HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2010

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What's a PC without a processor? A heap of parts, that's what. Here's a list of noteworthy CPUs from the past year, arranged from least expensive to most.

Phenom II X2 555
- $92

You'll be hard pressed to find a decent CPU that's less expensive than this, yet still worth buying in 2010. The AMD Phenom II X2 555 can easily be found for under $100, and during our review earlier in the year, we found it to be more than capable when it comes to handling multi-tasking and most common PC tasks. Probably not your best choice for hardcore gaming, but it's more than enough for essentially everything else. And when paired with the right mobo, additional cores may be unlockable too.

Intel Core i5-650 - $180

Intel may not have too many "Core i" options at the low-end, but the Core i5 family is a very solid mid-range choice--just be sure to pair it with the right socket 1156 motherboard. Offering a nice 3.2GHz clock speed that can jump to 3.46GHz with Turbo, this dual-core chip with HT that can process 4 threads is perfect for decoding HD video and pushing modern games. Not quite as powerful as a Core i7, but much easier on the wallet.

AMD Phenom II X6 1075T
- $199

Just because you're on a budget, that doesn't mean that you can't nab someone a new piece of silicon for their future machine. The AMD Phenom II X6 1075T offers true six-core power for around $200, and it works with AM3 socket motherboards, ships with 8MB of cache and is designed to work in power-sipping machines. No need to invest in a liquid cooling solution here; you'll have plenty of power for multi-media chores and the occasional first-person shooter.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T- $227

If a Core i7 'Extreme' is too rich for your blood (or just overkill for your Secret Santa recipient), the 3.2GHz Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition is a perfectly good alternative. This mid-range CPU works with AM3 motherboards and is one of the cheaper six-core options on the market. Plenty of oomph here for multi-media crunching or gaming. This Phenom II is perfect for those who just love to overclock. This particular chip is unlocked, meaning that the 3.2GHz factory speed probably won't stay there for long. It's the perfect chip for the DIYer in your midst.

Intel Core i7-875K - $329

It's not quite a 980X, but this Core i7 is built for abuse. This particular chip is unlocked, meaning that the 2.93GHz factory is just the starting point for bigger and better things.  We took our chip to 4GHz on air in fact. If you feel the need for speed, but your wallet is a little queasy, the 875K's price tag is a little bit more palatable than the average 3GHz Intel chip.

Intel Core i7-970 - $879

Whenever Intel throws "Extreme Edition" onto the backside of a CPU's name, you know 2 things: first, it'll be really, really fast and second, it'll be really, really expensive. The Core i7-980X Extreme is 2010's CPU to beat, boasting a 32nm Gulftown core, 3.33GHz clock speed and more power than we've ever seen in a consumer chip. If you need to break every benchmark, including the amount you've ever spent on someone else, this is the CPU to get.  However, if you're interested in getting darn-near Core i7 980X speeds and don't care to fork over a kidney but perhaps don't mind a small second mortgage, the Core i7 970 will shave some Benjamins off the price tag and still offer you some 3.2GHz Core i7 six-core beat down power.

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3vi1 4 years ago

>> Have you been naughty or nice?


Oh sure... throw that in my face.


I have the Samsung SyncMaster P2770 (not FH), and highly recommend it.  Even with 2ms time (same contrast ratio), I never notice ghosting or blurring.  The FH model sounds like an awesome gift.

amdcrankitup 4 years ago

Very nice gift guide for sure. If I had some deeeeeeeeep pockets I would have a great time going through that list and would come up with a real kick ass Rig.

Thats terrible temptation and my birthday is DEC 24 also the BIG 55 years old I need a rich uncle or something!!! Or one good lottery ticket!

realneil 4 years ago

[quote user="amdcrankitup"]and my birthday is DEC 24 also the BIG 55 years old[/quote]

I turned 57 today,...........

BTW: good list of bling,.....I like too much of it for my own good.

The ASUS WiCast EW2000 Wireless HD Video Transmitter and Receiver is especially tempting to me.

fat78 4 years ago

Now i need to find some one with a wallet big enough to buy me those gaming desktops

InfinityzeN1 4 years ago

I'm actually happy that I already have several things on the list.

Something to add in, for those people like I was with six (yes SIX) remotes on my coffee table is the Logitech Harmony series of remotes.  The Harmony One for those who don't need RF, the Harmony 900 (which I picked up) for those who do.

I fell in love with the remote less than an hour after opening it.  Replaced all my remotes, actually handles all the I/O and on/off for any activities you use it for, full color touch screen.  Review it guys!

rapid1 4 years ago

Nice gift list really like the list. Specifically the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD5is an awesome 1366 socket board which I have used on one rig for close to a year now with no issues at all. The NZXT Phantom and Corsair Cases are awesome, as are the headphones (of which I need a new pair of, just because I want some )). I could personally really use a flat screen monitor as well 22.5" or bigger (as it is always better) will do, just hit me up for my address when you wanna send me one.

der meister 4 years ago

I want a T-rex on the front page.... that or the 27" 3d monitor...

realneil 4 years ago

[quote user="Der Meister"]I want a T-rex on the front page.... that or the 27" 3d monitor...[/quote]

I wouldn't mind a T-Rex to keep my neighbor's dog from crapping on my lawn,............


mentaldisorder 4 years ago

Might I add that the 40gb agility 2 is on sale and with rebate will cost you $96.  The Vertex 2 costs $84.99 after rebate.

ed007 4 years ago

print- hand wifey... go shopping woman! :)

Specjre 4 years ago

Great list I will have to look at a few of these to put under the tree.  Just wonder if I will be able to resist the urge to put my name on them.

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