Bargain basement: a cheap Vega 64, MacBook Pro, Surface Laptop 2, and more

G'afternoon, folks. My tiny terror HTPC is now alive and well, and I'll be making excellent use of it by chewing through my gigantic backlog of movies and shows. I've gone the extra mile and slapped a Core i5-8600 in it in preparation for a future graphics card upgrade, and jeez, that thing is snappy. The Core i7-6700K in my main box suddenly feels a little inadequate. I must now upgrade. I should not have done this. Anyway, check out our selection of hardware deals.

  • Now this is quite the surprise in our deals posts. We've historically had a tough time recommending AMD's RX Vega graphics cards, but we're opening an exception today for the Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64. This potent pixel pusher bears a generously sized three-fan cooler and is set up with a 1580 MHz boost clock. There are extra goods in store, too. The card can control two additional external fans and comes with an external support bracket. Newegg will hand you this card for $419.99 right now.

  • Next up is a couple of displays. We'll start with the biggest, the Acer ET322QU. This is a modest pixel slab, but one of a good pedigree. Its 32" IPS panel has a resolution of 2560×1440 and a color gamut that should cover 99% of the sRGB space. The maximum refresh rate is 75 Hz, and there's FreeSync support on tap as well as a pair of built-in speakers. $199.99 is all you need to take this home from Newegg if you use cart code EMCTWTU44. That's right, only two Benjamins for a monitor this nice.

  • If your tastes in displays leans more towards ultra-wide models, a "simple but nice" option is the LG 29WK50S-P. This IPS unit measures 29" across its diagonal. The resolution is 2560×1080, and there's FreeSync support on tap. Sam's Club wants but $179.96 for this monitor.

  • We have a fantastic selection of portables today. The first one is the Apple MacBook Pro 15" with Touch Bar. The company's laptops often have meager resource allocations, but the model at hand flaunts a six-core Intel Core i7 processor coupled with 16 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon Pro 555X graphics card. The NVMe SSD has a capacity of 256 GB, and there are four Thunderbolt 3 ports on board. Best Buy will let you have this potent portable for $2099.99.

  • For a different take on a quality, high-end portable, check out the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2. This alcantara-covered machine is extra thin and packs an eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and a 128-GB NVMe drive. The gorgeous 13.5" touchscreen has a resolution of 2256×1504. The folks at Best Buy are selling this machine for only $799.

  • Highly portable laptops are a default choice for most people, but some of us require a machine that can kick enough ass to open a franchise of donkey farms. One prime example is the Acer Predator Helios 300. This 15.6" machine won't win any slimness awards but couldn't care in the slightest, as it packs an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB graphics card. The 1920×1080 display has a 144 Hz refresh rate, and the 256 GB SSD is an NVMe model for that extra performance kick. Take your gaming on the go for $999 from Amazon.

  • Last but not least is today's crop of cheap, speedy RAM. The sticks in the Geil EVO Spear 16 GB, 3000 MT/s kit come clad in subtle black heatspreaders and have 16-18-18-36 timings. The price tag reads only $84.99 at Newegg. For twice the capacity, check out the G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB kit at 3000 MT/s. The timings on it read a surprisingly low 15-15-15-35, and the price is set at $189.99 at Newegg.

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 Das Keyboard's shop.

Comments closed
    • albundy
    • 9 months ago

    i wouldnt say that dropping close to $500 after taxes is bargain basement for an old video card that isnt worth half that. but who am i to tinker with nomenclature.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 months ago

    Does this count for Bargain basement?

    [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/253125/goodoffer24-presents-windows-10-and-office-2016-at-unbeatable-prices-for-techpowerup[/url<]

      • Clint Torres
      • 9 months ago

      You know what they say about things that sound too good to be true?

      Prolly licenses that have been purchased with stolen credit cards.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 months ago

        I was thinking they’re selling access to Multi-Activation Keys but your theory might be true.

          • anotherengineer
          • 9 months ago

          Well Techpowerup is legit, and based in Europe. Not sure about goodoffer24, but one would think the editors of the site did their homework before posting on their own site with a coupon code also.

          Edit – I can get them even cheaper through my employer and MS HUP.

            • euricog
            • 9 months ago

            Content is sponsored, it’s not a feature by Techpowerup. The same ad is featured on other tech sites, such as:
            [url<]https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/promo-goodoffer24-spring-promotion-windows-pro-11-83.html[/url<]

    • Wonders
    • 9 months ago

    I’ll take potent portables for $200.

      • Stochastic
      • 9 months ago

      Purportedly potent portables.

      • 223 Fan
      • 9 months ago

      I prefer potent potables.

        • jihadjoe
        • 9 months ago

        Let it snow!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 months ago

        Yeah, why don’t you give me Ape Tit for $200?

        [url<]https://youtu.be/bEghu90QJH4?t=180[/url<] (sorry, that category always makes me think of these things)

      • Mr Bill
      • 9 months ago

      Potentially potent portables…
      .
      .
      But sorry, we used only one memory channel.

    • Goty
    • 9 months ago

    It is worth noting that the SSD is not removable in either the Macbook or the Surface, so you’re stuck with the amount of storage it ships with.

      • blastdoor
      • 9 months ago

      TB3 is pretty zippy, though, so an external drive is an option. Of course, that diminishes mobility.

        • tipoo
        • 9 months ago

        An SD card as leave-in storage would have gone a long way on both. At least with the Surface you could leave in a nano USB type A stick, nothing quite so flush on USB C yet.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 months ago

    [quote<] The company's laptops often have meager resource allocations, but the model at hand flaunts a six-core Intel Core i7 processor coupled with 16 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon Pro 555X graphics card.[/quote<] /insert Morpheus "what if I told you that was the base config for 15-inch MacBook Pros" meme here

      • MOSFET
      • 9 months ago

      $2100 for the listed Apple config above? That’s an anti-deal. That goes on the price gouging page.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 months ago

        I’m not passing judgment one way or another, but Tim Cook says “¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

        It’s normally [s<]$2300[/s<] $2400 if that makes you feel better. edit: I was looking at the higher-ed price before.

          • Wirko
          • 9 months ago

          Yes, Mr. Cook’s long and sharp claws don’t often let dollars run away from him.

      • morphine
      • 9 months ago

      One thing doesn’t change the other. At least the 15″ model has decent specs for a “pro” machine.

        • HERETIC
        • 9 months ago

        Also seems to be the model with the least Q/A.
        Seems every few weeks there’s something new- from dodgy display cable to sticky keys.
        With the latest being the T2 screwing up audio, and other things……………………………..

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 months ago

        The “Pro” name needs to come off of those, I agree, but it’s only because 13″ notebooks [i<]as thin as Apple wants them to be[/i<] are too small to contain "pro" hardware.

      • tipoo
      • 9 months ago

      I loled, but it’s still true enough that the 15″s are a far shot away from their meager entry offerings in other sizes. Apple doesn’t offer larger sizes with smaller parts at all, so going up in size upgrades the baseline of all parts.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 months ago

        It’s really weird how that works, but apparently they want to have zero overlap.

          • tipoo
          • 9 months ago

          I’d imagine they’d have a boost in sales, lots of people just want big screens even with ultraportable components, look at the LG Gram 15 and even 17. But Apple is all about those ASPs, so want a bigger screen -> pay for stuff you maybe don’t need.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 9 months ago

            Almost on topic: the 17″ Apple laptops remain my favorite laptop form-factor ever. Huge screen, minimal body, shaped not unlike a book in that they are entirely flat but with pleasant corners, cooling in the hinge.

            • tipoo
            • 9 months ago

            Yeah it’s lovely. Every now and again I want to pick one up and dual SSD it, but unfortunately all of the MBP 17 years also covered the soldergate GPU years afaik.

            • Spunjji
            • 9 months ago

            Agreed. I was once really excited about the Razer Blade Pro for that reason, only they started out buggy and then went straight for “obscenely expensive” instead.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 9 months ago

            For a high-wattage laptop, I’d probably choose something a bit thicker and drop the hinge-venting in favor of massive airflow out the back.

    • Goty
    • 9 months ago

    Before anyone else wastes their time looking, the refresh range for the [b<]LG[/b<] monitor is 56-75 Hz and it's a 6-bit + FRC panel. The Acer is 46-75 Hz and I [i<]think[/i<] 8bit + FRC. Can't find information to confirm that, though. *Edit to specify which monitor I'm talking about* *Edit 2 for the other monitor*

      • Waco
      • 9 months ago

      Thank you!

      • TheRazorsEdge
      • 9 months ago

      I was eyeballing that monitoring until I saw your comment.

      Why must you ruin everything? Why are you bringing REALITY into this?

        • K-L-Waster
        • 9 months ago

        To paraphrase the Fram oil filter guy, “you can bring reality into it now, or you can bring it in after you bought the sucker…”

          • twizttid13
          • 9 months ago

          That’s ironic considering Fram has one of the worst oil/air filters out there.

            • Goty
            • 9 months ago

            Their oil filters are fine-to-great now. It’s been a long time since the Orange Can of Death days.

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