When it comes to pleasing PC builders and enthusiasts with a gift that reflects their passion, my general advice is to buy a gift card and let them go at it themselves. They’ve already watched an insane number of YouTube videos, read all the reviews, and know exactly what they want and need. I’m not sure if there’s anything we can really do against that level of research.
But if you’re going to venture forth and accept the challenge, I’ve got a few ideas here that might be a welcome surprise for the holidays. Check out the video below for a range of products that might be a winner on the big day.
Hopefully, the options I’ve suggested inspire some great ideas. Not everyone has $5000 for a computer case, of course. In addition to pointing out where you can get the products above, I’ve added notes on some other brands you might want to check out below.
In Win is a company that doesn’t fear trying things, both in design and engineering. As a Taiwanese company, a certain level of creativity and individuality within the organization inspires its designs. This in-house inspiration leads to new manufacturing processes and unique cutting-edge techniques.
The In Win Z-Tower is one design that truly pushes the definition of a computer case. The Z-Tower is manufactured in very limited quantities at a wallet destroying $4999 USD. The organic design uses a casting process previously unheard of in computer case manufacturing. InWin pioneers many of these methods to push the boundaries of what is possible. It’s an absolute work of art, and I know I’d love to do a build inside one.
For those with budgetary constraints, In Win also offers a range of cases that might it the more affordable bill. Other brands that immediately come to mind include be quiet!, which we featured in our PC building guide, and Thermaltake, another Taiwanese company well embedded in the eSports gaming space. Both brands carry a range of cases that should satisfy the needs of any enthusiast.
The In Win Saturn 120 is a 120mm cooling fan that supports RGB and features a unique frameless design that maximizes airflow while minimizing noise. The mounting points are rubberized, which transmits a minimal vibration to the chassis, while the transparent frame shows off the colours. They also blow quite a bit of air, quietly, at 77.17 CFM.
We recommend buying these in the three-pack available for under $65 CAD. They also come in a larger 140mm version for retrofitting into a larger case. But if in doubt, a 120mm fan will fit into nearly any modern computer chassis. The modular cables and the single control module allow any case to have an RGB light show. Or you can plug it into any motherboard with an RGB control header for even more control.
If whoever you’re buying for has a case that isn’t pulsing with light or sounds like a dead gerbil is running around inside, new fans might be that special welcome surprise.
The CPU is one of the most critical parts of your computer system. After all, without it, it just doesn’t work. Keeping it cool with a well-ventilated case is very important. What’s even more important is the cooling system that is directly attached to it. Be quiet! (the company, not you) are well known in PC building, and they create products that embody German precision. This seems legit because they are a German company!
The be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is the epitome of air cooling technology. Black polished fins and an impressive heat-pipe system terminate into an interface that teases the heat away from your Intel or AMD processor. A range of adapters come with it in the box to retrofit to both the latest and popular legacy CPUs. Along with two highly tuned fans, you also get a small tube of heatsink paste and a long-handled screwdriver. So, everything you need for a successful install is in the box. It’s available for around $100 CAD.
For next-level cooling, be quiet! PureLoop 360 is, you guessed it, a 360mm radiator supported by three 120mm fans. It’s an all-in-one liquid cooling system, or AIO for short. Like the Dark Rock Pro 4, it comes with everything you need to install it, including heatsink paste and adapters for AMD and Intel. One further tweak they provide is the ability to refresh the special cooling liquid that circulates through its tubes. A tube of this coolant is included in the box, so you don’t need to go far for it. You can find it for around $140 CAD.
Stable, clean, and consistent power is necessary for the daily running of a computer system, but it can also determine the longevity of its components. We’ve already met In Win’s cases and fans. Now meet one of their power supplies.
The In Win Classic 1250 Watt is an 80PLUS Platinum power supply. That means it can supply beyond 80% of the rated 1250 Watts that it is labelled with. Most good power supplies will meet 80% of their rating. But anything that goes far beyond is exceptional. No one needs 1250 Watts unless you set up a substantial crypto-mining operation. In which case, we’re envious of your graphics card collection. But if you know you’re buying for someone that just upgraded to a new GPU or CPU, and you hear a lot of frustration around random crashes, then a power supply might be the solution.
The fully modular design is the best part about this In Win power supply, besides its excellent power delivery characteristics. That means cable management will be simple, and airflow will be easier to maintain. You can find this one for under $300 CAD.
Kingston tore the wrapping off their new high-performance memory brand earlier this year. FURY is geared towards gamers and creators looking for outstanding performance and maybe some colour. The FURY Beast line of memory comes in various capacities in DDR3 and DDR4. The RGB version we showed has a great design with lower-profile heat spreaders to fit inside more systems.
If you have someone on your list that curses slow system performance (because they have way too many tabs open), then a memory upgrade might help them out. A 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 RGB kit cost about $175 CAD.
An SSD is a bare minimum for most PC enthusiasts for any system. They are fast and have no moving parts, but they even start to fill up with data. Kingston makes a range of different SSDs, from standard SATA that swap out with platter-based hard drives to the more high-performance PCIe NVME types that look like a stick of gum. We recently had a chance to upgrade a notebook belonging to a team member, Robin, with the Kingston KC2500 PCIe NVME SSDs.
On paper, this Kingston SSD is faster than the previous one inside his Dell XPS 15 notebook. But could he feel it? Probably not. The technology is already so quick and responsive. But what he did appreciate was the massive increase in storage from his 512GB original to a 2TB model. As one of our resident content creators, not having to do the hard drive shuffle, trying to free up space for a new project was worth it. The 2TB version can be found for under $350 CAD.
Now, these might not be all the answers you are looking for. What we’ve said might even confuse you more. But what’s important during these times is what comes from the heart. And, with some snooping around their desk and jotting down some motherboard model numbers, maybe a system model or two, you too can find something they might adore.
If you bought for a PC enthusiast and had a success (or failure) story, please share! Let us know in the comments below. It might help someone get closer to a great gift!