Evening, gerbils. We're eager for our New Year's parties, but first we should look through the next bag of prizes. TR Santa was here and gone before we arrived, and he left a shocking pink bag with a glittery ribbon tied on. Its shine nearly blinded us when it caught the midday sun. Santa left a hand-written note telling us to "give this to someone special." That sounds like a command, and we wouldn't dare disobey someone with that much power.
Okay, let's see what's in this oddly colorful bag. Great Scott, it's full of stars... oh wait, that's just glitter. Goodness, I think we're in shock, folks. You won't believe what this contains: an MSI Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard, an EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW graphics card, and an EVGA SuperNova 650 G3 power supply. Be still my beating heart.
We've teased this motherboard here before, and here it is in its full glory. The MSI Z170A Gaming M5 (which goes for $180) is a feature-packed ATX motherboard with three PCIe x16 slots and support for both SLI and CrossFire. There are not one but two M.2 slots to plug PCIe SSDs into. Gigabit Ethernet connectivity is provided by a Killer E2400 adapter. The spec list is far from over, though. The audio section is enhanced with a Realtek ALC1150 codec, isolated circuitry, and dual headphone outputs. Finally, there are two USB 3.1 ports: one Type-A and one Type-C. In a nod to tweakers like our winner, MSI added a handy LED POST code display.
The mobo above is a great prize on its own, but we're upping the ante. The prize bag contains an EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW graphics card (worth $460, and I tried to steal it for myself but was caught green-handed). Let's see how many ways we can say this card is awesome. It's got EVGA's super-quiet ACX 3.0 cooling setup. The GPU's clocks are boosted to a very healthy 1797 MHz. If those megahertz aren't enough for you, a 10+2 power phase setup and dual 8-pin connectors should let you overclock the card like crazy. Finally, there's RGB LED ligthing on tap for that all-important color coordination. EVGA also covers the card with a 3-year warranty, and its Step-Up program gives the buyer 90 days to trade in their purchase for a more powerful model.
And now for the final prize that nicely complements the set above: an EVGA SuperNova 650 G3 power supply (a $110 prize). There's not much we can say about this compact PSU that can't be boiled down to "it's perfect." The power supply experts at JonnyGuru rated this unit with a perfect 10/10 score, and the unit's been getting rave reviews across all the corners of the internet thanks to its quiet profile and super-stable power delivery. EVGA is so confident about the quality of these units that it covers them with a seven-year warranty. Like any quality PSU in this day and age, the SuperNova 650 G3 has modular cabling and 80 Plus Gold certification.
There will be no countdown today, because today's TR community prize is a particularly special one. It's going to the person with the most forum posts, who also happens to be a man who's forgotten more about hardware and computing in general than all of us combined will ever know. He's extremely affable, and despite his vast knowledge and the fact that he can land a job anywhere, he'll always find time to help out. He could hang out with any crew, but for some reason he's around us all the time (go figure). Last but not least, he offers craft beer to people at the TR BBQs.
We're talking, of course, about none other than just brew it! Congratulations, this is not only a "total forum posts" award, but also coincidentally a "TR lifetime achievement" of sorts. Enjoy this pack of hardware, for you certainly earned it by helping gerbils over the years. Meanwhile, Krogoth was seen downloading scripts to artificially inflate his forum post count.
If you've been doing the math, you'll know that this prize haul is worth $750. EVGA and MSI's generosity to TR is immense, and both companies deserves a truly heartfelt thanks. Please go ahead and follow EVGA's Twitter feed and hit Like on its Facebook profile. Then if you'll be so kind, please do the same on MSI's Twitter and Facebook feed.
There's only one giveaway left, and it's a random draw, so you have a chance to score the mother of all prize bags. We're still taking entries for the random draw until midnight CET today, so if you haven't signed up already, go for it. In the meantime, you can take a sneak peek at tomorrow's prizes: