December 31, 2012

2012 Technology Year in Review: Ultimate Dream Computer (December)

As we come to the end of another great year in tech news and reviews, we would like to reflect on this last article of the year by letting you know what parts we would use in our ultimate dream computer, the only limit being components selected must have been released in 2012.

CPU: Intel i5-3570K Quad-core processor, 3.4 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz. Cost: $220.

We selected this i5 instead of the only other processor in the i7 range, the i7 3770k because the only difference is a $100 increase, as well as hyperthreading and 2MB of cache, which is completely pointless unless you intend to render videos. On the bright side, you also get lower power consumption when compared with the Sandy Bridge processors. Also, it uses the LGA 1155 socket, the same as previous gen processors, so for those of you who would like to upgrade without replacing the motherboard as well, you can do so.

RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 X 4GB) @ 2800 MHz. Cost: $549.99

Costs more than double the price of your CPU. And that’s an Intel.  However, the price is justified because it has the word Platinum in its title.  Also its shiny. Technically, it features hand-binned ICs, really high clock speeds, a lightbar, and Corsair Link technology!

MOTHERBOARD: Asus ROG Maximus V Extreme Cost: $379.99

Explanation: Although Asus happened to lose my GPU this year during a RMA order, I would still purchase this board because of its many features, such as quad-SLI support.  Although many would see this board as costly, I feel Asus justifies the price because of its features that are tuned towards gamers and overclockers alike.

CASE: Corsair Vengeance C70 Mid-Tower Gaming Case - Military Green Cost: $139.99

Marketed as durable, high-airflow and great for cable management, for once the advertisements are not total lies.  Available in an eye catching military green, gunmetal black and arctic white, these will definitely please gamers who attend LAN parties, as they are both attractive as well as practical.

GPU:  EVGA NVIDIA GTX 690 Cost: $999.99

We decided on the best GPU currently available, the GTX 690, from our favourite supplier, EVGA.  EVGA offers a lifetime warranty with most of their products, this included.

PSU: OCZ! Oh sorry typo. Meant to write Corsair AX 860i.

Seriously. OCZ sucks. Their PSU cables are so damn short, the 8-pin will barely meet your EPS connector even if you go DIRECTLY over your CPU cooler (assuming its a bottom-mount case).. EFFICIENCY! Don’t cheap out on an OCZ PSU, get something better. Something like the Corsair AX 860i DIGITAL PSU. It has 80-plus Platinum certification, ensuring extremely high efficiency. It’s also made by a trustable OEM, Seasonic, and this particular platform provides strict voltage regulation, ensuring your parts get the cleanest power at the lowest consumption.

SSD: Corsair Neutron GTX 480 GB, 555/511 MBps R/W. Cost: $500.

Corsair’s Neutron GTX SSDs use Toggle NAND, the fastest out there. It’s also powered by a LAMD controller, so expect decent reliability.

HDD: Whatever’s cheap. Cost: $Sub- 100

With hard drives being “old technology”, the main purpose of this is general storage, since most of your programs will be in your super fast SSD.  However, it is still better to purchase one with a spindle speed of 7200 RPM and a 64MB cache.

In conclusion, choose Corsair if you’ve got the money for it (this is a dream computer). If you haven’t realized it by now, AMD and OCZ both aren’t the choice for a “dream” computer, but are valuable contenders for budget and value oriented builds.