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Australian PC Awards 2021 winners: The best of the best in PC

Australian PC Awards 2021
(Image credit: Future)
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The last year has been a massive one for PC gaming and home computing and we can finally now get 20/20 hindsight vision for which products of 2020 and the start of 2021 were the absolute best in their field. 

The Australian PC Awards are complete, with live streaming reveals airing across three nights on June 23, 24 and 25, 2021. 

If you missed them on the nights, you can still tune in to the APCA 2021 episodes (opens in new tab) to see the live unveilings, some for great debate on the state of PC components... and a chance to win some excellent prizes!

The Australian PC Awards is presented by computing experts from TechRadar, APC, TechLife, PC Gamer, PC PowerPlay and T3. Representing a broad collection of computing veterans from some of Australia's best PC publications, there's no better way to get a complete snapshot of the highs and lows of personal computers in 2020/21. 

Anyone here purely for the results of the 2021 Australian PC Awards, read on. Below is the final list of products that beat all the competition in their field to take out an APCA 2021 best product award. 

Whether you're looking to build the best value rig around, or you simply want to tick off any components you might already have in your current build, all of the following products are the best in the business.

Motherboards

APCA 2021 MoBo

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Best Motherboard Maker 2021

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Best Motherboard M...

Asus (opens in new tab)
Great BIOSes and a consistently good physical layout across the range. Asus has proven to their motherboard owners time and time again that they are both reliable and capable of the highest performance.

Best Value Motherboard 2021

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Best Value Motherb...

Asrock A520M-ITX/AC (opens in new tab)
The perfect partner for one of AMD's lower-priced CPUs (or APUs), this $150 board offers a great feature set for the price and even has AC Wi-Fi.

• Read the full PC Gamer review (opens in new tab)

Highly Commended

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MSI MAG Z490 Tomahawk (opens in new tab)
A great choice for a user looking to build a powerful system without spending the big bucks.

Read the full AnandTech review (opens in new tab)

Best Premium Motherboard 2021

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Best Premium Mothe...

Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Master (opens in new tab)
Mega VRM and huge heatsinks that give lots of surface area for outstanding cooling, great quality components and even 10G LAN, which is unheard of at this pricepoint.

Read the full Tom's Hardware review (opens in new tab)

Highly Commended

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Asus Crosshair VIII Dark Hero X570 (opens in new tab)
The best AM4 motherboard we've yet tested, we're so enamoured with it that it's become our AMD testbed. Fantastic memory support, supporting frequencies that other boards just don't. Insane amount of USB ports. Does have a couple of weaknesses, but they're acceptable trade-offs.

Read the full PC Gamer review (opens in new tab)

Graphics Cards

APCA GPU 2021

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Best Graphics Card Maker 2021

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Best Graphics Card...

MSI (opens in new tab)
Consistently first-rate coolers from top to bottom across the whole range, and often priced a bit cheaper than other brands.

Highly Commended

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Nvidia (opens in new tab)
30-Series features genuine engineering innovation and reasonable cooling for a reference card. 

Best Value Graphics Card 2021

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Best Value Graphic...

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio (opens in new tab)
A mid range card with a triple-fan flagship design. One of the quietest gaming cards you'll find and punches well above it's weight.

Read the full PC Gamer review (opens in new tab)

Highly Commended

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Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3060 Vision OC (opens in new tab)
The gorgeous Gigabyte 3060 Vision OC is a great choice for gaming or creating. 

Highly Commended

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PowerColor Radeon RX 6700 XT Hellhound (opens in new tab)
Why spend more when you can get a great performing and cool running option for less.

Read Tom's Hardware's coverage (opens in new tab)

Best Premium Graphics Card 2021

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Best Premium Graph...

Asus ROG Strix RTX 3080 O10G Gaming (opens in new tab)
A quiet, cool, powerful and feature loaded card. It's got the lot.

Highly Commended

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MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Suprim (opens in new tab)
A powerhouse of high clocks and quality cooling to tame it.

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CPU

APCA 2021 CPU

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Best Value CPU 2021

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Intel Core i5-11400F (opens in new tab)
With impressive performance for less than half the price of a 5600X, for those on a budget, this is a slam dunk.

Highly Commended

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AMD Ryzen 3 3300X (opens in new tab)
It's a special little gem if you can get your hands on one.

Highly Commended

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Intel Core i5-10600K (opens in new tab)
This CPU offers the performance of a flagship CPU from just a couple of years ago. 

Best Premium CPU 2021

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Best Premium CPU 2...

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (opens in new tab)
A great enthusiast processor, Intel can't beat it and does everything pretty well without breaking the bank.

Highly Commended

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AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (opens in new tab)
For a gaming-only focus the 5600X is perfect.

Highly Commended

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Intel Core i5-11600K (opens in new tab)
This powerful hexa-core CPU offers very competitive performance at this price point

Storage

APCA 2021 Storage

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Best Internal Storage Maker 2021

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Best Internal Stor...

Samsung (opens in new tab)
An unblemished record of quality, value and choice.

Highly Commended

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Adata (opens in new tab)
A smaller brand gunning to take on the premium makers.

Best External Storage Maker 2021

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Best External Stor...

WD (opens in new tab)
Thoughtfully engineered storage products covering every conceivable need.

Highly Commended

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Seagate (opens in new tab)
Innovative products like the Firecuda Gaming Dock demonstrate Seagate's commitment to innovation.

Best SOHO or Home NAS 2021

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Best SOHO or Home ...

Synology DS1621+ (opens in new tab)
A great combination of performance, capacity, features, expandability and price point for any SMB.

Highly Commended

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Synology DS920+ (opens in new tab)
Simultaneously a great expandable entry point for NAS newbies and a powerful, feature-laden office server for SMBs.

System

APCA 2021 Systems

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Best Value Laptop or 2-in-1 2021

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Best Value Laptop ...

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch (M1) (opens in new tab)
A $1,499 Ultrabook with 11th Gen i7 performance, light gaming capabilities and a 19 hour battery. The biggest generational laptop innovation we've seen.

Highly Commended

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Asus TUF A15 (2021) (opens in new tab)
An AMD gaming laptop that's ahead in performance, price and perks.

Highly Commended

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Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 Chromebook (opens in new tab)
A great cheap alternative to Windows 10 for browser-based workers.

Best Premium Laptop or 2-in-1 2021

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Best Premium Lapto...

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1) (opens in new tab)
Impressive performance bump, massive GPU improvement, double the battery and cheaper. What more could you want?

Highly Commended

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MSI Prestige 14 Evo A11M (opens in new tab)
Great all-round professional device with fast Gen 4 PCIe storage.

Highly Commended

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Asus ZenBook Duo 14 (UX482) (opens in new tab)
A unique premium product offering, if money is no object.

Best Gaming Laptop 2021

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Best Gaming Laptop...

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (opens in new tab)
The turning point for AMD Mobile CPUs in a perfectly executed package by Asus.

Highly Commended

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Aorus 17G XC (opens in new tab)
An extremely powerful gaming laptop, this machine is a weapon with exceptional cooling to tame its powerful components.

Highly Commended

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Alienware m15 R3 (opens in new tab)
A seriously well engineered, premium device with a wide range of options and a great looking chassis.

Best Desktop PC Maker 2021

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Best PC Maker 2021

Aftershock (opens in new tab)
Aftershock has to take it for its insane personalised builds. There's a price premium, but you get a custom-built Ferrari for it. They also have the quality sewn up.

Highly Commended

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PC Case Gear (opens in new tab)
Well balanced and value builds, PC Case Gear is typically always on the ball.

Highly Commended

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MSI (opens in new tab)
We like that MSI pushes the boundaries of PC case design not only in terms of looks, but also functionality and interactivity.

Peripherals & Components

APCA 2021 Peripherals and Components

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Best Memory Maker 2021

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Best Memory Maker ...

Team Group (opens in new tab)
Team Group’s second Awards win in this category for remarkable value and a competitive range.

Highly Commended

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G.Skill (opens in new tab)
A range to please both enthusiasts and value-seekers.

Best Cooling Product 2021

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Best Cooling Produ...

Corsair iCUE H100i Elite Capellix Liquid CPU Cooler (opens in new tab)
A 240mm AIO CPU cooler that hits just the right balance of performance, low noise levels and value.

Highly Commended

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Noctua NH-D15S Chromax (opens in new tab)
If you're after a high performance air cooler, look no further.

Highly Commended

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Be Quiet Pure Rock 2 (opens in new tab)
A great step up from bundled coolers that offers excellent value.

Best Monitor 2021

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Best Monitor 2021

Alienware AW3821DW (opens in new tab)
A gaming screen that really delivers for productivity, and is very good value.

Highly Commended

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Gigabyte G27F (opens in new tab)
Amazing value for a 27-in 144Hz IPS screen that does it all.

Highly Commended

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LG CX OLED48 (opens in new tab)
For a TV - this is an incredible gaming monitor.

Best Keyboard 2021

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Best Keyboard 2021

Razer Huntsman V2 Analog (opens in new tab)
A rare case of an expensive product delivering everything it promises. Analog keys are game-changer - literally.

Highly Commended

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Logitech G915 TKL (opens in new tab)
Absolutely everything you could wish for in a wireless productivity keyboard.

Highly Commended

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Ducky One 2 Pudding (opens in new tab)
No fancy tricks, but it's just beautiful to look at and use.

Best Mouse 2021

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Best Mouse 2021

Logitech G Pro X Superlight (opens in new tab)
Small, light, simple and ideal for gaming as well as regular use.

Highly Commended

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Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro (opens in new tab)
Updated sensor and extremely durable switches make this a great mouse for dedicated gamers.

Best Gaming Headset 2021

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Best Gaming Headse...

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (opens in new tab)
Brings in key gamer features like 2.4 wireless and THX Spatial Audio in a quality package with top notch sound quality.

Highly Commended

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HyperX Cloud Alpha S (opens in new tab)
Priced at the upper end of 'value' but with premium features.

Highly Commended

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Audeze LCD-GX Gaming Headset (opens in new tab)
Supreme planar driver sound quality derived from audiophile cans.

Best PC Case 2021

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Best PC Case 2021

Lian Li Lancool II Mesh (opens in new tab)
Excellent air ventilation plus styling that's got universal appeal.

Highly Commended

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Thermaltake The Tower 100 Mini Case (opens in new tab)
A sleek, vertical, mini-ITX case with nice cable management.

Highly Commended

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Phanteks Eclipse P300A Mesh Edition (opens in new tab)
Under $80 yet with tempered glass, a PSU cavity and great styling.

Best Router 2021

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Best Router 2021

Netgear Nighthawk AX8 (opens in new tab)
Enhanced security and top performance. It may be expensive, but the RAX80 is the Wi-Fi 6 router to get.

Highly Commended

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Tenda MW12 (opens in new tab)
Fast, well-featured, easy-to-use with good, reliable coverage – everything you could want from Wi-Fi.

Reseller

APCA 2021 Reseller

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Best Reseller 2021

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Best Reseller 2021

PLE (opens in new tab)
PLE's excellent website allows easy editing of pre-built designs and their unique and wide range of cases is impressive.

Highly Commended

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Scorptec (opens in new tab)
Fast, well-featured, easy-to-use with good, reliable coverage – everything you could want from Wi-Fi.

Excellence

APCA 2021 Excellence

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Excellence Award 2021

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Excellence Award 2...

Apple's M1 processor (opens in new tab)
The biggest WTF moment in computer processors for 20 years.

Highly Commended

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Intel Iris Xe Graphics (opens in new tab)
Intel doubled integrated GPU performance for light 1080p gaming on Ultrabooks with this generational update, putting light gaming on the agenda. 

Gold Award

APCA 2021 Gold

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APCA Gold Award 2021

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APCA Gold Award 20...

Asus (opens in new tab)
Asus is the company that does it all, and does it well. With a reputation for quality and reliability, great engineering and always pushing the industry forwards with clever new products and ideas, Asus covers a huge spectrum of product categories and is trusted and genuinely loved by its customers.

Highly Commended

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AMD (opens in new tab)
Surging forward with its massive industry shake up, AMD all but owns the home-built market, and is carving ever increasing market share in pre-builts and servers.

Highly Commended

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Aftershock PC (opens in new tab)
Proving that people like things that are powerful and look amazing, Aftershock arrived from Singapore just a few years ago and is now a go-to reseller for truly stunning PCs and laptops.