ipKonfig.com – Best of 2003
2003 has been a very venturesome year for us; we’ve taken on some impressive products to review and feature. Overall, there has definitely been a lot of improvement to note in those ordinary items we purchase for our computers, and that really isn’t even half of it. During 2003 we have witnessed new products, moving from great to greater, and have had opportunities to work closely with our supporters.
We hardware reviewers are at the mercy of the designers and manufacturers, of course; but we try our best to find value in whatever’s out there on offer.
This was not a blockbuster year, as most of the big stuff got pushed off till 2004. That is (or will be) full 64-bit capable systems, hardware and software, PCI-X and its competitors, and real, long range, hi-bandwidth wireless (802.16, anyone?). But that made it all the more important to pick out and highlight the good stuff.
There are always worthwhile things to spend our money on–that’s part of our faith, and we believe! So we found quite a few. The graphics card biz got quite exciting, though we’re still holding our breath for the full 64-bit impact of all the new stuff. Some memory makers started to get down to business with product that could actually keep up with the fast processors, more or less. And the cooling boys are staring really hot future systems in the face, so water cooling is moving mainstream. And with that . . . .
Without doubt Corsair Memory has left its mark with us as some of the most outstanding memory on the planet. True, we haven’t reviewed hundreds of types of memory, yet it has been the most stable and reliable memory to date that I personally have dealt with. Corsair has the distinction of being the first memory maker to market DDR500. Shortly thereafter it introduced the world’s first Real-Time LED display memory modules, calling it the Pro Series. This is memory that we highly recommend for hardcore gamers and high-end servers.
I think many of you know who we’d name in this market: ATi. We have stressed ATi video cards more in 2003 than previous years, and 2003 brought its best video cards to market, continuing outstanding architecture, moving it well beyond the rest of the market. ATi has also shown huge improvement with their video card drivers, too. In previous years its drivers fell somewhat short. As time has passed, ATi put much work into its Catalyst drivers, with improvements and bug fixes in each release. We salute ATi’s ability to prove itself by toppling the graphics leaders, and 2003 has definitely turned in favor of ATi.