Feature Articles

Top 100 Products of 2006

Top 100 Products of 2006



Nos. 11 - 20

Dell desktop LCD monitors have long been hailed as one of the best displays you can get and some swear by them. Their latest '07' series of widescreen displays continue to show excellent performance and build quality. They are also one of the most proven and well-known entertainment monitors with HDCP through DVI support.
2006 is certainly a year for Intel. Not only have they launched two of the best and most powerful processors back to back, their corresponding 'Broadwater' 965 series chipsets, which was initially supposed to be the mainstream update of the Intel 945P Express turned out to be a huge enthusiast hit with incredible overclocking potential when used with the Core 2 Duo CPUs.
After a few years of financial uncertainty, abit returns with this incredible Intel 975X Express motherboard, which is a powerful all rounder with solid build quality and well-optimized performance that holds true to the ABIT spirit of old. If anything, the AW9D-MAX should be considered the comeback board for Universal abit in 2006.
The ASRock ConRoeXFire-eSATA2 has our vote for the best 'value' Core 2 ready motherboard of the year. And by value, we don't only mean its price. This 945P Express board easily matches up against any of the newer enthusiast Core 2 ready chipsets and motherboards in terms of features, hardware support and performance.
If you're looking for the best performance in an Intel P965 motherboard, our vote will have to go to the ASUS P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP. This board has been tweaked for speed and maximum overclocking without sacrificing on features or price. ASUS has also taken steps to ensure that the board stays robust and stable under the most extreme conditions.
The ASUS P5W DH Deluxe makes the grade as the best Intel 975X Express motherboard to be launched in 2006 with dedicated features focused on digital home entertainment like the DH Remote and MP3-In. Quiet operation, stable power, strong performance and extensive storage features make the board an equally good choice for a high-end home entertainment PC, server or enthusiast system.
Gigabyte's most over-engineered motherboard to date is the flagship GA-965P-DQ6 (6-Quad) board based on the Intel P965 chipset. With an over-the-top 12-phase PWM, crazy cooling and features that includes the kitchen sink thrown in, the GA-965P-DQ6 will appeal to the truly hardcore who want nothing but the best.
While the GA-965P-DQ6 may be crowned king of the hill for Intel P965 motherboards, the GA-965P-DS3 sneaks into our list as well because of its widely hailed overclocking capabilities and mainstream pricing. It even handles high frequencies better than the GA-965P-DQ6, which is why the board is one of the most well loved shoestring budget overclocker of 2006.
The ASUS Striker Extreme is a late entry that just managed to squeeze into our 2006 lineup. Based on the nForce 680i SLI chipset and some excellent engineering work at ASUS, the Striker Extreme can be said the be the best Core 2 board you can get your hands on this year, if you have the cash to burn that is.
The Shuttle XPC X100 is Shuttle's finest SFF casing that we've seen this year. Unlike the normal XPC though, the X100 is an even more compact chassis perfect for a classy HTPC system. The best part is that it doesn't suffer from upgrade problems like other compact PCs (Apple Mac mini, AOpen mini PC and others) as it has a deeper chassis and more room for upgrading the HDD and graphics when required.