ThinkComputers Staff Holiday 2009 Wish List

Colin Dean
It’s Christmastime once again. There are a lot of really cool gadgets out there, as well as some new versions of old favorites.

Playstation 3


Something on my list this year is a Playstation 3. Now that the Blu-ray/HD-DVD format war is officially finished with Blu-ray the victor, Blu-ray prices have been falling as more people adopt the high definition video format. Standalone Blu-ray players have come down in price, falling below $100 this past Black Friday. The best player is still the Playstation 3, though. It has all of the features of the high end Blu-ray players, plus it can play games, interact with the Playstation network, and more. I’m particularly stoked about acquiring a Playstation 3, as it will be my first new console since Nintendo 64. I don’t plan on using the Playstation for much gaming, but I fancy I’ll take advantage of a few classics such as Armored Core 4 and Wipeout HD plus a few newer games like inFamous and LittleBigPlanet: GOTY. I also know I’ll be trying out the Netflix integration.


Blu-ray movies


Since I’m getting a Playstation 3, it only makes sense that I’d get some Blu-ray movies, too. I’ve already acquired The Departed, Boondock Saints, Stargate, and V for Vendetta. I’m hoping that Santa will bring me some more!

A Motherboard
I recently fried my beloved ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe, a board I reviewed early last year. Its death brought considerations of a new rig to mind, as it’s been approximately two and half years since I last built a rig. I recently purchased a MacBook Pro, though, so my plans have been pushed back a little bit. Nonetheless, I’m considering an Intel board for the first time since, oh, ever. Since AMD’s acquisition of ATI, it’s been difficult to find high-quality, top-of-the-line motherboards with AMD processor support and nVidia chipsets with SLI support. Also, Intel simply has the upper hand in processors right now, so I’m likely to try the Intel offering for once. The ASUS P7P55D Evo Intel P55 Motherboard is in my sights, along with perhaps a Core i7 processor. If you’re gonna go, go all out, right? Should I continue down the AMD path, I’ll probably go for the ASUS M4N82 Deluxe, the latest model in the same general series as my dearly departed motherboard.

SSD


Since I’ll be likely building a new rig soon, I’ll probably consider an SSD as a primary OS drive. OCZ, Kingston, and Corsair show up on my radar, as well as mTron and SanDisk. I already have a Kingston SSDNow V-series 128 GB, but it’s likely to find its way into my MacBook Pro in order to extend battery life and quicken the already fast load times of Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux. I’ve considered something from the OCZ Agility series, but I’m not sure if I’m wanting something that expensive just quite yet. Alternatively, I’ve considered a WD Velociraptor if I choose not to go down the SSD path.

Razer Mamba mouse


One of the most important new things I’ll need for my new rig is a new mouse. My trusty Logitech MX1000 is on its way out. The charge doesn’t hold, the slip pads have worn off, and the 128 Hz wireless communications while other people are using wired 512 Hz or 1 kHz mice is killing my game. The solution: the wireless Razer Mamba. I tested this thing out at CES 2009 and loved it instantaneously. The charging contacts work (as opposed to the design flaw in the MX1000 where sometimes it won’t charge!), and the Mamba can even become a wired mouse if it runs out of juice while gaming. It also has a 1 kHz rate, so it gets 1000 reports per second instead of the 128 of the MX1000.


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