It's that time of year again where we get to pretend we're sharing with you gift ideas to show that special geek in your life just how much you care, but in reality, we all look at these guides and think to ourselves, "That's flippin' cool, I'm gonna buy that for myself!" Hey, there's no shame in that. There's some seriously cool swag for geeks out there, and if you're primarily interested in shopping for yourself, so be it -- go treat yourself to whatever floats your fancy on this list and re-gift Aunt Mabel's fruitcake to whoever it was you were shopping for in the first place.
This is our catch-all category for items that don't fit tidily into any other space. You know, standard fare stuff like canned unicorn meat and The Walking Dead Monopoly. Think both of those are awesome? We do too, but wait until you see what else is included here. These are surefire winners for any geek.
Rockstar Games sure is taking its sweet little time porting Grand Theft Auto V over to the PC, but if history has taught us anything at all, it's that eventually GTA V will find its way home. In the meantime, there are plenty of other games worth gifting. If you're feeling particularly cheap, send your recipient the URL to download Dota 2 (it's free!). Otherwise, you can't go wrong with any games on this list.
Building a PC is the first (big) step towards becoming a true geek. What comes next? Rounding up essential gadgets, of course! You can think of gadgets as tools, and just as every carpenter should always have access to a razor sharp saw and sturdy hammer, a geek needs to surround himself with tools of a different kind, like capable earbuds and a reliable router.
Not everyone can afford to build their very own Dream Machine, so we also created a scaled-down version that’s half the size
A while back, we made the decision to use Corsair's towering 900D case for this year's Dream Machine, and we knew we wanted to complement it with a Build It article. When the 900D’s little bro, the Corsair 350D, arrived in our offices a few weeks later, a plan started to form. About the same time as the case arrived, we also received Nvidia's GeForce GTX 700-series cards. With those, plus a Haswell CPU already in the Lab, the plan became fully realized: We’d just make a smaller version of the Dream Machine. The 350D wouldn’t take a full-size motherboard, but we could still pack it with full-size badassery like dual Nvidia GTX 780 cards, an unlocked Intel Core i7 CPU, a primo mATX motherboard (they do exist), a jumbo radiator, and other tasty accoutrements. Our goal was to build a rig that can game to the hilt just like the Dream Machine—only scaled back so it’s easier to assemble and a lot easier on your credit line.
Note: This article was originally featured in the September 2013 issue of the magazine
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