Deal of the week: $1/GB solid-state storage and more

We’ve got a cornucopia of deals for you this week, starting with an eye-popping bargain on a 64GB solid-state drive. Kingston’s SSDNow V100 64GB currently retails for $114.99 at Newegg, but it comes with a whopper of a mail-in rebate that cuts that down to just $59.99. Provided everything goes smoothly with the rebate, you’re looking at paying just under a dollar per gigabyte, which must be some kind of new record. This is a rather decent drive, too, with TRIM support, three years of warranty coverage, and top rated read and write speeds of 250MB/s and 145MB/s, respectively.

If you’re one of those folks who hasn’t yet seen the light of discrete audio, this next deal really ought to make you reconsider. Asus’ Xonar DG sound card is still selling for $34.99 at Newegg, but a $10 mail-in rebate brings it down to a scant $24.99. At that price, you owe it to yourself to check the Xonar out. Our review and blind listening tests show that the Xonar DG isn’t just markedly superior to integrated audio; it actually sounds slightly better than higher-priced sound card, as well.

For those putting together new gaming rigs in preparation for Battlefield 3, Rage, and Skyrim, Antec’s Nine Hundred Two enclosure is also on sale. Normally priced at $119.99, the case can be had for $99.99 shipped if you enter the promo code "EMCKCKC34" on the checkout page, and a $20 mail-in rebate can knock that down to a cool $79.99.

We’d be remiss not to point out that A-series APUs and accompanying motherboards are now available and quite cheap. For example, you can nab the AMD A6-3650 for $119.99, pair it up with ASRock’s A75M-HVS microATX motherboard for an extra $69.99, and top it off with a 4GB kit of Kingston DDR3 RAM for $33.99. You’ve now got the makings of a compact little casual gaming or home-theater rig.

NCIX has some deals equally worthy of note in Canada. The Xonar DG is available with the same $10 mail-in rebate, which knocks it down to $22.25 CAD—slightly cheaper than in the States. Corsair’s 8GB Vengeance DDR3-1600 kit can be snatched for $69.99, too, and Western Digital’s 500GB, 7,200-RPM Scorpio Black mobile hard drive (a TR Editor’s Choice winner) is on sale for a cool $58.99. More potential bargains can be perused on NCIX’s Wild Savings Week page.

Comments closed
    • xtalentx
    • 8 years ago

    I have two of those SSDs and they are very nice. I have been using them for a while without any issue. I bought them new off buy.com for 80 bucks each with some coupons I had.

    • gamoniac
    • 8 years ago

    Buy.com also has a great deal on Kingston SSD V+100 96GB for $1/GB (without the kit).

    [url<]http://www.buy.com/prod/kingston-ssdnow-v-svp100s2-96g-96gb-2-5-internal-solid-state-drive-ssd/q/loc/101/218053994.html[/url<] The IO specs are 230MB/190MB read/write. I ran it with ATTO benchmark and it was right on. AnandTech gave this a really nice review last October, especially on the heavy-load AT benchmark. I think the best part is that it's more stable than those with SandForce controller in general. From the reviews and research that I read, the latter seems to have a lot of complaints. I just received the two that I ordered and have been playing with them. They are awesome! Edit: Kingston also allows for 2 rebates per household/purchase. I haven't mailed mine in yet, however. Hopefully, I will get the full rebate without incidence.

    • [SDG]Mantis
    • 8 years ago

    I know that your review raves about the Xonar DG…and it is cheap and better than the on board sound — barely. But since building my new system a week ago, the Xonar DG has been replaced by my old X-Fi XtremeMusic — which I bought ages ago for my Athlon 64 system. To my ear, the X-Fi still has it and the Xonar is a marginal step up from the onboard sound (and, quite honestly, subjectively comparable to the sound on my very old Abit NF7-S which, admittedly, had the best sound of any motherboard that I’ve ever owned).

    My own advice: skip the Xonar DG. The XtremeMusic is no longer available, but I’d personally go with the X-Fi Titanium if I had it to do over. My MB has a space PCIe slot right next to the PCI slot that my sound card currently is occupying, so the slot difference isn’t an issue. Using the PCIe would even open up the possibility of a dual-slot SLI setup on my MB…so it would be preferable.

      • oldog
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t know why you were voted down. My experience with the Xonar card was the same as yours with a 2.1 speaker setup.

        • [SDG]Mantis
        • 8 years ago

        Who knows. I have a 2.1 setup for general use and the X-Fi is better there. But when I game online and use a headset for easier voice chat, the X-Fi really shines.

        Interestingly, I think that the latest Xonar drivers have a stability issue. Sound would hang repeat and games would hang. Since replacing the Xonar with the X-Fi, the problem went away.

        YMMV, but my money is on the X-Fi over the Xonar…at least the DG.

          • deathBOB
          • 8 years ago

          Drivers worse than the X-Fi? Must be awful.

            • [SDG]Mantis
            • 8 years ago

            Maybe the latest version of the Xonar DG drivers have a problem. I was locking up with looping sound in some games. Since changing the card, I have had no problems.

            As far as the Creative drivers, the recent drivers for the X-Fi are fine in terms of stability. They’ve had their ups and downs. This card has been through XP, Vista x64, and Win 7 x64 systems at this point. Aside from the non-existence of usable drivers for more than a year after Vista came out I have had few problems.

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      I noticed quite a big difference with my Bx5A monitors going from onboard (VIA VT1708s) to the Xonar DG, so I guess it varies depending on your exact configuration (which onboard sound you had, which speakers, and your listening environment). I haven’t tried the X-Fi Titanium for comparison, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s better, since it’s more than double the cost.

      I have a 2.0 configuration rather than a “2.1” (most 2.1 don’t even have a separate channel for the sub), so that may have something to do with it also.

      As for the drivers, the version the card came with did have some issues, but I haven’t had any problems since I updated them.

        • [SDG]Mantis
        • 8 years ago

        I was using the latest Xonar DG drivers. I almost always go straight to the web site and get the latest version (except for a MB where I need to use the included drivers to get online…after all using another machine to get all of the drivers onto a USB drive is a bit of a pain).

        I am really comparing the Xonar DG to the old X-Fi XtremeMusic. I did not try the onboard sound on my current board. And it is true that the Titanium, which is the closest current card to my XtremeMusic, is more expensive. But the sound quality is so remarkably different between the X-Fi and Xonar as to drive me to make the original post. At NewEgg, the Titanium is just under $90.

        The XtremeMusic is a much better card, hardware wise, than the XtremeAudio or Gamer cards. I believe that the main difference between it and the Titanium is onboard RAM.

        Of course, if you’re willing to shop e-Bay, you can still find XtremeMusic cards in the $30-$40 range.

      • atryus28
      • 8 years ago

      I have the Xonar DG and an X-Fi, the Xonar is WORLDS better than the X-Fi with both my M-Audio Studiophile AV40’s and my Sennheiser HD 280 Pros. Considering the Xonar has nice built in amp the volume on my Phones and Speakers never needs to be turned up much at all where as the X-Fi was always underpowered.

        • Jigar
        • 8 years ago

        I think you are talking about the X-FI xtreme audio, that is the worst card ever.

        I have a Xtreme music card and it sounds lot better than Xonar DG.

      • LoneWolf15
      • 8 years ago

      I have an X-Fi Titanium; it sounds great, no driver issues.

      I haven’t had a Xonar DG. I’m guessing the X-Fi wins in gaming, and it’s a close race in audio playback.

      EDIT: I’m using Logitech X-530 analog 5.1 surrounds.

    • bitcat70
    • 8 years ago

    Would that 64 GB SSD be enough for the system drive for a W7 machine?

      • Sargent Duck
      • 8 years ago

      Yes.

      My current C: drive partition for my WIndows 7 Home Premium 64bit is 26GB. Usually have a GB or two free, although I should have made it 30GB to be comfortable.

      Of course, I also created that partition back in my Windows XP days.

      But yes, a 64GB will be plenty.

      • Goty
      • 8 years ago

      Slap your home folder on another drive during the install and you can get the whole thing down to about 20GB for a fresh install.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        I wouldn’t even do that – you could just add the folders on the mechanical drive to my Libraries and set them as the default save locations within each Library. In fact, that’s what I’m going to be doing tonight.

          • ImSpartacus
          • 8 years ago

          Bingo.

          Libraries is Win7’s most underrated feature, by far. Microsoft is actually thinking ahead, but nobody wants to notice it.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      Win7 takes up about 20 gb on my harddrive, so I don’t see why not.

        • bitcat70
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, yes. That’s fine but what about the Applications? Some of the games from Steam require at least 15 GB of space. Can the Program Files folder default to another drive? How about a network drive? Is there a forum thread about that?

      • jstern
      • 8 years ago

      It says that you need to have at least 20GB free, but when I did a clean Vista install, it only took around 10 to 13 GB. I’m not sure, I don’t quite remember, just that it was a lot less than what the requirement said. I guess they were adding extra memory to comfortably use the system.

      I also had a mac at the time, and again I forgot the exact figure, but it took significantly more, which was frustrating, because having to OS in a 120GB drive can be frustrating, I really needed that space.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 8 years ago

        And you can knock a further few GB off of that by disabling the hibernation file and reducing space for system restore.

        Windows 7 really does not take all that much space. It drives me nuts when people say things like 120GB is the minimum for a “system drive.” You could get away with a 30GB drive.

      • Duck
      • 8 years ago

      My Win7 x64 is like 11GB

        • Farting Bob
        • 8 years ago

        It does grow though over time, with files that you are recommended not to delete.

        win7 x64 and my windows folder is 17GB. You can slim that down but theres still alot you cant get rid of unless you use vlite (or whatever the win7 version is called) that streamlines the install and lets you take out features. (it can be a pain but for an SSD i recommend it, windows come with alot by default you dont need).

          • Duck
          • 8 years ago

          My windows is old already. I want to reinstall it soon-ish. I have made a Win7 x64 lite version that will fit in an 8GB partition with some 3GB free! I still need to test it properly though.

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    On that SSD, I’d rather wait for a deal that doesn’t double my final cost if the rebate doesn’t go through.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, that’s quite a gamble there.

      • Buzzard44
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, I was about to wake up when I saw that the power went out during the night and my alarm clock was actually going off at a time when the price of SSDs was actually over $1.79/GB.

    • apertur3
    • 8 years ago

    FWIW, be careful with those Kingston rebates – I used to get rebates just fine from Kingston all the time with no issues – until I ordered a 96GB SSDNow from Amazon a couple of months ago. Sent in the forms and everything like I usually do, and a few days ago got a postcard in the mail saying that my claim is “invalid” because, “per the terms and conditions, order confirmation emails and/or packing slips will not be accepted as proof of purchase.” Which is funny because I submitted the UPC just as they asked, so the only form of invoice I could possibly receive from Amazon is one I have to print out myself. Whatever rebate house Kingston is contracting with is starting to feel a little bait ‘n switchy. This coming from a guy who submits a substantial amount of rebates every year and has never been denied… until now. I wrote them a letter – I hope it takes care of my situation. Had it been a $10 rebate, I might not have bothered, but – the whole reason I bought the Kingston was because the ~$50 rebate brought it right down to around $1/GB.

      • bdwilcox
      • 8 years ago

      The law states that if the fulfillment house defaults on a valid rebate submission, the product’s manufacturer is ultimately responsible for honoring the rebate. Follow the directions [url=http://www.ehow.com/how_7600158_make-money-using-rebates.html<]here[/url<]. Hope you kept a copy of all the materials you originally mailed in.

        • apertur3
        • 8 years ago

        sure did, thanks. though I don’t know that they are “defaulting”, rather than just coming up with a bunch of baffling BS about how the requirements aren’t fulfilled when they clearly are. how do you fight _that_? My letter to them was slightly less than “polite” because that’s how their rep decided to act toward me on the phone… what a hassle. I guess following their rules just isn’t good enough anymore.

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      That’s… worrisome. I was actually thinking of buying one of those on Amazon precisely because the rebate was too big to pass up. Or perhaps I should say too good to be true.

      You might want to contact Amazon also. Clearly it’s not their problem, but they should be advised that they may be a conduit for misleadingly priced goods. And you never know: Amazon will have more clout with Kingston than any random consumer would, so if they get enough complaints….

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      I never understood the idea of rebates..

    • Spotpuff
    • 8 years ago

    Here’s hoping 2012 is the year I can take the plunge and somehow find a 500gb SSD for $500.

      • alwayssts
      • 8 years ago

      2012 is absolutely going to be the year of the SSD.

      1. Samsung is mass producing Toggle DDR (v2) on 19/20nm starting H2 this year. Each chip is supposed to be 50Mbps.
      2. Intel/Micron is mass producing 20nm starting H2 this year, including 16Gb chips.
      3. Every man + dog company are creating decent-enough drives, saturating the market and bringing down prices overall.

      FIGHT!

      64/128/ and then 256GB should be the most appealing ( 128GB/256GB for sandforce: 8 channels x 16 [8/16GB] chips – 1 for Sandforce RAISE ) in 2012, but once 16GB saturates the market, who knows what kind of deals may be had on larger drives. I do not think your hope is unwarranted one bit. Finding a top-tier drive for that price, though, might be relegated (or rather reserved) for articles such as this one.

    • Noigel
    • 8 years ago

    Noob question: Can you put solid state drives together in a RAID to make them look like one big C:drive partition?

    Could you take 4 of these drives and make a speedy 250GB-ish creation?

      • blorbic5
      • 8 years ago

      Yes

      Edit: you can only get 2 of these with the rebate per address

      • cmrcmk
      • 8 years ago

      Yes, but you lose TRIM support.

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      In general, yes — see for example the StorageReview [url=http://www.storagereview.com/intel_ssd_510_raid_review<]test[/url<] from today's shortbread. As noted, however, you lose TRIM.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    Wake me up when its $0.90/GB.

      • Yawn
      • 8 years ago

      Sorry, my work here is done.

        • bdwilcox
        • 8 years ago

        For us curmudgeons, your work is never done. Now get crackin’ ya young whippersnapper!

    • khands
    • 8 years ago

    Oh shit, I might just be getting an SSD.

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