Review Index:

PC Perspective Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Subject: General Tech
Manufacturer: Various

PC Component Selections

It's that time of year again!  When those of us lucky enough with the ability, get and share the best in technology with our friends and family.  You are already the family IT manager so why not help spread the holiday cheer by picking up some items for them, and hey...maybe for you.  :)

This year we are going to break up the guide into categories.  We'll have a page dedicated to PC components, one for mobile devices like notebooks and tablets and one for PC accessories.  Then, after those specific categories, we'll have an open ended collection of pages where each PC Perspective team member can throw in some wildcards.

Our Amazon code is: pcper0a4-20



Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell Processor

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The Intel Core i7-4770K is likely the best deal in computing performance today, after to power just about any configuration of PC you can think of without breaking much a sweat.  You want to game?  This part has you covered?  You want to encode some video?  The four cores and included HyperThreading support provide just about as much power as you could need.  Yes there are faster processors in the form of the the Ivy Bridge-E and even 10+ core Xeon processors, but those are significantly more expensive.  For a modest price of $299 you can get what is generally considered the "best" processor on the market.

Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Case

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Cases are generally considered a PC component that is more about the preference of the buyer but there are still fundamentals that make cases good, solid cases.  The new Corsair Carbide Air 540 is unique in a lot of ways.  The square-ish shape allows for a division of your power supply, hard drives and SSDs from the other motherboard-attached components.  Even though the case is a bit shorter than others on the market, there is plenty of working room inside thanks to the Corsair dual-chamber setup and it even includes a pair of high-performance Corsair AF140L fans for intake and exhaust.  The side panel window is HUGE allowing you to show off your goods and nice touches like the rubber grommeted cable routing cut outs and dust filters make this one of the best mid-range cases available.

Continue reading our selections for this year's PC Perspective Holiday Gift Guide!!

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Graphics Card

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Let's just assume that you REALLY love the person you are looking at buying a gift for here.  Or it's you.  If you REALLY love them (or you) then you want them to have the best, right?  As it stands today, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti graphics card is the fastest single GPU option on the market, but be prepared to pay for it.  At $699 this kind of gaming performance doesn't come cheap but you will be able to brag about your hardware purchase to literally everyone on the Internet.  Everyone.  Except maybe that guy with GTX 780 Ti's in SLI.  Screw him.

A couple of reasonable alternatives?  The AMD Radeon R9 290 priced at $399 offers a lot of the same performance of the GTX 780 Ti though with some louder fans and some lingering questions of performance variations.  Still, with an extra $300 you can maybe add that to savings for that 4K monitor...

Samsung 840 EVO Series SSD

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If you don't have an SSD in your system, laptop or desktop, then you are missing out on the biggest revolution in PC performance in a decade.  Yeah, I went there.  Solid state drives are awesome and the price just keeps coming down.  The Samsung 840 EVO series of SSDs is probably the best pick from the staff at PC Perspective and you can pick up a 500GB unit for under $350 now, or just about $0.68/GB. 

AMD FX-6300 6-core Processor Black Edition

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The second processor to make our list is here after a recommendation in our article from November that details how to build a competitive gaming PC against the new generation of consoles.  The FX-6300 is a 6-core processor for just over $100 and it offers more than enough power for nearly all users including gamers and enthusiasts.  Because you'll be able to find lower priced motherboards to go along with this CPU, the AMD FX-6300 (and other associated FX parts) are a great start to budget-minded PC build.

Video News

November 28, 2013 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Another $10 off + free Final Fantasy game for the i7-4770K ($289) @ Newegg.

Tis the season to go in debt! :D

November 28, 2013 | 09:18 PM - Posted by JOE_E

happy thanksgiving pcper! i hope you have a nice weekend :-)

November 29, 2013 | 12:51 AM - Posted by jmasta111

I can vouch that the T100TA is an AMAZING tablet. I heard Josh in a podcast a few months ago talking about how sweet Bay Trail would be when it launched, and it is indeed sweet.

>Quad core Intel Atom Baytrail CPU with 4.5x graphics improvement over previous generation
>64GB eMMC storage + microSD slot for expansion
>x86 architecture so it runs full Win 8.1 not that RT bullshit
>10.1 inch screen
>11 hour battery
>included keyboard dock with full size USB 2.0 port
>HDMI out
>Intel WiDi support (wireless display)
>free copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student Edition

....for $379.‏

‎9‎:‎21‎ ‎PM seriously, this thing is amazing I have already played CS:GO, Minecraft, Braid, Half-Life 2, Fallout New Vegas, and edited in Photoshop with it. It's like the surface pro for nearly 1/3 the price.

Here's a picture of me holding the device while writing this comment about the advice. Oh so meta.

November 30, 2013 | 01:30 PM - Posted by CrankyDave

Just as a heads up, the 64GB version of the T100 is $299 through the Microsoft store at the moment. I've been wavering over buying it for days, knowing that the new Atom chip is genuinely decent and has great battery life. I'm just leery about living with a keyboard that small. How's the typing on it?

November 29, 2013 | 07:22 AM - Posted by JwolfTech (not verified)

1. Swifttech H220 (NCIX US).
2. ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 (Amazon)
3. Intel 530 Series 180GB for $109 (Newegg).
Im using it right now. Its not the fastest drive but never need to worry about reliability, its Intel.
4. G.Skill Ripjaw 8GB (2X4) 1600 for $49.99 (Newegg).
5. Cougar 140mm fans $15 (Newegg) They are cheaper if you buy in bulk.

November 29, 2013 | 01:05 PM - Posted by I_Totally_Dont_Work_For_nVidia (not verified)

When I saw Ryan and Ken, I thought it said "Ryu and Ken"...maybe I DO need that GTX 780 Ti to Play MOAR Super Street Fighter 4 ULTRA.

December 6, 2013 | 07:43 AM - Posted by Scott (not verified)


is the above link "Continue reading our selections for this year's PC Perspective Holiday Gift Guide!!" supposed to go to this page or somewhere else - ie are there more gft items suggestions?

December 11, 2013 | 06:31 PM - Posted by Phoney (not verified)

Adafruit would have to the most interesting piece of hardware on this holiday guide. Also like the Raspberry Pi and Arduino based kits but just don't have time, maybe in the future if it's still around. Don't understand how to program so I guest it would be play around with other people code.

December 22, 2013 | 11:04 PM - Posted by kindleon (not verified)

LG Nexus 5 Review

Google launched its Nexus 5 smartphone globally and much to our surprise, the company redeemed itself for the mistakes it made with Nexus 4 in India by bringing the latest Nexus much earlier than last time around (almost one year).

The stock Android 4.4 KitKat version is the best way to differentiate between the experience on a Nexus device and other vendor branded devices. The latest Nexus 5 therefore is no different, and gives the experience that Google wants to offer to users on Android.

LG has flourished under the stewardship of Google for its Nexus devices, enabling it to iron out the flaws they've had in their previous smartphones. With Nexus 5, LG has taken the expectations to a whole new level.

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