OCModShop 2009 Holiday Gift Guide


2009 Gift Guide

Happy holidays one and all! I would say that of all the writers here at OCModshop, I am the most Scrooge-like. I am not a fan of Christmas, really. I do like buying stuff for other people and getting presents, you would have to be mentally handicapped to not enjoy that. But the whole Santa thing, trees, decorations, and the guys standing outside stores ringing those bells for change? Craziness. Not to mention the mere act of buying presents, because those Christmas shoppers can be pretty damned aggressive. So here’s my personal wish list of things you could buy online for that geek in your family and avoid the hustle and bustle and idiocy of holiday shopping. Or just buy them for me and be granted one favor on the day of my daughter’s wedding in eighty years.

#1 – Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme CPU Heatsink

This heatsink is the optimum choice for the power user who doesn’;t want to convert to water-cooling but still wants optimal cooling. A bent winglet design, large aluminum fin area, and nickel-plated heat pipes make for one heck of a cooling design. Top that with a 120mm fan and you’;ve got a cooler PC than you could have imagined with a fan-cooled system. And, it’s like those antibiotics you had to take after you met that woman in that bar, very broad spectrum. Here’s a list of compatible sockets:

Socket i7
Socket 775 Quad Core
Socket AM2+
Socket AM2
Socket 939 Retention kit

#2 – SilverStone Sugo SG04-F

There are a lot of cases on the market today, and it’s hard to pick and choose. This one offers more expansion possibilities, this one accepts more motherboard form factors, and that one offers room for dual video cards and huge power supplies. But why can’;t we have all that and more in a single case? The Sugo SG04-F delivers the goods in every way possible. With additional expansion slots and reversible power supply unit installation design, SG04-F owns a superior cooling performance which can support operating dual graphic card (10.5 inch) within it. Adjustable fan positions enable users to devise their own cooling layout as required with the front door helping to reduce noise effectively. Check out the features:

Room for two 120mm cooling fans.
Cooling capable of supporting dual CPU motherboard.
Support dual 10.5” graphics card.
Amazing expansion capability.
Support 1500W power supply.
Compatible with all optical drive up to 210mm.

#3 – Logitech Harmony 550 Universal Remote

It’s not a brand new remote, and I’;ll be the first to admit that it’s not the cheapest either, but the 550 is freaking awesome regardless. The compatibility of the Harmony line of remote controls is astounding, you can control everything from your DVD player to your digital camera and the list continues to grow. The thing I like about the 550 is that it is super-compatible with home-built HTPC systems. The last thing you want after putting all that trouble into building the ultimate super Home Theater PC is to have a crappy remote that looks like you got it at Goodwill. You can control your entire entertainment system with this single remote, and it will look good doing it. Here are some features:

• 250,000 compatible devices pre-programmed
• Compatible with custom HTPC systems
• Backlit LCD display screen
• Illuminated Keypad
• Easy computer connection
• Control up to 15 devices at once

#4 – SAPPHIRE Vapor-X HD5870 1GB GDDR5 PCIE Video Card

This is probably the most expensive item on the list, and for good reason. DirectX 11 is headed our way whether we like it or not, and the next generation of games won’;t look nearly as good with DX-10 still running on our systems. Microsoft is always trying to take graphics to the next level, and the hardcore gamers are eating it up. There’s a reason this card is on a wish list, because “wishing” is all I can do to get my hands on it.

The SAPPHIRE HD 5870 Vapor-X is based on the latest graphics architecture from the ATI division of AMD, the second generation of GPU to be built in its 40nm process. It supports the advanced graphical features of DirectX 11, and delivers spectacular video clarity, speed and visual effects, including over multiple monitors with the new ATI Eyefinity mode.

Sporting a new 150GB/s memory interface supporting fifth generation GDDR5 memory (1GB of it to be exact) and a new architecture with a total of 1600 stream processors and 80 texture units the SAPPHIRE HD 5870 Vapor-X has twice the computing power of the previous generation. With enhanced clock speeds of 870MHz core and 1250MHz (5GHz effective) the SAPPHIRE HD 5870 Vapor-X model is the fastest card in its class, and SAPPHIRE’s World leading Vapor-X technology not only allows the card to run as much as 15 degrees C cooler** and 10dB quieter** than the standard model, it provides additional headroom for performance tuning (overclocking).

#5 – Alienware TactX Gaming Keyboard and Mouse

I’;ve always liked the way that Alienware makes an attempt and throwing a cyborg/extraterrestrial look to their hardware. Sure, most of their computers could be built by hand for much cheaper, but they are all about the gamer in the end. And some people just don’;t want to build a computer themselves. Some are all about the gaming. That’s why Alienware came out with the TactX gaming accessories. Check it out:

The TactX keyboard is a full-size gaming keyboard with six addition customizable macro keys. It features WASD Gaming Cluster with Anti-Ghosting Technology, Easy Access Multimedia Controls, and Removable Palm Rest. Users can customize lighting for Two Zones with 20 Different Color Choices, thanks to the AlienFX.

Alienware’s TactX Mouse boasts a 5000 DPI Laser Engine with On-The-Fly DPI Switching and nine customizable buttons. It does vertical and horizontal scrolling with Dual Vertical Scroll Modes.

The TactX keyboard and mouse both come with a 6-foot USB cable. They support USB 2.0 and works with the latest Windows 7. Both TactX are priced at $99. Not a bad price for such handy gaming gear. Kind of makes you wonder why people still buy Razer products, sometimes.

So that’s the end of my wish list. It’s short and sweet, but also more than most of us can afford. For those of you who can afford it… hook me up. Happy Holidays to all you avid OCModshop readers, and good luck with your shopping and travels. Merry Christmas to all, and to all an awesome freaking Christmas.

Don is an avid gamer, writer, screen writer,part time game maker, film director, and horror film fanatic. You can check out his book "How to Survive Zombies and Other Disasters" on Amazon.