Tim and Scott
PC Checkups / Support – $Priceless, Yourself
After the holiday festivities, it is inevitable that your loved ones turn to the family tech support to ask for help with their technology. One of the best gifts you can give as a tech savvy friend or family member is making sure your loved ones do not get ripped off by tech support businesses overcharging or even getting scammed by people merely claiming to be support. As the holidays wind down, offer to take a look at their computers and give them a good once over to clean them up and back to running like new. Also, please take a moment to educate them about tech support scams and that they should never call phone numbers on website pop ups! For distant relatives, software like Remote Utilities is awesome for remote support, and it's free!
Sapphire RX 480 Nitro+ Graphics Card – $263, Amazon
If the person you are shopping for is a PC gamer and they are running an older system, a graphics card upgrade can keep them in the game for awhile longer, perhaps while they wait to see how Zen vs Kaby/Cannon Lake shakes out. AMD's Polaris-based graphics cards are good midrange options that will likely use less power and be faster than their current card while also opening up new feature support such as DirectX 12, asynchronous compute, Vulkan, variable clockspeeds (boost/turbo clocks), and newer display standards.
Personally, the Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 looks to be a good option that has a good design and is one of the fastest factory overclocked RX 480 GPUs. For the PC gamer in your life that is not interested or does not have the time to overclock and dial in the fastest speeds manually, this is a good 'install and get back to gaming' option. If they do like overclocking, cards from EVGA, Zotac, MSI, and others with their respective custom coolers and power phases might be a bit cheaper but should have similar overclocking potential so long as you don't completely fail on the silicon lottery.
Make Something – Price Varies
Image Credit: Bob Ross Inc.
As a kid, you have probably given an arts and crafts project to a friend or family member as a gift. While the bar is set significantly higher for an adult, some of our readers are artists and illustrators. If you have time and talent, then consider making a print, a scrapbook, or even a video for a loved one. Particularly for illustrations, many photo centers have same-day or next-day printing, including on canvases and posters. Apart from your time, they’re not that expensive, either.
Since I need to provide a link of some sort, I'll do Walmart USA. They do same-day on several items, including canvas, board, poster, books, calendars, and banners. I'm guessing you will get better quality from a local small business, though. If you're a professional, then you might know someone (or even have a printer of your own). That said, Walmart isn't bad. It's probably good enough.
A Computer Chair – $50 to $$$$, Amazon
This one can be a relatively personal and expensive gift, but, going along with the ottoman theme from last year, personal comfort is appreciated. There are many types of chairs, depending on whether the recipient prefers mesh, lounge, racer, and so forth, but you might be able to provide a good recommendation. Do note that some chairs may not arrive until after the holidays, though, so make sure that it will ship with enough time… or just make plans to get one on Boxing Week.
Ergonomic Mesh Chair – Amazon $49.99 (Regular $99.99)
Logitech Mechanical Keyboards – $109.99 to $121.99, Amazon
On Black Friday, I purchased a new mouse and keyboard set. While current prices are not quite the 50% off that I paid, there are still some decent discounts in play on all three models. Personally, I would lean toward one of the Orion Spectrums, either of the G810 Orion Spectrum or G910 Orion Spectrum, over the G910 Orion Spark, due to its odd keycaps. While I haven’t used them personally, from what I’ve seen and heard, it seems like a preference that you cannot really predict whether someone else will enjoy it. There exists a market, and they know who they are, but you, as the gift giver, probably will not know.
They each use the RomerG switches, which are very similar to the Cherry MX Brown. This means that they have a definite bump, to provide touch feedback of when the activation occurs so you don't need to bottom-out the keys, but no click. They're fairly quiet, too.
- G910 Orion Spark (Macro Keys and Custom Keycaps) Amazon $119.99 (MSRP $179.99)
- G910 Orion Spectrum (Macro Keys and Standard Keycaps) Amazon $121.99 (MSRP $179.99)
- G810 Orion Spectrum (No Macro Keys, Standard Keycaps) Amazon $109.99 (MSRP $159.99)
man the whole guide is
man the whole guide is expensive
Hey! I did put that $16
Hey! I did put that $16 infrared thermometer in there! 🙂
One of my picks was free! hah
One of my picks was free! hah
Ryan has been recommending
Ryan has been recommending more and more premium priced “things” over time :).
Podcast 149 (April 2011) – “Amazon Cloud Drive” (pretty cheap)
Podcast 150 – Free application for Android
Podcast 153 – used underwear “His lawyers briefs”
Podcast 250 or so – newspapers “papers”
Podcast 426 – $500 phablet
(Yes these are cherry picked for fun 🙂 )
Shadow Warrior 2 is a
Shadow Warrior 2 is a fantastic game, definitely agree with the recommendation. On my top five games list for 2016 for sure.
It was a hard choice between
It was a hard choice between that and Doom, but I love me some Lo Wang. The one liners and fact that it doesn't take itself very seriously reminds me of Duke Nukem and Serious Sam…
Shadow Warrior 2 is also the
Shadow Warrior 2 is also the first PC game to support HDR. The announcement came from NVIDIA, but I’ve was thinking of picking it up to see if I could view HDR from my RX480 to Vizio TV. Besides SW2 I can’t seem to find a way to test or view HDR content from PC. Microsoft/Netflix made an announcement last month, but you have to have a Kaby Lake processor or (maybe?) a NVIDIA 1XXX series card. Sigh, DRM.
Why not promote the Fury X
Why not promote the Fury X that is on sale for $299 at newegg and amazon (and probably other online shops) ?
In the Division it delivers 83% of the GTX 1080 performance for less then HALF the price. (and its quieter)
I’m mentioning this because The Division is a forecaster of performance for many future titles…
It’s not a bad deal, but I
It's not a bad deal, but I will say this: every time I plug in my Fury X here to do some testing, I am annoyed at the noise and sound that card makes…
Its true that you cant judge
Its true that you cant judge noise just from a db level, its characteristics also matters.
For example I can listen to the entire “four seasons” at 80db, but I would probably go “death” after 5 minute of skrylex.
I will know soon enough if the pump noise/coil whine is a problem in my case. (Corsair Carbide 330R)
For the noise, I can hear the
For the noise, I can hear the pump when the case is open and when I put my ear close. But otherwise, closed case and ambient noise made this the quiet video card I ever owned.
But, at idle, in the middle of the night, I think I could hear the pump. In contrast the H100 pump seem quieter… So not sure why the Fury X pump is audible, but the H100 is not.
The coil noise doesn’t seem worse of better then many GPU I used since the 8800GTS.
The noise is not my issue with the Fury X (Or performance)
But the heat sink is massive and “uncomfortably” fit even in my full ATX case. And the tubing is very stiff.
So all in all, I think the $170 4GB RX 480 is a much better all around deal. Its probably THE best GPU at the moment, even at $200
I ordered nvidia gtx 1080 🙂
I ordered nvidia gtx 1080 🙂