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Announcing TR Tech Share 2007

In which we give you free stuff, and we all support a good cause

Those of you who have been around here for a while will recall our Christmas giveaways of yore, when we handed out some killer prize packages of top-notch PC components in the spirit of the season. Those past attempts have been good, but this year's prize haul blows 'em all away. We have well over five grand worth of PC hardware ready to spring on unsuspecting TR readers. Not only that, but we've teamed up with our sponsors to support a very good cause at the same time. In true TR fashion, we have details aplenty about every aspect of this complex and intriguing mix of elements we're calling TR Tech Share 2007. Read on for the whole scoop.

The goods
Let's start with the prizes we're giving away, since you're no doubt interested in the free stuff. We've collected an astounding bounty of top-shelf PC hardware from a host of quality sponsors, including Intel, Gigabyte, Corsair, XFX, Shuttle, Western Digital, PC Power & Cooling, Cooler Master, OCZ, and A-Data. We've separated these components into three different prize packages, roughly modeled on three of our usual System Guide configs. Each package could form the core of a very nice enthusiast's PC, and the first-prize bundle is a towering, err, tower full of computing power. Here's a look at each of the prize packages.

Component Item Retail price
Processor Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 $1,295.00
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 $269.99
Memory 2GB Corsair Dominator DDR2-1142 $349.00
Graphics XFX GeForce 8800 GTX $534.99
Storage Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB $159.99
A-Data FP1 2GB $34.99
Power PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 $168.99
Enclosure Cooler Master Cosmos 1000 $189.99
Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 $41.99
Total value $3,044.93

Our first-prize combo is packed with three grand worth of some of the best hardware available today, providing more or less everything you need for a state-of-the-art gaming rig. Intel's Core 2 Extreme QX9650 processor is by far the fastest desktop chip around, and it's based on Intel's latest and greatest 45nm process technology, to boot. Gigabyte's TR Recommended award-winning GA-X38-DQ6 motherboard delivers a wealth of overclocking and I/O options, and two gigs of 1142MHz Corsair Dominator DDR2 memory will help keep the QX9650's four cores fed with oodles of bandwidth. We even have a third-party processor cooler: Cooler Master's Hyper 212, whose humongous tower-style design and 120mm fan should contribute to this system's overclocking potential.

Gigabyte's excellent GA-X38-DQ6 anchors our first-prize combo

If that's not enough to make your mouth water, we've thrown in XFX's GeForce 8800 GTX, one of the fastest graphics cards on the market today. Our first-prize combo also includes two options to store your collection of Linux ISOs: a quiet and speedy 750GB Caviar SE16 hard drive from Western Digital and one of A-Data's 2GB FP1 flash drives, which can keep your data safe by means of a fingerprint identification sensor. Housing and powering all this hardware will be two TR Editor's Choice award winners: PC Power & Cooling's 750W Silencer power supply and Cooler Master's Cosmos 1000 enclosure.

Component Item Retail price
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 $234.99
Barebones Shuttle SG33G5 $289.99
Memory 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 $72.00
Graphics XFX GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB $299.99
Storage Western Digital Caviar SE16 750GB $159.99
A-Data FP1 2GB $34.99
Total value $1,091.95

The second-prize combo isn't quite as lavish as the mountain of high-end hardware in the first prize bundle, but it still packs a very mean punch, and it does so with a minimal footprint. Shuttle's SG33G5 barebones system takes care of the motherboard, enclosure, and power supply, all while measuring a very manageable 12.2" x 7.9" x 7.3" (31 x 20 x 18.5 cm). Don't be fooled, though: inside the enclosure will sit a Core 2 Duo E6600 processor from Intel, 2GB of Corsair XMS DDR2-800 memory, and a GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB graphics card from XFX—enough to handle pretty much any game you throw at it for the foreseeable future.

With Shuttle's SG33G5, you'll be computing in high style

On the storage front, the second-prize combo features the very same 750GB Western Digital Caviar SE16 hard drive and 2GB A-Data FP1 flash drive as our first prize bundle. Three quarters of a terabyte of storage and plenty of gaming horsepower makes our second prize combo ideal for a small-form-factor gaming PC or LAN party system.

Component Item Retail price
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 $124.99
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L $94.99
Memory 2GB Corsair ValueSelect DDR2-667 $39.99
Graphics XFX GeForce 8600 GTS $169.00
Storage Western Digital Caviar SE16 500GB $109.99
A-Data FP1 2GB $34.99
Power OCZ StealthXStream 600W $89.99
Total value $664.93

Our third-prize combo is powered by Intel's Core 2 Duo E4500 processor and Gigabyte's GA-P35-DS3L motherboard, which both provide enough overclocking potential to compete with the speediest dual-core systems out there. Overclocking will be aided by our 600W StealthXStream power supply from OCZ, which can deliver a profusion of stable current (not to mention loads of room for expansion). The 2GB kit of Corsair ValueSelect DDR2-667 memory we've included will help keep everything nice and snappy, too.

Once you're done overclocking the bejeezus out of the Core 2 Duo E4500, you'll be able to sit back and slip into your favorite multiplayer game with the included GeForce 8600 GTS from XFX. This card may not run Crysis at 2560x1600 with the detail maxed out, but it still has enough horsepower to play virtually everything out there, provided you don't mind turning the detail down a little.

Finally, the third-prize combo is rife with quiet and fast storage thanks to a 500GB Caviar SE16 hard drive from Western Digital and the same 2GB A-Data FP1 flash drive we included in our other combos. Hard drive makers may be rolling out bigger and bigger hard drives, but half a terabyte of storage is still nothing to scoff at. And the FP1's fingerprint identification system is just plain cool.

Not bad, eh?

And you can win one of these packages simply by signing up. Before we get to that part, though, let's talk about our charity tie-in.