12 days of Christmas gifts Nvidia

There were so many big developments in the computing world in 2020 that it was all but impossible to narrow the choice down to just one. Especially when it comes to real gamer-changers. Based on the products released, their impact, and the reaction of readers and buyers, two really stand out this year: Nvidia’s RTX 30 series of graphics cards, and the mainstream arrival of Wi-Fi 6.

Here’s why these two made it to the top of this year’s 12 Days of Christmas list.

12 days of Christmas gifts NvidiaNvidia RTX 30 graphics cards

I don’t need to tell you that PC gaming has always been huge, but this year it got a big boost from pandemic lockdowns. And all those PC gamers — new and old — were lining up to get the latest generation of video cards that Nvidia announced in the fall.

The RTX 30 series graphics cards are loaded with “firsts” like being the first gaming-class graphics cards that can support up to 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM, and the first with HDMI 2.1 support for both 4K and single-cable 8K gaming. Demonstrations of the new RTX 30 cards which feature Nvidia’s DLSS deep learning neural network (with dedicated AI processors) showed incredible advances in real-time ray tracing.

The new Nvidia cards are also packed with technology to aid content creation and game streaming. The downside to all these advances? Demand has been through the roof and Nvidia has struggled to keep pace with demand. If there’s a PC gamer on your list and their desktop rig could use more graphics horsepower, keep an eye out for the Nvidia RTX 30 series video cards.

Wi-Fi 6

We started to see devices and routers equipped with Wi-Fi 6 (formerly known as 802.11ax Wi-Fi) hitting shelves last year. However, it’s safe to say that in 2020, Wi-Fi 6 has gone mainstream.

A wide selection of Wi-Fi 6 routers and mesh Wi-Fi systems now offer Wi-Fi 6 support. It’s getting tough to find a new smartphone, tablet or laptop that doesn’t offer Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

Christmas, Wi-Fi 6

Why the fuss over the latest Wi-Fi standard? This is the first time that a Wi-Fi standard has been designed specifically to address the connected, smart homes that we increasingly inhabit. You may not think of your home as “smart” or “connected,” but when you start adding up the devices that connect to your Wi-Fi network, you’ll probably be surprised. Smartphones, tablets, PCs, laptops, smartwatches, game consoles, smart speakers, video streamers, smart TVs—they all add up. And if you have started to add smart lighting, a smart thermostat, smart door lock, and connected streaming cameras?

All these devices fighting to stay connected and demanding bandwidth can quickly overload older Wi-Fi routers. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to support all those devices, with a big increase in simultaneous connections, and more effective bandwidth allocation. In addition, overall speed will get a boost. Want to learn more? You can read more details in my explainer.

A Wi-Fi 6 router or Wi-Fi-6 whole-home mesh system makes a great gift, delivering superior Wi-Fi that will only get better as additional Wi-Fi 6 devices are added to the network.

Still need gift ideas? Keep checking the blog for the full collection of 12 Days of Christmas posts.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.

14 COMMENTS

  1. good luck buying a 30 series card via bestbuy.ca. My order was just cancelled for pick up at local store. I ordered via bestbuy.ca (because I mashed the f5 key until it showed available at nearby store and in stock at my Windsor Ontario store), received confirmation email and the card surprisingly disappeared from the local store stock while I was waiting for the order to process for pick up. That is quite peculiar that bestbuy.ca listed it at my local store in error.
    Maybe another lucky employee landed yet another 30 series card? As if it is not hard enough to find one already! Oh and yes our local store is closed to the public. Only curbside pick up/ordering available.

    • Hi Jason,

      We have sent your comment to the Best Buy customer service team at Best Buy Canada’s head office to investigate.

      I’ll let you know if they send me more information.

      Best regards,
      Martin

  2. 30 series cards are probably one of the hottest and not really available items. Also cost an arm and a leg. That being said the tech is impressive

  3. My 770 GTX is on severe need of replacement. I was planning on upgrading but haven’t had any luck getting my hands on a 30 series card

  4. I would love to be able to have good wifi coverage in our house. With the kids doing school from home and all the “semi smart” devices a definite upgrade is desperately needed. With so many option on the market I need to start looking at a Mesh system with Wifi 6

  5. Yep, those easy to find RTX 30 cards. Tough season for getting your hands on the latest tech, the whole suite of RTX 30’s are almost impossible to get. Bright side, there’s demand, so support for these products is not a concern and next year is going to be expensive for many of us 😀

  6. Our Dell Laptop purchased in January from Bestbuy died in November. Geek squad cannot resurrect the computer and the Montreal store is forcing us to pay additional for a more expensive Dell computer since they say that it was Dell who issued the credit. Over $600.00 plus $344.00 data recovery. Do not buy Dell and especially not through Bestbuy.#Dell, #bestbuy, #geeksquad David had to visit store in person. Geek squad refused to budge. In order to get another computer with data retrieved and loaded $682.00 + $344.00 on a 2 year Geek Squad warranty.

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