Welcome to our very first GamesRadar Hardware Awards. 2020 has certainly had its moments, and we've all perhaps spent a bit more time than usual at home, but considering some of the gaming goodies out there, there have been plenty of options to keep gamers entertained.
These awards, split across 17 different categories, showcase the absolute best hardware we've got our hands on this year. Whether you do your gaming on a console or a PC, there's been some stunning technology to really enhance your play experience.
Better still, many of today's winners are very much next-gen compatible, so if you opt to pick one of them up (perhaps you'll spot a great Amazon Prime Day deal next week or a tempting offer next month in the Black Friday deals), you'll be able to carry on using them on your shiny new PS5 or Xbox Series X.
As for the PC gamers, we've seen all the big brands really step up this year. They're clearly making sure fans stay loyal and don't get distracted by all those teraflops and bespoke SSDs Microsoft and Sony have been banging on about for the last few months.
We've really put these items through their paces for our reviews and buying guides, so you can rest assured that these are the best of the best. If items have been out for a few months, we've also been using them again after comparing them to newer products to see if they still hold up.
So let's get into it. Here are the winners of the GamesRadar Hardware Awards 2020.
Best gaming laptop: ASUS TUF A15
A brilliant laptop that combines a considered component configuration with ASUS quality to produce a true highlight in portable gaming in 2020. Straddling the Nvidia-AMD divide this ray-tracing capable laptop offers unbeatable value and a brilliant way into PC gaming.
To be a great gaming laptop, a machine doesn't have to be just the most powerful portable powerhouse going; bulging the chassis and rocketing the pricetag. Arguably we are now enjoying a time where more considered gaming laptop builds are becoming the ideal machine for many and the ASUS TUF A15 gaming laptop epitomizes that.
Positioning itself at the cusp of the ray-tracing fault line, the ASUS TUF A15 presents the best gaming laptop for ray-tracing gaming, while keeping a value-busting price of admission. Combining an RTX 2060 with an AMD 4000 processor as the basis of the build makes for an incredibly accessible and affordable entry point into ray-tracing gaming which has been hard to beat. Imbue the machine with solid supporting components that help maintain steady and enjoyable levels of performance while maintaining the balance of power to value, and wrap it up with ASUS's well-known laptop quality and the results are truly splendid.
Given the new arrival of Nvidia's 30-series cards, the TUF A15 laptop is likely to have started the trend of ray-tracing capable gaming laptops becoming more affordable and almost the starting point in gaming laptops journeys for players. And what a trailblazer it is - a worthy pick for top gong on gaming laptop for 2020.
Read more: ASUS TUF A15 review
Highly Recommended: MSI GE66 Raider
The MSI GE66 Raider is a quality laptop to come out of 2020. It's power, performance, and gaming prowess make it a beastly machine for any form of gaming or use generally. It's a hefty investment but it deploys the latest generation of Intel processors with hefty gaming specs to produce a fine portable powerhouse. Our MSI GE66 Raider review is where to go for more details.
Best gaming PC: ASUS ROG Strix GA15
The GA15 PC shows that ASUS nailed the gaming machine markets this year - even with the arrival of Nvidia's latest cards, the GA15 makes a great argument for a considered, great value and plenty-powerful gaming machine. An excellent beast.
It's often tempting to choose the most high-profile, powerful machines for best in class gaming PCs. However, manufacturers are more considerate than ever when putting together prebuilt machines, and the ASUS ROG Strix GA15 desktop range - demonstrates this beautifully. This PC is built on a concept where performance, gaming enjoyment, value, and the right combination of components - from across the AMD/Nvidia divide - all meet and combine to make a great machine. Based around a Ryzen 5 or 7 processor, and offering a variety of graphics cards that span from the lean entry-level GTX 1650s, right up to the RTX 2070 Super, there's a great spread of options on the table, all aided by a strong supporting cast of RAM and storage solutions that don't cut corners. We particularly like the 2060 Super-build as that card offers the best bang for buck entry point into ray-tracing.
Even in the shadow of the new 30-series graphics cards and the gaming PCs they will herald, for those looking for a machine primed for excellent levels of gaming while also being a great machine for work and home, all while offering excellent value, then the GA15 is it.
The ASUS GA15 doesn't try to stake a claim as an extreme build: it's comfortable in its own shoes at the mid-to-upper high-end range of the current spectrum. It's a reliable, very well-performing gaming PC from a reputable gaming tech name, and it deserves the gong for best gaming PC of 2020.
Read more: ASUS ROG Strix GA15 review
Highly Recommended: Alienware Aurora R10
The Alienware Aurora series of PCs has long been mainly an Intel and Nvidia affair, but this year the Aurora R10 broke out of the mold a bit and brought a Ryzen-centred build to the party. A storming success in terms of performance, power, component configuration, and also featuring a yellow RGB accented design (which is to differentiate it from its siblings, the Ryzen build further proves Dell's gaming nutters at Alienware are major players in making the best gaming computers. Check out the full details in our Alienware Aurora R10 review.
Best gaming TV: LG OLED CX
A stunning 4K 120Hz display makes this OLED TV the perfect partner to lead you into the next generation of gaming.
The LG CX series of OLED TVs is chomping at the bit right now and is the best-prepared for gaming on the upcoming PS5 and Xbox Series X. It's not all about the consoles though as the LG CX is an outstanding display for PC-gaming too thanks to Nvidia G-Sync support.
That 120Hz refresh rate is ideal for fast-paced 4K gaming and allows you to kiss screen-tearing goodbye for the smoothest looking console gaming experience yet. As you'd hope with OLED technology, the black levels are exceptional, namely in thanks to the CX series completely shutting individual pixels off when the darkest scenes are required. Black is black and no longer just a very dark shade of gray.
What's especially appealing for an OLED TV of such high quality is some surprisingly competitive prices, especially at that sweet spot 55-inch size, which is exactly what you want in a year where you might be treating yourself to a new console or premium graphics card for your rig. All in all, a tremendous value proposition for gaming and TV fans that you'll be wowed by for years to come.
Highly Recommended: Samsung TU7000
Another gaming TV that really impressed us this year was the Samsung TU7000 series. Both current and next-gen titles will be well-served by this if you're looking to save some cash. The TU7000 has incredible contrast and black level performance, accurate colors, low-input lag, and superb image clarity at a smooth 60Hz for the fraction of the price of OLED screens. Check out our Samsung TU7000 review for more.
Best gaming monitor: Razer Raptor
Razer's first foray into gaming monitors is an absolute, hand-down success with this glorious panel.
The Razer Raptor is a world-beating 27-inch 1440p monitor that will be at home in any gaming setup. In terms of an all-round gaming monitor package, is has it all. In terms of gaming speeds, there is a reliably-quick 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, and G-Sync compatibility. Looking at picture quality, there's an exquisite non-glare IPS panel, HDR400, a 95%+ DCI-P3 wide color gamut, and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. Throw in a sleek, cool, and Razer-esque design - even the RGB stand is excellent - and excellently executed cable management and this really is an attractive monitor for any kind of gaming setup.
The Raptor is a joy to use for any work or play task with the picture quality and color excellence giving games a richness and vividness that's a treat for the eyes, while the speeds executed by the monitor make for silky smooth pictures, even in the most frantic of encounters. This is a top, top gaming monitor, and goes a long way to justify the investment. A worthy winner of the title best gaming monitor of 2020 and a serious contender for any modern gaming setup.
Read more: Razer Raptor 27 review
Highly Recommended: ASUS CG32QU
ASUS's CG32QU gaming monitor demonstrates that some of the top gaming monitors can be those panels aimed at console gaming. And it did that in style: a gorgeous screen, funky design, a high color gamut combined with HDR, and excellent overall image quality make this a worthy choice for console players looking for a specialist screen. Read our full ASUS CG32QU review for the full lowdown.
Best PS4 headset: EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 370
With extraordinary audio combined with phenomenal battery life, the EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 370 is the premier headset for PS4 right now.
Oozing Sennheiser pedigree, history, and high repute, the audio the EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 370 gives you is of an excellent order. Every detail is rich and clear, from the rustle of wind to high-pitched tire squeals, from pounding artillery to crisp vocal tones and clarity. The boom mic is a solid supporting act, too, providing clarity of voice down the line to your teammates, while the overall fit and design of the headset helps to isolate you from exterior noise; no need for active noise cancellation when the headset fits as snugly and securely as the GSP 370.
With the added bonus of being compatible with PC, the GSP 370 offers flexibility too, and is a strong performer on that platform. Straight out of the box this is a truly excellent PS4 headset and going wireless with such a strong battery life.
The connection is solid, reliable, and easy to set up with a small dongle that plugs into the PS4 and provides the basis for the wireless connection that you can enjoy for, literally, nearly 100 hours. Battery life of this level would be an enormous attraction on its own, but when it's got the design and build quality and audio excellence of a premium Sennheiser level thrown in too, it really all comes together in a winning, superior combination that is a best in class PS4 headset.
Read more: EPOS | Sennheiser GSP 370 review
Highly Recommended: Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 arrives at a time to own both the end of the PS4's primetime, and the PS5's new generation of audio. And what a job it does of that. Straddling the consoles and offering an excellent option for both, for under the three-figure mark, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 proves why Turtle Beach is still a major player for console headsets with amazing audio, an improved design, and a solid feature set. You can read more in our full Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 review.
Best Xbox One headset: Razer Nari Ultimate
Immersive sound and unique haptic feedback make the Razer Nari Ultimate a special headset on the Xbox One.
Razer has had a great year in all things hardware with strong showings on gaming mice, controllers, keyboards, and of course, headsets. The Razer Nari Ultimate wireless headset for Xbox One has stunning 3D audio that's prewarned us of many a bear attack in Red Dead and improved our K/D ratio in online shooters thanks to reliable directional sound. If you want to feel really immersed in a game world, this is the headset for you.
The haptic feedback feature that makes the headset physically vibrate in-line with the on-screen audio is especially engaging during action-packed scenes and is something we're not seeing from other top-brand gaming headsets.
The Nari Ultimate is also incredibly comfortable to wear with no crown-pinching up top and gel-infused cushions on the earpieces making this the comfiest headset on Xbox too.
Read more: Razer Nari Ultimate review
Highly Recommended: Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2
The new Stealth 700 Gen 2 greatly improves upon its original formula, with better battery life, comfortable fit, and a superb mic. All at an affordable price. Read more with our Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 review.
Best PC headset: Razer BlackShark V2
The Razer BlackShark V2 is the best PC headset we've tested and used in the last year for a whole host of reasons and factors; and it does each and every one of them brilliantly.
The BlackShark V2 is a redesign and massive overhaul of Razer's BlackShark, a helicopter pilot-esque headset from 2012, with esports in mind. The BlackShark V2 headset retains the overall style of that original but brings it crashing into 2020 with a bang, improving it wholesale and modernizing it fully. The design is incredibly lightweight, weighing just 262g, and sport some of the comfiest fits from a headset we've ever experienced, that also has a fit that helps to isolate you and your game audio by design.
The headset features exquisite TriForce titanium drivers, each able to replicate the treble, mids, and basses within the driver itself, with each custom tuned. The results across media are excellent and in games some of the best we've ever experienced. Also present is a Razer HyperClear Cardioid microphone which is incredibly clear and crisp. Both of these features are brand new for the BlackShark V2 and it pays, elevating this headset above the competition, straight out of the box.
Combine these features with the companion app and the extra flexibility that offers - game profiles that were created in conjunction with developers, microphone adjustments, EQ tinkering; all are a huge boon - and the BlackShark V2 is basically in a league of its own in terms of offering the exact audio experience each game demands, and that each player desires. Hands down, the best PC headset of the year.
Read more: Razer BlackShark V2 review
Highly Recommended: JBL Quantum One
Coming in as a bit of a curveball entry this year, the Quantum One headset is a very fine PC gaming headset. It's stacked with features, has some fun RGB design, is customizable as anything, and produces some exquisite audio, backed up by a solid mic. A worthy headset into the market and worthy of its nod here. Check out our full JBL Quantum One review for more info.
Best graphics card: Nvidia RTX 3080
The 3080 has taken the world by storm and will likely dominate the graphics card market for the foreseeable future with its sheer awesome power and great value.
This card offers speeds and powers that are double that of the 2080 card of this current generation, with 19gbps speed from 10GB of the brand-new GDDR6X memory. And coming into the market at such a reasonable price point of well below the four-figure mark means this power will be affordable to many too. Considering the current beast of this generation in the 2080Ti is a four-figure card, the 3080 gives it a beating on bang for buck, sheer power, and will lead the way in making 4K 60fps gaming a reality for home gamers.
Combine the sheer power with other features from Nvidia, such as Nvidia RTX IO - a process that will enhance game loading and card performance (particularly when working with SSDs) by taking workload away from your CPU to free that component up - means that the 3080 offers much more than just a graphics card to make games display nicely. It's a true beast in every sense. The best graphics card of 2020 was, in all honesty, never going to be anything else: the 3080 has, and will continue to, live up to all the hype and anticipation.
Highly Recommended: AMD 5600XT
Although AMD may have some upcoming big boys of its own, the 5600XT released early in 2020 is still a great card for the modern PC gamer. It's great value, nails the 1080p resolution mark, and got a serious boost from a firmware update that bumped it up further still. In a year dominated by Nvidia's cards, the 5600XT has quietly gone about being one of the top GPUs of the year, too.
Best Xbox controller: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2
Epic customization options on the Series 2 instantly outshine the original model making this the best Xbox controller yet.
Chances are, even when our Xbox Series X arrives, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 is still going to be our preferred controller of choice. As far as wireless Xbox controllers go, there's nothing better.
Better grips, adjustable analog stick tension, instant-click face buttons, built-in battery with a wireless charging dock, and system-feature button remapping (take a screenshot with a paddle button if you like etc) are fantastic improvements over the original model.
The adjustable paddle controls underneath remain the same but are a fantastic way to give you extra control options, such as reloading or changing weapons in shooters without taking your right thumb off the stick. Even if you don't need the extra controls, the other tweaks and improvements make this a fantastic 'treat yourself' purchase for any Xbox gamer.
Read more: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 review
Highly Recommended: Razer Wolverine Ultimate Edition
The Wolverine Ultimate Edition is a fantastic controller more than worth a purchase if you're struggling to find the Elite. The prices are similar, but once you get the Wolverine into your hands you'll realize it's worth every penny with fantastic grip, instant-click face buttons and a range of customization options.
Best PS4 controller: Nacon Revolution Unlimited
The Revolution Unlimited boasts superb customisation and feels brilliant in use, making it the perfect choice as a pro PS4 controller.
Although the Nacon Revolution Unlimited is one of the older products on this list, it still commands the same level of respect long after launch. This is a premium controller with the performance to match, and it's still the best PS4 controller we've used on PS4 this year.
That quality comes from a sleek design and a wealth of customizable features, allowing you to alter the controller's weight, its thumbsticks and the thickness of their metal necks, and aspects of its programming to a granular level. Yes, it's lacking hair trigger locks. But the sheer depth of personalization in the Nacon Revolution Unlimited makes it the controller to beat on PS4 and we can't wait to see what the company comes up with for the PS5.
Highly Recommended: DualShock 4 Back Button Attachment
While this upgrade doesn't add physical buttons to the DualShock 4, it does provide smart customization and ergonomic support to boost performance. In addition, a price tag of just $30 / £26 makes 'elite' competitive gaming so much more affordable.
Best PC controller: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2
Microsoft faced an uphill battle improving on the original Elite controller, but they've managed it with the Series 2 - it's truly incredible, with extensive customization and improved comfort.
In a twist that probably won't surprise anyone, the Xbox Elite 2 walks away with the prize. Why? Microsoft has managed to improve on what was already a near-perfect product.
While the Elite Controller Series 2 doesn't necessarily reinvent the wheel, it does still feel revolutionary. A wealth of small tweaks combine into something that's by far and away one of the best gaming controllers on the market, and there's no doubt that it'll be the new gold-standard for PC gaming for years to come.
Read more: Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 review
Highly Recommended: Razer Wolverine Ultimate Edition
The Wolverine Ultimate is an excellent piece of kit that more than holds its own against the competition. With a swappable d-pad and thumbsticks (not to mention finely tuned controls and satisfyingly clicky buttons), it remains a great choice for PC gamers.
Best gaming mouse: Razer Naga Pro
With unmatched flexibility, the Naga Pro will serve you well regardless of the genres you like to play. No matter whether you spend time in MMOs or first-person shooters, it offers a peerless performance.
For a while, the Razer DeathAdder V2 seemed like a shoe-in for the best gaming mouse of 2020. Then the Razer Naga Pro arrived. As an update to an already-beloved device, the Pro doubles down on what made its predecessor so successful whilst integrating top-of-the-line tech.
Designed to provide top quality no matter the genre of game, Razer's Naga Pro is firing on all cylinders. Thanks to a sensor that's capable of 20,000 DPI, it's lightning-fast. With optical switches, this Naga's clicks are equally quick. And due to wireless capabilities that sit alongside wired functions, it enjoys flexibility matched only by its three easily swappable side panels. Because the latter are designed for use with everything from MMOs to first-person shooters, the Naga Pro is one of the most versatile mice on the market right now.
Read more: Razer Naga Pro review
Highly Recommended: DeathAdder V2 Pro
Considering how beloved the original was, the improved DeathAdder was always going to be a winner. However, the V2 Pro takes that to another level. Blending high performance with comfort and smart design tweaks that make the mouse ready for next-gen gaming, it's a worthy successor.
Best gaming keyboard: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT
Corsair's K95 range has stubbornly refused to budge from the top spot as some of the best gaming hardware on sale, and the RGB Platinum XT continues that legacy of excellence. It's a magnificent keyboard that few others can match.
We almost feel sorry for anyone else trying to claim the title of 'best gaming keyboard 2020'. With the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT having arrived in the last 12 months, we're not sure the competition ever had much chance - that's how impressive the K95 range has always been.
However, this update is even better than expected. Superb performance blends together with the excellent build quality, and it has utilities to spare thanks to dedicated macro keys, media controls, and compatibility with Elgato's Stream Deck technology. Its range of switches is a delight to type or game with as well. Meanwhile, the plush wrist rest is a good example of the K95 RGB Platinum XT's premier feel. Although it's expensive, it's absolutely worth every penny.
Read more: Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT review
Highly Recommended: SteelSeries Apex 5
SteelSeries is well known for its best-in-class tech, and that extends to keyboards - particularly the Apex 5. It provides a stripped-back (yet still fantastic) version of the more expensive models, all while adding snappy actuation and a cool OLED smart display.
Best gaming phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra excels at gaming, photography, stylus functions and more to become the ultimate phone for gaming and everything else too.
Samsung has been relentless in 2020 with lots of critically acclaimed phones in the S20 series, the new Galaxy Watch 3, and Buds Live in-ear headphones providing a massive raid on our wallets. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the real winner though.
In our 5-star review, we adored the 6.9-inch 120Hz display that is quite simply the best way to play games on the go in 2020. With such enormous power under the hood and an all-day battery, you can really crank up those settings in games like Call of Duty: Mobile that allow you to adjust the resolution and frame-rates. And with a screen this big, you can actually see what you're doing even with your thumbs on top - even so, we prefer playing it with an Xbox controller via Bluetooth.
You wouldn't buy a new phone on gaming chops alone though, which is why we were super stoked to see the Note 20 Ultra dominate everywhere else too. The S-Pen stylus is supper handy for note-taking, browsing the web or even playing match-3 games. The camera is absolutely superb too with incredible detail and an epic 50x zoom over large distances and 108MP options for close-ups too.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review
Highly Recommended: iPhone 11 Pro Max
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is a great pick for gaming if you can stretch that budget. You're getting a large battery, a 6.4-inch display, and plenty of processing power to handle the most demanding of games. The rounded corners of the phone make it extra comfortable to hold too.
Best VR headset: Oculus Quest 2
The Oculus Quest 2 seemed to come out of nowhere just a few weeks ago in what has admittedly been a quiet year for VR, but it's certainly caught our attention.
The Oculus Quest 2 does not require a super-powerful PC to enjoy games on, and it's leaps and bounds ahead of those cheap headsets that use your mobile phone to display virtual reality.
The visuals are superb too and much smoother than the original model thanks to improved optics and more power in the device itself. Spring for a PC link cable and you'll be able to play Steam VR titles too if you do have a gaming-ready PC.
Its attractive pricepoints may well make it a popular pick before Christmas as it comes with everything you need to enjoy VR on a budget. Games from the Oculus store can be played wirelessly and the redesigned controllers come in the package too. If this takes off, hopefully, VR will see the resurgence it so desperately needs.
Read more: Oculus Quest 2 review
Highly Recommended: PlayStation VR
Yes, it's been out for a while now, but Sony's popular headset has now become so affordable and we loved playing Star Wars: Squadrons on it recently. The headset will be supported on PS5 too, so we hope Sony will finally start giving it some proper attention.
Best gaming chair: Secretlab Omega 2020
The Secretlab 2020 Series of gaming chairs leads the way once again for comfort and style for both play, and home office use.
There aren't many chairs out there that we can sit in all day for work, and be happy to stay in when we switch over to gaming mode at the end of the day too, but Secretlab chairs are worth every penny if, like many of us, you're spending an increasing amount of time at home right now.
There's such a fascinating array of lovingly-crafted styles in PU leather to choose from too with designs inspired by everything from Batman, League of Legends, Cyberpunk, Game of Thrones, Dota 2, eSports teams, and some subtle color choices too. Or opt for one of the Softweave coverings if you're not keen on leather finishes. The Omega also comes with separate memory foam headrests and lumbar support cushions that really tie everything together with a delightfully comfortable feel.
There's a rich selection of adjustability features on the Omega too with 4D armrests and multi-tilt/height settings that are easy to change on the fly so you can go from office mode to a laidback recline with a quick pull of the lever. So if you need a gaming chair for work and play at a desk that you'll be happy to deploy in front of the TV for gaming or just lying back and enjoying some tunes after a long day, the Secret Lab Omega has you covered.
Read more: Secretlab Omega review
Highly Recommended: AndaSeat Fnatic Edition
The AndaSeat Fnatic Edition gave Secret Lab some strong competition this year with this stylish almost racing-like design that perfectly balances style with a touch of flashiness in those orange motifs highlighting the otherwise black chair. It's super comfortable too and comes highly recommended by our own Editor in Chief, no less. Check out Sam's full AndaSeat Fnatic Edition review.
Best gaming hard drive: WD Black P10
The WD Black P10 has been a fantastic addition to our arsenal in the battle to keep all our favorite games installed at once.
We thoroughly recommend picking up the 5TB version. We used one to download every single Xbox Game Pass game on the Xbox One. The corrugated design and solid materials make it sturdy enough to chuck in your bag if you want to take your games to a friend's house too.
The P10 is a fantastic purchase for anyone with a PS4 or Xbox One looking to increase the default storage, which is basically a must if you want to store huge game install from the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Warzone. We've used one for the last six months as the main storage unit on an Xbox One X and it still runs super quiet and never gets warm. We love it so much that we'll be using it to transport our game collection over to Xbox Series X when it launches next month.
Highly Recommended: WD My Passport
WD gets another shout with one of our other favorite storage solutions on all platforms with the WD My Passport portable hard drive. Unlike most other drives, you have lots of color options to choose from along with a range of large capacity sizes and prices are always super competitive.
Want more awards? Well, you don't have to wait long, folks and you can even have a say on the results by taking part in our very own 38th annual Golden Joystick Awards. So if you want to make sure your favorite games of the last 12 months are in the running get involved and vote today.