PC Holiday Buyer’s Guide

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PC gaming has reached an all-time high level of interest during the last few years. With Steam making it big for digital distribution, the rise of indie games in the general public’s mind, and the ever lowering cost of entry, now is the best time to be a PC gamer (or a potential one)!

One of the greatest things about PC gaming is that there are so many options of how to play, and what to play. But that’s also the format’s downfall. There are so many options when getting your computer, and there’s just so much stuff out there begging to be played. Luckily for you, dear reader, I’ve condensed the best of 2012′s PC gaming bits, bells, and whistles into one handy and dandy holiday gift guide. This is by no means what you should get me for Christmas, but it would be greatly appreciated. Because I love you, after all.

A New PC – Price varies

How sweet would this be? You wake up, your headspace emptying itself of sugarplum fairies and an obese man with a beard, and discover a big-ass box under the tree. “What’s this,” you ask in your best Jack Skellington voice. As soon as your tear apart the paper confinement, a glorious and imposing monolith of computational power stares you back in the face. Now, there are several ways to go about buying your loved one a new machine. You could buy one from one of many vendors and customize it on their site. I suggest Maingear, or Origin. Their prices, services, and reputation are all great. Or if you know your loved one is a bit crafty, and you would like to save a lot of money, you could order the parts and have them (or yourself) build the machine. I highly suggest this route, as A) It’s not hard at all (It’s Lego with wires), B) You save so much money (usually in the hundreds of dollars), and C) It’s freaking awesome to say “Yeah, I built that. No big,” to your friends.

An SSD – Price varies

Okay, building a new PC as a gift is pretty costly, no? But how about improving your loved one’s machine infinitely? Get them an SSD drive. The price/storage ratio is getting better by the day, and a great drive can be had for right around $200. I suggest Samsung’s 840 series drives. Incredible performance for a great price. Not only are these drives faster than any mechanical drive ever made, but they’re also stupidly power efficient. Great for those homes that want to go green bit by bit, or those wanting to get every bit of juice out of their laptop.

Logitech G400 mouse – ~$45

Okay okay okay. A new computer or an SSD are a little pricey. I get that. My financial situation means that I have to give my loved ones street vendor Russian hats made from rat fur. But you can make the way your loved one interacts with their computer even better. A new mouse! What, too boring for you? You don’t realize how important a mouse is for any computer, let alone a gaming machine.

The Logitech G400 is the successor to their MX518 line of mice, which I hold as the greatest mice ever invented. While the MX518 has been discontinued for a couple years now, the G400 looks to somehow improve upon perfection. With eight buttons, sensitivity changing on the fly, and 3600 dpi of tracking goodness, it’s hard to go wrong with this. Unless your person of interest is a lefty. In which case, check out Razer’s line of ambidextrous mice. While they won’t have the side buttons of the G400, they make up for it by being damned comfy to handle.

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Max was born at the tender young age of zero in a town noted for its horses and baseball bats. He enjoys giraffes, puppies, Robocop, oft forgotten movies of the 90's, British comedy, and bicycling.