$2,200 in prizes up for grabs in TR’s Dear Diary contest

Our summer o’ giveaways is over, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of gear to give out. In fact, we’ve amassed our biggest bounty this year—and we’re about to give it all away to three lucky readers.

The loot comes from Gigabyte, which is promoting its sponsorship of the BlizzCon event, as well as from Intel, Rosewill, and Diamond, who also wanted to chip in. All in all, we have over $2,200 worth of goodies, including a thousand-dollar Intel Core i7-4960X processor, a couple of $200+ motherboards, a GeForce GTX 760 graphics card, and much, much more.

Entering is simple, though some creativity is required. We’re asking readers to head to this thread in our forums and contribute a mock diary entry written in the words of a PC. You can impersonate any PC you like—yours, a celebrity’s, a fictional character’s, or anyone else’s—as long as your submission is between 50 and 350 words. There’s an example entry in the starter post of the forum thread.

We’ll be awarding prizes to the folks who post the most entertaining entries. There will be three winners. The first-place winner will get to choose one of our two prize bundles, while the second-place winner will get the remaining one. The third-place winner will receive our runner-up prize, which is a Diamond docking station worth around $150.

Our first prize bundle is made up of:

  • A Core i7-4960X processor donated by Intel. This is the fastest member of Intel’s desktop CPU lineup. It features six cores, 12 threads, and four memory channels. There’s no heatsink in the box, so you’ll have to supply your own. See our review of this processor here. (Price: $1,049.99.)
  • A GA-X79-UP4 motherboard donated by Gigabyte. Designed to accommodate LGA2011 processors like Intel’s Core i7-4960X, the X79-UP4 features an Intel X79 chipset, eight DIMM slots, four physical PCI Express x16 slots (with support for quad SLI and quad CrossFire configs), and dual eSATA ports. (Price $224.99.)
  • An Extreme Sound XS71HD sound card donated by Diamond. This 24-bit/192kHz, 7.1-channel sound card is powered by a C-Media CMI8838 chip and fits in a PCIe x1 slot. It has a 120-dB signal-to-noise ratio, a full complement of 3.5-mm jacks and dual RCA coaxial connectors, and dual S/PDIF digital audio connectors. (Price: $59.99.)

Our second bundle consists of:

  • A G1.Sniper 5 motherboard donated by Gigabyte. The G1.Sniper 5 has a Z87 chipset and is designed for Intel’s Haswell processors. It has four physical PCI Express x16 slots, Creative integrated audio, Killer E2201 integrated networking, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. (Price: $199.99.)
  • A GeForce GTX 760 2GB graphics card donated by Gigabyte. This card has a humongous triple-fan cooler, and it’s clocked at 1085MHz with a 1150MHz Boost speed, up from the reference 980/1033MHz. For more details about the GeForce GTX 760, check out our review. (Price: $249.99.)
  • A Sumo Omega mid-tower case donated by Gigabyte. Included in this enclosure are six fans, a cornucopia of tool-less drive bays, holes in the motherboard tray for cable routing and access to the back of the CPU socket, a card reader, and a hard-drive docking station—among other things. (Price: $119.99.)
  • A GreenMax Plus 650W power supply, also provided by Gigabyte. The GreenMax Plus can push a combined 624W on its dual 12V rails. It also has 80 Plus Bronze and SLI certification, and it’s cooled by a 120-mm fan. (Price: $73.99.)
  • Your choice of any RK-9000-series mechanical keyboard in stock at Newegg, donated by Rosewill. The RK-9000 series uses Cherry’s MX mechanical key switches, and models are available with different variants of those switches, each with a different feel and sound. See our review for more details and audio recordings of the various switch types. (Price: between $74.99 and $99.99, depending on the model.)

Finally, our runner-up prize is a DS3900 docking station donated by Diamond. The DS3900 hooks up to your PC via a single USB 3.0 port, and it provides Ethernet, DVI, HDMI, and 3.5-mm audio connectivity in addition to a four-port USB hub—handy for an ultrabook or any other PC with a limited port payload. (Price: $148.18.)

Not bad, huh?

Head over to this thread in our forums to enter the contest. Bear in mind that only entries posted in that thread will be accepted. We’ll be allowing submissions until noon, Central Time on November 10. TR staffers will judge submissions, and the winners will be announced on the site by November 15. The contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada (Quebec excepted) only.

Good luck!

Comments closed
    • kurukt20
    • 9 years ago

    Does anyone know where the contest announcement is? Doesn’t seem like they posted the winners just. Just wanted to know was all. Thanks!

    • wierdo
    • 9 years ago

    Dear Diary,

    Wierdo won a dear diary contest so I got upgraded, yay!

    • brucep523
    • 9 years ago

    Dear Diary,

    Today I am confused. My owner took great care to bring me into being 5 years ago. He took a lot of time reading and researching to determine the best things for me and choosing allow the right components. He turns me on every day and some times multiple times. He often spends hours playing with my keyboard and mouse as well as feeding me data from disk, USB, and over Ethernet as well as occasionally by Bluetooth. But recently he has started yelling at me, hitting me, and calling me slow. I have endured a lot what with all the dust that has accumulated and all the eating of food and dropping bread crumbs. Once he even spilt a liquid on me, at least he quickly cleaned me up. I love my owner I just feel like I am letting him down.

    • lolsofti
    • 9 years ago

    chuckula, i know right, especially if you are not usa/canada resident
    btw check inbox

    • neagugbrl
    • 9 years ago

    <3

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    I’ll let you have it; I want the big bundle of stuff. Everything but a CPU for me to build another machine. I’ve got the spare storage and RAM already.

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    Adi, if you want to do something constructive instead of just venting, you need to address the cause. TR is just following the rules; they didn’t make them. If you want the rules changed, then change the government that made them. Contact your provincial MP.

    • Waco
    • 9 years ago

    Would a happy, well-adjusted PC write a journal entry that would be entertaining?

    Nah. 😛

    • superjawes
    • 9 years ago

    Having readers who cannot participate in a contest sucks. Getting harassed by a foreign government would suck worse.

    Btw, I know you were making responses, but overall you wrote a lot of good remarks about why contests are limited. Thanks!

    • Inkling
    • 9 years ago

    Again: $2200 value on this contest. We’re not going to break the law knowingly.

    I have complete faith in our readers (you guys are great!). 99.9999% of them, anyway. What about one that recently got banned from the forums for breaking rules and is harassing our staff? Think I can trust him to not report us? Other site owners were contacted by Québécois regulators, not an attorney representing a private citizen.

    I genuinely want to open these contests to the entire world. But the risk of having a single legal complication that requires hiring a pricey local (to the jurisdiction) attorney is too great. Even major US corporations with sizable legal budgets often avoid running giveaways in Quebec.

    Heck, we’ve done charity giveaways in the past to raise money for very worthy causes that were reported to authorities (anonymously) as running afoul of regulations. We were in complete legal compliance, but it was still a scary, tangled hassle to complete the fundraiser, get the money released from Paypal, and honor our commitment to the charity.

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    You really show little faith in your users if you believe one of us would reach out for a lawyer and sue. US is way more sue-happy than Canada and especially Quebec.

    Yes, the rules you mention are in place to defend the consumer by making sure the rules are clear and well stated, which as I mentioned in my previous post, TR already does. I quite like them and the spirit of the law and I have no intention to direct my energy to deflate such consumer protection.

    Fun fact: I have, in the past participated at a multitude of TR draws and I have actually even one an item : a USB key that I still use to this day. Guess what, I didn’t call a lawyer to sue TR when I didn’t win, and nobody from the Quebec government bothered to take any action against TR either.

    It’s only recently that TR decided to black out Quebec as well as the rest of the world, thus excluding myself and a bunch of other readers from participating in the draws. Again, it sucks for readers like me and I’m just venting my frustration.

    Adi

    • Inkling
    • 9 years ago

    First of all, the value of the prizes in this contest is ~$2,200 (US). So we would have to comply with FAR more than what you’ve cited.

    Second, as I already stated, the provincial government has on many occasions gone after foreign entities holding such “publicity contests” to harass them over compliance details. I know of other website owners who have received warnings, inquiries, and cease-and-desist notices from the Québécois government, despite their firm conviction that they were in compliance. These regulations can be subjectively applied. For example, if a product would cost $1849 (US), but can be found at a Québécois brick-and-mortar store for $2150 (Canadian), we’re in trouble. Also, who is to determine whether our descriptions of the prizes are “detailed” enough? Or, when we announce the winner, do we run afoul of 6.1?

    The point is that it’s not worth the legal risk if we have to hire a Québécois attorney even one time to defend ourselves against an inquiry by a zealous Québécois regulator. Seriously, why would we take that risk for something like this?

    If it bothers you so much, how about directing your energy toward changing the laws, electing different politicians, or moving out of Quebec? Every other Canadian province and US state allow this type of giveaway and, as far as I’m aware, very few poor hapless citizens are being abused or taken advantage of by companies giving away free loot.

    • krazyredboy
    • 9 years ago

    Alright! I was able to do it, without sacrificing everything…I mean, why do I have to make everything so long-winded, just to get my point across. It’s not like it would take an excess amount of wording to properly convey, exactly what I was trying to say. Isn’t that why slang and shorthand were created? To get the point across, in significantly less words? I would say so. But, at the very least, I could attempt to confine my egregious amounts of word-fluff, that I tend to create, whilst trying to present the simplest of responses…or posts…or…

    What I’m trying to say is, I have managed to make it in, at the 350 word mark, and have reduced my story to the point of qualification, but not to the lack of point! Yay!

    • TheEmrys
    • 9 years ago

    I fully support you, then! I just don’t want you to win….. that needs to be me. 🙂

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    So let`s go over the rules that apply : 5 and 6 if the total value is less than 2k$ CAD :

    “5. The rules of a publicity contest must be accessible to the public and must include as a minimum:

    (1) the conditions for entering the contest;

    (2) the places where the public must deposit or send the contest entry forms;

    (3) the deadline for entering the contest;

    (4) a description of the method of awarding the prizes;

    (4.1) the number and a detailed description of the prizes offered and the value of each prize;

    (5) the place, date and precise time the prizewinner will be named;

    (6) the media used to inform the winners of the prizes won;

    (7) the place, date and deadline for claiming prizes, or where applicable, whether the prizes will be delivered to the winner;

    (8) the information that the winners will be selected by a jury, where applicable;

    (9) the information that as a minimum the persons specified in section 12 must be excluded in all cases;

    (10) the following text: “Any litigation respecting the conduct or organization of a publicity contest may be submitted to the Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux for a ruling. Any litigation respecting the awarding of a prize may be submitted to the board only for the purpose of helping the parties reach a settlement”;

    (11) the nature of the skill-testing requirement that a winner has to satisfy in order to claim his prize.

    Decision 82-08-02, s. 5; Decision 88-12-14, s. 3; M.O. 98-12-03, s. 5.

    6. The person for whom a publicity contest is carried on shall ensure that the advertising for the contest does not imply that any person:

    (1) has won a given prize;

    (2) may enter a contest for the purposes of receiving a prize or being able to win a prize, when in fact all participants receive a prize.

    The person shall ensure that the advertising states the number of and describes the prizes offered in the contest and their respective value, that it mentions that only one prize is offered or that it specifies the smallest and largest value of the prizes.

    The person shall also ensure that the advertising states how and where the public may obtain the text of the contest rules.

    Where participation in a publicity contest requires the purchase of a good or service, the person shall ensure that the advertising states the nature of the skill-testing requirement that a winner must satisfy in order to claim his prize.

    Decision 82-08-02, s. 6; Decision 88-12-14, s. 4; Decision 91-10-21, s. 1.”

    Besides a simple math question, there is nothing in those rules that TR doesn’t already do.

    Adi

    • Inkling
    • 9 years ago

    C’mon guys, there’s this thing called Google…

    [url<]http://www2.publicationsduquebec.gouv.qc.ca/dynamicSearch/telecharge.php?type=2&file=%2F%2FL_6%2FL6R6_A.htm[/url<] The provincial government of Quebec is not friendly to small businesses who want to hold small (low-cost) contests, giveaways, or (as they call them) "publicity contests." Even if the total value of the prizes was under $2000, the provincial government has a reputation for going after foreign companies holding publicity contests and investigating whether they've complied with the letter and spirit of every regulation. We have neither the time nor resources to ensure a little giveaway like this satisfies the nosy bureaucrats of a nanny state intent on protecting its citizens from the horrific dangers of brand new products offered freely to our readers.

    • itachi
    • 9 years ago

    and how did you broke your cpu ??!

    • itachi
    • 9 years ago

    QQ US-Canada only…you do have readers from all over the world though ! swiss representative here.

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    I’m IN Canada and I still can’t participate. I’m pretty sure that worse than you.

    Seriously Tech-Report, you’re gonna make me go read through Lotto-Quebec’s rules and regulations now ! It’s VERY easy to fill out a form and be perfectly legal to include the second most populous Canadian province in your contests.

    I would really like to know which part is too complicated for you and I am offering my help to translate from French to English if need be.

    Adi

    • SetzerG
    • 9 years ago

    First time poster, but looooong time reader. I’ve been visiting this site for over a decade. This contest seemed fun so I leaped at it.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Yar, I’ve had issues with sata cables also, pretty frustrating. The rom is basically like a firmware for the sata controller. You can usually see the version during post, if the vendor logo screen is off.

    Here is some more info on it.
    [url<]http://www.win-raid.com/t7f13-AHCI-amp-RAID-ROM-Modules.html[/url<] My latest bios(F14b) has amd ahci rom version 3.1.2.0, bios F8 had amd ahci rom version 3.0.7.0, I notice boot times have dropped. Haven't really had a chance to much other testing. Oh I have a SB950 btw.

    • Amgal
    • 9 years ago

    I’ve been lurking for years. Love this place, but I don’t talk much. I understand your frustrations though.

    • ludi
    • 9 years ago

    PC: an electronic slave which is often asked to perform hard and/or terminally boring tasks, often at odd hours or for long periods without rest, and which endures verbal or physical abuse when failing at its tasks for any reason. Often forced to sleep on floors or tables and endure unsanitary conditions. Final reward for years of service under these conditions is to be called “obsolete” and traded out to menial duties while being replaced by one that’s younger and prettier.

    If PCs were to turn sentient and begin keeping personal journals, then “sad, unstable, or even suicidal” would likely be the typical result.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 9 years ago

    Well mine just wants some tlc and the kids to stop stabbing it. lol

    • auxy
    • 9 years ago

    ROM version…? I’m using the MSAHCI driver, because the AMD AHCI driver was giving me a lot of issues. I moved the two drives that were having problems (even after I changed the driver — although going back to MSAHCI did help a lot; all drives were having issues) to different SATA ports, and that helped too.

    It’s a Biostar Hi-Fi A85S3 updated to the most recent BIOS. I’ve used several of these boards now; never had any problems with them, but I’ve also never tried to run more than two drives off one, either. I’m running five on this one (only because I appear to have one dead SATA port), and it’s not happy with me.

    I more or less got it ironed out now; seems I had a bad SATA cable, a bad SATA port, and a bad SATA driver. The MSAHCI driver supports hot-plugging and everything, so I’m not really even sure why I would use the AMD driver; by all reports it’s less reliable and less performant.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Really?! I heard the a85x chipsets had a pretty solid sata controller.

    [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/F2A85X-UP4/11.html[/url<] What rom version and driver are you using? Or perhaps maybe just a lemon mobo?

    • TheEmrys
    • 9 years ago

    Thanks, Professor!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Good news, everyone!

    [url<]https://twitter.com/scottwasson/status/394134862501666817[/url<]

    • TheEmrys
    • 9 years ago

    I was at 479! Ouch. Cutting is not fun. So don’t do it, kids.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    I didn’t think it was so bad. Not that mine is better; it’s different is all.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    I haven’t statisticsed since my quantitative methods class in 1998 or 1999.

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 9 years ago

    Well, to be fair, there’s no way the PC-5000 sitting in my closet for years, till I took it out for the anthropomorphic tech contest, could possibly be happy about it’s fate. 😉

    • jessterman21
    • 9 years ago

    Right, but “surely you guys can do better than that” – Cyril’s a tough act to follow is all I’m saying.

    • chuckula
    • 9 years ago

    Aha… interestly concept for a contest. I may put something in, but more for the fun of it since I doubt I could win.

    • auxy
    • 9 years ago

    I’m sure all of our fantasy-PCs are reflections of ourselves. Maybe you’re the only person here that’s happy, stable, and well-adjusted? (⊙﹏⊙✿)

    • cygnus1
    • 9 years ago

    Going through the entries, I really wish we could +1 in the forum. There are quite a few in there that are hysterical.

    • Captain Ned
    • 9 years ago

    Oh how those words, suitably corrected for the addressee and adding in the “small northeastern college” bit got me through adolescence.

    • chuckula
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]I think all TR contests should require being registered prior to the contest announcement.[/quote<] Morally I tend to agree with that sentiment, but it would never fly legally with the rules for how contests are run.

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 9 years ago

    A disturbing number of the PCs in that thread seem to be sad, unstable or even [i<]suicidal[/i<]. Am I the only one who keeps happy, well-adjusted PCs?

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    I think all TR contests should require being registered prior to the contest announcement. New people are ok, but it’s poop when someone comes along for a contest because they saw it posted somewhere else, and that’s all they do at TR.

    • auxy
    • 9 years ago

    Thanks very much! I sure could use a 4960X! O(≧▽≦)O

    • auxy
    • 9 years ago

    Fun contest! I wrote mine very quickly; it just kinda flowed out from feelings I’ve been feeling a lot personally in my real life, lately.

    I recently broke my Core i5-3570K, so I’ve been using an A10-5800K as my CPU, and let me tell you, it’s not even in the ballpark on performance. Not to mention that my motherboard for it seems to have a dodgy SATA controller, or something…

    Anyway, I hope someone enjoys my micro-fiction and I’m looking forward to the results!

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 9 years ago

    I agree with your

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 9 years ago

    do you even statistics bro? Math isn’t something magical you believe in.

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 9 years ago

    I think he was actually trying, if that counts for something. lol

    • RhysAndrews
    • 9 years ago

    Dear Diary,
    Today techreport taunted me yet again with a competition open to US and Canadian residents only. Like one of the thousands of non-US residents that regularly visits this site, I am doomed to win nothing.

    • Stickmansam
    • 9 years ago

    You could argue if you only speak 50-350 words in your audible diary, and include a transcript, that may count 🙂

    • neagugbrl
    • 9 years ago

    I do not even remember since i have not won anything online :))

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    Wow there is a ton of 1st time posters in there, I guess the chance of free stuff is hard to pass up.

    I don’t need anything so I will refrain from entering to help boost everyone else chances of winning 🙂

    Edit – I had to enter a post since there were so many that were emo. Sorry.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Whoa. The metaverse just went “whoosh”

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Hey if you want to just be creative and not really submit anything, that’s cool. ;P

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    Oh, sonofa…

    391 words. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Of course, every dateline is 6 “words” according to Word. Take 48 words off and I’m basically right close to 350. That’s in the spirit, right?

    I’m tempted to leave it, even if I’m disqualified. I don’t know what I’d cut. Re-word a couple sentences, shave 10-15 words max.

    edit: I can’t believe I’ve edited this thing 3 times and I still have misspelled words and incoherent thoughts. Geez. Anyway, I got it trimmed down to 349 words, if you can count my timestamps as a single word (and MS Word does because I made it count for me).

    • TwoEars
    • 9 years ago

    I didn’t see it either at first. But I just shaved from 550 to 349, it can be done.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    That is pretty unfortunate, but I’m sure they can expand the rules if people will be willing to use more creative entries…

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    can you remind us when the winners are chosen?

    Signed,
    Funyuns&Meth-PC

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    Literacy – it’s still a thing.

    • albundy
    • 9 years ago

    “Submissions should be between 50 and 350 words” i take it that they want written words.

    • SSID's Mom
    • 9 years ago

    Well if you’d introduce me to your little friends you have over for sleep-overs, I wouldn’t have to.

    xoxox

    mom

    • MadManOriginal
    • 9 years ago

    You’re not supposed to compete, because employees of TR are not eligible to enter.

    • krazyredboy
    • 9 years ago

    I need to apologize. Honestly, I didn’t notice the word limit, mentioned above. I had to do some editing, as it was difficult to figure out what to cut.

    I have one question, though:
    What is the possibility of getting a 400 word limit? I’m at 398, currently, so I’ll probably have to shave off some more of my humor.

    • JohnC
    • 9 years ago

    Good contest with good prizes. People just need to be moar creative – for example, make audible diary entries, not only text ones, using voices similar to this:
    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXPmtf4udRE[/url<] or that: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8N72t7aScY[/url<]

    • JustAnEngineer
    • 9 years ago

    PCs with identity crises? Sigh.

    • James296
    • 9 years ago

    it’s been awhile since I wrote something like this but I had fun making mine anyway.

    • diesavagenation
    • 9 years ago
    • superjawes
    • 9 years ago

    Yours was pretty good.

    I’ll have to take some time and figure out what to do with this one…

    • weaktoss
    • 9 years ago

    Fun prompt! I like this style of contest giveaway. Much more interesting than the standard lottery. But also a lot more work for you guys, so I understand why it’s infrequent.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    Dear Diary,

    Today I found out about super awesome prize givaway on techreport.com! You remember, that website that gave away that AWESOME iBuyPower computer to yours truly? Yeah that was a few years ago. Now they’re giving away, like, a bajillion dollars worth of stuff to three lucky people. What do you think, Diary? Should I try to win again? Does lightning strike the same place twice? I sure hope so!

    Yours truly,

    ssid

    PS: Mom, stop looking at my diary. I’m a 30 year old man, for crying out loud!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    I actually had two ideas and I flipped a coin. I hope the fates picked the right one.

    • superjawes
    • 9 years ago

    That’s actually a good question, because I could see someone coming up with a good entry for a server, too, which is less of a PC than a tablet or phone would be…

    • jjj
    • 9 years ago

    You need to define what a PC is because it’s unclear if for this contest tablets and phones are considered PCs.

    • GeneS
    • 9 years ago

    ^ this guy has to be an odds-on favorite to be a weiner

    • jessterman21
    • 9 years ago

    Cyril, curse you for taking my idea for an entry!

    But seriously, how are we supposed to compete with the guy who writes for a living, and penned a sci-fi novella that even my wife enjoyed?

    • bthylafh
    • 9 years ago

    Dear [i<]Computer Shopper[/i<]: I never thought this would happen to me, but...

    • dpaus
    • 9 years ago

    Ooooo….. First contest I can get [i<]really[/i<] excited about!

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