Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Mainstream Hardware

The geekiest geeks want hardware components for the holidays. Here's our list of the best picks in the mainstream market.

As the holiday season approaches, people start thinking about gift ideas. To help you give (or receive) the perfect holiday gift this year I've put together a list of five cool mainstream hardware tech gift ideas.

Check it out!

Note: All prices are approximate. Shop around for the best deals.

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Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 630

Dual-core processors have given way to quad-core for mainstream users.

The AMD Athlon X4 630 is a 2.8GHz part that offers plenty of performance. Not only have you got a processor that can handle gaming, but also the heavy demands that multimedia encoding and decoding puts on a system.

Excellent processor for under $100.

Price: $90

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Motherboard: ASUS M4A77D

A mainstream processor needs something a little better than a budget motherboard. A better motherboard offers more features, and more "tweakability."

The ASUS M4A77D is a rock-solid motherboard that offers great performance out of the box, but there's plenty in the BIOS to keep the experimenter happy.

Awesome board for under $100.

Price: $80 | Find out more: [Reviews]

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Graphics card: EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460

It’s tricky to pick the right GPU from the ballooning mainstream market, but the best buy currently is the EVGA 768-P3-1360-TR GeForce GTX 460, which is powered by the Fermi GPU. It has 768MB of GDDR5, a core running at 675MHz and a shader clock running at 1350MHz.

You also get CUDA and PhysX support, DirectX 11 support, and offers a mini HDMI and two DVI ports.

All this for $170.

Price: $170 | Find out more: [Reviews]

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Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD10000CSRTL 1TB

The Western Digital Caviar Green WD10000CSRTL has it all - bags of capacity, good reliability, and to top it all off, reduced power consumption.

Not the cheapest 1TB drive out there, but certainly one of the best.

Price: $80 | Find out more: [Reviews]

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Display: ASUS VH242H Black 23.6"

Quite simply this is one of the best mainstream displays out there.

If you're in the market for a display, check out the ASUS VH242H.

Not only do you get a cracking good 23.6" display, with vivid colors, fast response time, and a good brightness and contrast range, but the display also comes with a great stand that offers both swivel, tilt and height adjustment.

Price: $190

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ZDNet's 2010 Holiday Tech Gift Guide »

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