Christmas Buying Guides--Harddrives and Video Cards

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Ironically, these two are a lot simpler than CPUs, so simple that I can easily combine the two.

Hard Drives IBM 75GXP

Period. Don’t buy a 5400rpm drive to save a few bucks, you lose about a third of the performance.

The drive itself is a top performer, but that’s not really the reason why I’m recommending them.

I’ve bought a lot of hard drives for myself and others the past few years. If my personal experience with drives from the other consumer harddrive companies (hint, the ones that are merging) are any indicator, they fail more often. A lot more often.

I had one drive that blew up from one of those companies after a couple months, RMAed it, and the replacement was DOA. The third has been fine, but one out of three isn’t good.

The other guys haven’t been much better, have seen lots of failed drives, too.

In contrast, I’ve never had an IBM drive blow up. So what if they cost a few bucks more?

For a combination of high performance and reliability, they’re the best out there (and no, I’ve never gotten anything from IBM, or given anything made by IBM. This is what I buy with my money.).

Video Cards

“I Don’t Want Integrated Video, and My Idea of An Action Game Is Scrabble”–Matrox G400/G450 16Mb The G450 is a new card which is a warmed-over version of the G400.
Image quality is pretty good, a bit better than what you’ll see from NVidia. If you have no interest in 3D-gaming, you can pick up OEM versions of this card for a little over
$80.

Even better, a lot of places are now selling G450s that are dualhead equipped, so you can run two monitors off them if you like. So many places have them that I thought there was a problem with the card,
but I haven’t seen any indication on that on Deja.

I Am A Gamer Without Much Money: Any GeForce MX 32Mb card with the features you want. If you have a bunch of video cards that are all using the same chipsets, and they’re all using the same speed RAM, how much of a difference is there?
Not enough to worry about.

I Am A Gamer With A Bit More Money: Any GeForce GTS 32Mb card with the features you want. Pretty much the same story; same chipset, same RAM. The Winfast GTS has a big old fan attached, but you can do that, too.

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