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PC Perspective Holiday Buying Guide 2012!

Author: PCPer Staff
Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Various

Scott Michaud's Picks

My first pick would be the SteelSeries Siberia V2 Headset available with or without a USB soundcard. If you get the one without the USB adaptor you also have a fairly wide choice in colors.

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I purchased the SteelSeries Siberia V2 to replace another brand's headset which broke. I have not had it too long so I cannot speak to its long-term durability except that I cannot see many places where it *could* reasonably break unless abused. The earcups squeeze pretty firmly on my head which is a definite plus.

I have somewhat of a reputation for mechanical keyboards. The microphone of the Siberia V2 is uni-directional and does not pick up the Cherry MX Blue switch clicking much at all. I was initially worried about a lack of windscreen although I have never had an issue with breathing into the mic. The mic also slides away into the unit if you need to eat.

The speakers also sound pretty good too. I find max volume to be slightly too loud which is actually a bonus: it is easy to reduce volume (especially with the inline volume control that basically every headset has) but it is pretty hard to increase it. I really do not want to solder together a 9-volt opamp in an Altoids tin. The speakers themselves are also pretty.

The USB version also claims virtual 7.1 surround. I have never tried it so I cannot comment on that. Still, it is about the best headset I have used.

My second pick would be an SSD, any decent SSD.

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Last year I recommended getting a second monitor because it makes your PC feel substantially more responsive. I know Al and/or others will probably have specific recommendations for SSDs but all I care about is that you get a half-decent one. Just like last year where I claimed that you do not need a good monitor to enjoy the benefits of extra desktop space, you will be happy enough just getting away from spindle-based HDDs.

So just get one or more decent sized SSDs. They are only between 50 cents and a dollar per gigabyte.

My last pick would be RAM, again any decent RAM.

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Like above, RAM prices have fallen off of a cliff. Along with the SSD, RAM will make your computer feel so much more responsive as you do more and more things at once. Most users will only require about 6-8GB to completely max out their usage for the near future so I am not even recommending buying a 32GB kit. If you are only running 2GB, why haven't you upgraded?

December 13, 2012 | 08:09 AM - Posted by YTech2 (not verified)

For this PCper Season Holiday Gift Picks;

I preferred:
- iFixIt.com Pro Tech Tool Kit
The tool kit would be a great addition to my current set. Then probably a bigger tool box. Unfortunately, the cost is a little high and could only find US vendors. Meaning, I'd have some extra burden to ship to Canada.

- Samsung 840 Pro 256
I read a lot of good feedback about this piece. Sadly, I could not find any Canadian Vendors. I may go for the OCZ Vector (non-sandforce version) or an Intel.

To add, I have been looking for a good wireless headset to allow free distance movement (~20 feet radius) for live broadcast, skype, gaming, and other. So far, I could not find anything better than my wired 10 years old gadgets.

December 13, 2012 | 06:01 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

Ryan seems to like the Vengeance 2000. As it's based on the 1500 I think it's a good headset built-quality and sound-wise but I'm not sure on how far away you can go with the 2000.

December 13, 2012 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Adeste Fideles (not verified)

i thought josh would have picked more hair and ryan more amenable minions.

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