Holiday 2014 Wish List!

Good day folks, thank you for stopping by and – if you choose to do so – for taking the time to read this article. So we just got done celebrating Thanksgiving Day, here in the USA, and if you’re reading this then I believe it’s safe to assume that you survived the annual apocalypse more commonly referred to as “Black Friday”. It seems that, every year, more and more people actually stay home (or wherever else they are for Thanksgiving festivities), and I among you my friends. Whether or not I have any money to spend is irrelevant, it’s that whole issue that I look forward to surviving that day rather than risking my life at Walmart for a $2.00 Nintendo DS game or Blu-Ray movie. Anyway, there are plenty of online alternatives, and quite frankly I’ve slowly been warming up to Amazon more and more. I normally do my shopping, especially for tech, on Newegg, Superbiiz or Tigerdirect, but Amazon has so many other things that I’d much rather have, and that’s just a good thing to me. The prices on there aren’t always as good, but are sometimes also much better.

Also, Amazon gift cards don’t expire once they’re added to your account’s gift card balance, and are available practically everywhere now, so anyone who gifts anything to me can give me an Amazon gift card if they wish to. To do that with PayPal (for eBay or other PayPal-accepted shopping) they’d have to buy a Green Dot money card and pay a fee, which is absurd to me, or they can buy a PayPal gift certificate through their PayPal account, but good luck finding any physical PayPal gift cards in any stores (I know I sure haven’t seen any, which really limits the chances when the buyer giving the gift also doesn’t have a PayPal account to buy one online). Newegg and the other big guys do gift cards too, without fees, but again they also don’t have a lot of stuff that Amazon does. That being said, and without further ado, I present to you my 2014 Holiday Season wish list (no, I’m not asking for stuff, haha, just sharing what I’m wanting just like everyone else is seeming to do).

For wish list item #01

I wanted to go big. I may not be from Texas, but I still like to go big or go home, so with that being said, I present to you my first wish list item, an item that will put a “little” ding in your wallet – the Intel Core i7 4790K CPU. I do believe it speaks for itself, really, but at the same time it may not for some folks. I had to RMA my EVGA 780i motherboard a few months ago, an LGA775 CPU board, but the replacement I received is the EVGA Z87 FTW, an LGA1150 CPU board. According to the EVGA support site, this CPU is compatible with my motherboard, and I don’t yet have a CPU for it, so if I can manage to get one, I may as well go big. 😉

Anyway, that brings us to #02…

Wish list item #02

32GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-19200 2400MHz Trident X Series CL10 (10-12-12-31) Quad Channel kit. Again, this item pertains to my EVGA Z87 FTW motherboard. I would like to be able to use Adobe applications, as well as other production software, so I’ll need as much RAM as I can get (my motherboard supports up to 4 sticks of DDR3 RAM, 32GB max), plus the faster it is, the better for me in every way. Whether playing the latest PC video games or rendering an hour-long full-production video (for here or otherwise), this beast kit of RAM would most definitely be well taken advantage of and used for great things. My options would be practically limitless, especially if coupled with that i7 4790K CPU.

Wish list item #03

Corsair Neutron Series GTX 480GB Solid-State Drive, quantity of 4, in RAID 0. I happen to have loved the Corsair Neutron series SSDs since they were first released, especially the GTX line. This 480GB model is no different. Up to 90,000 IOPS read at up to 555Mbps, up to 85,000 IOPS write at up to 511Mbps, a MTBF rating of 2,000,000 hours and a rock-solid Corsair 5-year warranty (their customer service is top of the line) make this a must-have drive for any serious power user. Throwing 4 of them in RAID 0 just pushes it beyond “over the edge” and into “mind-blowing speed” territory. You may ask “Why 4 though? Wouldn’t 1 or 2 be enough? Why not just get a 1.5-to-2TB drive instead?”, and I’ll just answer back with “Because it’s faster… and more awesome.”. With such a whopping price tag, it does sound a bit crazy, admittedly. Again, however, go big or go home!

Wish list item #04

The Sapphire Radeon R9 295X2 8GB GDDR5 DVI-D Quad Mini DP PCI-Express Graphics Card 21234-00-40G. Now, bare with me a moment. You may be gasping and wondering why I chose an AMD GPU rather than Nvidia, being that my motherboard is Intel-based and supports Nvidia SLI, and honestly I can’t blame you for wondering. An EVGA GTX980 was very tempting, 2 of them even more so (I even considered a pair of Titan Zs for SLI, but they are very horrible for what they ought to be and get crushed by the R9 295×2). The main reason I chose the R9 295×2 is because of the larger memory bus and RAM capacity. It has 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, with a dual-512-bit memory bus, whereas the GTX980 has 4GB of GDDR5 RAM and a 256-bit memory bus. This monster (the 295×2) will run you quite a very hefty sum if you buy on Amazon, but other places do have it right now for quite a hefty premium less (like $739.98 shipped at Newegg, for instance). As much as Amazon is growing on me, their sellers just can’t compete in some areas, and this is one of them.

Wish list item #05

This is actually the pairing of 2 items, but you can call it cheating if you want to, haha. The first (main) part is the Wacom CINTIQ 22HD Pen Display – Graphics Monitor with Digital Pen – Black, and the second (supportive) part is the Ergotron LX Desk Mount LCD Arm w/Tall Pole. This graphics tablet has been my dream tablet for a long time. I’ve been an artist for a long, long time (I’m 33 years old now), and love digital art. A good graphics tablet is the only thing holding me back from quite a lot of success, and an amazing tablet such as this one would basically eliminate any hurdles in my way. Add the VESA mount with swivel arm, and you have the perfect mix. I’ll be able to use it whenever I wish to, wherever, and when using it at my PC desk I’ll be able to use it as intended and push it back to the wall when not in use (or if I just wish to use it as a monitor or standalone PC). Sure, I could definitely do very well with a different tablet, such as the Wacom Cintiq 13 HD or the Wacom Intuos Pro PTH851, but there is so very much more that the Cintiq 22HD can do, that those others cannot, it is quite literally a world of difference, honestly. The only other hurdle I’ll have for now, is that my current PC desk is a glass-topped steel-framed desk, but I’m fairly certain that if I could miraculously afford any of these first 5 items, I can afford a better desk setup as well. 😉

Wish list item #06

Now is where we drop down from super-expensive to more practical. These items are actually ones I’m saving money toward as we speak, by means of acquiring Amazon gift cards. Again, there is more than 1 item in this, but I want and need them all, and since 6 of them are a full set, I consider it all 1 item (generally speaking). Call it a package deal, if you will.

  • The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics
  • The DC Comics Guide to Inking Comics
  • The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics
  • The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics
  • The DC Comics Guide to Creating Comics: Inside the Art of Visual Storytelling
  • The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics
  • The Insider’s Guide To Creating Comics And Graphic Novels
  • Creating Comics from Start to Finish: Top Pros Reveal the Complete Creative Process
  • Words for Pictures: The Art and Business of Writing Comics and Graphic Novels
  • Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up
  • Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy: The Ultimate Reference for Comic Book Artists
  • Hi-Fi Color For Comics: Digital Techniques for Professional Results

The prices of these vary, depending on the seller, ranging anywhere from $3.00 (plus shipping) on up – for good or better quality ones at least, but every single one of these books will be an immense help for me. I already have other books that are of great use, including the “Drawing Cutting Edge Comics” (which matches well with it’s counterpart book “Drawing Cutting Edge Anatomy”, which is in the list above), “Comics Crash Course” – a wonderful and ever-useful book for any and every aspiring comic book/graphic novel artist, writer, inker, etc. and also one of my all-time favorites, “Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: People and Poses”, which comes with a disc as well. All of these are awesome books, and the ones in my wishlist will match with them perfectly for me.

Wish list item #07

2 pallets of Monster Energy Absolutely Zero, Zero Ultra, Ultra Red, Ultra Blue, Ultra Black and Ultra Sunrise – equally-mixed variety amongst the pallets. This ought to be enough for quite a long time, haha. Of course, I’d also need to rent a storage locker just to store it all, but it would totally be worth it. The health nut in me screams “WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!”, haha, but the rest of me says “Calm down, I’ll make it last for a good long time, no worries!”

Wishlist item #08

Another multi-pack “item”, but one that’s fun and useful. This includes all of the following grab-bag-type box subscriptions:

 

Wish list item #09

Canon EOS Rebel T5i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera HD Video with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Zoom Lens + EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens ++ 58mm 2x Professional Lens +High Definition 58mm Wide Angle Lens + Auto Flash + Wireless Remote +Uv Filter Kit with 24GB Complete Deluxe Accessory Bundle. Quite literally everything that I need to do my high-quality product reviews, stop-motion animation videos (a big hobby of mine, that I aspire to one day make a profession), and so many other things in life. Currently I have a junk Targus cheap-o tripod and a Canon Powershot SX160 IS digital camera. The camera is amazing, and I have a 64GB Kingston SDX10V/64GB memory card + Kingston MobileLite G3 multi-card reader to go with it, but the camera and tripod are very much quite limited in comparison to any of the EOS Rebel line, especially the new T5i. I’ve handled one of those in person and was blown away in every aspect. This particular setup will run you a good chunk o’ change, but it’s well worth every single penny.

Wish list item #10

Ok, here we are at the end of the list, as I won’t go on any further, since this article is already fairly long as-is. So last, but not least, is… the NETGEAR ReadyNAS 314 4-Bay Diskless Network Attached Storage (RN31400-100NAS) with 4x Western Digital WD40EFRX 4 TB WD Red, 3.5 inch, SATA III 5400 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM NAS Hard Drives. For a 16TB NAS setup, my home (and home-based business, as I’d definitely be working from home on many different levels and job types by then) would be completely set. I could set 1 drive to be a home desktop backup drive, another for home media (digital movies, music, TV episodes, photos), another for business PC backups, and the last one for pretty much anything else. Such a setup could and would easily make quite a lot of everyday tasks so very much easier.

Well folks, that’s all for me, but how about you? What’s your big, dreamy wish list filled with? An epic uber-high-end gaming PC? An Xbox One or PS4? Curved OLED computer monitor? Candy canes? Haha, feel free to let me know in the comments section below, because as always, I want to know what you want to know about.

I’m Ronald DMNKLR Smith for Dragonblogger.com, signing off. Have a blessed season folks!