Deal of the week: A $150 GeForce 8800 and a cheap 1TB hard drive

We have a pair of very juicy deals for you this week. The first one, Nvidia’s new GeForce 8800 GS, already caught our attention earlier this week when it popped onto Newegg with a $180-190 price tag. Pricing for the card has dropped dramatically since then, and you can currently get one for $149.99. The card in question is XFX’s GeForce 8800 GS Alpha Dog Edition. Newegg lists it at $159.99 with free shipping, but you can apply the coupon code “videocard010” (without the quotes) to get the price down to $149.99 shipped.

XFX’s GeForce 8800 GS Alpha Dog Edition.

Based on numbers we’ve seen around the web, this card should only be about 20-25% slower than the full-blown 8800 GT, which makes it a very exciting deal at that price. XFX’s card comes with 96 stream processors, 384MB of onboard memory, a 192-bit memory interface, and it’s clocked at a 580MHz core speed and 700MHz memory speed—different from Nvidia’s 550MHz/800MHz stock specs. XFX also covers it with a “double lifetime” warranty that applies even to overclocked and second-hand cards.

WD’s 1TB Caviar GP.

Today’s runner-up deal is Western Digital’s 1TB Caviar GP hard drive. Where other 1TB hard drives typically retail between $250 and $300 (or sometimes more), Mwave is currently selling this particular model for just $237.77—and with free shipping to boot. As we noted in our review, this drive’s variable spindle speed and design tweaks gear it more toward power efficiency than mind-blowing performance. That said, it does have 16MB of cache and support for 300MB/s Serial ATA transfer speeds with Native Command Queuing, and its performance is definitely solid.

The 1TB Caviar GP distinguished itself enough to earn our TR Recommended award, so it’s a solid value, especially at $237.77, which works out to just 24 cents per gigabyte.

Update: The 8800 GS above has slightly slower, not slightly faster memory than Nvidia’s stock specification. Thanks to TR reader mczak for pointing it out.

Comments closed
    • Hattig
    • 12 years ago

    Well a 1TB drive wouldn’t be my choice of boot/OS/essential apps drive anyway, so not being amazingly fast isn’t an issue. Nice price, although two 500GB drives would still be cheaper right now, even externally.

    *time for an 80s style 10MB hard drive for $1000 nostalgia subthread* :p

      • MadManOriginal
      • 12 years ago

      750GB drives are currently the sweet spot for price:capacity from doing some quick price scans if you want maximum capacity per drive. The 1TB models are still the halo products so they are prices disproportionately higher for that reason.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 12 years ago

    The 750GB GP drive has become available recently and Newegg’s latest deals email had a promo code for $20 off making it $140. A really great price for the capacity for a mass storage drive.

    What are the thoughts on the GP drives for HD media? Are they fast enough to serve up 1080p contect over a network or not?

      • crazybus
      • 12 years ago

      That entirely depends on the bitrate and number of concurrent users. How big of a network are we talking?

      • Nitrodist
      • 12 years ago

      §[<https://techreport.com/articles.x/13578/6<]§ Most HDDs are above 30MB/s (180mbit). Modern HDDs are mostly above 50 (300 mbit). I don't see a problem of hitting a HDD based restraint. Most likely it would be the network.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 12 years ago

        Reply to #14 as well.

        It would only be for one stream at a time for HD content over a gigabit network. For non-HD content I know it would be fine. It’s mostly theoretical at the time, not something I’ll be doing this week, but I just was not sure. How much bandwidth is a 1080p video?

          • UberGerbil
          • 12 years ago

          It entirely depends on how it’s encoded and compressed. Raw numbers for MPEG-4 (H.264) can be found in the levels table here:
          §[<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Levels<]§

            • MadManOriginal
            • 12 years ago

            Perfect. So even the GPs would be more than sufficient for HD-DVD and BluRay even at the highest level for 1080p resolution with 30 FPS playback.

            I’d like to see a test of the GP 750GB. Supposedly the variable spindle speed quoted for the GP family is because the different size drives with different number of platters have different speeds to keep them within a given power draw profile. That means the smaller ones may have faster rotational speed.

            • verpissdich
            • 12 years ago

            I am doing this exact thing at home… streaming in 1080p content over gigabit. Fileserver is currently running WD 1TB drive for data storage. Works great!

    • mczak
    • 12 years ago

    underclocked, not overclocked, actually.
    Reference memory clock as listed by nvidia is 800Mhz, not 600Mhz (http://www.nvidia.com/page/geforce8.html). 700Mhz is rather the norm for retail 8800GS however, it seems. In any case, being quite memory limited to begin with, a 8800GS with 580Mhz/700Mhz core/mem clock is guaranteed to be slower in pretty much any situation than the same card with 550/800 Mhz would be (doesn’t mean it’s not a good deal, however, unless you’re waiting for 9600GT).

    • Mithent
    • 12 years ago

    Do the GP drives really have variable spindle speed? I’ve heard allegations that they’re really just 5400rpm drives.

      • barich
      • 12 years ago

      They don’t have variable spindle speeds. The 1 TB version is 5400 RPM, and the smaller capacities are 7200 RPM. WD lists 5400-7200 RPM in the spec sheet because not all models in the series run at the same RPM. They don’t seem too inclined to get into the specifics, but spindle speed for hard drives is a lot like clock speed for CPUs. It can make a difference in performance, but it isn’t the only factor. For example, the 1 TB GreenPower outperforms the Seagate 7200.11 in most scenarios even though the 7200.11 has a faster spindle speed.

        • mczak
        • 12 years ago

        Not quite, all versions so far in the GP series use 5400rpm. There could potentially be some with higher rpm, but as far as I’m concerned I’ll interpret this “variable spindle speed” as marketing fluff because WD thinks they can’t sell the drive if they openly state it’s 5400rpm… A bit shady, but nonetheless the hard disk itself is quite convincing.

      • willyolio
      • 12 years ago

      the spindle speed is fixed, but at a different number for each drive. i guess the variation’s just in how fast WD could speed each drive up while staying within their power limits.

      the GP’s been cheaper than other TB drives out there for a while now. i was expecting a little premium for the “green” sticker, but it’s one of the cheapest out there. for a mass storage drive i’m not looking for speed anyway… and this makes it an excellent choice.

        • continuum
        • 12 years ago

        All WD10EACS’s are 5400rpm. Acoustical testing on multiple websites, including Storagereview’s direct confirmation with WD, confirms this.

        Other GP-series drives may have a different spindle speed… gotta love how confusing WD has made this. Sigh.

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 12 years ago

    Didn’t *[

      • indeego
      • 12 years ago

      It’s only $2 more at the eggg{<.<}g

    • marvelous
    • 12 years ago

    Pretty good deal on the GS but I’m not upgrading until I can’t play anymore with awful graphics.

    • Fastfreak39
    • 12 years ago

    Does TR plan on doing an 8800GS review?

    • swaaye
    • 12 years ago

    R3850 might be a better choice just cuz it has such low power usage when idle… It should be generally equivalent in speed.

    • gerbilspy
    • 12 years ago

    Time to get a TB! 🙂

    • Vrock
    • 12 years ago

    That 8800GS is a nice deal for someone on a Geforce 6 series or equivalent card. Still, I’ll wait for the 9600GT and benchies.

      • Meadows
      • 12 years ago

      If TR’s surveys don’t lie, there are people worse off with FX or Radeon 9 cards, it could mean a day to night difference to them.

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