Thursday deals: an AM4 mobo, studio speakers, and hard drives

It's deal time again at The Tech Report, and we have some good stuff in store(s) for you this fine Thursday afternoon. Today's bounty includes an AM4 motherboard, a set of Bluetooth-compatible studio monitor speakers, and a pair of hard drives.

First in the batting order is a Newegg deal on MSI's B350 Gaming Plus AM4 motherboard. You could put a Bristol Ridge APU in it if you wanted, but we imagine most gerbils would go with something from AMD's Ryzen line, like the Editor's Choice Award-winning Ryzen 5 1600 or Ryzen 5 1600X CPUs, or the eight-core Ryzen 7 1700.

Regardless of the choice of processor, the B350 Gaming Plus has four DDR4 DIMM slots, a metal-reinforced PCIe x16 connector, four SATA ports, and an NVMe M.2 slot. The usual smattering of USB 2.0 and 3.0 Type-A ports are present and accounted for, along with a USB 3.0 Type-C jack. The board is on sale for just $85, and a $10 rebate card could sweeten the deal even further.

Next up is a pair of PreSonus Ceres studio monitor speakers. Each ported cabinet is stuffed with a 3.5" Kevlar driver, a 1" silk dome tweeter, and a 25 W class-AB amplifier. The front panel has a volume control knob alongside 3.5-mm input and headphone jacks, and the back is studded with RCA and 1/4" inputs, along with an output for connecting an external subwoofer. Alternately, users can connect any Bluetooth source like a smartphone or tablet. The best news is the sale price of $80, down 47% from the everyday price at Adorama.

We'll finish off the deals for the week with a pair of storage options. The first is Seagate's capacious Expansion 8 TB 3.5" desktop external hard drive. The USB-to-SATA controller chip inside the case appears to support UASP, so buyers can look forward to near-native-SATA speeds in modern operating systems. The coupon code EMCXRJDB2 brings the price down to $150, a mere $18.75 per terabyte.

If you're not looking for quite so much capacity and you want to put the drive inside your system, check out Newegg's deal on a WD Blue 1 TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.5" hard drive. Games and Steam libraries keep getting bigger, and SSD prices don't look like they're coming down anytime soon, so the mechanical drive still has a place in many systems. The $50 sale price is a pretty sweet deal in itself, but use promo code EMCRJDB25 to knock another 10% off, bringing the total down to a scant $45.

That's all for today, folks! There's a chance you're looking for something we haven't covered. If that's the case, you can help The Tech Report by using the following referral links when you're out shopping: not only do we have a partnership with Newegg and Amazon, but we also work with Best Buy, Adorama, RakutenWalmart, and Sam's Club. For more specific needs, you can also shop with our links at the Microsoft Store and Das Keyboard's shop.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 2 years ago

    there’s no USB 3.1 Gen2 ports on that motherboard, which is why I went with the Asus b350 prime.

    • tu2thepoo
    • 2 years ago

    Just an FYI about the seagate 8TB drive – I bought the very similar 8TB Backup Plus (the one with built-in USB3 hub), and as far as I can tell all of Seagate’s affordable 8TB drives are SMR. The USB-SATA bridge limits transfer speeds to 30 MB/sec, apparently to avoid running out of cache.

    I tested this by cracking open the case and plugging the drive directly to the SATA ports on my motherboard, and the drive will happily transfer at 100+ MB/sec for about fifteen minutes. After that, it runs out of cache and crawls along at 8-9 MB/sec until you either pause the transfer or it finishes copying.

    Don’t get me wrong – the drive is great for incremental/scheduled backups, but the initial copy/backup will be brutally slow whether you use USB+UASP or SATA.

    [edit]
    [url<]http://www.storagereview.com/seagate_archive_hdd_review_8tb[/url<] "With the attractively low price per TB that the Seagate Archive 8TB HDD has, it can be difficult to not consider purchasing a set for NAS storage. StorageReview strongly recommends against such usage, as at this time SMR drives are not designed to cope with sustained write behavior." [url<]http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-3379776/8tb-seagate-drive-faulty-normal.html#r19523140[/url<]

      • Waco
      • 2 years ago

      SMR drives work fine (especially for consumer workloads). I have over ten thousand of them in production. 🙂

        • JustAnEngineer
        • 2 years ago

        SMR drives fail when you put them in a consumer workload like a TiVo. I learned that the hard way. 🙁

          • Waco
          • 2 years ago

          They don’t fail any more than other drives regardless of how much you write them. They’ll go intolerably slow if you write to them constantly with bad workloads, though. I wouldn’t put one in a DVR for performance reasons alone.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 2 years ago

            Seagate’s Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) hard drives fail every time when installed in a TiVo Bolt, causing corruption and making the DVR inoperable. Since Seagate intentionally obscures which of their drives have the inferior SMR technology. this is a serious problem. The best solution for me is to avoid their brand entirely so that I do not end up with another expensive and time-consuming failure.

            • Waco
            • 2 years ago

            They don’t fail, they just can’t perform well enough for DVR duty.

      • Blytz
      • 2 years ago

      I’ve got 6 of them in a nas in raid 6 and they saturate a giabit nic for terabytes. So I can’t complain about them. Mind you it’s only a 10-20% premium to get ironwolf these days so worth considering

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