VR-Zone Christmas Buying Guide 2010
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and while there’s no snow in sunny-and-occasional-rainy Singapore, many of us still celebrate Christmas here. If you haven’t done your Christmas shopping for your beloved yet (you know who you are), here are twenty products, both hardware and consumer products, we at VR-Zone.com have come up with that we think would make wonderful gifts.
The US$499/SG$769 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 makes it into the top of our Christmas wishlist by being the fastest PC graphics accelerator released this year. See how it trounces the competition in our review. Built on NVIDIA’s Fermi microarchitecture, this beast is much faster than the GeForce GTX 480 it replaces. Make extra framerates a Christmas present with this!
Okay, perhaps you find the price tag of half a grand a tad too expensive. Fret not! At US$349/SG$529, the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 gives you GeForce GTX 480 performance with less power consumption, noise and heat. The 570 is arguably the most value-for-money high-end GPU for the year-end buying season, and possibly even till next-generation GPUs appear. Read more about the 570 over here.
When we reviewed the GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3, we made special mention of the US$250/SG$375 Antec TruePower Quattro 1200 “for its infallible compatibility with just about everything we’ve thrown at it over the past ten months.” That basically sums it all up. If you’re considering giving you best gaming buddy that one more GeForce GTX 580 to complete his 3-way SLI mean machine, why not get him this bombproof PSU as well?
Not everbody needs 1200W on tap. You could always get away with a little less power if your PC system is not as demanding. The Thortech Thunderbolt PLUS 800W PSU fits the bill for most, with its exceptional efficiency and ripple performance. Not convinced? Read our review to see why it makes the perfect Christmas gift.
Two desktop processors caught our eyes more than any other for the year of 2010. One of them is the US$229/SG$459 AMD Phenom II X6 Processor 1090T (review) that offers six-core computing on the cheap. Buy this Black Edition processor for the overclocking enthusiast: The just-released 1100T only means that the 1090T is better value than ever before!
Those who crave for more Instructions Per Clock (IPC) should write to Santa for the Intel Core i7-970 Processor. Why not the Intel Core i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition? The US$880 Core i7-970 offers full-blown Intel Nehalem microarchitecture like its faster brother. The overclocking PC geek would be equally happy with one in his Christmas stocking, since he’d be able to bring it up to speed.
What about mainboards for the lucky folks who already have these processors? We’d clean a dozen chimmneys just so that Santa and his elves would put one of these mainboards under the Christmas tree:
The hugely complex ASUS Crosshair IV Formula represents what is very much the pinnacle of AMD mainboard integration. With its Core Unlocker function, you might even be delivering an additional surprise to the friend who has an AMD Phenom II X2 Processor waiting to be unleashed. It can be found for US$210/SG$449.
The next item which we reckon would make a great gift, is the liliputian GIGABYTE GA-H55N-USB3 (US$105/SG$189) mainboard (review). Put a gift wrapper over its dimunitive box packaging, and your friends will never guess that its a mainboard in their hands! Even when Sandy Bridge microarchitecture goes mainstream, those LGA1156 processors will find home on a GA-H55N-USB3 for a more family-oriented purpose as a HTPC.
So, your friend demands the absolute best in personal computing, and he has the almighty Intel Core i7-980X Processor Extreme Edition. Don’t think he is living up to his marque? Serve up the ASUS Rampage III Extreme (US$370/SG$729) when you visit him for Christmas! It is built to be as durable as its mean looks suggest, and it’s actually packed with features!