The PC Gamer Christmas Gift Guide
The enforced mediocrity of cross-platform releases have held back games for too long. Now, finally, the wheezing, geriatric consoles are giving way to games that promise to give our rigs a real work out. But if the PC is going to be doing heavy lifting in the year to come, it'd better get buff first, and on a recession-beating budget. See below for our recommendations for the best value performance-boosting kit.
This is the CPU that powers PCG's own recommended rig. Higher performance processors exist, but the i5 is no slouch at off-the-shelf speeds and it's overclockable, too, making it one of the best value chips around, and one that should see you through for several years.
Amazon: $270 / £170
It's not overburdened with features, but it's cheap and good enough for a Core i5 processor. Plus, it comes with an assured compatibility with Windows 8, should you feel the need to upgrade to it in the next few years.
Dabs.com: $123 / £77
Eight gigabytes of fast 1600MHz DDR3 for under $40. Grab it quick, just in case it's a misprint.
Crucial.com: $58 / £36
Formerly over £200/$320, but at this price the performance is stunning.
Pixmania: $270 / £170
A year after the Thai floods and most drives are still overpriced, but there are a few decent deals out there if you look for them. This Caviar Black doesn't offer as many bytes for your buck as the economy Green version but its faster speed makes it a much more suitable primary drive.
Pixmania: $120 / £75