ThinkComputers Holiday 2014 Staff Wish List

Derrick Ubbink (Posts)
Like a lot of you out there Christmas is that wonderful time of year when I get all sorts of things that I don’t really need. But if I’m being honest it’s not really the gift givers fault at all, it’s mine. I’m an adult, if there’s something that I need or want I will typically just go out and buy it. As it is, anything in the proper gift giving price range is pretty much covered; so bring on the sweaters! Well what about those things above that range, the stuff I want but can’t just go out and buy on a whim? Here are my top five Christmas tech wish list items that I won’t be finding under the tree this year. 🙂

Sony a6000 Camera (Amazon)
Sony a6000

Ok so this first item I may have sooner than later but it’s still my number 1 on this list. For quite some time now I have really needed to upgrade my camera situation. I’ve always had a strong interest in photography, but have also always had too many other hobbies to commit to it. Well at long last, I think it’s time to get serious and invest myself into the art. After some strong recommendation and ton’s of internet research and several visits to Best Buy I have decided that the Sony a6000 is right for me. Not wanting to commit to lugging around a large DSLR rig, but really wanting to take quality photos and video with a friendly learning curve, the a6000 checks all my boxes. Boasting a 24.3 MP mirrorless APS-C Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor, the ability to record full HD at up to 60 FPS, and an awesome image processor, this camera is compact but pack a serious punch. In addition to great out of the box performance, I love the fact that I can pick up many different E mount lenses as well as external flashes and audio inputs.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Ultrabook (Amazon)
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

My number two item would have to be a new laptop. If I’m being specific, what I need is an ultrabook. For years I have been lugging around the same HP laptop. It has been really good, with a dedicated graphics card gaming on the go has been a breeze. Unfortunately I’m at the point now where I just don’t want the extra weight and bulk. The perfect solution would be the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro. What really has me sold on the Yoga 3 is the size and screen. This ultrabook is only .5” thick, and just 2.6 pounds! Packed into that tiny frame is a super-high-resolution 13.3” 3200×1800 touchscreen display combined with the ability to flip the screen straight back to use the book as a tablet is awesome. Not only that but the Pro comes with an Intel Core M 5Y70 Broadwell Processor, 8gb of DDR3L, and an optional 512GB SSD.

Samsung S34E790C 34-inch Curved Monitor

If you’ve not yet seen one of the 34” curved displays coming out from both Samsung and Dell (possibly others as well), do yourself a favor and take a look. These gorgeous monitors really manage to pack the pixels in with a resolution of 3440 x 1440. I’m currently suffering with just a 27” 2560 x 1440 and really think this could be the next best option for me. I am leaning toward the Samsung and would like to replace my dual monitor set-up with this single display to simplify my desktop. The Samsung has a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel that produces a vivid, contrasty picture which would be great for editing photos. A 60Hz refresh rate is acceptable, as is the semi slow but ok 4ms response time. It’s not really going to be a twitchy 120Hz gaming display, but should be just fast enough for the amateur gamer that I am. With a possible release date of any time in 2015 and an price tag that I expect to be just over the $1000 mark I should have just enough time to get my pennies saved up.


For about a year now I have been stubbornly refusing to upgrade my now aging EVGA GTX 690. This card is awesome, and is still the fastest single card Nvidia option. I thought that perhaps the 9 series would bring something that would get me to move, but I have yet to see anything that warrants the upgrade cost. It would seem however that soon, perhaps March of 2015, there might be an option. Although just rumors at this point, it looks like Nvidia has now moved to the 16 nm process skipping the 20 nm node altogether. With a possible 4,000 CUDA cores and a 512-bit bus this card, the possible Titan II should be a beast. I expect the cost per card to be near the $1000 mark (like the first Titan) and would like to add two of them to my next rig!

New X99 System

5 6 7

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, goes the technology engine constantly churning out faster more powerful parts. Either you care and run cutting edge tech or you putter along on the same platform hoping to get one more generation of games to run after another. I’m sort of in between the two and I feel that the time is coming for me to move on from Ivybridge and that means new build time! I would really like to wait for Skylake, but feel that Haswell-E is my ticket and I don’t want to miss the bus. Currently I have my sights set on an i7-5930K. This chip has six cores, 12 threads and a 3.5GHz base frequency. Paired with some serious watercooling I’m crossing my fingers on getting a good chip and overclocking to a cool 5GHz. My choice of motherboard would be the Gigabyte GA-X99-SOC FORCE. This Black and orange board would be color base of the build as well as supply support for 8 DIMMs of Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 ram. I have been a big fan of Gigabyte for a while and this board seems to meet all my demands including a possible 4-way SLI, server level chokes and caps and a very overclock friendly design.

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