The Best of 2005: X-bit Labs Readers’ Choice Awards

The results of our annual 2005 Readers’ Choice poll have been summarized and the winners have been finally identified. 18 prestigious awards have been given by over 30,000 of regular X-bit labs readers. Let’s find out, who the winners are!

by Anna Filatova
03/02/2006 | 07:30 PM

In the beginning of 2006 our site hosted the traditional poll, which allows you, our readers, to give your votes for the best hardware manufacturers and solutions of the past year 2005. This is the third in a row award ceremony like that on our site, and its keeps growing every year. This time we singled out 18 categories and over 30,000 people from all over the world participated in our poll this time.


For the last years' results you can always refer to our older articles: The Best of 2004: X-bit labs Readers' Choice Awards and Best of 2003: The Results of X-bit labs Poll.

Well, let us introduce to you the winners, who received our prestigious awards.

The Best Computer Case Maker: Antec

In this category the victory goes to Antec Company. Their computer cases are very popular among computer enthusiasts and modding fans as well as among mainstream users. Over 25% of our readers voted for Antec as the Best Computer Case maker of the year 2005.

The Best Cooling Systems Maker: Zalman

This year we decided to introduce the cooling systems category in our poll and Zalman appeared an indisputable winner here. This company won 40% of all votes, which is a lot more than what its competitors managed to gather. This result is clear evidence that innovative engineering ideas and outstanding designs offered by Zalman won the hearts of computer enthusiasts visiting X-bit labs.

The Best CPU Maker: AMD

For three years running AMD wins an impressive victory in this category. And each year it manages to obtain even more votes. For example, AMD received the votes of 89% of our readers for the great CPU solutions announced in 2005. It definitely indicates that AMD’s positions got even stronger when the dual-core processors were introduced into the market.

The Best Digital Music Player Marker: Apple

iPod has already turned into a cultural phenomenon. According to our readers, it is not only stylish but also a very advanced solution from the technological innovations standpoint. No wonder that Apple, the creator of iPod musical player, won the first prize in our poll this year having left Creative Labs and iRiver far behind, even though the latter two companies have been in the business for a much longer period of time.

The Best Game of the Year: F.E.A.R.

F.E.A.R. cannot boast the same tremendous success that Half-Life 2 enjoyed last year. However, this new shooter still won a well-deserved first prize. Almost 25% of our readers voted for F.E.A.R. having given due credit to the beautiful 3D graphics and exciting story in this game.

The Best Graphics Card Maker: ASUS

ASUS is another company that has been winning in our Readers’ Award poll a few years in a row. This is clear indication that the company is doing very well. This time ASUS again won our prestigious title of the best graphics card maker of the year. Note that this year, ASUS won with even bigger votes share: they received 25% of all votes, while last year they had only 20%.

The Best Graphics Processor Designer: Nvidia

Nvidia has been a step ahead of ATI all 2005, and this got certainly reflected in the poll results. GeForce 7800 was announced a few months before ATI X1000. Moreover, Nvidia has over a year of advantage in the dual-graphics solutions field, which also told on the results. You can see that the verdict is evident: 68% of our readers picked Nvidia as the best graphics processor designer of the past year 2005.

The Best Hard Disk Drive Maker: Western Digital

Western Digital is another permanent winner on our site in this hard disk drive category. This year they won 39% of all votes, which can surely be explained by the wide range of solutions for hardware enthusiasts they offered last year. Nevertheless, Seagate is getting very close behind the winner. Now that Seagate has acquired Maxtor, this company has every chance to offer us a cut-throat competition with the leader in the next year’s poll.

The Best High-Performance System Maker: Alienware

For two years in a row the first prize and the prestigious title in this category are won by Alienware Company. Over 50% of our readers prefer Alienware systems to all the other competitor solutions.

The Best LCD Monitor Maker: Samsung

I wonder if any of you expected the results to be different from what they actually are? The monitors from the Korean giant have always enjoyed well-deserved popularity due to their high image quality and affordable price. 36% of X-bit labs readers once again awarded Samsung with the brand of the year for the best LCD Monitors.

The Best Mainboard Maker: ASUS

Well, I have to admit that the situation is very boring in the mainboard category. ASUSTeK Company strengthened its positions since last year and retained the winner’s laurels with 45% of readers’ votes. I would like to stress, however, that DFI is sitting very stably in the good second place after ASUS with 24% of readers’ votes. This company managed to make significant progress last year thanks to a few very successful solutions for AMD Athlon 64 platform.

The Best Notebook Maker: Acer

Here the opinions of our readers are very different. However we still have a clear winner- the Acer Company. In 2005 they conquered the market with their successful and diverse sub-$1000 products and offered the hardware fans a great Ferrari series boasting unique remarkable exterior design.

The Best Optical Drive Maker: Plextor

Of course, Plextor has always been considered a special brand among the optical drive makers. The results of our poll are great proof to the point: Plextor won 24% of all votes and received our prestigious Readers’ Choice Award.

The Best Overclocker’s Memory Module Maker: OCZ Technology

Once again OCZ Technology managed to outrun Corsair in this cut-throat breath-taking race. As you may see, the difference is only 1% (which is around 700 votes out of 30,000). So, the prize for the year 2005 goes to OCZ Technology. Active promotion and successful marketing campaigns as well as quality products allowed this company to win in our poll with pretty high results two years in a row.

The Best Power Supply Maker: Antec

Antec Company won not only the Best Computer Case Maker title but also the Best PSU Maker award this time. 31% of our readers voted for this manufacturer.

The Best Small Form-Factor PC Maker: Shuttle

Shuttle has always been a winner in this product category. In 2005 our readers remained loyal to their favorites here. The creator of the cube form-factor continues to win our Readers’ Choice Award three years in a row now.

The Best Sound Solution for PC: Creative Labs

Creative has been the leader in the sound market for many years now. At least, 87% of our readers think so. However, this is not surprising at all. Integrated sound solutions cannot offer competitive sound quality against discrete add-on sound cards from Creative, which have reached the quality level of professional units by now.

The Best System Chipset Designer: Nvidia

Nvidia won almost 75% of all votes this time. And it is actually very logical result, I should say. Nvidia is the first company to design system chipsets supporting two fully-fledged PCI Express slots for graphics cards. Of course, ATI responded with their Radeon Xpress 200 Crossfire Edition chipset, but since the launch has been postponed a few times, they simply couldn’t win the market back before the end of the year.