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Top Five Gaming PCs for Christmas 2009

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/24/2011

If you are asking for a gaming PC this Christmas, or you want to treat the PC gamer in your life, then check out this list to find the top five gaming PCs for Xmas 2009.

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    Gaming PCs

    Computer hardware develops at a frightening pace and your PC can become outdated quite quickly, especially if you don’t choose carefully. While normal everyday use, surfing the web and document writing, doesn’t require the latest cutting edge technology, gaming most definitely does. Graphical standards in games just keep getting better and the absolute pinnacle in terms of visual grandeur can only be found on the PC. A high end gaming PC will be far more powerful than a console. In order to run the latest games with everything cranked up to the highest quality you are going to need to spend some serious cash.

    You can save money and choose the specifics you want if you build your own gaming PC but many people lack the time, knowledge or will to do that. The alternative is to splash out a little more and get a fully built system which will work straight out of the box. You should also remember to get a top quality monitor so you can take full advantage of your new system. Here, we will be looking at the best standalone gaming PCs you could order in for Christmas 2009.

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    Velocity Micro ProMagix PC

    velocity micro promagix Don’t ask me when or by whom it was decided, but gaming PCs always tend to come in bizarre light up cases often with cutaway panels which reveal the blue glowing inner workings. This effort from Velocity Micro is no exception, though it is quite stylish and relatively subtle. The important stats are as follows:

    • 2.66 GHz Intel Xeon 3530 processor
    • 6 GB of RAM
    • 1 TB hard drive
    • 512 MB Nvidia Quadro FX850 graphics card
    • 20x DVD burner with LightScribe

    It comes with Windows 7 pre-installed. This is a fast, attractive machine with plenty of space. It ships with a keyboard and mouse and it will definitely satisfy gamers. You can order one on Amazon for $1,949.99.

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    Acer Aspire Predator PC

    acer aspire predator You have to admire this machine for upping the crazy case stakes with an angular orange exterior and a face panel which slides open sci-fi style to reveal a stylish black interior. Practically speaking it may get a little annoying but it does look great. The innards are more important though and this machine measures up like this:

    • 2.93 GHz Intel Core i7 940 processor
    • 6 GB of RAM
    • 1 TB hard drive
    • 896 MB Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 graphics card
    • Super Multi DVD burner

    The downside is it that it comes with Windows Vista Home Premium pre-installed along with a bunch of trial software. You also get a gaming keyboard, USB speakers and a mouse. You can get one for $1,850 via a seller on Amazon.

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    HP Firebird PC

    hp firebird This is a really stylish design which presents the PC as an attractive beveled and angled case with artwork on the side. It sits on a foot which also has the practical purpose of allowing airflow round the machine and improving cooling efficiency. This is not just aimed at gamers but it would serve as an excellent gaming machine and the stats are as follows:

    • 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 processor
    • 4 GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8 GB)
    • 500 GB hard drive
    • Dual Nvidia GeForce 9800S SLI graphics cards
    • Dual layer DVD burner

    Once again, sadly, the machine comes pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium. Added bonuses include an excellent cooling system, quiet operation and a huge number of connectivity options. It ships with a wireless mouse and keyboard and you can order one for $1,159.99.

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    Alienware Area 51 ALX PC

    Alienware Area 51 ALX PC If budget is no concern and you want a stylish design then you’ll struggle to find a better option than this. It features an angular case with the light up alien logo and pop up hatches along the top for cooling purposes. The specs are as follows:

    • 3.33 GHz Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition Quad Core processor
    • 6 GB of RAM (upgradeable to 12 GB)
    • 500 GB hard drive (upgradeable to 1.5 TB)
    • Dual 1.8 GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 SLI graphics cards
    • Various disc drive options including Blu-ray

    The Alienware PCs offer a set menu and you can choose the exact components you want. This machine starts at $3,999 and you could easily go beyond that by upgrading the hard drive and choosing a few other bits and pieces. It does not offer good value for money by any stretch of the imagination but it will offer terrific performance and style.

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    Dell XPS 730x PC

    dell xps 730x This is another gaming PC which allows you to choose from a set menu so prices will vary according to what you pick. I’m not keen on the X shaped case personally, but it is does come in a range of colors and it is constructed or brushed aluminum. The specs are as follows:

    • 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7-965 Extreme Edition processor
    • 6 GB of RAM
    • 500 GB hard drive (upgradeable to 2 TB)
    • Three graphics cards slots, your choice of cards
    • Various disc drive options including Blu-ray

    This is a powerful and stylish PC and the options available let you tweak your exact specifications. You can review the prices with various combinations of hardware and a middle of the road option will cost you around $2,000.

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    What machine you choose comes down to various factors. If you want the fastest possible high performance gaming machine you can get to show off as a status symbol, then go for the top of the range Alienware. If you just want the best performance, but don’t want to pay quite as much, go for the Dell because there is a premium on Alienware products because of the name. If your budget is tight, the HP Firebird is probably your best bet and I think it is the most attractive of the bunch as well. There are links provided but shop around before you buy to get the best possible price. Happy gaming this Christmas whatever you decide to go for.