Holiday Gift Guide 2010: Budget Hardware

The geekiest geeks want hardware components for the holidays. Here's our list of the best budget picks.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

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 budget 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 X3 425

Remember when budget meant having to settle for a single core? Well, now a budget price can buy you a triple-core processor - so why settle for anything less.

For $70 you can pick up the Athlon II X3 425, a triple-core processor that runs at an incredible 2.7GHz. If you are going to be dealing with multimedia on the PC, or want to be able to handle gaming challenges, then this is a great processor to choose.

Price: $70 | Find out more: [Reviews]

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Motherboard: BIOSTAR MCP6P M2+

A budget CPU needs a budget motherboard, but a decent one nevertheless. The BIOSTAR MCP6P M2+ offers a decent base to build a budget PC.

This is a socket AM3/AM2+/AM2 motherboard is compatible with a whole raft of processors all the way from Semprons to Phenom II X4 parts (as long as the TDP is no greater than 95W).

This board is a great match for the Athlon II X3 425 mentioned earlier.

Price: $40 | Find out more: [Reviews]

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Graphics card: XFX HD-555X-ZNF2 Radeon HD 5550

Now we move onto a budget graphics card.

I remember a time when there was no such thing as a good budget GPU. You could buy a cheap GPU or a good GPU. Now, thanks to competition and progress, it’s no possible to buy a really good graphics card for under a $100.

One of the best cards that both falls into this price and utilizes one of these GPUs is the XFX HD-555X-ZNF2 Radeon HD 5550. This features 1GB of DDR2 RAM and the clock runs at 550MHz.

Price: $60

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Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB

A reliable drive with huge capacity and all at a decent price - what more could you want?


Price: $45 | Find out more: [Reviews]

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Display: Hanns·G HW-191APB Black 19"

Why suffer with anything smaller than a 19" screen when a good quality 19" widescreen display costs only $110?

The Hanns·G HW-191APB offers a vivid display, fast 5ms response time, impressive contrast and brightness, all at a decent price. The monitor also comes with built-in speakers, although don't expect too much from them.

All-round decent screen.

Price: $110

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