Holiday Hardware Buyers Guide

by Techgage Staff on November 15, 2006 in Editorials & Interviews

The holiday season can be a rough time if you are not sure what you buy, or ask for. We have taken out the hassle and delivered a comprehensive guide of our top picks that covers every type of component inside your computer.

Update: We’ve added a gadgets page!

Page 8 – Power Supplies & System Cooling

Ultimate – PC Power and Cooling 1kW SR 1000 watt with a single 12V rail

If you’re going to be building a uber high-end rig with SLI 8800GTX’s and the quad core Intel you need stable power and lots of it. The PC Power & Cooling 1000 Watt 1KW SR is the ultimate single rail PSU for the uber gaming rigs out there. While a bit noisier than some PSU’s out it’s also very well regulated and features full certification for every card config out now.

Great – Corsair HX620

If you’re not pushing the envelope with high end SLI and quad cores then the HX 620W is right up your alley. It’s stable, well built and as an added bonus, modular. This is the perfect PSU for last gen SLI or current gen Crossfire and overclocked dual/quad cores.

Good – Silverstone SST-ST50EF-Plus

Looking for an efficient PSU that won’t break the bank? Don’t need a ton of power? Look no further than the Silverstone Element ST50EF Plus. With certified 80 percent plus efficiency and a decent amount of 12V power this is a great unit for those on a budget.

Good – XCLIO GOODPOWER 500W ATX 500W Power Supply

On a tight budget? Want a PSU that won’t break the bank but will give you peace of mind that your investment is in good hands? The X-Clio GoodPower 500W is a cheap PSU that breaks the mold for cheap PSU’s. It gives stable power for a price that’s under the curve.

System Cooling

Ultimate – Swiftech Apex Ultra 220 WC Kit with MCW 60’s and MCW Ramcools

The Swiftech Apex Ultra 220 is a great CPU only WC kit. The performance is on par with any of the DIY W/C products out there and it includes everything you need to get up and running in no time. Toss in a pair of MCW60’s sans ramsinks and MCW Ramcools and you’ve got the ultimate SLI cooling setup. Not only is the GPU cooled but the ram gets some loving too making for less chance of hurting your Vram with insane tempertures.

Great – Zalman Reserator 1 V2

New to watercooling? A bit hesitent to get your feet wet? Look no further than the Zalman Reserator 1 V2. It comes with CPU and GPU blocks that fit most popular chips/cards out there today and is fully ready to run. The unit is as close to noise free as you’re ever likely to get and the performance is better than air cooling by a good margin.

Good – VANTEC STG-100 All-in-one Water Cooling Kit

Want something a bit cheaper than the Zalman yet that cools everything? The Vantec STG-100 comes with CPU, NB and GPU blocks yet retails for considerably less than $200. It features a cleanly laid out pump/res caddy for external mounting although it can be shoehorned into larger cases and features a real radiator versus a bay mounted rad so that you get decent performance.

Good – Swiftech MCP655, Danger Den Liang D5 Pump

Got everything you need but the pump? Looking into 120V units and 12V units? Need a pump that’s 1/2″ native? The Liang D5 based pumps from Swiftech and Danger Den are pretty stout. With 10′ of head (lift of a vertical column of water) they are pretty much stronger than equal sized 120V pumps and unlike the DDC (also by Liang) they’re 1/2″ native. They even have a speed control to lower the pumps output for the best balance of performance to noise.

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