards

AMD vs. Nvidia – it’s a fight that has been going on for over many years, with the balance of power shifting from hardware generation to generation. Which will win this year?

Best GPU company

  • Nvidia

    Team Green has been delivering GPUs to Aussies for decades. Its original Geforce 256 revolutionised the scene and ever since then Nvidia GPUs have been making games incredible. nvidia.com

Finalists

Best OEM budget card

  • Gigabyte Aorus GeForce GTX 1060 6G 9Gbps

    This Aorus GTX 1060 refresh with its beefy cooler may seem like overkill, but at least you know it will be essentially silent no matter how hard you push it. gigabyte.com

Finalists

  • AMD RX 560

    If you are taking a step up from integrated graphics, then the RX 560 is where you should look. It’s the most affordable way to get playable 1080p graphics without breaking the bank. amd.com
  • MSI Radeon RX 570 Armor OC 4GB

    MSI’s Armor designs are a great improvement over the reference cards without much of a price premium. This is a good value solid choice for 1080p gaming. msi.com

Best OEM performance card

  • Asus ROG-Strix-GTX1080TI-O11G-Gaming

    The Asus Strix GTX 1080 Ti features an amazingly quiet cooler and some unique features that make it a truly competitive card that won’t disappoint. asus.com

Finalists

  • Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Windforce 8GB

    The GTX 1070 Ti is a welcome upgrade over the already excellent 1070. Gigabyte’s custom treatment means this 1070 Ti performs closer to a 1080 than a 1070. gigabyte.com.au
  • Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 56 8GB NITRO+ Limited Edition

    If you ignore miner induced price inflation, this card offers some good performance and features, particularly Freesync if you have a suitable monitor. sapphiretech.com

CPU

AMD or Intel? Team blue or team red? The answer to that question could come down to whether you want power or value for money, more cores or a faster clock speed?

Presented by Samsung

Best CPU company

  • Intel

    The current market leader, Intel is a global superpower in the world of technology. Its CPUs are used in more PCs than any other and its range spans low-power budget products through to high performance parts. intel.com

Finalists

Best value CPU

  • Intel Core i5-8400

    The i5-8400 is a 6-core design with a turbo boost up to 4.0GHz. This makes it a very compelling budget gaming CPU option. ark.intel.com

Finalists

  • Intel Core i3-8100

    The quad core i3-8100 is amazing value, essentially replacing the previous generation i5 models and halving the price at the same time. That’s got to be commended. ark.intel.com

Best performance CPU

  • Intel Core i9-7960X

    Many users probably don’t need a 7960X, but they surely do want one. 16 cores eats through content creation applications with ease, while it’s competent with lightly threaded loads too. intel.com.au

Finalists

  • AMD Ryzen 7 1700X

    AMD came roaring back with Ryzen. The 1700X boasts 8 cores and is perfect for content creators and multitasking. It’s no slouch in single threaded workloads either. amd.com

STORAGE

With each year that passes, SSDs get faster and faster and HDDs get more and more storage capacity. So who does storage best?

Presented by MSI

Best HDD

  • Western Digital Black

    The Black series from Western Digital has long enjoyed a great reputation for internal hard drives. If you move a lot of large files this is a great choice. wdc.com

Finalists

  • Hitachi HGST Ultrastar

    Hitachi Ultrastar drives are expensive, but they have very good reliability and an enterprise grade design. Backed by a five year warranty. hgst.com
  • Western Digital Red

    The WD Red NAS optimized drives should be on everyone’s shortlist when considering drives for use in a NAS environment. wdc.com

Best SATA SSD

  • Intel 545S Series SSD

    The Intel 545s series are among the fastest SSD’s available, even giving its sibling NVMe 600p series a run for its money. Yet another reliable Intel SSD. ark.intel.com

Finalists

  • Western Digital Blue 3D NAND

    The WD Blue SSDs are competitive mid-range products with good performance and value. Sometimes they pop up on sale making them a real steal. wdc.com

Best NVME SSD

  • Samsung 960 Pro

    Since its launch, very few consumer NVMe SSDs have come close to matching the performance of Samsung’s 960 Pro. A great SSD for gamers and professionals. samsung.com

Finalists

  • Intel 600P

    The 600P can’t match the performance of higher priced NVMe drives, but it does offer better-than-SATA read performance and has no competition value wise. intel.com
  • Intel Optane Memory 32GB M.2

    Not everyone can afford terabytes of SSD space. With the right system configuration, this little Optane drive can make a real performance difference. intel.com.au

NAS

Network storage is invaluable in small businesses or home offices, but more and more people are finding how useful a NAS can be in everyday life, whether it be for work efficiency or as a streaming media box.

Best home NAS

  • Synology DS218 Play

    Strong performing unit with excellent 4K UHD video transcoding support when using Synology's media centre and smartphone software make it an ideal all-round NAS. synology.com

Finalists

  • QNAP TS-231P

    Designed for home and SOHO storage and remote file access, this NAS also does well as a media server and sits at the cheaper end of the market. qnap.com

Best SOHO NAS

  • Synology DS918+

    Designed for small and medium-sized businesses and IT enthusiasts. With a powerful built-in AES-NI hardware encryption engine, DS918+ provides exceptional encrypted file transmission. synology.com

Finalists

  • QNAP TS-677

    Perfect for anyone wanting high server app performance provided by the 6-core AMD Ryzen CPU and support for up to 64GB of RAM. qnap.com

SYSTEMS

There’s nothing quite like building your own PC, but sometimes it’s more efficient and cost effective to buy a full system, and building your own laptop is only a pleasant dream.

Best laptop/convertible

  • Microsoft Surface Pro (2017)

    The form factor that inspired a legion of clones, Microsoft’s hardware is slick, polished and mature and is available with a wide range of configuration options. microsoft.com

Finalists

  • Acer Spin 5

    This value convertible features good audio and media playback. Its metal cover helps it go on the road and it comes in a choice of three configurations. acer.com
  • Asus VivoBook S15 S510

    The VivoBook Slim S15 offers a perfect combination of beauty & performance. Equipped with slim NanoEdge bezel, brushed-metal finish, Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB RAM and GeForce GT 940MX graphics. asus.com
  • Fujitsu Lifebook U937

    This return to form for Fujitsu manages to be super light but manages to provide a long battery life and sturdy chassis full of ports. fujitsu.com
  • HP Spectre 13 (2017)

    Laptops don't get much thinner than HP's 13in ultraportable and the 2017 update makes a great product even better thanks to the new i5-8250 CPU. hp.com
  • HP Spectre X360 Laptop

    Built for style as much as performance, the Spectre x360 is made from a single block of aluminium and features stylus support when in tablet mode, and has unusually good battery life. hp.com
  • Microsoft Surface Laptop

    Microsoft’s first Surface Laptop is a classy looker with very impressive engineering and build quality, and offers a choice of Windows 10 or 10 S.> microsoft.com
  • Venom BlackBook Zero 14

    Purposely built to be productive, perfectly balanced features, designed to impress and built to work from your first coffee until you turn the lights out and go beyond. shopvenom.com

Best gaming laptop

  • Razer Blade

    This 14in gaming laptop features a 6GB GTX 1060 GPU, core i7-7700 CPU and either a 1080p or 4k screen but still weighs less than 2kg. razerzone.com

Finalists

  • Acer Predator Helios 300

    Available in both 15.6” and 17.3” form factors, the Acer Predator Helios contains a GTX 1060, i7-7700HQ processor and 16Gb RAM. acer.com
  • Acer Predator Triton 700

    At 18.9mm thick and weighing 2.4kg, the Triton 700 is powerful and portable, with a GTX 1080, 120Hz, 1080p G-Sync IPS screen and mechanical keyboard. acer.com
  • HP Omen X Laptop

    HP check all the boxes, with a mechanical keyboard, 1080p 120Hz or 4k screen powered by a factory-overclocked GTX 1080 GPU and efficient cooling for overclocking. hp.com
  • MSI GT75VR 7RE-018AU

    With a 17.3” 1080p, 120Hz, G-Sync screen, a GTX 1070 and a Steelseries mechanical keyboard, the GT75VR 7RE-018AU is a serious gaming laptop msi.com
  • Venom BlackBook 15

    Suitable for the gamer and the professional, the Blackbook sports a mechanical keyboard, GTX 1060 and a touch aluminium shell. Designed and built in Australia. shopvenom.com

Best desktop PC builder

  • PC Case Gear

    Established in 2000 and based in Victoria, PC Case Gear delivers full systems as well as components country wide. pccasegear.com

Finalists

  • Aus PC Market

    Delivering from a warehouse facility in Auburn, NSW, Aus PC Market has been delivering systems and components nationwide since 1998. auspcmarket.com.au
  • Scorptec

    With three locations in Victoria and one in New South Wales, Scorptec caters to enthusiasts as well as small business. Delivers nationwide. scorptec.com.au
  • TI Computers

    Based in Crows Nest, Sydney, TI (Trinity International) Computers ships PCs, Laptops and components across Australia. ticomputers.com.au
  • Umart

    Umart has nine physical stores, with five in QLD and four in NSW as well as an online store selling electronics in addition to PCs. umart.com.au

Best OEM desktop PC

  • Asus ROG G20CI

    A tiny machine with big specs and mean gaming aesthetic that will satisfy the high framerate needs of any space compromised gamer. asus.com

Finalists

  • Apple iMac Pro

    Apple's attempt to satisfy disgruntled pro users has resulted in this beastly all-in-one computer with workstation class parts and a price tag to match. apple.com.au
  • Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming

    All-new gaming desktop featuring powerful AMD Ryzen processors, graphics ready for VR, LED lighting and a meticulous design for optimal cooling. dell.com
  • HP Envy Curved All-in-One

    Behind the immense 34in 3440 x 1440 screen lies a powerful PC with an i7-7700T CPU and Radeon RX 460 graphics and rich multimedia and gaming capabilities. hp.com
  • MSI Vortex G25 8RE

    At just 2.5KG and the size of a large laptop, this gaming desktop can easily be taken anywhere you want to go. Featuring tool-less disassembly it comes with high end gaming components. msi.com
  • Venom BlackBox

    This compact yet fully featured PC is designed for home, the office or enterprise and can be configured to meet the needs of all kinds of users. venomcomputers.com.au

Game

Thousands of games were released for PC in 2017 and we covered as many as humanly possible, but it’s up to you to tell us which game of 2017 was the absolute best.

Presented by Corsair

Best PC Game

Finalists

Components & Peripherals

It’s all well and good to have a great CPU, mobo, GPO and fast storage, but without the other components and some great peripherals your PC is pretty much naked.

Presented by PLE

Best memory company

  • Corsair

    Corsair produces a number of DDR3 and DDR4 memory kits, including the Vengeance and Dominator ranges corsair.com

Finalists

  • Adata XPG

    Under the XPG brand, Adata manufactures multiple DDR3 and DDR4 modules including the Spectrix, Gammix and Dazzle lines adata.com
  • Crucial Ballistix

    Crucial produces three ranges of gaming memory in the Ballistix range; the Elite, Tactical and Sport, and are one of the few that makes its own memory chips. crucial.com
  • Geil

    Geil manufactures DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4 memory kits such as the Super Luce, Evo and Dragon product lines. geil.com.tw
  • Team T-Force

    Under its T-Force brand, Team Group manufactures a number of high-end DDR4 memory kits for gaming, including the Delta RGB, Night Hawk RGB and Dark kits. teamgroupinc.com

Best cooling product

  • Corsair H100i v2

    The Hydro Series H100i v2 is an extreme performance, all-in-one liquid 240 mm CPU cooler. Dual SP120L PWM fans provide excellent heat dissipation. corsair.com

Finalists

  • Cooler Master MasterAir MA610P

    If you prefer air cooling and want to add a bit of bling to your system, the Cooler Master MA610P is definitely worth considering. coolermaster.com
  • Corsair LL120 RGB 120mm

    Made for those seeking excellent airflow, quiet operation, and powerful lighting, the CORSAIR LL120 RGB fan puts your PC back in the loop. corsair.com
  • Deepcool Gammaxx GT

    This affordable air cooler is cheaper than AiO systems. It is affordable and compact whilst still being effective. It looks great too. deepcool.com
  • Thermaltake Floe Riing RGB AIO Cooler

    The Floe Riing RGB TT Premium Edition is the world’s first 16.8 million colors liquid CPU cooler with 140mm Riing Plus RGB fans and a LED waterblock. Available in 240, 280 and 360mm models. thermaltake.com.au

Best monitor

  • Asus ROG Swift PG27VQ

    This 27”, 1440p, 1800R curved monitor boasts serious speed with a 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and G-Sync to ensure there is no stuttering or tearing. The monitor also features Asus’ Aura Sync technology. asus.com

Finalists

  • AOC Agon AG251FZ

    With a 240Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, the AG251FZ also supports AMD FreeSync technology to eliminate tearing, stuttering and input lag. aoc.com
  • Omen by HP – 27” Display

    The flagship Omen 27” monitor is built for speed, with a 165Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time and G-Sync to minimise tearing on the 1440p screen. hp.com
  • LG 43" 43UD79 UHD 4K

    A huge monitor with loads of pixels that doesn't cost a fortune and is easy on the eye, an excellent productivity booster. lg.com
  • Samsung CFG70 24”

    This 24”, 1800R curved full HD monitor features Quantum Dot technology for greater colour range, a 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. samsung.com
  • Samsung CHG70 27”

    It’s like its sister model the CFG70, but with WQHD, HDR, Quantum dot, 1800R curve, 144Hz, 1ms response, dual hinge stand and Freesync. samsung.com

Best keyboard

  • Corsair K95 RGB Platinum

    Featuring either Cherry MX Speed or MX Brown switches, this full sized keyboard boasts six dedicated macro keys, six dedicated multimedia keys, a detachable wrist rest and per-key RGB lighting and an aluminium frame. corsair.com

Finalists

  • Cooler Master MasterKeys Pro L RGB

    Featuring Cherry MX Red, Blue or Brown mechanical switches, bright, easily programmable RGB lighting and a simple, solid chassis, the MasterKeys Pro L RGB is very reasonably priced. coolermaster.com
  • HyperX Alloy Elite

    Built on a solid steel frame, the Alloy Elite keyboard features Cherry MX mechanical switches, dedicated media and lighting buttons, a large removable wrist rest and red backlighting. hyperxgaming.com
  • Steelseries Apex M750

    The short travel proprietary QX2 switches in the Apex M750 are designed for fast and reactive play. The switches, combines with bright RGB lighting and aluminium construction make the M750 an appealing keyboard. steelseries.com
  • Tesoro Gram Spectrum

    The Tesoro Gram Spectrum utilises the Tesoro Agile switch, a clicky, short throw mechanical switch with a low profile keycap. It also features RGB lighting and fully programmable keys. tesorotec.com
  • Tt eSPORTS Meka Pro

    The Tt eSPORTS Meka Pro doesn’t require any drivers for on the fly macro recording, features Cherry MX mechanical switches and is solidly built. ttesports.com.au

Best mouse

  • Razer DeathAdder Elite

    Built with fast paced esports in mind, the Razer DeathAdder Elite features aa 16,000 DPI optical sensor, up to 50g acceleration, Chroma RGB lighting and a reasonable price tag. razerzone.com

Finalists

  • Cooler Master MM530/520

    Both mice feature the same innards based around a 12,000 DPI Pixart optical sensor, but the MM530 is intended for palm grip and the MM520 for claw. coolermaster.com
  • Cougar Revenger

    The Revenger is a pleasantly straightforward gaming mouse with a fast 12,000 DPI optical sensor, Omron switches, RGB lighting and a trigger style button for DPI switching that is difficult to hit accidentally. cougargaming.com
  • Logitech G Pro

    The Logitech G Pro is a streamlined, straightforward gaming mouse with a 12,000 DPI optical sensor, six programmable buttons, onboard memory and RGB lighting logitechg.com
  • Roccat Kone EMP

    The Roccat Kone EMP uses the Roccat Owl-Eye sensor, a modified 12,000 DPI Pixart optical sensor tweaked for optimal performance in the 400-3000 DPI for enhanced precision. roccat.org
  • Steelseries Rival 310

    The Rival 310 is a comfortable, accurate right-handed mouse built around the Pixart TrueMove3 12,000DPI sensor capable of true 1-1 tracking. steelseries.com
  • Steelseries Rival 110

    The Rival 110 is a small, light and straightforward gaming mouse capable of 1-1 tracking at a budget price point. steelseries.com
  • Tt eSPORTS Ventus X RGB

    The Ventus X RGB features a 12,000 DPI sensor, six programmable keys, two programmable buttons, RGB lighting, adjustable weight and a chassis designed to keep your mouse hand cool. ttesports.com.au

Best gaming headphones

  • Corsair Void Pro RGB Wireless

    This wireless headset features 50mm drivers, support for Dolby Headphone virtual 7.1 surround sound, on-ear controls and up to 16 hours of battery life. corsair.com

Finalists

  • Asus Cerberus V2

    The Cerberus V2 boasts 53mm Essence drivers in each of the well padded earcups, and the stainless steel headband gives a good clamp. asus.com
  • Razer Kraken Pro V2

    Designed with esports in mind, the Razer Kraken Pro V2 is a wired headset with 50mm drivers, large, round earcups, a retractable boom mic and inline controls. razerzone.com
  • Roccat Khan Pro

    This esports focussed headset is lightweight but still sports 50mm drivers. It also features on-ear volume control. roccat.org
  • Steelseries Arctis 3

    This comfortable headset features 40mm drivers, an excellent mic and virtual 7.1 performance all for a reasonable price. steelseries.com
  • Tt eSPORTS Shock Pro RGB

    The Shock Pro RGB headset features a sprung metal headband, a cushioned headstrap, 40mm drivers, thick cushions and on-ear controls. ttesports.com.au

Best case

  • Thermaltake View 71 Tempered Glass Chassis

    The 5mm thick tempered glass panels on the sides, top and front of the View 71 make for a heavy case, but gaps in the housing and space for multiple fans and radiators allow for excellent cooling. thermaltake.com.au

Finalists

  • Cooler Master C700P

    The next generation of the flagship Cosmos II case, the C700P features RGB lighting, a modular design, curved tempered glass side panels, aluminium handles and room for nine fans. coolermaster.com
  • Corsair 460X RGB

    Featuring tempered glass at the front and side, this compact case is elegant and impressive. corsair.com
  • Fractal Design Meshify C

    Designed with cooling in mind, the Meshify C features a diamond faceted mesh front panel to maximise airflow as well as seven fan mounts and space for multi-radiator liquid cooling. fractal-design.com
  • In Win 101C

    In Win’s 101C case has styling that will appeal to many with its simplicity, with a splash of RGB on the front panel. www.in-win.com
  • Thermaltake Core P90 Tempered Glass Chassis

    This open-frame chassis has three compartments for GPU, PSU and cooling and can be placed in three different ways – wall-mounted, horizontal and vertical standing. thermaltake.com.au

Best router

  • Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300

    AC5300 Tri-band Wi-Fi Gaming router for VR and 4K streaming, with quad core, gaming port, WTFast, Adaptive QoS, and AiProtection network security. asus.com

Finalists

  • Asus BRT-AC828 AC2600 Dual-WAN

    Designed for office use, the BRT-AC828 can act as an extremely fast file server with an M.2 SSD slot and offers a customisable self-serve guest Wi-Fi portal. asus.com
  • Synology RT2600ac

    Synology’s experience with its outstanding NAS interface comes to its second router, offering ease of use combined with powerful and expandable features. Wi-Fi performance is well above average. synology.com
  • TP Link Archer C2300 AC2300 Wireless MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

    Enjoy up to 2300 Mbps AC Wi-Fi Speed with dual band 2.4 GHz (600 Mbps) + 5 GHz (1625 Mbps) powered by a 1.8 GHz dual-core 64-bit CPU with 2 co-processors. tp-link.com
  • TP Link Deco M5

    This mesh system brings seamless wireless connectivity throughout every room in your home, and includes TP-Link HomeCare which gives Deco comprehensive security in a whole-home Wi-Fi system tp-link.com

RESELLERS

Any upgrade you make has to be purchased from somewhere, so where do you get your gear? Do you buy online or do you prefer browsing in a brick and mortar store?

Presented by Acer

Best reseller (online)

Finalists

Best reseller (retail)

Finalists

Australian PC Awards voter prize winners:

AMD Ryzen 7 1800x: Hamish Gordon; QNAP TS-231P: Angela Gale; 5x Razer Deathadder Elite: Christine Willett, Leonie Aydin, Brett Charlier, Ross Verschelden, Paul Frigo; Corsair K95 RGB Platinum: colin burt; 2x ASUS ROG Hoodies: Adam Mitchell, Carl Forster; TP Link HS100: Jacob Fairbanks; 2x TP Link LB130: Christina Salt, Stephen Price; PLE Battlebull Combat Gaming Chair: Tony Beencke; Samsung CHG70 27" LCD Display: Tony WARD; Synology DS218j: Rene Mckee; Samsung 860 Pro 256GB: Anthony Lee; Samsung 860 Evo 250GB: Jung Shin All prize winners have been notified by email and prize providers are undertaking, or have completed, delivery.