What I Got (for Myself) for Christmas, Site Changes, etc.

Posted on Posted in Eng/Sci/Tech, Life, Opinions

How my wallet feels.
How my wallet feels.
Hello, Internet folk. I thought I’d combine a few short bits of information into one post. Essentially, this post is a list of my Black Friday-through-New Years spoils, plus a test of my new status as an Amazon Associate. It means I can post official-looking links to Amazon products and supplement my enormous income from Google Adsense (HAH!). But it also means I can quickly refer you to a reputable page where you can find specs, reviews, pricing, etc without me regurgitating the info if I ever do a product review of my own in the future. I not to be annoying and say things like “you should buy from my links to help support me! :3”

So without further ado, here’s how I got totally suckered by Black Friday/CyMon/Holiday Sales.

My Woeful Tale
In an unfortunate turn of events, coupled with the fact that I am now pseudo-financially-independent, I decided that I would actually give back to the economy and contribute to ‘Murica’s Capitalist Circus. As an enormous geek, I felt it was time I actually embraced the (near-)bleeding edge instead of scraping by on frugal performance options (ex. Still using a 64 GB gen 1 Vertex SSD). So I went on a mini-spree to upgrade my gaming rig, peripherals and all. (Note: not all items purchased from Amazon)

Graphics Card
Purchased:
ASUS GTX 660 Ti Series Graphics Card Overclocked Edition Graphics Cards GTX660 TI-DC2O-2GD5 @ $270 w/ rebate
Notes:
I had wanted to buy a cheaper Radeon 7850/7870, but after researching their performance in games like Battlefield 3 and Portal 2, I realized that AMD’s drivers and game-specific optimizations put nVidia light-years ahead of AMD.

Keyboard
Purchased:
Logitech Gaming Keyboard G510 @ $60 (MSRP $120)
Wanted to Buy:
Microsoft SideWinder X4 Keyboard @ $40 (MSRP $60). It would’ve been an excellent non-Mechanical keyboard with a solid feature-set… but I hesitated and they were out of stock. Missing out on n-key rollover, but a 5 key buffer’s better than nothing. Plus Logitech’s driver support is pretty damn good.

SSD
Purchased:
OCZ Technology 128GB Agility 4 Series SATA 6Gb/s 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive( SSD) With Up to 420 MB/s Read And 72K Max.IOPS- AGT4-25SAT3-128G @ $70
Notes:
I know this is pretty far from bleeding edge, and in fact pretty mediocre in the grand scheme of things. But right now my SSD is sub-200 MB/s read-write, and my motherboard is SATA 3.0 GB/s, so this is still a significant improvement that saturates my I/O bandwidth. And it’s a reasonably cheap, compared to when I bought a Samsung 830 for $90 a few months ago. I expect SSD sale prices to drop this low again in the future for better drives like the Vertex 4, m4, or 830. But clearly that’s not now. (In fact, as of 1/9/2013 I haven’t seen a better drive for cheaper)

RAM
Purchased:
G.SKILL 8GB (2 x 4GB) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Laptop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-8GBSQ @ $25
Notes: This is actually for my MBP, which has thus far been limping along with 4 GB RAM. But after seeing how Final Cut Pro can eat up 12 GB of RAM for dessert on a Mac Pro… This was absolutely necessary if I’m going to continue editing on my laptop.

Camera Lens
Purchased:
Rokinon 8mm Ultra Wide F/3.5 Fisheye Lens with Auto Aperture and Auto Exposure Chip for Nikon AE8M-N @ $240
Notes: Glass doesn’t usually get cheaper with age, so when Amazon knocked $70 off the price of this lens it was a no-brainer. The few times I’ve used it already, it’s proven to be a great little lens.

Tools
Purchased:
Rosewill 32-Piece Precision Screwdriver with Bit Set RPCT-10001 @ $7
Notes:
I didn’t have a Torx set at the time of purchase, and with the price of a Torx-only set of screwdrivers costing just as much, I figured I might as well get more for my money.

So in short, I spent more than I should have. I was even going to spend more on an external hard drive to edit on, but with my 2011 Macbook lacking a USB 3.0 port, I acquired a secondhand FireWire 800 external drive instead. I would’ve also wanted to upgrade my dual-core processor, because I suspect that it’s the limiting factor when I record/encode videos of gameplay. Unfortunately my CPU uses a totally obsolete socket (LGA 1156 instead of 1155), so getting a newer processor would require a new motherboard.

Anyhow, if you’re at all curious about my thoughts on any of these parts, drop me a comment and I’ll respond as best as I can. I don’t regret any of these purchases, they all meet my expectations.

OBSCENELY TACKY WIDGET/LINK/THINGY FOR THE FINISH

… yup. that works.


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