PC gaming in 2021: The hardware highlights and lowlights

No matter what’s been going on this year, there have been reasons to be cheerful despite the pandemic backdrop, supply crisis, chip shortage, and crypto mining explosion. There is PC gaming hardware to be had, and you can buy a new GPU if you really, really put in the hard graft. And, y’know, the money. 

The end of this year has seen some of the best mainstream gaming CPUs ever released, with Intel’s Alder Lake Core i5 chip wowing us, and the GPU makers have been hard at work to ensure you can squeeze as many frames per second out of your silicon as possible through fancy, almost invisible upscaling tech.