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PCGamesN’s gear of the year 2023: our top hardware

Wondering what the best PC gaming tech has been this year? Well, wonder no more as we present the best gaming gear of the year in 2023.

gear of the year - the best gaming pc tech of 2023

What’s the best gaming gear of 2023? As far as PC gaming goes, the big tech story of 2023 has been that graphics cards finally became affordable again, after years of pandemic and crypto mining-induced inflated prices. We saw the arrival of the likes of the Nvidia RTX 4070, the Nvidia RTX 4060, AMD RX 7800 XT, and AMD RX 7600, all of which brought true current-generation GPU performance to prices not seen for some time – it’s no surprise several of them sit on our best graphics card guide.

We’ve also seen OLED gaming monitors steadily infiltrate our best gaming monitor guide, becoming more widely available and capable, even if they remain a premium option. Elsewhere, with the likes of the Razer Viper V3 Hyperspeed that tops our best gaming mouse guide, we’ve seen interesting developments in mice, with that model offering a lightning-fast 8KHz wireless polling rate while still maintaining excellent battery life, thanks to it using an AA battery – is this a sign of a truly wire-free future for gaming mice?

There are many more stories to tell about the year of hardware that has been 2023 but what matters most is which products are the cream of the crop. Which offered performance so powerful or value so… valuable that we couldn’t help but celebrate them? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. Without further ado, here’s our list of the best gear of the year 2023.

Why you can trust our advice ✔ At PCGamesN, our experts spend hours testing hardware and reviewing games and VPNs. We share honest, unbiased opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.

Best CPU of 2023

AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D

best CPU 2023 - amd ryzen 7 7800x3d

The AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D has been the best CPU for gaming since it landed back in April. Intel’s recent 14th-gen chips, such as the 14900K and 14600K gave it a good run for its money but the AMD option still wins out in many gaming tests and offers superb value.

The secret sauce is the X3D bit – the 3D V-Cache – which provides the eight-core chip with a huge chunk of extra L3 cache which means it also has lots of the very latest program data ready to work on. It’s less important for predictable workloads like video encoding or other workstation stuff but for gaming it’s brilliant. Find out more in our full AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D review.

Best graphics card of 2023

Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070

best graphics card 2023 - Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070

Let’s face it, the RTX 4070 wasn’t a slam dunk when it first arrived. It was costlier than the previous 70 class graphics cards and performance relative to some products around it wasn’t outstanding. However, it marked a turning point for Nvidia’s RTX 40 series when it became much more affordable, and unlike the severely underpowered RTX 4060 lineup, it still had loads of horsepower. For gamers running QHD and FHD displays who are looking to enjoy high frame-rate gaming, the RTX 4070 delivers the goods and sips power while doing it.

Key to the range as a whole is Nvidia’s DLSS 3 suite, which continues to impress with its frame rate-boosting upscaling abilities and ray tracing performance. With ray tracing and upscaling becoming more commonplace, Nvidia’s mid-range card is ready to run the most demanding games of the future without breaking much of a sweat.

Read our Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 review.

Best gaming handheld of 2023

Steam Deck OLED

Having already captured the hearts and minds of gamers aplenty with the original Steam Deck, Valve realized the full potential of its handheld this year with the Steam Deck OLED. Not only is the screen bigger, brighter, and better in every way, but this refresh is far more than meets the eye. It’s almost everything we wished the original was and more.

This device is full of welcome surprises, much like the reveal of the Steam Deck OLED itself. The most transformative changes, without a doubt, are the improvements to battery life and weight reduction. Longer, more comfortable gaming sessions. What more could you want? Suffice it to say, this second wind for the Steam Deck as a platform should happily carry us to its true successor.

Find out more in our Steam Deck OLED review.

Best gaming headset of 2023

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

best gaming headset 2023 - steelseries arctis nova pro wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is the complete gaming headset. It offers crystal-clear audio paired with a wide-band microphone and intuitive AI-driven audio cancellation. Beyond the noise, the Game DAC is also a fantastic way to monitor your game/chat levels and change your EQ on the fly. It even delivers in-game statistics in supported titles like Counter-Strike 2.

As you might expect, this is a premium headset with a price to match, but the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless deserves every ounce of praise we’ve thrown its way, and it’s worth every penny too.

Read our SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless review for more.

Best gaming keyboard of 2023

SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini

best gaming keyboard 2023 - steelseries apex pro mini

A mini keyboard winning out in 2023? You’re damn right. The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini is a huge improvement over your standard mechanical keyboard and has incredible levels of responsiveness. Onboard profile storage and a small, light form factor mean it’s an ideal travel buddy for any occasion.

Whether you use it fresh out of the box or spend hours tinkering with actuation points and meta bindings, the Apex Pro Mini has stunning value even at its premium price.

Read our SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini review.

Best gaming laptop of 2023

Razer Blade 16

best gaming laptop 2023 - Razer Blade 16

The dual-mode screen tech inside the Razer Blade 16 goes a long way to making it one of the best gaming laptops we’ve seen this year, but this wouldn’t matter if not for the stellar build quality and performance it also offers. Together, this portable package is unbeatable.

Top-tier specs, namely a Core i9 13950HX processor and GPU options topping out at the RTX 4090, help to make full use of the dual-mode mini LED display’s capabilities. Whether you’re up for a competitive session at QHD+ 240Hz or a more narrative-driven experience at UHD+ 120Hz, the Blade 16’s versatility has you covered.

Read our full Razer Blade 16 review.

Best gaming monitor of 2023

Corsair Xeneon 27QHD240

best gaming monitor 2023 - Corsair Xeneon 27QHD240

The OLED gaming monitor revolution is in full swing, and the Corsair Xeneon 27QHD240 serves as a shining example of how great this panel technology can be. As was the case with the Steam Deck, once you move from an LCD monitor to an OLED model, it’s truly difficult to go back for so many reasons.

The Xeneon 27QHD240 packs all the advantages of OLED we’ve come to expect, namely lightning-fast response times, awesome contrast levels with inky blacks, and per-pixel brightness control (no backlight required here). It also comes with welcome niceties like a well-rounded I/O and a surprisingly useful proximity sensor.

Stay tuned for our full Corsair Xeneon 27QHD240 review.

Best gaming mouse of 2023

Razer Viper V3 Hyperspeed

best gaming mouse 2023 - razer viper v3 hyperspeed

The Razer Viper V3 Hyperspeed is undoubtedly the best mouse of 2023. Its incredible design, performance, and battery life all culminate in a mouse that should cost far more than it does.

Razer took years of design research and development from the last Viper model and refined everything it could to bring the V3 Hyperspeed to market with a bang. When we tested it for review, we found it to be super responsive with a long battery life – thanks to it using a replaceable AA battery rather than a rechargeable unit – and its ergonomic design makes it a joy to sit under your palm. Some risks were taken, such as a front-end sensor and relatively high weight for an esports mouse (82g), but it works like a dream and no mouse released this year comes close to offering the value of it.

Read our Razer Viper V3 Hyperspeed review for more.

Best SSD of 2023

Crucial T700

best ssd 2023 - crucial t700

You won’t actually find this drive on the PCGN best SSD guide just yet as we first reviewed it on Custom PC. However, the Crucial T700 is quite simply among the fastest SSDs you can buy right now. It has delivered the fastest sequential read and write speeds we’ve seen from a consumer M.2 SSD. Specifically, its results were close to double those of the mid-range PCIe 4 SSDs we’ve tested, showing there is some extra speed to be had from getting a PCIe 5 SSD.

One thing to note is that the drive does run quite hot, so you’ll need to buy it either with its optional heatsink or use the heatsink provided with your motherboard (or use a 3rd-party one like Corsair’s water-cooled SSD cooler). It’s certainly not the cheapest SSD going – and all that speed doesn’t translate to a huge difference in gaming performance – but if you just want a reliably fast option right now, it’s the one to get.

Read the Corsair T700 review on our sister site.