Deal of the week: Cheap storage, bargain IPS displays, and more

1TB and 2TB hard drives still cost more than they did prior to last year’s Thailand floods, but oddly enough, 3TB models seem to be cheaper than before—especially if you catch them on sale. Seagate’s 3TB 7,200-RPM Barracuda is a good example. Newegg normally sells the drive for $179.99, but it’s letting customers nab the ‘cuda for $149.99 right now. Keep in mind this isn’t a "green" drive; it has a full 7,200-RPM spindle speed, 64MB of cache, and 6Gbps Serial ATA connectivity.

Bargains abound among SSDs, as usual. Samsung’s speedy 830 Series 128GB solid-state drive is on sale for $99.99, and Corsair’s Force Series GT 120GB drive is available for $89.99 after a $30 mail-in rebate. Free shipping, too. Both offerings take advantage of 6Gbps SATA speeds with peak read rates well over 500MB/s. The Corsair drive has the highest peak write speeds of the two, at 515MB/s.

If you’re more interested in gaming than storage, then you may find XFX’s Radeon HD 7770 Core Edition enticing. Newegg has it on sale for $104.99 after a $20 mail-in rebate until next Thursday. The card comes with a free copy of DiRT Showdown and is a very solid budget performer. You can peruse our benchmarks here.

Of course, this deal post wouldn’t be complete without a nod to those shockingly cheap IPS monitors from Korea, which we reviewed last week. You can normally find them only on eBay, but Micro Center currently has a 27", 2560×1440 model on offer right here in the U.S. for $399.99. Our intrepid Editor in Chief bought one, and he says he’s happy with it. You can use the store selector drop-down at the top of the product page to check availability for your local Microcenter store.

Finally, as always, we’ve got something for our Canadian pals. NCIX’s Olympics-themed High Performance Sale Event is in full swing, with items on sale including Western Digital’s 3TB Caviar Green hard drive for $149.99 CAD and OCZ’s Agility 3 360GB solid-state drive for $199.99 CAD after a $20 mail-in rebate. There are plenty of other deals listed, too.

Comments closed
    • David_Morgan
    • 7 years ago

    Well, I bit the bullet after reading this and picked up one of those monitors from Micro Center. The sales rep warned me of “high return rates” but I went for it anyway. Gotta say, I’m loving it so far (I realize that it’s only been a day and a lot can still go wrong).

    It looks a lot better in real-life than it does in the product photos, however the entire thing is covered head to toe in glossy, finger-print loving surfaces. It has more inputs than other cheapo models I’ve seen including: DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, and VGA. It even has a workable OSD that responds to button presses. No dead pixels and great image quality with minimal backlight bleed.

    The only problem I’ve run into so far is that my 7770 can’t keep up any more with so many pixels to manipulate. It used to do just fine in Tribes: Ascend @ 1920×1200 on Very High Settings, now I have to run it at Medium settings @ 2560×1440 to get acceptable frame rates. Sounds like my next upgrade has just been determined.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 7 years ago

    With those cheapo monitors now in a US store, it won’t be long before they start flooding the online stores, too. Once the price wars on monitors begin anew, hopefully all the holdouts of higher pricing will be forced to go lower, too. Dell, HP, Samsung, etc. They’ve been gouging us for too long already.

      • JMccovery
      • 7 years ago

      What I wouldn’t give to have a 30″ Dell/HP for ~$500…

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Ummm, I’m guessing you would give $500?

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          Hey-yoooo! He’s here all week folks, don’t forget to tip your servers.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            What, no +1 for the bad pun?

      • UberGerbil
      • 7 years ago

      The thing is, as much as I’d like to see cheaper monitors, those stripped Korean ones are missing several features I don’t want to do without (additional inputs, some controls, etc). If wider distribution of them puts downward pressure on more-featured monitors, great; but if it means the big names start dropping features (and warranties) to lower prices while trying to maintain their margins, that’s not so good. But I suspect they won’t even try to wade into cheapest end of the pool unless these ultra-cheap one really start to erode their market, which will take more than them just showing up at Microcenter.

        • demani
        • 7 years ago

        Take a look at that linked one though. It has additional inputs, controls etc. I’ve got one on order to check out.

        • paulWTAMU
        • 7 years ago

        I’ll forgo the inputs if it means a nice, big, high quality monitor.

    • brucethemoose
    • 7 years ago

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130753[/url<] This is a much better deal than a 7770 IMO. The largest single GPU ever made... its a collectable, really.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      About as fast as 7770, or maybe slightly slower (older series not as well supported – remember about it), and consumes more than twice power 7770 consumes, so you make up for its lower price by needing to have a large PSU.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        and an extra $75 a year to power it.

      • My Johnson
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t think it’s a DX11 GPU either. Windows 8 looks to benefit from DX 11.1 too.

      And I second the high power consumption.

      But good point on the collectable call. I never knew they used a 512bit memory bus.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    wow!! 6Gbps on a mechanical! does that even matter?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I don’t think it does.

      • TheEmrys
      • 7 years ago

      only for things in the cache….

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Which is better off done in main memory. Come on, 64MB? The only reason HDs have cache is so that they can support NCQ and try to eek out a little bit more performance by reordering requests a bit. Anything over that’s just going to overlap the much better caching the OS should be doing.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          IF it was done in memory at all. Windows doesn’t have ZFS.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Windows (at least Vista and 7) use spare memory as cache just fine. I’m not sure why you’re making a ZFS reference.

            • My Johnson
            • 7 years ago

            Even with 8Gigs and using the computer for media consumption and gaming I’ve noticed that it’s as slow as ever with mechanical storage.

      • ULYXX
      • 7 years ago

      Thats a good point… :-/

      Some one have a benchmark link handy (that compares 3gbps to 6gbps)? Im much too lazy right now, its too hot.

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        Techreport did a [url=https://techreport.com/articles.x/18467/1<]review[/url<], but the 6 Gbps burst rates were distorted by the Marvell driver using main memory as a cache. PCPer also did a [url=http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Storage/Western-Digital-SATA-6Gbsec-1TB-Caviar-Black-WD1002FAEX-Review?aid=870<]review[/url<] where they managed to disable the Marvell cache. Basically the real-world performance ranges from barely noticeable to none at all.

      • PainIs4ThaWeak1
      • 7 years ago

      But of course it does! More ePeen, duh.

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        I have 4 6 Gbps Caviar Blacks; I must have a very impressive ePeen.

        But yeah, it makes very little difference, as someone else mentioned basically burst transfers from the cache.

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Not really, but other improvements vs older drives just might.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Any possible improvement in cache burst speed will be overwhelmed by the power wasted to run the link at 2x the speed of what it needs to be. Then again, modern chipsets are pretty good at idleing links to save power, so that might not end up being an issue.

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        Only if power is a concern. I suspect that a lot of people couldn’t care less about the power consumption of their sata ports. A 150 watt graphics card kind of overshadows that. I really don’t think that’s an issue of significance except in the mobile space.

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          The server world cares, too. But, yes, I was thinking mostly of the mobile space.

    • just brew it!
    • 7 years ago

    So how’s Seagate’s reliability been lately? I’d been trying to avoid them since the 7200.11 firmware and reliability issues, but those 3TB drives are tempting as I need to upgrade my home file server.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I have a 1TB 7200.12 and it’s been fine for about a year. No complaints.

      • mesyn191
      • 7 years ago

      They’ve dropped the warranty to 1 yr for a reason you know.

      I wouldn’t buy anything with less than 3 yr warranty these days.

        • glynor
        • 7 years ago

        Agreed.

        They’re way cheaper than competing drives.
        They have a one-year warranty.

        Suspicious.

        I’ve had LOTS of trouble with Seagate drives over the past few years. I don’t swear them off (all drives have trouble from time to time), but…

        I don’t think I’d rely on these.

          • just brew it!
          • 7 years ago

          One year warranty and lower price doesn’t automatically mean the drives are less reliable. The fact that they expect to deal with fewer RMAs (due to the shorter warranty) could be solely responsible for the lower price. In general I don’t pay too much attention to warranty length, since once you’ve factored in the odds that the drive will fail under warranty and the hassle of dealing with an RMA, what’s the *real* value of a longer warranty? Not much.

          That said… a one year warranty *is* rather short.

            • elmopuddy
            • 7 years ago

            I have a 2TB in my home server, my backups drive.. no issues whatsoever.

            • dmjifn
            • 7 years ago

            Er… so, which side of the argument are you on then?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i ALWAYS rma stuff. i managed to get MSI to replace a mobo 1 week out of a 3 year warranty. cost me 12$ for shipping, and now my tower will work. all it took was an email.

            • dmjifn
            • 7 years ago

            Actually, I’m glad you mentioned this.
            I want to thank Tech Report for saving me some $$. My MSI GTX 460 crapped out a couple months ago. I had none of the purchase info and was ready to accept the loss. Came across the RMA forum thread by accident. I just clicked the link, answered like 3 questions, and got an RMA number with no hassle at all.
            A week later, MSI sent me a picture of my card with some damage from shipping, asking for my credit card before they’d fix it. Two emails and a phone call later and they decided to simply send a new card. They gave me no flak at all. Pretty nice.
            So thanks. 🙂

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            Well, considering the fact that most products that would be deemed “unreliable” have a habit of failing within the first year, this warranty isn’t really a sign that these drives are unreliable. However, since reliability is undoubtedly the #1 factor of importance when it comes to mass storage, one would hope to see manufacturers stand behind them in their full capacity. What this means to the consumer is not that the drives are unreliable, but that the support of the company is no longer as reliable as it once was and I would be less inclined to trust them to honor their warranties in case of failure no matter how long the warranty is good for.

          • albundy
          • 7 years ago

          “They’re way cheaper than competing drives.”

          hahaha you made a funny, there’s only seagate and wd. there is no competition.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            You named competition then said there is no competition. Odd.

            He is right though, Seagate drives tend to be less expensive per GB than Western Digital.

            • TheBulletMagnet
            • 7 years ago

            A duopoly is not competition. You’ll see what I mean as mechanical storage prices stagnate. Watch this space for a future price fixing lawsuit to happen as well.

      • Visigoth
      • 7 years ago

      Honestly, if I were looking for a hard disk for your home file server, I’d buy a Western Digital “Red” Series hard disk. They’re specifically optimized for NAS (no useless head parking, 24/7 continuous operation etc.), so IMO it’d be the perfect drive for your particular usage.

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