Shane’s Ultimate Christmas Wish List

posted by on 22nd December 2012, at 3:16pm

In the past we’ve used December as a time for us to share our Christmas wish lists. This year as a bit of a change I have decided I am going to create the ultimate Christmas wish list! These are items that would be useful to me but they’d also be useful for almost any gamer or anyone who has an interest in technology. This list assumes money is no object and that the people around me are extremely generous. Let us begin!

High density displays have become commonplace on smartphones and tablets and we’re starting to see them appear in some computers now. Apple has been one of the first to adopt high density displays in their notebook line. This year Apple released the 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pro. I am putting the 13″ version on this list since I find the current 15″ MacBook Pro too large for my needs and Retina displays are absolutely gorgeous! $1699 from Apple.

My iPhone 4 is still a capable device but the hardware is starting to show its age. The larger screen, superior camera, and the metallic housing are all features that I like. I plan to upgrade to the iPhone 5S when it arrives sometime in the next year (due to contractual reasons) but in the meantime if I was given an iPhone 5 as a gift I would be perfectly happy. $699 from Apple.

Being the owner of an iMac and the future owner (hopefully) of the above mentioned MacBook Pro it would be nice to have a mass storage solution to ensure that disk space is never an issue. I’ve always been a fan of the way Drobo devices work, their simplicity of simply plugging drives in and having that new drive available to use. Drobo has released a new model that has a Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 interface to provide the best speed possible. This model uses 5 drives, 3 or 4 of which are used for storage while the others are used for redundancy. $849 from Newegg.

On my gaming computer I am currently running a 2+ year old Nvidia GTX 460 GPU. The GPU works for my day to day gaming but if I wanted to push games further I’d need something like a Nvidia GTX 680. A 680 would provide a nice upgrade and run newer games at a decent frame rate. $469 from Newegg. If I wanted to step things up a notch and do multi-monitor gaming I could ask for a Nvidia GTX 690. Unlike some other people I would actually have a specific use case for this card, more on that in a moment. The 690 can be found at Newegg for $999.

For my current environment a 23″ display is ideal but assuming I had a larger desk a 27″ display would be nice. Dell offers a nice 27″ IPS display at a resolution of 2560×1440. The IPS panel is a key aspect of this proposition because without an IPS display it’s likely that a colour shift from top to bottom would be noticeable which is really annoying. The Dell UltraSharp U2711 can be acquired for $999.

Ordinarily one display is fine for gaming but there are certain cases where more than one can be used. For me this would be my flight simulator. X-Plane allows for the cockpit to be extended across monitors to enable a more immersive experience. As an option I could hope for two (or three) of the above mentioned displays and the GeForce GTX 690. Just imagine the possibility of flying into your city on a setup like this!

My Windows computer runs an early OCZ Vertex 2 SSD. It’s got a small capacity of 120GB and it would be nice to have an upgrade to a 256GB model that supports SATA III. Paul has recommended to me the Samsung 840 Pro Series drive since it’s one of the top SSDs currently in the market. $269 from Newegg.

Since I shared my use case for dual or triple displays I figured I’d end the list with something simple to compliment that setup. A yoke and rudder pedals, simply because they’re the best way to control any aircraft I fly in X-Plane. The official community for X-Plane ( has a store where a whole variety of merchandise can be purchased including hardware. For $107 the CH Flight Sim Yoke can be purchased. Along with another $189 for these rudder pedals.

There you have it, the ultimate Christmas wish list. While it’s unlikely I will get any of these items for Christmas it’s definitely nice to think about or at the very least to guide what I’ll be saving for (iPhone 5S on contract).

What do you want for Christmas?

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