The most recent series of AMD Ryzen CPUs are proving to be very competitive against the corresponding Intel chips, so buying a Ryzen based computer might save you a bit of cash and provide somewhat better multi-core performance. Multi-core performance is becoming more important as software is being developed to take advantage of this feature. What is attractive about the AM4 socket is that it will support several processors, from the inexpensive (around $100) A6-9500 APU or Athlon X4 950 CPU to the mid-range (around $250) Ryzen 5 2600 CPU to the high performance (around $450) Ryzen 7 2700X CPU. This compatibility across several processors allows for an upgrade path for those on a budget. Just be sure to get a good motherboard, typically featuring the B350, B450 or X470 chipsets. If you are looking to buy a new desktop computer for that special person this Christmas, an AMD based system could be just what they need. Stop by one of Cornwall’s excellent computer stores to see what they can offer you.
Solid state hard drives (SSHD or SSD) are continuing to decrease in price, as are mechanical hard drives. If you have a two to five year old desktop computer that is in need of a performance boost, upgrading to a SSD and a high capacity mechanical hard drive is both relatively inexpensive and effective.
As for other electronic and computer related trinkets such as inexpensive tablets, Blue Tooth speakers, external USB 3.0 hard drives, and thumb drives, I am sure the local computer and consumer electronics stores will have lots of specials between now and Christmas for these geeky stocking stuffers.
Buying electronic and computer related items can be difficult, especially if you don’t know the operational or compatibility requirements of the intended recipient’s computer, or what they actually want or need. Gift cards can help in that regard. However, some people view tech gifts as being rather cold: nothing says “Merry Christmas” or “I love you” like a 128GB thumb drive, right? And that is why I say, especially at this time of year, that the greatest gift you can give is your time.
Ben Franklin apparently stated that “time is money”. I’d disagree with him; life is not like a video game where you can put another quarter in the machine and get another round of play. Time is worth more than money, since you can always earn more money but you can’t earn more time. Spend your time with the people who are important to you. The time you spend and the memories you help create are the greatest gift you can give during the Christmas season.
Best wishes to all for a safe and enjoyable holiday season!