Techgage has just turned five, so what better reason to celebrate? To help kill two birds with one stone, we’re looking to YOU for input on what we’re doing right, and what you want to see more of (or improve). As a thanks for taking our site survey, you’ll be entered to have a chance at winning our custom-built gaming PC, valued at $4,200!
Contest and survey are closed. Stay tuned for the winner! Please refer to here for more info!
On March 1, 2005, a hopeful orange and blue tech site came out of the woodwork with the goal of keeping consumers well-informed with its detailed and well-written content. As it stands today, a full five years later, we heartily believe we’ve been keeping on track with that goal, and we hope that you’d agree.
To help celebrate our birthday and usher in the next era of Techgage, we’re holding an on-site survey where you can provide us with valuable feedback to help us continue building the best site possible. We want to know what you like most about Techgage, any changes you’d make, how we can improve and what keeps you coming back for more!
Our survey consists of 20 or so questions and will take between 3 – 5 minutes to complete. For your time and effort, you’ll be entered into our drawing for a sweet gaming PC, built right in our lab!
Thanks to the amazing support of ten industry-leading companies, we’ve been able to build an incredibly drool-worthy machine that one lucky reader will take home with them at the conclusion of our survey. A PC isn’t a PC without a monitor and barrage of accessories, so we’ve made sure to include all those as well.
We’d like to give a huge thanks to our leading sponsors, Corsair and Gigabyte, for really going the extra mile in seeing that this PC was as good as could be. We’d also like to thank Intel, ASUS, Logitech, Western Digital, Ultrasone, TRENDnet, Microsoft and Nero for making the entire package just that much sweeter.
The complete specs of our gaming PC, along with its accessories, can be seen in the table below. If you’re interested in learning more about a particular component, simply click the name and you’ll be brought straight to our description. For full contest rules and regulations, please look to the bottom of this page.
When Corsair decided to create its very first chassis, there was going to be no such thing as not giving 110% in the design process. After all, the resulting chassis was to have a Corsair badge on it. The result of the company’s exhaustive R&D is the Obsidian 800D. This steel full-tower is incredibly well-built, offers a removable CPU backplate, hot-swappable hard drives, a superb airflow scheme and tons of room for your equipment. This is without question one of the best cases on the market today.
If you were to build a high-end PC today and didn’t invest in a solid-state drive, you’d really be missing out. After all, it would be an injustice to leave your CPU starved of data due to a slow hard drive. Anyone who’s used an SSD will likely admit to the world of difference it has made, and it’s for this reason Corsair has supplied its P128 SSD. Offering super-fast speeds of 220MB/s read and 180MB/s write, including full support of TRIM, this will make you the envy of your friends.
Remember when 1GB of RAM was more than enough for your PC? Today it seems that even 4GB can be a bit limiting due to our heavy multi-tasking lifestyles! To make sure our gaming PC has sufficient breathing room, Corsair is packing in 8GB (4x2GB) of its super-fast DOMINATOR DDR3-1600, which includes a memory fan to make sure the modules never get too toasty (and maybe so you can push them that little bit further).
To have a reliable PC, it’s imperative to have an equally-reliable power supply. Since Corsair first began producing power supplies, it’s earned the reputation of building high-quality offerings that have earned it award after award. To help deliver ample power to your rig, Corsair has included its 850 Watt 850HX power supply. Also owing to a completely modular design, cable clutter is minimized, giving your PC the room it needs to breathe.
At last year’s Computex, Corsair had two primary products to show off, the 800D chassis and the H50 CPU cooler, both of which turned out to be excellent products. The cooler is a self-contained liquid-cooling unit that surprisingly allows for high CPU overclocks, despite its silent nature. And nothing says cool under pressure better than a pair of water pipes keeping an i7 in check!
To help make our PC as feature-complete as possible, Gigabyte has sent along its P55A-UD7 motherboard that likely has more functionality than you will ever put to use. In addition to its great design, it offers support for 10 USB ports right on the back panel, 10 SATA ports, 4 PCI-E 16x slots for your graphics cards, a built-in waterblock and much more. Of course, as it’s a forward-thinking board, it also features support for both S-ATA 3.0 and USB 3.0.
As far as graphics cards are currently concerned, it’s AMD’s ATI Radeon’s that are dominating the performance charts. Along with DirectX 11, the HD 5000 series also provides its robust multi-monitor support and superb power consumption. So it’s only fitting that we include one in your gaming PC, and thanks to Gigabyte, we can. The company has recently released an “Ultra Durable” model which features high-grade components and a unique cooler for excellent cooling ability, and that’s the model included here.
Because all things must come in boxes, Gigabyte has… donated a cardboard box? Of course there’s more to it than that! To make sure that our gaming PC gets to its destination reliably, Gigabyte is taking care of the shipping costs. The final package will be sent either via FedEX or UPS. Big thanks to Gigabyte for taking care of this!
Does a product like this even need a description? Intel has been delivering some of the best processors on the planet, and the Lynnfield architecture is one of the reasons why. Intel is graciously providing you with the awesome power of a Core i7-870. With its Turbo feature, HyperThreading, low temperatures and power consumption, an integrated memory controller and lots of cache, it is a true powerhouse. As Intel’s highest-end Lynnfield offering, the Core i7-870 is a perfect fit for your PC.
Over the past couple of years, ASUS has really taken charge with its displays, and they keep getting better and better all the time. ASUS is the last kind of company to simply rehash product ideas from other companies, and it continually innovates all the time. Some of that innovation is seen here, with the 23.8″ MS238H. The curl stand in the back will keep your screen facing at the perfect angle, but all it takes is a finger to adjust it as you like. Of course, 1080p is completely supported, which leads us into the next product…
To help deliver that 1080p content, you need a Blu-ray drive. That’s where ASUS’ BC-08B1ST comes into play. It doubles as a DVD-RW, and features things like True Theatre HD, disc encryption, optimal tuning strategy (or OTS, for improved disc burning) and more. ASUS also includes its DRW-24B1ST DVD-RW drive. That way you can dedicate the Blu-ray drive to just Blu-ray’s, and prolong its life!
Like Corsair’s launch of the 800D chassis, when ASUS first wanted to produce an audio card, it didn’t want to dive in lightly. Its first result, the Xonar D2, proved to be an incredible audio offering, and it easily earned one of our Editor’s Choice awards. Since that release, the company has followed-up with numerous other models to fit all budgets and desires. The D1, which will be included in our PC, will help deliver a great experience whether in gaming, movie-viewing or music-listening.
Logitech has long been a respected company by gamers, and it’s products like the G19 that make us understand why. This feature-rich board offers back-lit keys (of varying colors), 12 macro keys (which can be used as a total of 36 with the macro switcher), a built-in LCD screen that can be used for various reporting or other apps, an on-board scroll screen and much, much more. As far as gaming keyboards go, this is the ultimate.
Like the G19, the G9x aims (no pun) to be the ultimate gaming mouse, offering precision targeting and a comfortable feel. If you don’t like how the G9x feels in your hand, you could simply swap the outer layer. Find the mouse too weighty? You can simply adjust the weights underneath until you find the perfect combination. Since mice settings sometimes need to be altered depending on the game, the G9x features on-board memory to store up to five profiles, which handle the macros, DPI settings and LED lighting.
We’ve already solved one-half of the audio conundrum with the ASUS Xonar card, but what good is a great audio card without speakers? To fill that void, Logitech has sent us its X-540 surround sound set to include. It consists of a sub-woofer, five satellites (each with dual drivers) and a control pad which allows you to quickly change the volume or alter the bass and enable Matrix Mode.
It’s obvious that a solid-state drive can add responsiveness to a PC, but as it stands today, the available densities are a bit lacking. That’s why hard drive vendors, such as Western Digital, have nothing to worry about for quite some time (not to mention, the company is also involved in the SSD market, so it’s in a winning position regardless). So to give you ample space to keep all your virtual goods, WD has included its 2TB Caviar Black, offering great performance and important security features.
For when no one else is home, Logitech’s surround sound set above will help immerse you into your gameplay, but what about when you need to keep the noise down, such as at 3:00AM? That’s where a good set of cans come into play, and if there’s one company that excels in this area, it’s Ultrasone. It’s DJ1 PRO model offers hugely impressive sound, has a low impedance of 64 ohm, a freq. range of 10Hz – 22KHz and a pressure level of 102 dB. Yes, these can get loud, but boy do they sound great.
It goes without saying that playing a stellar game online is a rewarding experience, but not when you get a dreaded disconnect error. It sucks, and can sometimes result in a broken monitor or desk. So, TRENDnet is to the rescue with its TEW-671BR dual-band wireless router. It offers far too many features to talk about here, but what you should know is that it handles 802.11n and can stream HD video across your network like it’s nothing. Plus, it’s sleek black. What’s not to like about that?
Microsoft might have had a rough time following-up to Windows XP, but the company did most everything right with 7. The OS is currently gaining ground like no one’s business, and it’s all for good reason. It’s the most stable version of Windows yet, plus it’s also the best-looking and more reliable. For the gamer, it also supports DirectX 11, so it’s the perfect compliment to Gigabyte’s Radeon HD 5870!
Over the course of our time online, we’ve had quite a bit of good to say about Nero’s products, whether for Windows or Linux, because the company does a great job of delivering feature-rich products that give you a lot to do from a single application. To give ASUS’ optical drives some love, Nero has donated a copy of its 9 Reloaded and BackItUp & Burn software! Burn away!
Rules & Regulations
This contest consists of one prize, the gaming PC as listed in the “Contest PC Specifications” table towards the top of this page. In addition to the PC itself, this prize also includes a 23.8″ monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, headphones, wireless router and a copy of Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Nero 9 Reloaded. At the time of contest start, the aggregated retail cost for all the parts included, without taxes, was $4,205 USD.
Techgage Networks Inc. Commitments
ABSOLUTELY NO data gathered through our contest will be sold or given away to companies, persons or any other entity outside of Techgage management. We frown upon the practice of selling data and it will never cross our minds, regardless of what prized possession would be set in front of us.
A valid e-mail address is required to partake in our survey, for both verification purposes and as a method of contact to the winner.
At the contest’s conclusion, a script will be run in order to export all of the survey data into a human-readable format, and once done, the entire survey database will be purged.
We reserve the right to refuse entry of anyone who’s disruptive on our forums, or is detrimental to our site or contest in any way.
There is no substitute for the prize being offered.
We reserve the right to adjust contest rules due to various circumstances.
The cost of shipping will be handled by GIGABYTE Technology Inc. (USA). Shipping of the prize will be made via either FedEX or UPS.
At the end of the survey is an option to opt-in to marketing lists for our sponsors. You will not ever receive e-mails from our sponsors if these boxes are left unchecked. Should you be interested in learning more about our sponsor’s products, or wish to simply be kept up-to-date, you can check all of the companies that interest you. You will be able to opt-out after opting-in.
This contest is open to participants in either the USA or Canada. Due to various rules that the Quebec government puts in place, if the ultimate winner resides there, we will have to ship the contest PC to someone of the winner’s choice who resides outside of the province. If the winner of the contest resides in Canada, they will be required to answer our skill-testing math question: ((20*3) – 10).
This contest is not open to an employee of Techgage Networks Inc.
You must be at least 16 years of age to enter our contest. For entrants younger than this, please consult a parent or legal guardian.
One survey submission is allowed per household.
The winner of the contest will be responsible for possible “duty fees” that result from receiving the prize (this will vary from state to state and country to country). As the contest prize will be shipped from Canada, if the winner also resides in Canada, there will not likely be any duty fee, but to the US, there could possibly be. Please check with your local state or country laws if you are uncertain of this.
The winner of the contest will need to provide a full name, mailing address and phone number for shipping purposes.
Contest Entry & Winner
The contest runs until Wednesday, March 31, 11:59PM EST (8:59PM PST).
To partake in the survey, click here or on the large button at the top of the page.
For reiteration of rules or any questions, please e-mail Rob at rob [dot] williams at (our domain).
If for whatever reason this page needs to be edited during the contest, addendum’s will be posted below with the time stamp of when and what was edited.