HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2009 - HotHardware

HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2009

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All this hardware needs a home, and it's on you to provide it. Scared? Don't be. Here are our favorite choices of the year for enclosures and power supplies.

Cooler Master HAF 922 - $115



This mid-tower isn't nearly as tall or daunting as the Level 10 mentioned later, but it's probably plenty for most system builders. This one supports liquid cooling systems, seven total fans, a bottom-mounted PSU and includes tool-free 5.25” and 3.5” drive bays for easy installation. Oh, and did we mention that it looks great too?

NZXT Panzerbox - $126



This is one of the sleeker mid-tower gaming boxes to ship this year, offering "best-in-class" airflow and a lightweight aluminum design. Theoretically, this box is nimble enough to be carried from one LAN party to another, and with room for 4 hard drives, 3 5.25” drive bays, and oversized heatsinks, all the tools you need are here.

Lian-Li PC-C39 - $180



This company doesn't make the cheapest cases, but they're known for quality. The PC-C39 is being included for those looking to build a slim HTPC/media PC, as this one boasts a quality, beautiful exterior that can be shown with pride beneath an HDTV. It supports micro-ATX motherboards, two 3.5" hard drives and a single 5.25" optical drive, and there's even four low-profile expansion slots for adding TV tuners and the like.

Thermaltake Level 10 - $850



It's still up for pre-order right now, but there's no buddy in the world who would balk at an IOU on this. Easily the most insane, intense chassis of 2009, this inside-out beast redefines "amazing" in the PC enclosure business. The design here enables overclockers to really crank without worrying about excess heat buildup, but it's certainly not for the faint of heart (nor those with cramped living quarters).

Corsair CMPSU-450VX - $78



If you're looking to help someone build up a rather basic system, this 450W monster should work perfectly. It's got lots of oomph for most basic, non-hardcore systems, but even a few HDDs, a GPU or two and a modern CPU shouldn't stress it out. Plus, it won't prevent you from spending all your dough on your BFF, leaving your mom with nothing on Christmas morning. Talk about a life-saver.

Corsair CMPSU-850TX - $138



850 watts of power should be plenty for most every user you know--maybe even too much, in fact--but there's no harm in preparing for future upgrades. The 5-year warranty is also comforting, and the ultra-quiet fan ensures that you won't be adding to the noise. And yeah, this one's certified with work with NVIDIA SLI configurations.

Enermax Revolution85+ - $289

The Enermax Revolution 85+ series of PSUs is about as advanced as a PSU gets. This power supply is overkill for all but the most extreme of systems--there's enough juice here for loads of GPUs, a smattering of hard drives and whatever else can fit in your wildly large enclosure. And it's highly efficient too.

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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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