Best PC components of 2022: our top picks for upgrading your rig

Wouldn't say no to any of these.

Club386: Best PC components of 2022

What a year 2022 has been. Running Up That Hill rightfully back in the charts, Messi officially a goat, breakthrough in nuclear fusion energy, and Intel making Arc graphics cards!

For PC enthusiasts it has been a period jam packed with multiple highprofile launches, and after years of shortages and rocketing prices, buying or building a rig is starting to look like fun again.

We’ve enjoyed putting the latest and greatest hardware to the test, and trust our analysis has kept you entertained. There’s plenty more in store for 2023, but for now let’s rewind and discuss some of the finest products from 2022.

The Club386 team has picked out its favourite components in multiple categories, and of course, any selections are products we’ve taken the time to personally benchmark and evaluate. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Best CPU

Intel Core i5-13600K - mainstream champ

Winner: Intel Core i5-13600K
Runner-up: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X3D

No shortage of choice in this space, yet despite fierce competition, our favourite CPU of 2022 proved a unanimous choice. Intel’s 13th Gen Core i5 offers awesome performance for a little over £300 and is bordering on no-brainer territory.

Picking a runner-up is more complicated and proved a close-run thing. In the end, we’ve given the nod to AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X3D, and not necessarily because it’s a good buy right now (latest-gen X3D parts are coming soon). Rather, it remains one of the most innovative CPUs of the year and a harbinger of good things to come in the gaming world.

CORE i5-13600K

Ryzen 7 5800X3D

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Best Graphics Card

MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming X Trio

Winner: MSI GeForce RTX 4090 Gaming X Trio
Runner-up: Sapphire Nitro+ Radeon RX 7900 XTX Vapor-X

Yes, it’s expensive, and yes, it’s freaking huge, but GeForce RTX 4090 also goes like the clappers. We’ve lost count of how many graphics cards we’ve tested over the decades, and few have managed to leave us as gobsmacked as Nvidia’s latest flagship. Those benchmark results are something else.

It had been a disappointing year for PC graphics up until these last few months. Thankfully, there’s now genuine competition for the runner’s up spot, which goes to AMD’s Radeon RX 7900 XTX. Admitting that RTX 4090 is untouchable, the first chiplet-based Radeon does the next best thing in delivering solid 4K performance for under a grand.

GeForce RTX 4090

Radeon RX 7900 XTX

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Best Motherboard

Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Hero

Winner: Asus ROG Crosshair X670E Hero
Runner-up: ASRock X670E Taichi

Motherboards have received renewed focus this year as Intel and AMD shifted their premium desktop solutions to 13th Gen Core and Ryzen 7000 Series, respectively.

AMD made the bigger change when introducing AM5, and there is no shortage of choice. Asus continues down a well-trodden path with the excellent Crosshair Hero. Following a close second is ASRock’s top-notch Taichi, mixing cutting-edge aesthetics with excellent performance. Now is a great time to upgrade that ageing PC to forward-looking platforms.

ROG Crosshair X670E HERO

X670E Taichi

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Best Storage

Samsung 990 Pro - King of the hill

Winner: Samsung 990 Pro
Runner-up: WD Black SN850

No other component engenders a feeling of buttery-smooth performance as a quality solid-state drive. But there are SSDs and there are SSDs. Samsung updates its popular 900 Series range with the near-faultless 990 Pro. Extracting the maximum out of today’s PCIe 4.0 interface and strong in every area, it’s an easy pick as the best SSD of the year.

Pushing it close is the WD Black SN850. Built by another storage juggernaut, the drive is equally at home in a luxury PC or as a brilliant solution to expanding PlayStation 5 storage.

990 Pro

Black SN850

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Best Memory

Kingston Fury Beast RGB 32GB

Winner: Kingston Fury Beast RGB DDR5-6000
Runner-up: G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB DDR5-6800

DDR5 memory has become more popular as Intel and AMD released numerous supporting chipsets throughout 2022. It’s the only solution for AMD AM5, and if you want to get the most out of Intel Core, look no further than high-speed DDR5.

Kingston hits all the straps with Fury Beast running at DDR5-6000. Not only is it fast, pricing is more than reasonable, too, leading to a deserved five-star review. Memory masters over at G.Skill are not short on ambition in this hotly contested sector. Trident Z5 RGB looks fantastic and runs at stratospheric speeds on Intel platforms. Plug-and-play has never been easier.

Fury Beast RGB DDR5

Trident Z5 RGB DDR5

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Best Chassis

Fractal Design North

Winner: Fractal Design North
Runner-up: Fractal Design Torrent Compact

A note to all chassis manufacturers; it’s time to up your game as Fractal is running riot. The Swedish manufacturer has been on a hot streak these past 12 months, and though the popular Torrent had to make the shortlist, North takes top spot. The cleanest, most elegant case we’ve seen in a long time, and a near-perfect antidote for those who can’t abide RGB.


Torrent Compact

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Best PSU

Winner: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 12 1,200W
Runner-up: be quiet! Pure Power 11 FM 850W

be quiet! knows a thing or two about power supplies. Exhibiting superb performance wrapped in an elegant chassis, Dark Power Pro 12 is a fantastic starting point for any premium build. There’s a ’13’ model debuting soon, likely to become a serious contender as the best PSU in 2023.

Those whose budgets and build choices are more conservative can’t go wrong with Pure Power 11 FM 850W. As the name suggests, fully-modular cabling is a boon for tidy PCs, whilst 80 Plus Gold certification and solid performance in all our stringent benchmarks attests to great engineering.

Dark Power Pro 12

Pure Power 11 FM

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Best Monitor


Winner: AOC Agon Pro AG324UX
Runner-up: iiyama G-Master GB3467WQSU-B1 Red Eagle

Though not strictly a PC component, no build is complete without a quality display. We’d go as far as to say that monitor tech has evolved to such an extent that a modern build should be spec’d around an enjoyable panel.

Ticking more boxes than most, the 32in AG324UX from AOC does a fine job of balancing high-end 4K gaming and productivity in a hugely satisfying 32in package. Ultrawides are also growing increasingly popular, and the 34in iiyama G-Master GB3467WQSU offers compelling 21:9 immersion for under £500.

Agon Pro AG324UX

G-Master GB3467WQSU

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