HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2009

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RAM prices may have fallen sharply over the past few years, but the stuff made for performance-minded users still demands some serious cash. Here's a look at a few solid bets for this holiday season, arranged from least expensive to most.

Kingston HyperXR DDR3
- $60+



Starting at just $60 for a 2GB kit, Kingston's true-blue memory bundles are actually really affordable given their performance. You can find a wide variety of speeds and latencies to best fit your needs (or the needs of that special someone), with clock rates running all the way up to 2133MHz. The sticks are available in kit capacities of up to 8GB dual-channel, and 12GB triple-channel for high-endconfigurations.

OCZ Low-Voltage DDR3 Kit - $103+



Need support for Intel's P55 Chipset and subsequent Intel Core i7, i5, and i3 (Socket 1156) processors? You've come to the right place. OCZ's new DDR3 Low-Voltage Dual Channel Kits are available in a multitude of speeds, with each of the 2x2GB bundles promising to function properly with some of Intel's newest wares. OCZ's heralded performance and warranty is included for free, too. Okay, so maybe it's baked in, but it "seems" free.

OCZ AMD Black Edition Memory - $130



If you're gearing up to build an AMD system, particularly one with a Phenom II CPU, OCZ has a RAM kit for you. The new 2x2GB OCZ Black Edition kit includes memory that runs with an ultra-low voltage, not to mention a fairly sweet design and an AMD-branded XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreader.

Corsair Dominator GT for Phenom II CPUs - $235



We know, RAM is RAM, right? Well, sorta. If you're worried over compatibility (and it's okay, you should be), Corsair has memory out that'll absolutely play nice with your AMD Phenom II processor-based platforms using Socket AM3 motherboards. This CAS 6 memory kit (2x2GB) operates at a frequency of 1600MHz with ultra low-latency timings of 6-6-6-18 and a Command Rate of 1T. Compared to standard 1333MHz DDR3 memory, Corsair claims this stuff provides 20% better performance when tested with a AMD Phenom II X4 Black Edition processor. Gotta love that!

Corsair Dominator XMS3 1866 MHz
- $300



Dominator RAM ain't for those with skinny wallets, but the quality is top notch. We had a chance to test this 6GB kit earlier in the year, and we were duly impressed with the results. The kit comes with 6GB (3x2GB) of 1866 MHz memory at 9-9-9-24 latencies, so, speed freaks will thank you forever, and if you're really feeling gracious, why not snag two kits? 12GB of RAM never hurt anyone!


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$600 for a motherboardIck!

I am actually thinking about grabbing that $99 Phenom x4 for Jens PC.

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I still think that Thermaltake case is so bizarre, impractical and ridiculously over priced.

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Ridiculously over-priced yes, but I think it's cool!

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I like the CoolerMaster Storm Sniper that my CyberPower PC came in.

As a matter of fact, I like the whole thing, and thanks again HotHardware, Dave, and Marco for changing my mind about Intel Based PC's, and giving me a whole new insight into PC Gaming.

I still have a moment when I head into the 'Computer Lair' and see it sitting there.

 

Thanksgiving indeed!!

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I considered the Thernaltake Level 10, but (1) it's more expensive than someone who shoves their case under their desk would want, (2) not really sure bout the airflow, and (c) it's too flagey. See, when your case gets dusty, you can just run a Clorox Wipe over it, taking about thirty seconds out of your busy day... if it's a traditional box case. This, you'd have to reach into all the nooks and crannies. That'd take far too much time out of our very important WoW levelling process. Same with the Aurora ALS ("Lou Gehrig's Disease") case, though it'd be amusing to watch the fins open and close like the machine was breathing.

 

It's also kinda troubling that only one item on the Guide overlaps with what I' using for my new rig. Oh well! I wasn't going to go $600 for a motherboard. Or anything, for that matter.

 

I should also mention that Micro Center has some great prices on processors; their i7 920 goes for under $200.

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